Race Report by Dan Williams, member of The Path Bike Shop Race Team.
May Starts off on a High Note for The Path Race Team!
May 1st saw the beginning of a new month and the beginning of gravity racing up in the San Bernardino National Forest, as this day saw Race #1 of the 2016 Rim Nordic Enduro Series. Rim Nordic is located in Running Springs, California, just east of the more well known ski/biking city of Big Bear Lake (think Snow Summit). Rim Nordic sits at approximately 6,700 feet above sea level, which makes pedaling quite a bit harder for those of us who live and ride by the ocean hills of Laguna and Aliso Viejo.
The terrain at Rim Nordic is not exceedingly rocky, but don’t let that fool you. There is still quite a bit of loose, off camber turns to keep you on your toes that are mixed with high speed, steep chutes! The organizers did a great job for the first race of the year, putting together 5 stages, and one of the stages was part of their old downhill course!
Anybody who has ridden up in this area or Snow Summit knows the terrain; loose decomposed granite that lacks grip, and forces you to become a master of cornering if you want to put down a decent time. Big thanks to our tire sponsor Kenda Tires, as they provided us with their Honey Badger DH tires. Those tires gave us the extra bite we needed so we wouldn’t blow corners! In addition, the day before the race saw small amounts of snow in the morning, then rain in the afternoon. This made for “hero dirt” conditions the day of the race....YEE-HAW!
Stage #1 was short and sweet, with a few sharp turns thrown in before a few bridges. So if you didn’t have your speed in check and your line straight, you were in a ditch! Stage #2 was quite a bit longer with many off camber turns and pine cone littered stages. Stage #3 was the moneymaker, as it started off with the fast line being a jump over bushes and into rutted turns that shot you straight into rock drops to flat landings. Yup...this was part of the old downhill track! They need to make a few more of these and put them together for the series finale! Stage #4 was, by far, the stage with the most exhausting, as half way through this stage you were on a long fire road spring that shot you into a narrow, twisty chute before spitting you out into a jump right at the finish line. Thankfully, after the sprinting and exhaustion of the first 4 stages, the 5th stage was short, sweet, and the organizers had lunch provided for the racers at the finish!
With 5 stages total, over 2,000 of climbing, and some damn fun trails under our belts, The Path Bike Shop had great results for this race! After wins in his Expert category last year, Nathan Heronen nabbed the 2nd spot in the Open Mens field (Pro field). Peter Vanek showed power and talent as he earned 2nd place in Expert Men 40-49. His young gun of a son Dylan Vanek earned 1st place in Junior 14 and Under; you WILL want to keep an eye out for this kid! After putting a more rigid training program in place, I saw the benefits of proper training, as I had managed to win 1st place in my Sport Men category!
Honestly, I could not have done this without the support of The Path Bike Shop, Tani Walling, Lou Mollineda, Megan Welch, my team mates (thank you for the encouragement, and over a million laughs), and our sponsors for getting us the best MTB products on the planet!