By Amber Streiff
The enduro race season is in full swing and this past Saturday, June 17, 2017, the California Enduro Series made a return to Mendocino, CA for what could be coined a second season a racer’s favorite. With a race entry into stop number three, the Wild Wood Adventure Enduro – presented by Mendocino Bike Sprite – got you not only a race number but also a weekend of camping, meals, and an epic mountain bike tour of all that Mendocino has to offer.
It was a big day on the bike for all. Racing Beginner category, I took on four stages logging 30 miles total with 4,000 feet of climbing by the day’s end.
I dropped into my first stage, Casper Crossing North (CCN) gave me a taste of what was in store for the day right out of the gate. A pedally start quickly changed to steep terrain, tight switchbacks, and high-speed singletrack. The second stage, Manly, was the longest stage and continued to test my endurance and ability to keep speed while maintaining control in sharp consequential corners. Stage three, Motorcycle, was my personal favorite for its fast decent allowing me to pick up a lot of speed before dropping into steep downhill that challenged my love for grabbing a lot of brake. I concluded the race day with a quick and dirty trip down Purple Skirt. Quick in distance and dirty in switchbacks, – I’m certain I only managed to pull off a clean run thanks to the graduation cake I partook in right before.
Back at camp the atmosphere was full of stoke as racers gathered to check times and share stories of an epic day under the redwood canopy forest. As the last few riders turned over their timing chips, podium results showed who put on their endurance chamois that morning and who forgot to wear chamois at all. I think I can speak for all who raced when I say this was one of the most well-organized and well-executed stops of the series and I sure hope we don’t have to wait until 2019 to come back!
Amber Streiff is the ambassador for Bell Joy Ride Santa Rosa. When she’s not working full-time and racing, she’s putting on monthly women’s MTB rides on her local home trails of Annadel State Park. Amber rides on the Hella Mello Racing Team with support from Norcal Bike Sport, Trail House, Live Fat Daeyung, Santa Cruz, Juliana, TrailTechnique.com, Oakley, and GU.