you’ll be fine with the regular weekly group rides and racing weekends. But for someone like myself, I do extra riding to prepare for races. No one goes to a race and isn’t in some way competitive. If you are looking to race and haven’t before, start small and work your way into it. Be patient with yourself. The more you race the more you will learn about yourself, your bike and the necessary tactics to be successful.”
How important is the bike for racing a sport like Enduro?
“That is a loaded question…haha. I would say Enduro can be a bit of a technical discipline. To the extent that you need to start and finish on the same bike to avoid a time penalty or bad race result due to mechanicals. That said even if you have the ‘best bike’ on the market doesn’t mean you won’t have a problem in a race. You don’t however need a crazy expensive bike with all the ‘bells and whistles’ to have a good experience racing Enduro. I’ve even seen people race Enduro on a hardtail and still have a good time.”
How would you guide someone when getting ready to buy a new Trail/Enduro bike? And specifically what travel and wheel size do you recommend?
“I would look into the terrain that most of the riding and or racing that you’ll be riding on. Not all areas of the country have the same style of Enduro racing, so it is really important to let the terrain dictate the bike. There really isn’t one perfect bike for all trail riding or racing. Just find one that ticks the most boxes possible and is one that you feel good about.”
“As far as wheel size, that is really more of a personal preference. I am pretty tall at 6’4” and for me the 29 inch wheels work really great. For someone on the shorter side they might feel more comfortable on 27.5 inch wheels, but more importantly, if you mentally feel more comfortable on a 29er or a 27.5 then that is the size of the wheel you should be on.”
What are some specific things you do in your Enduro prep before a race?
“I have checklists of things I do before a race. One has to do with bike preparation. The other is organizing my gear for race day and the other is a body checklist. It’s a lot about controlling what I can control, so when the morning of the race comes the only thing I focus on is the race.”
Do you wear a hydration pack, hip pack or just stuff your pockets full?
“I wear a hip pack with some tools and snacks for races. Just the essentials and no extras weighing me down.”
Who are some of the people and brands that support your racing?
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.