Big Bear Lake Enduro
Check our grassroots rider Amy Alton’s recount of the West Virginia’s Big Bear Lake Enduro:
Big Bear Lake, West Virginia was the site of my first Enduro to kick off the 2014 season. I was stoked to see what my new Lust Advanced 2 was capable of as well as sport my new AVAM Adventures jersey highlighting the Giant Northeast Grassroots Off-Road team.
For those new to Enduro — its been the hottest term in the mountain biking world since 2012 and is a race that has several timed stages linked together by transition stages where you can ride at a chill pace, chat with old friends and make new ones while enjoying the trail. Truly a cool construct for racing and riding.
Enduro: a good mix of racing and hanging with other riders
West Virginia Mountain Bike Association (WVMBA) meant business when they marked this Enduro, wanting to ensure that they showcased all that Big Bear Lake has to offer. And they certainly did. By day’s end, I’d hammered 4 timed sections, seen well over 20 miles of gorgeous, challenging trail, put in a solid 5 hours of riding, and gladly stepped onto the podium in 3rd for Women’s Pro/Expert.
Here’s a quick recap of the stages:
Stage 1 – a jazzed up XC segment with lots of pedaling peppered with several blind rock drops. The trail was laid out in a twisty turny manner that made it daunting to get into a rhythm.
Stage 1 is a wrap
Stage 2 – a gnarly downhill section with virtually every type of surface – dirt, gravel, sand, mud, rocks, loamy earth, etc. The stage, at speed, tested your skill down a crazy steep 10’ rock roller, your ability to navigate a lengthy boulder (rock) garden, and your balance on slick moss-covered off camber rocks down to the finish. Fun!
Stage 3 – my favorite of the day – a brilliantly flowly yet rocky downhill segment that took you initially traversing along a freshwater stream and finally down into it.
Stage 4 – short, sweet, and the only thing left between an Enduro racer and the keg. To kick-off this final section, WVMBA constructed several tabletops and a strong berm to propel you down into the rocky singletrack leading to a final uphill quad burning sprint to the finish.
‘Til the next Enduro, cheers!