This past weekend I set out to the Rattling Creek Enduro held in Halifax, PA put on by Mike Kuhn and his http://outdoorexperience.org. This was a 3 stage enduro that was a part of the new “All Mountain Series” in the MASS series. Mike Kuhn is well known for putting on theTransylvania Epic, a week long XC stage race which now includes a 3 or 7 day enduro.
This would be my first race of the season and I picked this one for the workout as well. I live in a relatively flat area and this race had one cat 3 & two cat 4 climbs for the transfer stages. I rode this enduro with B.J. Treglia for what turned out to be a great day overall. Weather was perfect and the vibe was relaxed. B.J., who races for Shirk’s Bikes near Reading, PA, is a ripper with a great attitude, he was the perfect guy to be riding with on this day.
We wound up spending 4 hours in the saddle for a 21 mile ride with 2,425ft of climbing. We averaged 8mph for the day which wasn’t bad given the amount of climbing and the rough spots during the transfer stages. Two of the timed stages had gravel road descents in them to link up single track sections. The last section of gravel road on stage 3 allowed you to just give it full gas as it put you right to the finish line. I wound up with a max speed of 35.1 mph on this final descent to the finish but ran out of gears.
During our ride we both had “almost flats” that required some stops to pump up our tires. These PA rocky trails have some sections that will really test your tires and your will. During one of the transfer stages we wound up on this fun section of trail that would somehow wind up breaking one of B.J.’s rear spokes right in the middle. Typically you see spokes break at the nipple but this one split in half, strange! This would just add to the full enduro experience for the day.
I wound up in second place for my age group after a rough start. I was racing blind but wasn’t really that concerned as the stages were mostly on well established XC trails. I didn’t “pin it” as much as I should have on stage 1, I crashed on stage 2 and didn’t regroup fast enough then on stage 3 I wound up off course after a sharp right. Stage 3 was my best effort of the day after getting my head back into racing. This stage, however, contained a lot of freshly created trail. It was very rough and loose, this kept it interesting for sure. No excuse for an enduro racer though, as here on the east coast we wind up riding down some pretty rocky terrain.
All in all it was a fun day, Mike put on a great event with plenty of food and refreshments at a checkpoint positioned between the second & third transfers. I got to catch up with some old riding buddies after being secluded for the winter.
My new Transition Scout performed great as did the Mavic Crossmax wheels and tires. This was also my first real ride on the MRP Stage fork and I was quite pleased with the performance. It’s great when you can count on your equipment to be there for you when you need it. Enduro riding/racing is tough on a bike so I’m happy to have such great companies supporting me this year.
Thanks to Vince Camiolo for the photos!