The 2nd Annual Dodzy Memorial Enduro
BC Enduro Race Series organizer and Norco Bikes ambassador Megan Rose has been riding in New Zealand and recently completed an enduro race that was hosted outside of Nelson, New Zealand. Coming from a cross-country racing background, Megan is no stranger to gruelling climbs and fast descents. She made a name for herself by winning the 2009 and 2012 BC Bike Race, a seven day stage race that draws competitors from all over the globe and takes riders from Nanaimo all the way up to Whistler. After thirteen years of racing, she made the switch to enduro and participated in races in the Pacific Northwest of the US as well as across BC in 2013.
The two day Dodzy Memorial Enduro race took place on a course made up of a variety of both lush and rocky trail sections that snaked their way through a large trail network built on private land that rarely gets accessed. Having participated in the race in 2013, she was eager to have a chance to ride the trails again and was lucky enough to be one of the 200 racers who were able to register within the four minute window before entries sold out.
The course has the same elevation as Whistler with top to bottom runs taking 20 minutes at race pace and it’s restricted to shuttle access. On Saturday, racers got to take three practice runs and by the end both bodies and bikes were pretty beat. The rain that had fallen the night before had made the course very slick and even tougher than anticipated. Beyond the challenging course, riders had to deal with mechanical issues along the way, something that Megan has been lucky enough to avoid for most of her racing career. She says that the weekend “just wasn’t meant to be… over the span of the weekend I had five flats and a twisted chain. I haven’t flatted in five years since I went tubeless, but sliced a hole in the first practice run, then pinch flatted, then bought a new tire and made it tubeless that night for the race, then it just didn’t seal right…Oh well!” Despite it all, the race was one to remember and the atmosphere at the venue was unlike anything that she’s ever experienced before.
Enduro racing is rapidly gaining in popularity in North America and is resulting in a lot of race series springing up to bring this racing format to the masses. It’s not too often that you hear mountain bikers talk about wanting to participate in a race without needing it to be competitive, but enduro racing seems to be about just that. It’s great to see people who would not normally participate in a race coming out and enjoying the sport and we can’t wait for the BC Enduro Series to start on May 17th in Penticton!
Until then, have a look at this video to see the 2013 race action from New Zealand.