The Tiger Mountain Enduro has built a reputation as being not only one of the roughest races of the year, but also the one that sums up the Cascadia Dirt Cup's iconically PNW theme at its finest. Located in verdant rainforests deep in the Issaquah Alps, Tiger Mountain is a hallmark of the success of local mountain bike advocacy group, The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. Designed to withstand both the high traffic of Seattle and the unstoppable torrent of precipitation that Western Washington is famous for, Tiger makes for the ideal place to start or finish a season in the PNWet.
True to form, this year was a bruiser. The weeks leading up to the race were plagued with lingering snow, gale storm gusts, and pounding rain, leaving the the trails in dire straights. Teams of dedicated volunteers filed in from across the state to banish the blow down, erase the erosion, level the lips, and otherwise tune the trails back up to show floor quality. Still, the conditions were trying at best. Riders who opted for a last minute practice on the eve of the race were met with heady rain, fifty degree temperatures and a biting wind, leaving many with blue lips and numb fingers at the parking lot.
Boosting isn't always fast, low isn't always slow. Jimmy "the Mushroom" Gouin and Jameson Florence demonstrate two ways to stay pinned over the stage three rock drop on MEGAFAUNA
The Clif Kids Clinic with Sweetlines took up the reins for a race day prelude, with legendary coach Kat Sweet taking our youth riders under her wing to practice technical riding skills, and confidence improving drills before guiding them down the second stage of their race run for a hands on lesson in shredding. This was a complimentary clinic, courtesy of Clif, the 2019 CDC Title Sponsor. Expect to see more youth oriented outreach and advocacy as Clif and the CDC work together to share the sport with the next generation.
Grins on steeps. How can you not be stoked with trails like these? Riders left to right: Linnea Rooke, Melanie Edwards, Lili Heim, Kelsey Philips People often assume that a public trail network equates to a sanitized trail network. We promise you, that's not how it works. Left: Stage three (Legend) charged a trail tax of one visor, one number plate, one pair of goggles, and a little bit of pride. Right: Alpine gravity vortex opens beneath Chris Page, consuming his mortal soul as a sacrifice to the earth goddess Gaia. Aiden Edwards and Tyler Winans take on the finish of Legend, with exactly the amount of gusto expected from our youth Slick rock? Whatever Moab, we've got you beat. Slippier than a greased pig, the iconic water fall drop on Predator led to squeals from the specters below. Some were from fright, but most were with delight to discover that pigs do indeed fly. Are hardtails cool again? Psyche! They never went out of style. Eleven hard-asses signed up for the hardtail class at Tiger, making it the largest group of masochists that the CDC has ever had at a single event. If ever there was a sure fire sign that 2019 was going to shred... Dan Casioppo keeps it smooth and low while Erik Dukes tees up the next move. Emotions run high after a race... and low. We all handle long days in the woods differently. Sleep it off little buddy, sleep it off. Anybody have a Tide hook up? Arm & Hammer? Downy??? We're looking for a laundry detergent sponsor. JK, NIKWAX give us a call, WE NEED YOU!
Another youth program in play this season is the new CDC Youth Rider to Racer Program, powered by Clif!
The Rider to Racer program awards a complimentary youth entry into each round of the 2019 Cascadia Dirt Cup to one youth rider who is new to racing and the CDC. The recipient for the opening round at Tiger was Aaron Thelen. Aaron's been riding for two years and wants to race with the CDC because he loves mountain biking, and looks forward to more experience and excitement through competition. When asked what CLIF Bar product describes him and why, Aaron’s reply was: Shot Energy Gel, Mocha because I’m FULL OF ENERGY! Congratulations Aaron, we’re stoked you got to race with us at the Tiger Mountain Enduro!
Race results, photos and more are all available on the Race Cascadia website
NEXT UP: CDC Round 2 Post Canyon Enduro, May 18th in Hood River, Oregon.