So I did it! I raced my first Enduro and it was ####ing rad!
For those of you just joining my name is Christopher San Agustin and I am the founder of Broken & Coastal, an independent cycling magazine and design studio based in Portland, Oregon.
I am filming a video series documenting my experience as a first-time racer competing in the 2019 Cascadia Dirt Cup.
The first race of the series kicked off at Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, Washington. Roughly 2.5 hours away from Portland and striking distance from Seattle. Tiger is super popular and for good reason. The trails are world class and more importantly, runs pretty damn good in the rain!
“It always rains at Tiger Mountain” - Camille Wilson, Race Cascadia Operations Manager
I was going into this race with a cold and a pretty bad wound on my leg from being impaled by a stick. Thankfully the wound didn’t affect my riding and my cold miraculously cleared for race day. I think the margaritas in Tacoma the night before burnt any remaining germs and gave me a proper nights sleep. Big thanks to Eric’s parents for the dinner and let me get a solid night sleep in their living room!
I pulled up to Tiger a little late because I had already picked up my number and timing chip the day before. I geared up and headed to the start to say hi to my friends and just soak it all in. I thought I was going to be nervous but I wasn’t. The way it works is racers are sent off in waves which just takes off all the pressure. It was a 30 or so minute climb to the first stage and there was no reason to rush.
Honestly, I felt like this is where I belonged. If I am going to race anything, it should be this. I joke but maybe I am not joking, I don’t think I’ll ever race cross again. Not after this.
I had no idea what I was doing. I got in line and spent most of the time getting my goggles sorted. I feel like I was the only one dealing with fog! FML! When it was my turn the volunteers scanned my timing chip which activated it. They counted down to 10 and I was off! Stage 1 was pretty pedally but god damn it was fun. Also, I rode this trail blind! I’ve never ridden it before. This is what I was hoping for. So much fun!
I was a little worried about this stage. Everyone was telling me that EBAD was steep and I’ve ridden steeps. You don’t want to go fast on a steep trail you’ve never ridden especially when it’s muddy! But none of that matters because they had Fireball at the start and I never say no to Fireball. EBAD ended up being a blast! People were right, it was steep and muddy but I’ve been riding steep and muddy all winter long. I can’t wait to ride that trail again!
More new trails. The Legend and Megafauna. I was told to not worry and just let it rip. There was a long wait at this stage but it wasn’t bad. It was raining and it gave me a chance to talk to some other racers. I felt really good on the bike, nothing beats riding a new trail!
It was a huge transfer getting over to the last stage. Predator is Tiger Mountains notorious double black trail and the only trail I’ve actually ridden at Tiger. In fact, I’ve ridden it twice yet I honestly didn’t remember anything. Predator also happens to be the longest descent and definitely with the highest consequence moves. Perfect!
Again I rode really well, super smooth, felt great on the bike. The whole time down the trail I was seeing all these bonus lines I was missing but that's ok my mission was to ride smooth and get down the mountain in one piece. By the time I got to the infamous Predator Rock Roll, my forearms were cooked! I double checked my grip and dropped in for the crowd, hard to not let it rip with all those people cheering you on!
The bottom of Predator mellows out and thank god because my arms were toast at the finish line.
That's it! That's a wrap. I raced my first Enduro! Check out the full route here: https://www.trailforks.com/route/2019-tiger-mt-enduro-pro-exp-ht/
Huge shout out to Race Cascadia for putting together such an amazing event. Learn more about Cascadia Dirt Cup here: https://racecascadia.com\
Next time I’ll be diving into what I learned, observed, what I am planning for next time, the gear, the bike, and a whole lot more!
If there is something you’d like me to cover or something you’d like me to ask someone that's more experienced. Just leave a comment below or contact me on Instagram. I’ll do my best to cover it or help you out in any way I can.
Ultimately I want this video series to be a resource for people who are interested in racing Enduro or just riding Mountain Bikes in general.