This time around the next stop of the KR Enduro series was close to home out at Moose Mountain. Moose Mountain is known for its DH trails and those trails made for great enduro racing. The course was a good mix of old school and new school. First was a newer trail for Moose called SHAFT which is a pedally berm trail, the second trail, SPECIAL K was split up into 2 sections, first one being from the top which is old school steep, tight trees and rooty . The next timed part of Special K was fast with fun berms and some pedally bits. The fourth trail was a local favourite called T-Dub. T-Dub has it all from tight rooty sections at the top to some really fast side hill, then it starts to get a little rougher with more jumps. I think it was a great mix of trails which showcased some of Calgary’s best riding.
With the course being close to Calgary I managed to get out for a couple of days to practice, which was good because I don’t often ride these trails as often as I should. The first practice day was good, I got to shuttle stages 1 and 4, it was sweet to get those two in. Then it was off to the stages 2 and 3 which is where we left the car behind and rode down Special K. To get back to the car we had two options which both involved big climbs, one being Tom Snow/Ridgeback/Moose Packers, the second being Lower Ridgeback/Tom Snow. We chose to ride the first option to see what the race course would be like.
On the Thursday we got a group out to ride the course again and it was a great night with a great crew. We did a couple of runs on Shaft and Special K. Then we decided to show T-Dub to the young guys Andreas and Mateo, this was their first time down this more technical trail. These two kids really shred for their age and they both hit the big step up with ease, not even stopping to check it out! I, on the other hand, crashed hard in the next berm after hitting the jump and thought I had broken my elbow. Luckily it was just a deep bruise and a cut up elbow. After doing that I kept it pretty quiet on the bike until race day.
Sunday was race day. The forecast was for rain later in the day so it was good that we started our race at 9am, to try to miss the rain. For the first stage we got a shuttle to the top and our first stage was Special K (which was actually stage 2 but to make the race flow better we were sent off in 2 groups). Special K was a great stage to start on with it being steep right off the start, then a gradual grade to some pedally sections which got us warmed up pretty well. I had a good run but hit a tree with my shoulder which cost me maybe a few seconds after coming to a stop, but all in all it was a good start. Stage 3 was the second part of Special K, it was a shorter stage but fun with some berms and one good gap if you were brave and knew where it was. That was a good stage for me and I felt like I hit all the lines that I had in practice.
With Moose Mountain there is quite a pedal back to the top no matter which way you go so after stage 3 we had the pleasure of riding Moose Packers which is a good solid climb with some steep switch backs and good loose rocky sections. It took us about 50mins or so to get back up to the top where Stage 1 was waiting. Stage 1 was called Shaft. Shaft has a good pedally section at the top which I thought was great because was is an enduro course after all, so there should be about a 80/20 mix of downhill and climbing in most of the stages. I got off to a good start on Shaft, knowing that I should only put about 80% effort into the pedally section, otherwise I could cook myself and not ride well after going into redline for too long. Once I got past it I was a bit puffed but was managing to keep things together and recovered pretty quickly. I had a good smooth run with no real mistakes so that made me happy to know I would have put a good solid time in.
Once you get to the bottom of Shaft you have about a 2km pedal back to the finish at Ing’s Mine, but we still had stage 4 to go and a good climb to get us there. Family Guy was our climb back to the top. Family Guy was built as a green descent trail, which made for a great climb. It got us to the top pretty quick and with the dark clouds starting to poke their heads above the mountains we really put the hammer down to make it to the start of the final stage . This being the Moose Mountain Enduro we couldn’t not ride the one and only T-Dub , it’s a lot of peoples’ favourite trail out there and probably one of mine too. I knew that if I could get a solid run down there I’d be in for a good result and I made it, hitting all the lines I knew, and made it to the bottom with a good time.
After going back up the trail to cheer on some fellow mountain bikers through the lower section of the last stage, as Andreas came along he was getting really close to passing another rider, the only trouble was the timber step up was in his way. Andreas hit the step up with some good speed (because he was trying to pass the rider in front of him) but he just popped off the take off a little too much…. I was looking at the bottom of his tires as he was soaring 6+ feet above the landing with his nose down! As his front tire hit the ground his handle bar clipped the tree on the left of the landing and that ejected him into the next berm. He was really winded and was not doing so well so we got his bike out of the way and made sure we kept the other riders coming through away. Eventually after checking him out the medic let him move and I helped him with his bike and we got him out of there safely.
After a good day on the trails I got back and handed my card in, I managed to take the win by 16 seconds. I was stoked to get on the podium again. Nick Quinn and Brodie Evans were hot on my heels and it was good to see those boys crushing it out again to round out the podium.
Thanks to Megan Rose of BC/KR Enduro for putting on another great race!! Congrats to all the other racers out there who raced it was a fun time!! Congrats to my teammate Tara Walmsley for taking the win in the Women’s category.
Special thanks to Dale Firth Photography for the photos and standing in the rain at the end to get those podium shots!!