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  • UK Enduros
  • mark88
    Full Member

    A new race series has been the first to announce their 2023 dates: Valleys Enduro Series

    I like they have given a bit of a run down on the events, I feel this is a simple gesture most organisers ignore. Anyone know any of these locations?

    BNES 2022 was a bit of a let down (in my opinion) with two rounds canceled and not replaced, and National Champs clashing with an EWS round. Next year looks more hopeful; Graythwaite should be back and looks like PMBA are running a round at Ae.
    Scottish Enduro Series returned this year with 3 rounds. They declined to have one as a BNES round. Will be interesting to see what they do next year.

    Despite losing the love for riding a little (mainly due to loss of local trails), I really enjoyed racing this year. Hopefully I’ll get a couple of events in the calendar early to give me something to work towards.

    How did everyone elses races go this year? Any highlights? Racing plans for ’23?

    orena45
    Full Member

    Ah interesting about the Valleys Series. Saw something about it on FB before I quit it recently but good to see some brand new race venues.

    After years of loving racing, I haven’t bothered this year as the love kinda disappeared. Mostly down to my local race mates not being particularly bothered but I think also because the last few years, we’ve been racing the same events/venues (OK, Covid had a big factor in that I know). That…and the overall cost of attending a race weekend from Cornwall means a lot of races have increasingly becoming too expensive to bother with for us. Really appreciated Scott F running a Southern Enduro round at Newnham Park a few weeks ago however, and I’m now thinking I might do a few races again next year. The Valleys one has potential – new venues to ride/race is always a winner

    euain
    Full Member

    Clicked on the link and must admit I thought it must be a Cotic-sponsored event – though I guess the logos aren’t that similar when you have them side-by-side.

    Tweed Valley enduros (Tweedlove and EWS) this year have been awesome. They even managed to get the sunny weather booked.

    HobNob
    Free Member

    I did only a handful of races this year & didn’t commit to any series, as I’m pretty bored of racing the same trails at the same venues. Also not really interested in going to a ‘full’ race where you have a total race time of about 5 minutes.

    Considering I have done almost no training for 3 years, it was ok, won one, few podiums, etc. Next year I think I am going to go & do this new valleys series as its pretty local to us venues are new. I might even see if I can find some motivation & go & do a couple of bigger Euro races.

    mark88
    Full Member

    Also not really interested in going to a ‘full’ race where you have a total race time of about 5 minutes.

    this is one of my biggest annoyances at the moment; Welsh BNES had a winning time of just over 8 min over 6 stages, Welsh Enduro in Dyfi had 5 a sub 5 min winning time.

    I happened to be in the area so it didn’t matter, but I’d have been fuming if I’d travelled a long way to race the Dyfi round having heard there’s so much good riding only to find the enduro hasn’t scratched the surface and such a short race time.

    I’d like to see organisers provide a clear separation of ‘proper’ races from mini, fun, intro etc.

    BNES have had offers to help with the website and comms but doesn’t look like anything has come of it. A proper co-ordinated race calendar doesn’t seem too much to ask for.

    HobNob
    Free Member

    Yep, It seems most have moved away from the original Enduro format of a practice day Saturday (possible seeding run too) and a big loop on the Sunday, instead just trying to cram it all in on a one day affair. Some races the loop is a joke, sub 10km & a few hundred meters of vert is not even close to a proper enduro IMO.

    Whilst I didn’t particularly think much of Steve Parr, the early days of the UKGE series were great – we did some big 40/50km loops & a decent amount of climbing (1500+m days) and still managed 15-20mins of stage times. It became more of a challenge as the loops were tough & a big day out, which is how it should be.

    There should be a place for these smaller races, as a one day affair is a damn sight easier to organise (and attend for people) but it seems like it’s the default these days.

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    There’s space for one days, mash ups and 10km enduros, but yeah the UKGE style enduro is sorely missed in the UK. Some of those were brutal but that’s what you expected and to be fair even a moderately unfit person like me could get round it, just needed to get on with it.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    I really like how they’re communicating those events, that definitely got to be a problem with uk enduros, you often couldn’t tell whether it’d be a lap of a trail centre (Glenlivet) or absolute death falling off a mountain (Kinlochleven) and as soon as numbers started to drop from the big glory days, no wonder organisers wanted to please everyone- which ended up pleasing less people. And, well, nuff said about national series fiascos.

    I can’t be arsed with it now- nothing to do with the events, I just maybe OD’d on it after a few years of it being absolutely the best events I’d ever done, or maybe I’d just done enough? But it’s sad to see how it’s fallen off, after being such an amazing thing. Gamechanging, for me and my riding and for my riding area.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Some of those were brutal but that’s what you expected and to be fair even a moderately unfit person like me could get round it, just needed to get on with it.

    Hoping the Naughty returns next year, that was absolutely shattering but you felt like it was worth it (once they sorted the water situation). Might look at the Tweed series as well. Maybe. I just need to get out more than anything else and the races give me the motivation.

    But it’s sad to see how it’s fallen off, after being such an amazing thing. Gamechanging, for me and my riding and for my riding area.

    Well people did say enduro was the new downhill.

    mark88
    Full Member

    100% agree with the above. The mash ups, trail centre and entry level events are fine, but they need to be advertised as such.

    I think the national series needs to be minimum 10 min winning time and all natural stages. Hopefully that’s what we’ll see next year.

    Interestingly I was speaking to one of the Tweedlove organisers who claimed they put in longer transitions because they had feedback people wanted more riding time to separate enduro from e-bikes. Surely this has been misinterpreted and no one actually wants longer transitions?

    Gamechanging, for me and my riding and for my riding area.

    Yep, that initial surge changed my riding and completely upped the level of local trails. Unfortunately I was too late to the party for UKGE

    rhyswainwright
    Full Member

    Ultimately, it’s going to be really difficult to get some sort of cohesive system in place without any real national leadership detailing the rules and definition of each event. BEMBA states on their own website that they were formed from race organisers due to a lack of national governing body! How do we get Si Paton on board again…?

    On the topic of formats and race distances; organisers do need to be clear on the level and type of race they are offering! I have zero interest in a 10km mash up with 5 minutes race time. Likewise, I don’t want to do a push up DH race with the same brutal push every stage (cough… LLANGOLLEN… cough).

    The best format is the classic format in my opinion: 30-50km lap, 4-6 stages, 3-5 minutes per stage, 12-20 minute race time, practice Saturday, race Sunday!

    Special shout out to these events I’ve done this year for fulfilling those expectations: Dunkeld Enduro, Manx 2-Day Enduro.

    For those wondering about the Manx 2-Day event, it was excellent! 2 days practice, 10 stages, 2 days racing, post-race food and beer both days. If they run it the same next year it’s the first event I’ll be booking. My race time was almost 38 minutes over the two days for 9th in Master. Proper enduro! – See the upcoming issue for some more info on this event.

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    @rhyswainwright – was the Manx one this event… https://www.manxmtbenduro.com/ ??

    Sounds like great fun and a good excuse to visit the IoM

    rhyswainwright
    Full Member

    @v7fmp that’s the one!

    Joe Barnes did a great video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4BTfKH5PnI

    The people, the trails, the atmosphere were all fantastic. Camp site was great at St Johns Football Club. Ferry wasn’t extortionate if you can maximise passenger space. Actual driving distance for us from Calderdale (to Liverpool ferry terminal) was tiny compared to a Scottish trip.

    mark88
    Full Member

    For those wondering about the Manx 2-Day event, it was excellent! 2 days practice, 10 stages, 2 days racing, post-race food and beer both days. If they run it the same next year it’s the first event I’ll be booking. My race time was almost 38 minutes over the two days for 9th in Master. Proper enduro! – See the upcoming issue for some more info on this event.

    It’s on again next year, I think it’ll be 8/9 July. I grew up on the Island and always do my best to spread the word as it’s such a good event.

    People get put off by the ferry, but split between a few people it’s not bad, or train to Liverpool or Lancaster and travel as foot passenger (bike is free) is the cheapest option. The race entry is only £35 so it works out cheaper than most UK events for me.

    Looking forward to reading the feature in the mag @rhyswainwright

    rhyswainwright
    Full Member

    One more point, there should at least be an ‘elite’ category for each gender at every event. I don’t want pro’s in my age group that I’m never going to beat. Most of them want an overall FTD win so they’re not fussed on age group wins either.

    mark88
    Full Member

    Looks like the majority of series have released their dates now.

    Comms regarding BNES have been non existent, but it looks like the series will be:

    30 Apr Tweed Valley
    4 Jun Dyfi Forest
    25 Jun Ae
    8/9 Jul Isle of Man
    6 Aug Minehead

    No sign of the Scottish Series dates yet, but they opted not to have a BNES round last year. Would be great if they did to add a September date.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    To add, Triple Crown is to be two Tweed Valley with Kinlochleven in the middle. Death falling down a hill you say? 🤔

    bigfoot
    Free Member

    definatly liking the sound of that kinlochleven one, adding a bit of variaty to the tweedlove races. think it was scottish enduro that did a race there a few years ago that looked good.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Kinlochleven’s an amazing venue- haven’t been there for a few years mind and it’s pretty changable with weather erosion up there, but every time I’ve raced there except one, it’s been brilliant. Kinda terrifying, always very wet, and i’ve always ended the weekend with either a broken bike or a broken bone but still. Up there with the EWS, the Mega and the fort william endurance dh as the best events I’ve ever done. Just complete nonsense.

    I’m so far from match fit and race ready now it’s unreal but I’m still tempted to get up for that one.

    That said, there was once an enduro there sponsored by bluegrass (I think) which was shite. “Ride down the ciaran path”, they said “oh but we’ve closed the good bits off because they’re too dangerous to race, and if you ride them you’ll be dq’d even though they’re in the liaison, you must get off and push”. So it can be done.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    How does it compare to the Naughty? Similar or different scale?

    kimbers
    Full Member

    @mark88 where did you get those dates from?

    Its a real shame that there’s no standalone national series , the problem is that for many the 2-3 day weekend witha massive loop and long stages, was hard to fit around families etc, especially if doing a full series
    Also hard to coem up with new fresh decent length trails
    numbers were falling by the end of UKGE, partly due to parr’s rule changes but partly because other race series were appearing that were more accessible to most riders

    Agree that Naughty Northumbrian is brilliant, Id do that race again

    mark88
    Full Member

    I got the BNES dates from each of the individual series announcements.

    I think the shared national series can work, it just needs some solid framework to ensure events are of appropriate length and difficulty.

    BEMBA really need to sort their communications out to be taken seriously as a national series. No posts on their social media since July, useless website and I don’t recall seeing any announcements of series overalls etc last year.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    BEMBA really need to sort their communications out to be taken seriously as a national series. No posts on their social media since July, useless website and I don’t recall seeing any announcements of series overalls etc last year.

    You see that a lot on various MTB race organisers, confuses the heck out of me

    mc
    Free Member

    BNES 2022 overalls can be found at https://www.sportident.co.uk/results/BNES/2022/Series/

    I think even the main figures behind BEMBA/BNES will admit the series was rather problematic this year due to various reasons.

    mark88
    Full Member

    I have no doubt the series was difficult with all the cancellations and uncertainties, but that doesn’t prevent them updating a website or setting up an email list so your riders know what is going on.

    BNES 2022 overalls can be found at https://www.sportident.co.uk/results/BNES/2022/Series/

    Another gripe! I didn’t get any points for the final round because I opted to ride with friends rather than taking a seeded entry despite that not being the case in any other round. Fortunately, I beat my mate and brother regardless which is the only racing I care about!

    mark88
    Full Member

    Manx 2 day entries now open.

    mark88
    Full Member

    Still no sign of SES or Dunkeld Enduro dates.

    BNES entries all open.

    30-Apr Tweedlove
    04-Jun Welsh Enduro Series Dyfi
    25-Jun PMBA Ae
    08-Jul Manx MTB Enduro
    06-Aug Southern Enduro Minehead

    Anyone got any thoughts on what Ae will be like as a race venue? I’ve not been there for well over 10 years.

    I’ve only got Dyfi entry so far. Unfortunately got a wedding the weekend of the Manx round, and none of the other BNES events are exciting me.

    I plan to do Naughty Northumbrian if it goes ahead, and potentially a race or two in Scotland if their dates work.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    I’ve only got Dyfi entry so far.

    That may work for me and the boy…. It’s certainly something to consider.

    tetrode
    Free Member

    First round of WBE Valleys Enduro has sold out now! I’m booked on all the natural ones, so rounds 1,2 and 4. Should be good fun and it’s promising that the first round has sold out for a brand new enduro series in a brand new location in February. Can’t wait!

    weeksy
    Full Member

    First round of WBE Valleys Enduro has sold out now!

    Oh, that scuppers part of a plan i was developing lol

    I did notice how few they seem to have in the youngster Cats…which somewhat disappointed.

    nc21
    Full Member

    Anyone got any thoughts on what Ae will be like as a race venue? I’ve not been there for well over 10 years.

    Two big camping fields, may be midges!. Six stages if we’ve heard correctly.Ae’s not particularly mountainous😉 so the stages will struggle to test the top riders over 2 mins each without a bit of creativity. We think 5 of the 6 stages won’t have been raced nationally before. Should be a great venue and race.

    tetrode
    Free Member

    First round of the WBE enduros at Taff Buggy was yesterday and it was great! Really well run especially for its first ever event and the stages were great. Super excited about the next round now!

    I did notice how few they seem to have in the youngster Cats…which somewhat disappointed.

    Well why not lead by example and enter anyway?

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Well why not lead by example and enter anyway?

    Simple answer is mate, we were racing somewhere else. But add to that, we’ve got a big season and without being too harsh, events with less competitors isn’t really what we need. The Southern Enduro series and the Welsh can fill enough weekends with bigger fields of competitors so ticks more boxes.
    We’re not against racing in the series at all and i think it’d be an ace day out… But we’ve got very few weekends free, so on those, we are picking and choosing what we race.

    Looking at say Rd3 though, there’s just 5 people in the U16s…. Add to that it’s between the Gravity event at Rheola and the National at Rheola … So really it just doesn’t fly as as a must-do event for us.

    Rd4 clashes with Fort William.

    Rd5 is the weekend before the National DH Championships.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Dunkeld is 13th and 14th May, it’s going to be the last one (or at least the last one by the current organisers)

    mark88
    Full Member

    Anyone got any thoughts on what Ae will be like as a race venue? I’ve not been there for well over 10 years.

    Ae has the potential to be brilliant but it can also be a bit crap, it depends largely on whether the organisers think “let’s do a red climb in reverse” is an enduro stage, and partly on whether they think that more pedalling in liaisons makes a better event in its own right.

    It also has a bit of the same awkwardness that innerleithen gets- the best trails have been used a bunch in races, so it’s a balancing act between “I’ve done this all before” and “I’ve raced here before and it was better”

    (in fairness, a lot of people grumble when they get sent up the same fireroad 3 or 4 times a day, which is how you access a lot of the best riding… So it’s understandable that some race organisers will spread it out even if it means riding a bigger loop in order to ride worse descents. Most races I’ve done there would be improved for me with one less stage, to be brutally honest, but obviously there are other entrants who would think that made it too short)

    moonsaballoon
    Full Member

    That’s a shame about the Dunkeld enduro . It was always one of my favourite races of the year . The stages were always really good , although i never really managed to ride cairn to cottage properly and it always felt like a big day out on the bike with some meaty transitions , it always felt to me like what enduro racing should be .

    Also there arent that many one day events , with the cost of everything these days full weekends racing are pretty expensive .

    marksnook
    Free Member

    For what it’s worth I raced the western events enduro at taff buggy Sunday. First race in at least 3 or so years. Had fairly low expectations going into it but had an absolute blast. Stages were really fun. Way better than the race preview I watched showed them! Climb was brutal though.
    I’m away for the next two of their rounds annoyingly.
    It’s given me the bug back a little so I’m watching this thread for races to enter 😂

    weeksy
    Full Member

    For what it’s worth I raced the western events enduro at taff buggy Sunday. First race in at least 3 or so years. Had fairly low expectations going into it but had an absolute blast. Stages were really fun.

    Nice, that’s what we like to hear.. New courses and new organisers are ace.. 🙂

    StuE
    Free Member

    mark88
    Full Member

    Thanks @northwind. I’ll keep an eye out for entries opening. Annoying timing means I’m potentially racing four consecutive weekends (Dunkeld, Boltby, Graythwaite, Dyfi) then nothing for almost three months.

    Glad to hear it went well @marksnook – they certainly appear to be putting the hours in on the trail builds.

    It also has a bit of the same awkwardness that innerleithen gets- the best trails have been used a bunch in races, so it’s a balancing act between “I’ve done this all before” and “I’ve raced here before and it was better”

    I’ve only raced two stages at Inners, both of them were really well put together mash ups but appreciate that probably isn’t feasible for hosting a whole race at the venue.

    a lot of people grumble when they get sent up the same fireroad 3 or 4 times a day, which is how you access a lot of the best riding… So it’s understandable that some race organisers will spread it out even if it means riding a bigger loop in order to ride worse descents.

    It’s a tricky balance. Even Golfie they manage to make it a loop of sorts. I’ve never raced Llangollen but I know people dislike that because it’s just multi stage DH using the same climb.

    superfli
    Free Member

    I took my lad to the Taff enduro at the weekend. Great event, really enjoyed our weekend away. Took my lad to Wyllie for a couple of runs on Sat as well.
    Taff enduro s1 was superb, loved it. Glad to see that Jim B (in vid above) also failed to clear that double about 1/2 way down after the steep shoot! I failed everytime. I think my best attempt was my 1st attempt, just rolling the course. But looking at the vid, it seems people were cutting straight across one of the tight corners near the top???! Really? They know for certain thats cutting the tape and TBH should be DQ’d.
    S2 was very good too, not so many faetures (as expected), but similar length and a little more slippy.
    S3 was very short and I kept catching people where it was awkward to overtake.
    Wish I had more time to do s2+3 more, but my lads 1st race away, so was riding with – and pushing his bike up lol! I didnt mind the climb really. Thought it was shortish, but shame it was too steep to bother riding. 4000ft climbing – chuffed my boy did it. He was shattered!

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