2023 marked the inaugural running of the Ontario Enduro Series. Bringing together a range of killer venues and awesome race organizers into one province-wide series! Over the 4 stops of this year’s Enduro Series, we got to race on some of Ontario’s best MTB trails. Testing our skills on a huge range of terrain from gnarly tech trails to flowy singletrack and full-gas bike park laps!
Picture a group of friends going out for an all day ride and hammering a few trails along the way. Sounds like fun? Oh it’s hella fun and let me tell you it’s the hottests discipline to hit the Ontario mountain bike scene in some time.
One of the best parts about Enduro racing is that you are not reliant on chair lift access bike parks, rather a pair of legs to get you to the next segment! This opens the door to so many trail networks across the province.
Riders have been slightly confused about what Enduro Racing actually is? The term "Enduro'' is aligned with “Endurance” meaning long endurance riding.
While riders will total 35-50 KM of riding in a race day, this discipline is unique in that only a small portion of each day's riding is timed and counted towards each competitor's final results.
Most Ontario enduro races feature 4-6 timed stages connected by un-timed “transfers” on scenic singletrack and doubletrack trails. The timed stages are usually the most technically challenging downhill trails that the race venue has to offer, with each stage ranging from 1-5 minutes in length. Racers are let on course with at least a 30 second gap between riders, so it's largely you against the clock!
Only the timed stages count towards the end result. The combined times of all the timed stages provide a racer's results for the day. Fatigue from riding the transfers can play a big role in riders' performance on the timed downhill stages, so bikes that are both efficient to pedal uphill, and fast on the downhills are a must!
It was a great season of Enduro racing. I looked forward to this series all year long and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve been told that there will be a few new venues next year and the organizers have plans to keep pushing the series. My hope is that the Ontario mountain bike scene will get behind enduro racing and we can grow this into a legit series and have one hell of a bike party at the end! Fingers crossed, but I feel things are trending in the right direction.
A special shout out to my teammates Ben Bishop and Beckett Mars for completing the whole series along with me. It’s a lot more fun riding with friends who push you vs. riding alone.
Thanks for reading and see you on the trails!