Enduro is one of those under the radar racing disciplines that's recently experienced a huge whack of interest in both North America and abroad. While it's been popular for years in places like France, with epic races like the MegaAvalanche, only recently has it seen the rice of organized series and enduro-only dedicated racers. Kona Bikes dropped into the enduro game last year when it signed Matt Slaven, from Portland, Oregon, and Karim Amour of Nice, France to its pro factory team. As enduro/super-d specialists, it's been fun to have them be pivotal members of the Team.
Both are super experienced racers. Amour placed 6th at the 2005 World DH Championships and currently is one of the top 5 enduro racers in the world, while Slaven, who's raced BMX, cyclocross and downhill at the elite level, is currently one of the top ranked enduro racers in North America. Both know how to ride a bike--both up and down. A key element that make enduro riding so unique. Often described as one of the purest forms of modern racing, the discipline combines all the elements of contemporary mountain biking: wicked fly bike that can climb and descend really fast, powerful lungs and legs for sprint climbing and rolling descents, and mad bike skills under anaerobic duress.
Karim Amour dropping in through the mist. Photo: Mitch Scott
We decided to dive a little deeper into the enduro phenomena, and sent Kona's in-house film crew to go capture Karim and Matt doing what they do best: slay singletrack. The location? Stop 1 of the Oregon Super D series in Hood River, Oregon. Enjoy the flick.
Dave Mossop crane captures Matthew Slaven sending it...up. Photo: Mitch Scott