The first-ever bicycle race was held on the 31st of May 1868, at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris. Ever since then, people of all ages have been hooked on racing all types of bicycles. Mountain bike racing first gained real popularity in the 1990s before modern enduro mountain bike racing was born in France in the 2000s - a movement that would eventually lead to the Enduro World Series we have today.
Enduro racing is not for everyone, but we believe everyone should try it at least once. There is so much more to racing bikes than the competition. We’ve put together our five favourite reasons why you should consider entering an enduro mountain bike race this year.
1) Find & Ride New Trails
Finding and riding new trails is not always easy. Trying to read a map or following vague directions, looking for that entrance from the edge of the forest that takes you down the brown serpent you’re looking to find, is not always easy or enjoyable. Sometimes you can spend all day looking for trails and barely ride anything worthwhile.
By entering a race, you take the guesswork out of it and avoid the requirement to book a guide. A race organiser will have selected some brilliant trails in the regions for you to ride, provided you with a map and even course tape, so you don’t get lost. This might not be the most organic mountain bike experience, but it’s certainly an efficient way to find and ride new trails, so you can come back next time without the race.
The racing community is something special. It’s a diverse group of riders of all abilities who simply love riding their bikes on all sorts of trails. You’ll meet people from all walks of life, from all over the local area and further afield.
The very nature of an enduro mountain bike race is that you will likely be riding around with people you’ve never met before for quite some time, so there is plenty of time to get to know them and make new friends.
3) Challenge Yourself
An enduro race is a perfect time to challenge yourself. Whilst of course we don’t encourage you to ride beyond your ability, a race is a safe place to try stepping just outside your comfort zone. You can watch how other riders approach the same trails and try different techniques yourself - if you make a mistake, there are marshalls and medics to help if need be.
4) Improve Your Riding
On a similar note to challenging yourself, you’ll find racing brings your riding skills on leaps and bounds. There is something about racing the clock to beat your friends and fellow competitors that can bring out the best in your riding. Having that focus over the course of a practice day to try new lines and build up some speed and then put it all into play on race day, is a great way to start getting faster or aiming to be more consistent. One thing to remember though is that if you ride too far outside your abilities, it becomes likely that you’ll crash. A measured approach is recommended to ensure you ride within your abilities.
The final reason we believe you should try an enduro mountain bike race in 2022 is fun. Racing bikes can give you a real buzz and you’ll be riding all day with people out there trying to do the same as you. Not only on the bike but travelling to new venues, meeting new people, and riding new trails all add to the fun you’ll have on a race weekend.
There is no better time than now to start...
Enduro racing is a great thing to do for so many reasons besides just the competition. We hope that you’ve been persuaded to try your first race or reignite a lost passion this year. You can keep up with us at the races by following us on Instagram or subscribing to our YouTube channel and if you see us, don’t be shy, say hi.