There were a lot of questions if racing would happen at Beacon Hill in Spokane, WA this year, this last Saturday proved it would. Velo Northwest's Hub-a-Palooza has been a staple in the racing circuit in the Pacific Northwest for the past 12 years. Usually occurring in early spring, this action packed, three day event kickoffs the racing season and is a favorite among locals. Spring is always a busy time at Beacon, riders are eager to brush off the winter cobwebs and catchup with riding buddies. The hill starts to wake from winter, coming alive with green meadows and the native yellow balsam root that line the trails. Due to COVID, Hub-a-Palooza didn't happen this spring, as with many races this year. It's been a hard year for Velo NW's events, last September a freak snow storm hit Spokane and inclement weather caused their fall enduro at Mt Spokane to be cancelled. When the race dates for Hub-a-Palooza were finally released for September a lot of people started to get that early spring feeling of anticipation again, a welcome distraction from this year's events. Though a smaller turn out than usual, it was apparent people were excited to spend the day out on the trails with friends and finally get some racing in.
This time of year Beacon's beauty has faded. Dry, harsh summers have left trails loose and rutted and wild flower hills have turned to mono tone gold, only accented with grey granite slabs and buzzing powerlines. Despite the dry trails, racers were rewarded with fantastic weather, a welcome reprieve to the normal questionable spring weather during this event.
Velo Northwest changed the format of the enduro this year. To help with logistics and keep racers moving through stages the race was kept to one day and all riders would ride the same 4 courses, removing the notorious Pro/Expert course, The Zipper. The race was also confined to the Esmeralda and Shields side of beacon, leaving the Camp Sekani side to the DH racers. This new format allowed for all stages to start from the same general area, expediting racers through the courses and making spectating easier than ever.
With all the stages starting at the Beacon Towers this year it meant racers had very little time to recover from rocky tech, which is what this side on Beacon Hill is know for.
1st. Alex Anderson - 12.36.67
2nd. Eric Olson - 12.44.02
3rd. Justin Covey - 12.45.02
1st. Laura Danley - 17.03.48