Oregon Enduro Series - Bend

Jun 9, 2015
by Colin Meagher  
 
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Timing is everything they say. And in the case of the Oregon Endure Series (OES), that's definitely the case. OES got started in 2012 by Devon Lyons after talking with a number of pro riders like Mark Weir, Ross Schnell, and Richie Schley. The timing was just right: the OES was able to ride the groundswell of the rising demand for enduro racing in the USA , and with four years under their belt now, the overall stoke factor remains consistently high: the prizes are good, the event sponsors are solid, raffles are tip top, and there's a heavy emphasis on maintaining a strong fun factor.

Heading into the 2015 season's first race in Bend, OR everything looked stellar: rain the previous week had given way to blue bird conditions for the week leading up to the race, and riders from across the USA were converging on Bend to race, including a field of 40 pro men with Kyle Warner, Curtis Keen, and Adam Craig all in the mix, as well as 7 pro women, and full fields of expert, sport, beginner, and junior racers—263 racers in all. Bend is situated in a high desert climate, though, so the rain soaked trails of the prior week quickly gave way to dust as riders trained on the stages the week heading into the event.

When asked about the somewhat loose trail conditions, Curtis Keene just grinned and said, "Everything's running super fast out here. Sure, it's a little dusty, but it's so fast!"

The only potential downsides heading into the weekend were a forecast of unseasonably high temps for race day (95 degrees F/35 degrees C) mixed with a few prescribed forest fire burns nearby. Heat is one thing—racing in the heat sucks; but the fires could potentially effect air quality. The wind played nicely, though, keeping the smoke well away from the venue, although the heat was just as blistering hot as had been forecast. After a quick pre-race meeting, riders started to head out to stage one to begin racing. That's when things went a bit awry: the night before the race, a chain reaction of failed computers and networking issues began, forcing a delayed start to stage one. The snowball effect of that initial computer crash and networking error created a delay in the OES' ability to move the timing system used on stage one to the fifth and final stage and have it set up before the first pro racers started descending. The net effect of that error forced the OES organization to nullify the fifth and final stage for all racers, which is a shame as that final stage might have shook up some of the final standings. More importantly, it also created a massive delay in establishing accurate timing for some of the stages, and forced some podium corrections—most importantly in the pro men's field—moving Kirt Voreis from the top step down to seventh overall, and moving Alex McGuiness (aka "Krunkshox) up from fourth to first. The results are all now accurate, though, having been painstakingly rebuilt by hand (thank God for dedicated OES staffers and Thump coffee as a sponsor).

The delays definitely upset some of the racers, but overall most competitors took the errors with a grain of salt and remained pretty stoked on the event—after all, no one could have predicted the computer failures that created the fiasco, and OES went the extra mile to ensure accurate results, even if it took them 24 hours of grinding to get it done.

Dan Bauman of Thump coffee was at the venue bright and early to serve up complimentary tips appreciated sublime nectar for all comers all day long.
  Dan Bauman of Thump coffee was at the venue bright and early to serve up complimentary (tips appreciated) sublime nectar for all comers all day long.

Dan Bauman wasn t the only person at the venue bright and early Chris Zeger from Fox and Tommy the Tech from Shimano were on hand to work over racers bikes before the start of the 2015 Oregon Enduro Series Bend race.
  Dan Bauman wasn't the only person at the venue bright and early: Chris Zeger from Fox, and Tommy the Tech from Shimano were on hand for final pre-race tech work for racers in need.

While his World Cup DH racing days are well behind him Men s winner Kirt Voreis has definitely NOT lost the competitive bug. Kirt was the first to jump on stage one after the delayed start and never looked back. I broke my chain on stage 4 right at the bottom. I was shifting and cranking at the same time and snapped it on a bad shift. I had to hike back up and get it so I could ride stage 5. And then I hit the bottom of stage 5 and there wasn t a finish line--it was leaning up against a truck he laughs in typical Voreis style . I m super bummed because I had a good effort on that stage but I had fun.
  While his World Cup DH racing days are well behind him, Men's winner (if stage 5 had counted) Kirt Voreis has definitely NOT lost the competitive bug. Kirt was the first to jump on stage one after the delayed start, and never looked back. "I broke my chain on stage 4, right at the bottom. I was shifting and cranking at the same time and snapped it on a bad shift. I had to hike back up and get it so I could ride stage 5. And then I hit the bottom of stage 5 and there wasn't a finish line: it was leaning up against a truck (he laughs, in typical Voreis style). I'm super bummed because I had a good effort on that stage, but I had fun."

Jeremiah Newman slipping the line between the rocks on Funner trail--aka stage one. The race tracks were mostly straightforward and fairly pedally But every once in a while something like this would come up forcing riders to make a choice on going the hard line or the easy--and longer--line. For the pros most went for the harder more technical lines but not always. Some riders simply felt that some of the more technical lines didn t offer any advantage and stuck with the main line.
  Jeremiah Newman slipping the line between the rocks on the Funner Trail-aka stage one. Most of the race tracks were buttery singletrack, but every once in a while, something semi technical like this would come up, forcing riders to make a choice of gambling by taking a harder, more technical but shorter line for a faster time or skating by on the easier and longer line.

Jack of all trades Cody Kelly splitting the notch on stage 1.
  Jack of all trades (except wheelies) Cody Kelly splitting the notch on stage 1.

Transitions with the exception of the transition from stage 3 to stage 4 weren t too terribly long but there was virtually no respite from the blazing sun the spotty shade did little to cool down the riders suffering in the heat. Race organizers did the best they could with aid stations for the riders carrying water bottles like Nathan RIddle but the sun and the heat were definitely a factor during the race.
  Transitions, with the exception of the transition from stage 3 to stage 4, weren't too terribly long, but there was virtually no respite from the blazing sun; the spotty shade did little to cool down the riders suffering in the heat. Race organizers did the best they could with aid stations for the riders carrying water bottles, like Nathan RIddle; but the sun and the heat were definitely a factor during the race.

Rocking the number one plate for his win last year Crunkshox--aka Alex McGuinness--was charging hard all day long. That effort paid off with another W for the Bend OR rider edging out fellow local and EWS racer Adam Craig as well as Curtis Keene Kyle Warner and Brian Lopes.
  Rocking the number one plate for his win last year, Krunkshox-aka Alex McGuinness-was charging hard all day long. That effort paid off with another "W" for the Bend, OR rider, edging out fellow local and EWS racer Adam Craig by a second after just over 21 minutes of racing, as well as big dogs Curtis Keene, Kyle Warner, and Brian Lopes.

Yet another rider from another era who hasn t lost that competitive drive yet Flyin Brian Lopes on stage 3 taking the transfer from a double into a berm.
  Yet another rider from another era who hasn't lost that competitive drive yet: Flyin' Brian Lopes on stage 3 taking the transfer from a double into a berm.

It s been a hard luck spring for Nick Hardin of Kickstand Coffee amp Kitchen in Hood River OR. First there was that broken thumb then there was that incident where he nearly sliced off the first two fingers of his left hand. The fact that he s out there charging hard says a lot about desire and how tough the Devinci rider is.
  It's been a hard luck spring for Nick Hardin of Kickstand Coffee & Kitchen in Hood River, OR. First there was that broken thumb, then there was that incident where he nearly sliced off the first two fingers of his left hand. The fact that he's out there charging hard says a lot about desire and how tough he is. Eleventh on the day for the Devinci rider.

You can always tell the riders with DH experience when you see them in the air rather than looking for their landing they re already looking into the next corner. Curtis Keene looking deep into the berm he s about to touch down into.
  You can always tell the riders with DH experience when you see them in the air; rather than looking for their landing, they're already looking for the next feature. Curtis Keene looking well into the next corner instead of the landing zone. Keene was barely edged out of the win, finishing one second back behind second place racer Adam Craig and two seconds back behind race winner Alex McGuiness,

The future of racing Nathan Riddle rocking a set of the Plus size tires and wheels in his Tallboy LT. I have no idea exactly how wide those tires are but they definitely did not appear to be slowing the Riddler down at all.
  The future of MTB? Nathan Riddle rocking a set of the Plus size 29er WTB tires and rims on his Tallboy LT. I have no idea exactly how wide those WTB tires are, but they definitely did not appear to be slowing him down at all.

It s in the genes that s for sure. Neal Strobel--Luke Strobel s brother--tearing the hell out of a berm on the third stage of the day. Fast swooping berms and the odd jump made for a super fun although a bit peddly in places stage.
  It's in the genes, that's for sure. Neal Strobel-Luke Strobel's brother-tearing the hell out of a berm on the third stage of the day. Fast swooping berms and the odd jump made for a super fun stage, although it was a bit peddly in places. Strobel later had a close encounter with a tree that pushed him down in the standings, but look for him to bounce back for the OES race in Hood River in a couple weeks.

Santa Cruz Bicycles Allan Cooke--the 2002 X games BMX gold winner Allan Cooke--carving his way through the dust that littered the track. He may have retired from BMX but Cooke still gets after it on two wheels mixing business and pleasure by overseeing Santa Cruz bike s Enduro race efforts. Which means not only attending enduro races around the globe but occasiionally jumping into the mix too.
  Santa Cruz Bicycles Allan Cooke-the 2002 X games BMX gold winner Allan Cooke-carving his way through the dust that littered the track. He may have retired from BMX back in 2009, but Cooke still gets after it on two wheels, mixing business and pleasure by overseeing Santa Cruz Bike's Enduro race efforts. Which means not only attending enduro races around the globe, but occasionally jumping into the mix, too.

Adam Craig Bend local and one of Giant s EWS racing squad was also going full gas on stage 3 s swoopy berms.
  Fresh from EWS races #2 and #3, Adam Craig smashes through stage 3's swoopy berms.The locals definitely were on it, with Adam finishing merely one second back behind Krunkshox on the overall.

Despite heavy rain the week before Bend OR sits on the edge of the Oregon desert meaning that the trails dry out shockingly fast. more than one rider slapped from sliding out on the loose powder and kitty litter in the corners.
  Despite heavy rain the week before, Bend, OR sits on the edge of the Oregon desert, meaning that the trails dry out shockingly fast. more than one rider slapped from sliding out on the loose powder and kitty litter in the corners.

The various stages were littered with alternative lines and riders were warned ahead of time to keep a sharp eye out for course markings during pre rides and encouraged to explore all alternatives. Using those alternatives had the potential to save racers seconds on each stage but as noted earlier you gotta hang it out a bit if you want those seconds. Yeti rider Kim Russell rolling the dice a bit on stage 4.
  Decisions, decisions... Yeti rider Kim Russell charging a drop on stage 4.

Abby Hippley s been focused on school but that lack of training time hasn t slowed her down much she came home second on the day.
  Abby Hippley's been focused on school, but that lack of training time hasn't slowed her down much; she came home second on the day.

Thumbs up. By the end of the transfer to stage 4 riders were sapped by the heat and the long climb. Almost every rider opted to push the final bit up start of stage 4. Sapped but not broken
  Thumbs up. By the end of the transfer to stage 4, riders were sapped by the heat and the long climb. Almost every rider opted to push the final bit up to the start of stage 4. Sapped, but not broken.

Ido Magen drove all the way from LA to put tires on Oregon dirt. It s not too bad of a drive--12 hours And I get to ride trails like this No it s not too far to drive for this race.
  Ido Magen drove all the way from LA to put tires on Oregon dirt. "It's not too bad of a drive-12 hours? And I get to ride trails like this? No, it's not too far to drive for this race."

Parley Ford with the scrub on stage 4. Lots of corners lots of reverse grades and lots of pedaling but still a damn fun stage.
  Parley Ford with the scrub on stage 4. Lots of corners, lots of reverse grades, and lots of pedalling; but still a damn fun stage.

Post race it was all about rehydrating with some of Oregon s finest beer--although that s not really a rehydrating beverage--as well as refueling from the hard day of racing with choice mexican food from Barrio Food Cart. The OES knows how to throw down on post race food and drink that s for sure
  Post race it was all about rehydrating with some of Oregon's finest beer-although that's not really a rehydrating beverage-as well as refuelling from the hard day of racing with choice mexican food from Barrio Food Cart. The OES knows how to throw down on post race food and drink, that's for sure.

Killing time post race while waiting for the results. Ten Barrel brewing had a bean bag toss going on with a selection of fine beers for contestants.
  Killing time post race while waiting for the results. Ten Barrel brewing had a bean bag toss going on with a selection of fine beers for contestants.

The times were constantly being corrected with overall pro men s winner not even on the stage 3 score card until the third revision. Eventually organizers were forced to check times by hand in order to determine the race winners for podium.
  With the timing errors, times were constantly being corrected. Adam Craig and a fellow racer check stage 3 yet again. Eventually organizers were forced to check times by hand in order to determine the race winners for podium. And then forced to change that order a day later. "OES has invested $30k into a timing system to eliminate human errors, and to have problems like we had at this race is embarrassing," said race director Devon Lyons. "We are actively working on a solution so that it never happens again."

No results yet No worries--aside from the killer food and great beer racers were throwing down on the venue s pump track Allan Cooke and Jon Buckle throwing shadows in the dust.
  No results yet? No worries-along with the killer food and great beer, racers were throwing down on the venue's pump track: Allan Cooke and Jon Buckle throwing shadows in the dust.

Full results from the Bend, Oregon OES here.


MENTIONS: @OregonEnduro / @meagerdude

Must Read This Week

55 Comments

  • + 34
 Times are still screwed up. Hood river better go smoother or I won't put another cent towards an already overpriced race series
  • + 12
 But what if you already paid for the entire series...oops
  • + 5
 To be fair, this has happened to about every enduro race (and a few super-D races) I've participated in. I'm wondering what happened with Voreis and no finish line? That's really strange. Oh well, those are some of the most fun trails I've ever been to and I was only there for two days of practice and a very short race run before sliding out in a pile of rocks screwing up my knee for the 11 hour ride home, haha. Chances are that no matter what happens, you will have a good time. Its good to see the event organizers recognizing the mistakes with the timing and being so serious to make sure it doesn't happen again.
  • + 12
 I've heard nothing but issues from the OES, every race I or my friends have attended have had timing issues. They put tons of money into a supposedly great system that doesn't seem to work.
  • + 3
 i'd say that part of the reg fees is for putting together an awesome day of riding some 'closed' trails that you can absolutely smash with no worry of running in to someone. sure, the competition aspect is there and you want the timing system to work but i imagine at the end of the day most people are stoked to have just had the experience
  • + 2
 Agreed @krazieghost. I made the long drive from LA last summer for one of the OES races and while things run a little "loose" with them I have to say that the overall experience was amazing and totally transcended the competition aspect of it for me.
I did wish that they had more categories though. In expert my 39 year old ass was racing 20 year olds.
  • + 5
 We were thinking of coming down for the series but I was told by OES that we needed full face helmets and knee pads to race! We will just do CDC instead!
  • + 2
 i raced the first Idaho Enduro series and the times were a few days late...
  • + 6
 Groundhog day. This is OES's 4th year (6th if you count the prior Super-D series) and the timing issue happens EVERY SINGLE TIME and OES makes apologies and promises to do it better EVERY SINGLE TIME. There are quite a number of riders that have simply stopped showing up to OES races because of timing and other management issues. If you want to have fun at OES, just try to remember that you are riding some cool trails in a race setting with friends and don't get caught up in timing and results.
  • - 9
flag OregonEnduro (Jun 10, 2015 at 16:15) (Below Threshold)
 We have had our timing issues, but it is not from a lack of trying. We have put a lot of thought and resources into building the best timing system possible. We had no other enduro events that we could look at or call for timing advice when we started. We came up to the best case scenario for timing set out to develop it ourselves. We wanted help build the sport of Enduro in North America and timing was the one thing we wanted to have be the best in the world.

We set out to build a system that had:
- Accurate results to the thousandth of a second
- Remove human error
- Live results at each stage
- Live combined results in the Expo Area

We accomplished this from most of 2014 on a constant basis!

-We only had one short timing delay in 2014 (first race of the year at Hood River).
-The first year we used Jaguar (2013) we were set up for issues with an undeveloped, over complicated system that we tried to run ourselves with proper support on the software.

When we started doing enduro races in North America, we tried a few options in the first year. After over two years of research, we invested all of our resources in a chip timing system, Jaguar. The company claimed to be able to build a software solution to manage enduro timing. We spent the off-season scoping the needs of a high-end enduro timing system that was delivered days before our first race. Unfortunately, we attempted to use a software system that is not fully-developed and it produced inconsistent results over the course of last few seasons.

This year, we had an unfortunate multiple-stage equipment failure. But we were prepared with back up times. The equipment issues caused a delay in the race which then effected the 5th stage which was contingent on getting Stage #1 done quickly. Stages #2 and #4 where perfectly timed. We rebuilt stages #1 and #3 from back up times and released correct results.






We have had our timing issues, but it is not from a lack of trying. We have put a lot of thought and resources into building the best timing system possible. We had no other enduro events that we could look at or call for timing advice when we started. We came up to the best case scenario for enduro timing set out to develop it ourselves.

We set out to build a system that had:
- Accurate results to the thousandth of a second
- Remove human error
- Live results at each stage
- Live combined results in the Expo Area

We accomplished this from most of 2014 on a constant basis!

-We only had one short timing delay in 2014 (first race of the year at Hood River).
-The first year we used Jaguar (2013) we were set up for issues with an undeveloped, over complicated system that we tried to run ourselves with proper support on the software.

When we started doing enduro races in North America, we tried a few options in the first year. After over two years of research, we invested all of our resources in a chip timing system, Jaguar. The company claimed to be able to build a software solution to manage enduro timing. We spent the off-season scoping the needs of a high-end enduro timing system that was delivered days before our first race. Unfortunately, we attempted to use a software system that is not fully-developed and it produced inconsistent results over the course of last few seasons.

This year, we had unfortunate equipment failures on two stages. But, we were prepared with back up times. The equipment issues caused a delay in the race which then effected the 5th stage which was contingent on getting Stage #1 done quickly. Stages #2 and #4 where perfectly timed. We rebuilt stages #1 and #3 from back up times and released correct results.
  • + 9
 Aside from the almost $500 I paid for the season pass, the hundreds more I'll spend for travel and lodging, the horrible timing issues, the lack of water at the aid stations, and the hour long wait for food....

What really gets me is the fact that I can race the whole series and if I place 21st or higher in all the races, I'll get zero points. That means that if someone takes 20th in one race and never races again, that person will have more points than me...

I think I'll run the CDC next year, they award points to the top 100 and you have to race four events to be placed in the series. They also have a 30-39 group so I don't have to race 19 year olds. Plus it's cheaper!
  • + 9
 To Devon, justin, or whomever reads this: My stage three time is still wrong. Tristan even told you (Devon) that I beat him. You said strava can be off by a few seconds, but last I checked, a full minute is a tad bit more than a few seconds. Multiple racers have stated my case. I would brush this off if I was only doing my local race, but since I've spent nearly $500 to do the full series, I plan on going for as high of an overall place as possible. It's not very encouraging to ever support you financially or through word of mouth ever again if I'm penalized for your mistakes even when multiple outlets have sided with me without me even intervening with them. Combine all that with the lack of rule book, lack of true start times, and other (should have been forseeable) issues, I've lost faith in the OES.
  • - 3
 maybe you should email them instead of posting on some obscure comments section on pinkbike....
  • + 18
 Each stage has a 55 minute delay, leaving the gate at 1030 and not finishing until 6 because of constant backups on the course is ridiculous. The aid stations didn't even have enough water for the riders, constantly out. And don't give me the whole (pack your own water) large hydration packs hold around 100oz water (3 liters), racing in 95 degree weather you consume above 1 liter per hour. To not have a steady flow of water is reckless. Times are unreliable. Very disappointing experience.
  • + 7
 its true. every aid station was dry. even the volunteers didn't have enough water.
  • + 5
 and one more thing the food truck, 1 food truck with 2 workers for 260+ people with meal tickets. needless to say the truck took as long if not longer than the enduro stage wait times.
  • + 3
 They had the same issues when I raced in Bend last year with water, bummer to see it happen again.
  • + 17
 At almost 200$ per race they need to get the timing dialed. I've stopped going to the Oregon Enduro Series races because of the cost and because they try to get way too fancy with timing systems and it ALWAYS fails.
  • + 16
 $200 a race? That's crazy.
  • + 5
 Almost...$170 just for the entry
  • + 4
 Yeah entry fees have skyrocketed in the past years from under a hundo to this crap.... same thing with Utah races but still plagued with the same issues. It makes you wonder where that money goes but if its a weekend race that includes shuttles and/or lifts, then the pricing is justifiable. Otherwise, not so much. I haven't attended these races in a couple years so I can't say if all the extra money is because of the fancy new timing system but if it is, that sucks.
  • + 6
 They try to get super fancy and have big screen tv's at the start and finish of each stage and do this whole "Live timing" bs. Try getting correct times first before trying to get fancy with stuff. I've been to other enduro's that have races have half the cost with 5x the quality. They are great with all the hype...also I know first hand that the organizers take a lot of the donated product that is supposed to go out for raffle and podium athletes.
  • + 7
 $263.46 for us Canucks. Wow!
  • + 4
 timing issues aside this race definitely did not cost $170 for entry. thats the price for 2 day races.
  • + 1
 compared to a lot of other sports thats not shit.
  • + 23
 Cascadia Dirt Cup, $75 for one day races, $125 for two day races, timing is instant, dialed, and has never failed. Plus a huge chunk of the proceeds go to the groups that built the trails. Hmmmm
  • + 2
 Why so expensive ?
  • + 16
 Nice work, Colin!
  • + 1
 Someone neg repped you for that? What an a*shole
  • + 10
 The results show the top 3 each being only one second apart after 21 minutes of racing, I can't see this timing system ever being accurate enough for a race of this caliber. Two years ago at an OES event you could see riders ride along the road next to the finish line and register constant false finishes from 10 to 15 feet away from the sensors. I've done 4 OES events and their have been timing issues every time. A fair, accurate ranking of competitors has to be the first priority in a race, at OES they've shown over and over that this is not something they place importance on. It's a bummer because it's such a fun gathering and its so much fun to go race your buddies down those trails. Regardless, if you are 1st place or 100th place you just want to know your ACTUAL time.
  • + 12
 How many second chances do N. American enduro races get to figure out the timing thing?
  • + 4
 this will be my only season with them if this is a trend.
  • + 5
 It would be nice for them to justify the entry price. Bend is a great mtb town but lacks challenging terrain. I pretty much leave my mtb at home and bring sup boards for our central oregon vacations.

Sounds like cadcadia series has their act together. Anyone compare the two promoters?
  • + 3
 Cdc kicks ass!!! No problems at all and the staff is awesome. If they ever do have a problem they get right on it. Im not gonna spend $200 to race the oes if they cant fogure out timing... Id rather spend my money on cdc where they actually have stuff figured out. Smile
  • + 4
 That Nathan Riddle is so sick. Pictures like that make me wish I had friends. Ya know, to take a picture of me like that. .....sigh>.....
  • + 1
 I almost died practicing at the Bend enduro last year. On the practice day they didn't have any water set out on course and poorly labeled connections led me 45 minutes off course. I fortunately saw some folks on the trail who pointed me back the right way but I was severely dehydrated and could barely compete the next day. OES acts like they're premier but they really need to get their shit together.
  • + 4
 You depended on them to keep you watered down? Did you also think they would fix your mechanicals? On a "practice" day?
  • + 4
 If an event advertises there's x# of aid stations then that's part of the contract.
Major liability and breach of contract.
  • + 1
 I can understand your argument ON RACE DAY, not practice days. What would happen if you brought the wrong bike, tent, murse. Would you still blame the organizers for you practice?
  • + 5
 KRUNK SHOX!
  • + 2
 Good to see Keene podium... Hopefully that gets his confidence up for the next EWS race.
  • + 2
 So stoked to live here! OSU Cascades team on the podium for Expert Men! Woot woot
  • + 1
 A few of those pics look like Phil's Trail. No?
  • + 1
 Not part of phils, they're all trails below the Wanoga sno park
  • + 2
 200 bucks to race? how unfortunate....seems like it would be fun to do but thats criminal.
  • + 1
 Did anybody get some footage of Lopes opinion in between stages?? That shit would go Viral in a second.
  • + 2
 Goin next month. Can't freakin wait.!!!
  • + 2
 #endurofannypack
  • + 1
 hey can I live there????
  • + 6
 no
  • + 3
 well phuk you
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