Sunday, October 1st will see the return of the Enduro Race in Millbrook.
This will be the third year this mountain bike race has taken place in town, and its attendance is growing. Last year, 127 riders participated in the event, up from 100 in the previous year. Organizer Alex Schmidt hopes the participation this fall approaches 200 riders, and includes more women and youth.
Before the race, riders congregate at the Millbrook Fairgrounds on Frederick Street, departing in groups of ten, in two minute intervals beginning at 10 am. The race includes six timed stages along a 46 kilometer route; a 21 km segment in the morning and 25 km in the afternoon. Participants return to the Fairgrounds at noon for a barbeque lunch, then continue their journey along parts of the Millbrook Valley Trail system, Zion Line, Elgar Drive and Glamorgan Road. Actual racing only occurs along the trail sections, while travel along rural roads called “transfer stages” are taken at a more leisurely pace. Volunteers will be on hand on the roads to alert traffic of the bicycle race.
Enduro racing began in Europe based on the concept of getting to the top of a mountain and race to the bottom in a time-trial. The routes are designed to mimic adventuresome trail rides, and include as many as six timed stages, which usually run downhill.
This race includes rock gardens and jumps requiring significant effort resulting in a lot of downhill speed along the trails. In other words, it is not for the novice rider. Enthusiasts say the events are designed to be fun, exciting and approachable, and the growth in participation seems to suggest that many agree. KG