For many on the North Shore, we have the best trails in the world, right at our doorstep. For some of us though, there is an overwhelming urge to explore beyond the hanging fog of the Shore. I had heard mumblings of Oregon’s buff singletrack flows through the woods like a rhythmic gymnastics routine. There’s no doubt that you can drive down to Oregon, call into a local bike shop and go trail shopping, but I wanted the lifestyles of the rich and famous tour.
A couple of friends and I decided that the Oregon Enduro Series was the best way to test out the Oregon terrain, and get a good sampling of the trails in the Hood River area, as well as testing out our skills and fitness. Enduro seems to be the the format of interest for the average Joe thinking about trying the racing thing. The Enduro format usually means that from the beginning to the end of the race you are only timed for sections of trail, but still ride your way from the end of a segment to the start zone for the next. There is only a shuttle to get you to the start of the course. In that sense, its like a regular bike ride, you are just timed for the “fun parts” where you would ride faster anyhow. That concept is what appeals to me anyhow. I’m not afraid of being timed for uphills. I usually race a few marathon XC races every season, but to race a different style of event that focuses on the “fun parts” is appealing for sure.
Oregon seemed to be a great match for a trip to both try out their riding, and the Enduro racing concept. I’d only heard the name Oregon along side “ribbons of singletrack”, as well as “smooth”, and “buff”. Not only was it great to get out riding in Oregon, but the apres experience was great as well. Be sure to check out Double Mountain Brewery for great pizza and beer, if you head to Hood River.
The Oregon Enduro series is definitely a memory of the summer that I look back upon fondly. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to Oregon again for riding, and I would definitely suggest trying an Oregon Enduro Series race next season!