"Rusty Rider to Enduro Racer"
Riding a mountain bike is one thing but racing one is a whole other story.
Whilst some would be content with going to a bike park for a ride and trying out some new skills I have decided to take it to the next level and compete in the Welsh Enduro Series 2023.
This will be a series of blogs following my journey from prep to training and competing.
Now with only 6 months of training, I am entering the Welsh Enduro Series 2023.
Is this a good or bad idea only time will tell!
I returned to racing after 20 years
We can all agree over the last few years how remarkably strange the world has been for one reason or another, but it has given us all the time to sit back and contemplate life and take stock of what is important to us. Let us use me as an example. I changed my career, added another child to my family, and made a good few life-changing decisions, such as starting this blog.
However, the best decision I have made (I hope) is rapidly approaching, and I pray I will be ready.
So in 2023, I will be entering the Welsh enduro series. I’m not sure this is the cleverest idea, but I’m doing it anyway!
I had an idea In late September 2022. While I was watching some of my favorite YouTube content, and reminiscing my freeride/cross-country riding days. How much fun I had riding with my mates, long days in the saddle shredding, sending, crashing, making memories, and enjoying the great outdoors. After all, that’s all Enduro is, An amalgamation of Downhill and cross country isn’t it?
So I started the journey by searching for a suitable bike to ride. Me being me, this wasn’t going to be easy. I'm a Scrooge McDuck when it comes to spending pennies, and my other issue is my insane love for 26-inch wheel mountain bikes.
This was going to be a difficult search! I needed to find something small enough for my 5ft 8in frame (29in inside leg, that’s low stand-over clearance) yet modern enough to help me to keep up with the other riders in the series.
Ahhh, I forgot I haven’t ridden MTB seriously in over 15 years.
This is going to be a steep learning curve.
Choosing a bike wasn’t as hard as I’d thought, to be honest, I knew three bikes/frames I liked to ride, and they would suit my style. I found one of them super quick for a mega deal. That was the Kona stinky six, now this choice had its flaws, fewer possibilities for dropper posts, it was a heavier choice, and the standard rear coil shock Fox van R, the shock was efficient for DH or freeride but wouldn’t have been up for much on the climbs as it had no lockout. I could have made it work for what I needed or used an alternative shock.
I’m speaking in the past tense because no sooner had I purchased the bike than I’d put it up for sale. I think it lasted three weeks on the team before it was stripped for parts and the frame went on FaceBook marketplace. I decided to look for a bike that was less like Sir Chris Hoy and more like Sir Bradley Wiggens. In stepped the Devinci Dixon. The bike looked like a great choice at the time, and again it was a bargain for Scrooge McDuck at a little under £300 but that came with some issues.
To start with the frame is damaged on the rear triangle left side none drive stay, due to a bail/ drop from a previous owner. But it looked ok to me, the bike was purchased collected, and home for inspection. Once in the work stand I could see that the frame was in poor cosmetic condition, and the damage to the frame wasn't too severe. Most of the parts on this bike were going to be either serviced or replaced so I didn’t worry too much about the shock or the forks. My next task was to track down a cost-effective braking system, and what do you know, I found a set of used Hope M4 mono Mini in black and gold. Now I think I remember these being amazing “back in the day” on my friends' bikes, but they were McDuck cheap again, so I expected to have to rebuild them. I will see what I think in the next few weeks.
So I have an original AM early enduro bike, components to choose from, and I have built something that looks like it came out of a Mary Shelly story, like a sort of bikenstein’s idea of an enduro bike. Nobody will love it but me, maybe not even me, but it's what I have for now. Will I love it or hate it? Will I decide to swap this one out for another frame set iv had my eye on for some time now? Who knows?
Iv nothing more to say, so ill put away the laptop and go for a training session on Bikenstein to get that heart pumping, blood flowing, lungs burning, and legs burning.
See you all here again soon. Happy riding, and as always, Go and Cycle!