Capitol Forest Enduro presented by One Industries
is gearing up to be one epic day. On September 15th racers will take on a challenging course that is made up of 4 timed “special stages” descending over 4100ft and 4 non-timed transition/climbing stages. The varied terrain, casual climbs and single-track descents of Capitol Forest, just outside Olympia WA, provide the perfect mix for a European style enduro. Stage 1 -
Racers will start atop the 2659ft Capitol Peak and descend Trail 30. Once the crown jewel of Capitol Forest mountain biking, it fell into disrepair for several years after a storm took out an access bridge. Fortunately for us, it has been recently resurrected by a group of Trail 30 aficionados determined to restore the trail back to its former glory. Immediately from the start you will be challenged by steep terrain, loose rocks, root drops and more rocks. The upper section is short lived and line choice is crucial.
The trail quickly turns to smooth single track with the occasional baby head, root and loose scree to keep you honest. There are a few short "ups" to contend with that momentum and laying off the brakes will make easy work of.
Turning east the trail winds its way down a ridge using switchbacks with berms carved by years of motorcycle use. This section is fun and flowy, but can be very loose in dry conditions.Stage 2 -
This stage will start similar to stage 1 with a short and fast technical section beginning with a sweet bermed S turn. You will gain speed quickly to a section where motorcycles have formed a groove down the middle of the trail. You will have to pick a line inside or outside the groove. A common mantra by locals is “commit to the groove.”
After you've gotten your groove on the trail turns into Mima Porter #3. This may be the least technical but the most pedally section of the enduro and could be a chance for some riders to make up some ground. Stage 3 -
The newest trail in Capitol Forest, the Little Larch Mountain Trail (LLMT) will host stage 3. The origins of the LLMT began in 2007 when Friends of Capitol Forest
(FOCF) pitched the idea of a mountain bike specific trail to the Department of Natural Resources. In 2010 ground was broke and the LLMT started to take shape. Over the next few years and thousands of volunteer hours the LLMT has become the pride of FOCF and an example of modern design methods resulting in better drainage, less erosion and reduced future maintenance.
Weekly trail parties continue to hone and evolve the trail into an instant classic. In the dead of winter, a grassroots local Super D race takes place to celebrate the work hard-play hard spirit of FOCF.
The trail starts at a modest 1340', but you'll gain speed quickly as you carve through bermed corners, small drops and rollers. There a few different line options that will be open and could sway the outcome of the race. A pre-ride is highly encouraged. A little over half way down the stage you will pop out into a clear cut carrying a lot of speed. This sections flattens out, but it has berms and rollers perfectly positioned (think long pumptrack) to keep your momentum to the finish. Stage 4 -
The Green Line 6 Trail (GL6) is the final stage of the Capitol Forest Enduro. It is a special trail for many people who ride in Capitol Forest, so much so a local team pays homage to it by naming their team GL6 Racing. This grassroots team is mostly made up of Friends of Capitol Forest members who also race and routinely find themselves on podiums across the Northwest. Supported by Norco and Joyride Bicycles GL6 has 30 team members that represent the team in every mountain bike discipline. GL6 also knows how to give back by requiring each member complete at least 30 hours of trail work a year.
The trail will lead you to the final finish line at Fall Creek where a well earned beer will greet you, if you choose. However, you must first negotiate just over 3 miles of root sections, a couple very short but steep climbs and berms aplenty. The upper section has been labeled "Gnarly Rooty" on Strava
and it's no misnomer. The middle section has been dubbed the chute by locals. With its thick over head canopy and bermed troughs from years of horses trudging through, it is a surreal roller coaster ride that ends way too soon. By the time racers reach the lower section the trail smooths out and it's all out to the finish with berms and other features to increase the flow meter.
Check out the website
for more details. Registration is open here
. See you on race day!