Race Report: 2020 Hubapalooza Enduro

Sep 30, 2020
by Jane Patten  

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.

Racers line up at the top of stage 2 during a beautiful late summer day.
Pro racer Cameron Yorks descends down a classic Beacon trail, Pop Rocks, over looking Spokane, WA.

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.

Always a favorite to watch, local Pro Alex Anderson navigates rocks with ease. He may not have sported a wacky costume this year but don't let that fool you, under that helmet was moustache any state trooper would be envious of. Anderson finished the 4 stages with a time of 12.36 minutes, taking the top overall spot.
Making the trek from Colorado, Laura Danley has been sinking her teeth into the Big Mountain enduro series this year. It's been 4 years since Danley called Spokane her home and she was eager to reintroduce herself to Beacon slabs, this time as a Pro racer.

Henry Lohstroh sending it straight through the entrance of stage 3 and into 4th place in the Junior Expert category.
You're not truly racing at Beacon unless you're riding under buzzing powerlines.

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.

Zaine Darrington fully committing to the trail Commitment Issues on stage 2, flying high above the urban sprawl.

Justin Covey laying into a berm on Yard Sale, one of the only bermed jump trails on this side of Beacon. Covey, being one of this trail's builders, unsurprisingly took first place in Pro on this stage.

New to the race this year was an E-bike category. Taylor Stevens taking first, all while matching the scenery perfectly with his fall Beacon kit.

Riders had the opportunity to race two new trails at Beacon this year. A racer chooses to skip the ride around and flies down a slab on Deep Thought, a techy rock trail that's guaranteed to keep riders engaged.

Jake Taylor picking his line down one of the many slabs racers faced Saturday. He also picked up the top spot for Junior Men Expert. Taylor was hot on the heals of Pro rider Anderson, coming in 4 seconds behind for the overall second spot.
Local trail builder Tim Schlosser, who helped build most the trails in this years race, heads down to the bottom of stage 4. Taking first place in Expert Men 30-39 on a hard tail, proving the only suspension you need is in your knees.

Don't call it a come back. After massive injuries this year Rick Welch was out for redemption and snagged first place in Sport Men 40-49.
An unknown rider playfully skips through a rock garden on Deep Thought in stage 4.

It's always cool to see how many 12 & and Under racers take on the intimating tech out at Beacon. This young grom carefully picks his line with dad in tow.

Nicole Craigmile taking risks and being reward with the top spot for Sport Women this year.

Callie Lamb helping usher in a new generation of women riders in Spokane, taking second place in Women 18 & Under.

Pro Men

1st. Alex Anderson - 12.36.67
2nd. Eric Olson - 12.44.02
3rd. Justin Covey - 12.45.02
Pro Women

1st. Laura Danley - 17.03.48


  • 2 0
 Bummed to have missed it but with the shifting dates couldn't plan it around other time off. Guess my two paid entries go as a donation. Would have been my first guaranteed auto-podium behind the ever mighty Michael Duft Smile
  • 1 0
 Badass. Great writeup! It was a good time.
  • 2 0
 Great story!
  • 1 1
 Thanks for featuring our great local riding area and local riders
  • 1 0
 Thanks for reading!

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