Tucked away in my small hometown of Grass Valley, California, there is a unique event that is more of an experience than it is a race. To some, TDS Enduro is an invite-only event where top pros gather to compete on the Sanchez family’s private land (known as “The Ranch”) that spans almost 250 acres. While the challenging network of trails the Sanchez family has built for racing is mind-blowing, it is far from the overall reason why anyone should attend. Amidst the racing, spectators and riders tend to get wild during every hour of the weekend. All walks of life wander the property to each stage in order to witness fast-paced action, potential havoc and be immersed in having a good time. However, just like the racing, the reason this event is unlike a typical enduro race goes beyond the party.
This all came to life around 2011 with the help of the mountain bike legend Mark Weir. Before the idea was sparked, Ron Sanchez and his son Casey used their property as a playground for building trails after work. Over time, the trails have been adapted and refined. The surface/terrain is a mixture of perfect berms, high-speed corners, unforgiving jagged rocks, steep off-camber sections, notorious orange dust, singletrack with groves of poison oak on either side, and jump features that are not for the faint of heart.
When this event first came to fruition, it was just a simple day of industry friends getting together with the Sanchez family. Growing from its small grassroots, I feel that this has turned into the best mountain bike race event on the West Coast, and I’m not alone. Since its growth, there are now over 100 racers that attend. Filling the space beyond the trials are yacht-sized RV’s, built-up overlanders, tent campers, RC car races, slalom course, and some dirt jumps for the after-race sessions. The atmosphere is not your typical enduro race weekend. There’s just something unique about TDS that makes everyone stoked.
Marking my calendar for the 2021, TDS Enduro was not only a visit home, but through my experience, I was reminded what mountain biking is all about. The event truly brings together like-minded folks to celebrate bikes and the love we share for two wheels. In this article I’ll let the photos speak alongside the voices of the racers, spectators and friends, giving you their take on what makes this untamed weekend of mountain biking so special to be a part of.