Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Duluth Enduro

Last week I snuck over to Duluth to see Jake, race in the first enduro race the COGGS bike group organizes and ride the next morning. The Duluth Enduro series is a six race, midweek series during the summer. Enduro is the new Super D which a mostly downhill race featuring a bit more technical terrain than typical cross country races. There are usually a couple different stages and the combined time from all the stages determines the winner. Having started racing back in the 90's when cross country races were a bit more raw and technical, enduro is hitting high on the interest meter right now. Although the actual racing is short, there isn't so much nervous energy like cross country races and the riding before, during and after makes it a fun outing. Plus country racing for 2 hours max is painful and after 25 years, the motivation to keep doing that isn't there which is more mental than anything. 

Arrived to the venue which was the Piedmont trail system about 45 minutes before. Just enough time to check out part of the course. It was a bit of an adjustment to hop from the car to fast technical riding but soon enough was having a blast.

We rode the top part of the first stage which featured a couple rock drops and was good to dial in the lines before racing at speed.

 Pre race meeting saw us in a group of guys that I raced with frequently back in the day that are in the same boat as me, more into the enduro stuff. Tom Miller, Scott Kylander-Johnson and Ross Fraboni.
 Maplelag team rider Eleanor Bacso and her husband Mason living in Duluth and usually hit up the local races.
 Hitting the line on the first drop.
In between stages Jake showed me some new trail in the Piedmont park that constantly continues to grow. Unlike most new trail being machine build, the trails in Piedmont are more handbuilt classic trails that are super fun to ride and probably the favorite trail system next to Grand Marais out of the major ones in the Midwest (Cuyna, Duluth, UP, CAMBA).
 The next morning we did a 30+ mile ride to the east, riding to the far east of the trail systems using the new Duluth Traverse and neighborhood bootleg trails.
 Local flowers out in full force. Little sketchy knowing there are rocks in the overgrown but overall a sweet ride.
After the ride, caught some lunch than headed down to cities to see Jon. Jon signed his NLI last week which is still hard to believe. He will be part of a group of 9 headed to RPI this late summer. 

Friday morning snuck out for a quick ride at probably my favorite spots in the Twin Cities, Lebanon. After the ride up to STA to watch Jon play in a "game". He is working out at the MAP south program, skating and training with college and junior players and more frequent as summer passes, MN pro players which is pretty cool.

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