SoCal Enduro at Vail Lake


Enduro Bro… Yup! That’s right the very rapidly growing Mountain Bike discipline that is growing in numbers daily. Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, California was the venue for 2nd round of the SoCal Endurance series which happens to one of my local trail networks that I love to ride so much. With Vail Lake having one of the best campgrounds in all of Southern California I decided to take the entire family out and Camp with my good friend and training partner Chad Hubbard who also brought his two kids and wife for the weekend. I try my best to include my family of four in all my activities that I can so my two young boys Mason and Noah are exposed to everything possible. With that being said my Wife Sarah and I took our two boys ages 5 and 4 out on the trails before dark on Friday. Yes you read that right we took our boys out on the trail for a 7 mile ride but they weren’t on there pedal bikes instead they were on there all new Stacyc electric powered bike. You will read about these bad ass little bikes later.

I have raced multiple enduro’s at Vail Lake and they aren’t your typical staged enduro. “but what is a the standard for a enduro?” Why I say this is the trail network at Vail only has about 800ft of descent per stage at the most so being in good pedal shape is more important then anything. Although the trails are a lot of fun they are built for all levels and most of all built by a lot of locals in the area. There are no huge rock gardens or massive jumps to deal with so like I said you better be able to mash pedals. I haven’t been putting in any specific training for this race other then casual rides and I knew that I wasn’t in the best bicycle shape that I have been in but I was still hoping to be in the top 7 after all three stages.

My Bike of choice for this race was my Intense Cycles Spider. I chose this 140mm bike due to the fact that there is an extreme amount of pedaling on this course and no reall section that you will need any more travel then that. The soil at Vail is a DG base soil that can get quite slippery, so when choosing tires I used a 2.35 Scwhalbe Hans Damph up front and a 2.35 Rock Razor in the rear. I feel this is a great combo for roll speed.

I pedaled up to the Stage 1 with our crew of friends like any other ride getting ready to do a real race unlike Strava. This is what is so fun about enduro racing. You and your crew of friends can ride together like any other day on the bike except you paid a whopping $95 to ride your local trail uhhhh. I finished the first stage realizing quickly that my body wasn’t in the shape that I wanted to be in. I had a clean run no big mistakes and I was anxious to see my time but the live timing site was down all day so we all had to just pray what were doing was enough to fit in where we wanted. The next two stages were about the same as the 1st good solid runs, but nothing to call home about. I ended up 11th out of 17 riders after all three stages and that most definitely where I want to be but it for darn sure is motivating to get in better shape on the bike and improve for round 3 of the series.

The Team Big Bear team that runs the event is a great group of people who are very helpful and put on one heck of event but I feel the race entry of $95 is a little steep. The timing being down all day was also something that was like a stick in the eye when you paid $95 to race a almost 13 min.  The event started on time and ran efficient even with some crashes. The vendor row was packed with teams and series sponsors that seem to be there to help all racers which is very nice. I personally would recommend giving one of these events a try if you don’t mind paying $95 to see where you stack up at your local trails.