By Mike Lee
The Mt. Shasta Enduro (California Enduro Series Round 3) gave me my first taste of racing the trails at Mt. Shasta Ski Park. It felt like a hometown race seeing as it was just 2.5 hours away from my home in Chico, and as I headed over to the venue, I was excited to see how things would go.
Race day started with a 30-minute climb up the mountain to Stage 1, a newer trail that threaded along a creek. Some pedaling toward the beginning of the stage got legs burning early, but it was good to be out there with my fellow racers.
Checking in to the CES Live! timing tent after Stage 1, I was in a close 2nd place on the stage, just behind Steven Godman. I knew then that it was going to be a battle and I was fired up to picked it up a bit.
After another transfer climb to Stage 2 — the flow trail — I was glad the rest of the day would be lift assisted. That gave me some extra motivation to give it the beans the rest for the day. Pulling back enough time to slide into 1st place on Stage 2 was a good sign.
Then, it was on to Stage 3. I started off with stuffing my front tire over a turn, but pulled it back just before falling, and finished strong. I didn’t want to look at my time after that one.
Next up was Stage 4, known as “Backside.” This is a raw stage that made everyone work hard to keep the flow going. Surprisingly, I chipped in with the quickest time of the day.
Now there was only one more stage to go — Shasta’s “DH” trail, Stage 5. This stage was my favorite, with lots of watered sections and a few cool wood features. I rode smooth and clean, except for one mistake where I almost lost my front tire over a rocky turn and stomped my foot on the ground to keep from falling right next to a photographer. I was surprised to keep it going … that stage was wild, but I kept it clean for the rest of the way.
I was stoked to finish the day on the box in Pro Men 2nd place. Mt. Shasta Ski Park was a great venue. Its course had some super challenging powder dirt but it was a very smooth event. Would like to see this race on the California Enduro Series schedule again next year!
Mike Lee hails from Chico, CA and started racing BMX at age 6. Riding dirt jumps and skate parks quickly became an everyday activity for Lee through his school years. After graduating high school, Lee started working at a bike shop with his friend, pro rider Kyle Warner, who introduced Lee to enduro racing. He raced one year in the Expert category, then jumped into the pro ranks in 2016. His first California Enduro Series race was the Battle Born Enduro in Reno. He fell in love with the format of enduro, hanging up his BMX race to focus on his new passion.
Lee currently works at Dynaplug, a tire plug tool manufacturer in Chico. He is sponsored by Santa Cruz Bicycles, Handup Gloves, Dynaplug, Amain Cycling, Paul Components, Dragon Graphics, and Dyedbro. Lee gives special thanks to his fellow “Chico Mountain Bike Rippers” for their support.