The latest round of the California Enduro Series brought the Norcal Cooperative just north of the California border to Ashland Oregon. Though not within California, the incredible quality of the trails and race organizers are enough to draw the CES over the border year after year. The trails in Ashland are narrow, fast, and this year in particular, dry and rough. It takes an iron will to keep your fingers off the brakes here as you try to remember if the upcoming turn is the one that you can fly through with no brakes, or the one with the increasing radius and falling away off-camber exit. To really spice things up this year race promoters Ashland Mountain Adventures were able to include longtime favorite, and newly legal, trail “lynx” to the mix. This resulted in a 16 minute stage that tested every racer’s fitness and ability to corner with crossed eyes and burning lungs. This stage was complemented by three other shorter ripping fast stages to round out the day.
Ryan Gardner had a bit of an upset in the morning when his beloved van blew a high pressure oil line the morning of the race, but was still able to put together a solid day, winning the longest stage and taking second overall in pro men to local ripper Nathan Riddle. Ryan chose his Process 111 for the day, relying on its quick handling, sweet geo, and monster truck wheels to keep him carrying speed in and out of the mega braking bumps which formed on the dusty fast courses.
Derek Teel and Ariana Altier both came away with solid top 10 finishes choosing the balanced Process 134 and 153 respectively. Becky Gardner even made a surprise appearance choosing to forgo the Mammoth DH nationals in order to give this enduro thing a try. She ended up with a top 10 in Pro Women on flat pedals and only one practice run on each trail. The next stop on the CES tour promises to be a ripper when the show arrives at Northstar at Tahoe for the second stop of the Golden Tour! Stay tuned for more riding, racing, and good times with the Norcal Cooperative.