Dust and Rocks: Ryan Gardner Reports from Northstar CES

In what’s become the crown jewel of the California Enduro Series, Northstar brings a generous serving of rock smashing, bike breaking, and dust slashing to the series. Because of these traits, as well as its lifts, facilities, and location next to beautiful Lake Tahoe, Northstar has been slated for an EWS bid in 2019. In a sort of warmup to the big event, the newly developed Continental Series came for a visit last weekend, and like any good enduro racers, the Kona enduro Team made the trek from far and wide to get in on the fun.

Becky Gardner drove her 400,000 mile Ford E-350 from Colorado, Ali Osgood left the loamy goods of Norcal, Scott Countryman cruised in from the high desert of Flagstaff, and Ryan Gardner made the grueling drive through Bay Area traffic to join some of the best Enduro racers America (and abroad) has to offer.

Northstar is a pretty special place when it comes to riding bikes. The dirt is not quite like anywhere else. Its light, slippery, and covering huge square edged rocks. Keeping your bike together for a weekend of full gas racing is no easy feat here, and the terrain took its toll on riders and bikes alike throughout the weekend, continually narrowing the field. Not the Kona enduro riders however, with each rider aboard a second generation Process 153, there were no mechanicals, broken bikes, or broken riders amongst them, a success in and of itself.

Scott had a killer weekend putting it to a majority of the 60+ pro men field to take the 9th spot. Scott has been riding well all year and proved on unfamiliar ground that he can throw down fast runs in unpredictable conditions.

Ryan Gardner also had a nice weekend of consistent runs putting him in 13th and just 3 seconds outside the top ten. Building off of a solid effort in Northstar, Ryan will be heading to the last to EWS rounds in Ainsa, Spain and Finale, Italy with sister Becky.

Becky found herself with a few minor crashes on day 1 as she got used to the dusty terrain, but turned it up on the second day moving up multiple spots and landing 9th.
Ali Osgood pushed hard through the first day feeling pretty off and was forced to call it early. Her positive vibes were sorely missed for the rest of the weekend. We know she’ll be back to slaying courses and winning spirit awards in no time.