Tough Enduros

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#1
We have an Discussion going on in another forum about tough enduros. Just curious what other people think. Do you like tough events? do you think a club has the right to put on a tough one?

Myself, don't necessary care for them, being out of shape and all, but they are suppose to test your endurance and riding skill. If the trailboss wants to put on a tough one I say let'em. Any other comments?
 

fatherandson

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#3
Personally, I think that if you make it so tough that only riders who finish are a small number of A or AA participants you are doing a disservice to the sport. A "B" or "C" rider who does not finish (or can not finish) a couple of events in a row may get discouraged and never return to an enduro. These riders are the future A riders of our sport.
I know from experience that you can put on a 100-120 mile event that will challenge all riders and test their endurance. Whether Lafferty drops 20 points or 50 points does not matter to him. However, a C rider who spends $50 to race and destroys his bike (or body) may think twice before riding another enduro.
Just my $.02.
 

KTM Mike

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#4
Originally posted by fatherandson
Personally, I think that if you make it so tough that only riders who finish are a small number of A or AA participants you are doing a disservice to the sport....
... I know from experience that you can put on a 100-120 mile event that will challenge all riders and test their endurance.
I agree with you on that one. I am one of those new to the sport C class riders. I was almost scared off by my first race, but apparently wasnt smart enough to stop. (after the fact I ended up hearing that it is known as the toughest one in the state) After just a couple more races i now would be more likely to merely think of my first experience as a "challenge" - but had i bailed out then - I wouldnt have raced any more - and the sport would not of had the benefit of another slow guy for you fast ones to pass!

the flip side of course is - if you cant run with the big dogs, stay on the porch - it is competition, and if I aint good enough... tough luck - question is - what do you do to allow the inexperienced ones to get experience?

Oh... fatherandson does know how to put together an event that is challenging for all - I did one in August he was involved with and I will get another taste of it in two weeks!
 
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#5
Originally posted by DANIEL JOSEPH
We have an Discussion going on in another forum about tough enduros.
May I ask, which forum?

Enduros should be tough enough for each class and every indiviual therein to be challenged, but certainly not overwhelmed. There's nothing worst than 1) getting discouraged and giving up; or 2) an event that's too easy.

There needs to be enough challenge to speparate/sift out the entrants, wanting them to try again next month, but not too much to send them away discouraged, never to return.

The right mix is when they know it was their combined skills which made them place or even not place well, *not* the course/layout or other factor they choose to blame for their results.
 

Danman

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#6
I agree that enduros should be tough enough to challange each class. The enduro that our club puts on has some pretty rough riding that would be fun to race to an A or AA rider, but not a B or C. When going into some of the ruffer stuff the trail splits and the B and C take an easier route. Last year our club focused on making our enduro a little easier. I have not been in that long, but from what I hear we had a reputation for tougher enduros. Its all relitive to what you consider tough
 

HiG4s

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#9
The only enduro I ever raced was a national ISDE qualifier. It WAS tough, but it was doable. Making it tough doesn't mean it has to be unrideable for lesser riders, I was riding B at the time. One of the big seperators was a huge hill with three trails up. The eaiser trails were longer and did not go straight back to the main trail at the top. So there really was no way for an A rider to use an easy trail to make up time. Besides that, after the first few B and C riders got to the hill, the only trail that didn't have a huge traffic jam was the one the promoters said was for A and up riders only.

The point being, a race can be tough and sill not be so bad that lesser riders can't finish.
 

KaTooMer

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#10
I've ridden 15-20 over the years and have found that very few were designed to be excruciatingly tough, but the ones that were that tough had weather factors involved. White City, IL in 2000 and Marietta, IL in 1999 were the toughest I've ever seen, but heavy rain beforehand was the reason. Both of those places are a blast to ride when the trails are dry. Most courses are laid out to be challenging but rideable for everyone; sometimes mother nature doesn't always cooperate.
 

HiG4s

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#11
Weather can be the test. I remember one hare scrambles in Ohio, suppose to be one of the eaiser in the series. 5 mile relatively flat and wide woods trail connected to half a lap on a MX track. It rained lightly the night before and was sprinkling when we started. Started raining hard halfway through the first lap and never let up. Over half the field DNF'd, and it didn't seem to matter what class or level. there was not one bike that finished that any spectator (what few were watching) could tell who it was or even what type or color of bike they were riding through all the mud.
 

justql

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#13
I am a C rider and have never seen any terrain I couldn't ride. Whet gets me are the speed averages. The 24 mph stuff that as really tight is when I can't hang. Heat is the other factor.
 
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#14
Like justql I'm a C rider who can get through about anything. I think enduros should be tougher. I hate "time keepers". I've been involved with putting on a couple of enduros recently and I was personally embarrased by how easy they were. I was just a helper and wasn't asked about anything so it wasn't any of my doing but I was still embarassed to be associated.

Now and again the tough enduros get impossible because of rain or snow. I think that's OK. My toughest run was a snow run thru a foot of new wet snow - I only made it to the first check but it didn't cause me to stop riding enduros. My personal least favorite run was one where even I was sitting around time keeping.

Over the years, I've never heard any one reminiscing about that easy one last season! Enduro - short for "endurance run", not "trail ride with lots of breaks".
 

TexKDX

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#15
First, how about defining "tough"?

Secondly, I have been to "tough" enduros. One that comes to mind is Train Robbers. Here, they had a finish for the kids/women at 21 miles, and the terrain was appropriate for the riders considering the area. I say considering, because when you point the truck to central Arkansas you should expect hills, rocks, and creeks everywhere. Don't expect groomed grass fairways. If this is too tough for you,then consider a different event. The C loop was shorter than the A/B as expected, but the terrain is the terrain.

Third, the subject of speed averages being high is a whiner's delight. Different clubs have different philosophies. Some try to let the C riders zero half the checks on the short course if they can keep time (15 and 18 MPH averages in fairly easy terrain), others take points from everybody starting at 3.1 miles. You can only ride so fast, dictated by your ability, not by the promoter. I have been to enduros where the winner and second place were separated by 6 seconds on tiebreakers and each dropped only one point. It is possible this event was decided not by riding ability, rather the 6 second difference could have occured based on an Emergency check in a 15 or 18 section. I have also been to events where the overall winner dropped 28 points under ideal conditions (temp/moisture/dust).

As a C rider, if you drop 5 points or 50 points, the speed averages have no real impact on your score. If you ride over your head and crash, that is not the fault of the promoter. Even the top guys have to manage their own personal fitness relative to the terrain, keep it upright, and ride smart.

Qualifier-style enduros, like they run in MI and the Red River enduro in TX, have all known controls. Why bother even having a test section if it does not contribute to the overall outcome of the event? They will try to take points from the top guys at all the checkouts in this style event, so the B and C riders will drop points too.

BTW C riders, the higher speed averages do provide a benefit for you that you may not have considered. If for example the club has several 15 and 18 sections, the fast guys behind you that are riding possibles will be passing you MULTIPLE times per mile in these sections. You'll be doing your best to ride the average, and they blow by at 25 mph and pull over, then repeat over and over in the section trying to zero (30 seconds into the minute) an unknown E check. With higher speed averages they pass you once early on in the section and you don't see then again until after the next longer reset or gas stop.

Having promoted bicycle events in the past and involved in our club's enduro, I can tell you that every course is the same and has the same problems: It's too long; It's too short; it's too easy; it's too hard; it's too short; it's too long; it's too rough; it's too sandy; it's marked too well; it's marked poorly; etc, etc, etc.

The promoters/organizing clubs have spent hundreds of man hours preparing for the event. They know the terrain and what the weather does to it, and if you get a bunch of rain that might make sections unridable they will do their best to route around them. Changing the course at the last minute is more work than most people think as it effects all the mileage after that point. More than one re-route can create a timing nightmare, plus alot of upset people at the rider's meeting who programmed their computers the night before off the route sheet on the Internet.

Go ride and have fun, thank the check workers and hosting volunteers profusely, and find a local club to contribute to the sport with your time. Your perspective might change if you see it from the other side.