2016 Benduro Series: Take a Trip on the Wild Side

Feb 19, 2016 at 17:00
by Benduro  
Ryan was behind me and behind him was this guy. Look at his rear deraillur something might have gone wrong http bikeguy.smugmug.com
It's official. It's really happening. And sponsors are throwing down cold hard cash to ensure the success of the newest enduro series: Benduro.

With three stops this first year; one on a trail system you've most likely heard of, another in an area so unknown it's not even featured on Trailforks, and the finale in a mountain bike dream destination almost too good to be true. And no, the series has nothing to do with Bend, Oregon... It's all about Bender!

Hosted by Josh Bender, recent Mountain Bike Hall of Fame nominee and Redbull Rampage co-founder, Benduro is a multistage mountain bike race with a strong emphasis on downhill.

While your personal mental reflections of Bender might invoke visions of life-threateningly large drops and other acts of insanity, if you have had a chance to ride or hang with Bender, you would know that he loves to rip his 29er trail bike, and he has spent a little time on the race course (not just heckling you). Although Bender has inspired us all to go bigger with features and amounts of protective padding and suspension, he's also proven that you don't need a big bike to ride downhill or hit road gaps, or to have loads of fun.

Along with the promise of a rugged course, opportunities for a little freeride flair, super casual transfers, and some shuttles, Benduro aims to connect riders across a diversity of ability levels with a shared passion for meeting the challenge offered by technical descents, drops, and booters.

Reaper Madness pro GRT 1

For Bender, mountain bike events, and especially races, are about riding with friends and having the best of times. Sure there will be loads of prizes, handmade mate gourd awards, and cash to win for best trick, but the aim of these events is to compete in a casual atmosphere with plenty of ice cold refreshing positive energy provided by series sponsor Guayaki.

2016 DVO Mob n Mojave Photo by Phillip Beckman PB Creative Photo

Locations and Dates

March 26: Bootleg Benduro - The 2016 Benduro Series kicks off March 26th in Boulder City, Nevada at the Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park. This is the bike park we all love testing bikes at Interbike's Outdoor Demo and feed our winter racing cravings at the Bootleg Winter Gravity Series. With local bike shop All Mountain Cyclery confirmed as a series sponsor the weekend is sure to be off the hook (AMC loves to party). The shop will be open all weekend if you'd like to book a demo, need service, or new gear. Be sure to check in with AMC if you plan to come out and practice before the race. You can get a little idea of what the course will be like by checking here.

Another tunnel like descent in El Dorado.

June 18: El Dorado Benduro - Stop number two takes place June 18th in Garden Valley, California on the western edge of the El Dorado National Forest. You know how lots of perfectly great (and expensive) mountain bikes sit around collecting dust? That's about what's been going on deep in 49er country. These trails are not on Trailforks, are barely Strava'd, but had mountain bike specific trail work done a few years ago. The goal with the El Dorado Benduro is to show you where the GOLD is on this barely pedaled trail system. This venue is literally Bender's backyard, so expect an extra special weekend and after-party.

Mountain Bike Guide Denis Rogers knows the way to greater fun. You can thank this guy for inspiring the Sedona Benduro

November TBD: Sedona Benduro - The final location for Benduro in 2016 will take place in early November in Sedona, Arizona. This just might be the most scenic Benduro and definitely will sell out quickly due to Sedona's popularity and guarantees of good times whether you come to race or cheer. We won't release the Sedona course for quite a while, but that does not mean you can't head to Arizona early to practice.

My coverage of the Bootleg Canyon Reaper Madness NV State Champs DH Race. I was a dummy and left my extra cards for my camera at home and I was also juggling the positions of bike mechanic cook and photographer over this weekend in Boulder City. I wasn t really planning on shooting the race but I ended up finding time to get out and do it. This is my first race coverage so feedback is great and be sure to check out the whole album. -- I couldn t leave this awesome place without getting a shot of me finding my own groove at the jumps during the fading evening light. I set the shot and had my buddy press the shutter button. Worked out well I think.

Each race will feature a cash prize for Best Trick. And while we can't show you the awards just yet, each trophy will be handmade by Bender and super organic. Every race of the 2016 series will be limited to 100 riders to reduce both environmental impact and conflicts on the course. You can sign up today for the Bootleg Benduro and just chill a moment and wait for the California and Arizona registrations to open. It would be really smart to follow Benduro on social media or join the email list on Benduro.com for updates about registration, course possibilities, location information, and new sponsors.

Read more about Benduro (and sign up for email updates!)

Read more about Bender on Mountain Bike Hall of Fame (don't forget to vote!)

Follow Bender and Benduro on Facebook

Sponsor Benduro

MENTIONS: @Benduro


  • 30 10
 Oh FUCK. I'm in deep shit now. My seething hatred of enduro comes face to face with my unwavering stoke for the legend that is Bender. I'm going to need to process this one.
  • 11 17
flag martis (Feb 22, 2016 at 12:14) (Below Threshold)
 I've thought about it. If it's Bender, it's probably not going to suck. I may actually check the event out, and I'll refrain from calling enduro riders a bunch of boring, backpack-wearing, trend-hopping geeks when it comes to this series, at least.
  • 14 16
 Looks like I struck a nerve. Thanks for the tip, dad.
  • 5 4
 The enduro dudes are gonna get all butt hurt over that one. (Just like they would if you told them there half shell with googles looks insanely dorky)
  • 8 3
 martis and elong801, I doubt you guys "struck a nerve" with anyone. It's just boring to proclaim a "seething hatred" of something as trivial as a riding style or race format. Please take a peek outside of your narrow view and have a little gratitude that we live in situations where we can even have bikes and the health to ride them. Millions are suffering in this world and there are true atrocities, injustices, and problems to be fought. Pick one. The battles we choose say a lot about us. Ride and Let Ride.
  • 2 0
 If the transfer stages have beer, sign me up!
  • 8 0
 I'm no enduro rider, but cool to see an old pic of me whipping my dh ended up on Bender's article. lol
  • 3 2
 The butt-hurt is strong. Enduro remains geeky. I fully support Bender, though. This won't suck.
  • 2 0
 Dude! It was hands down the best photo we found on Pinkbike of the BC jumps. We are so stoked you posted it up!!
  • 2 0
 Just come out Martis whether it's to race or party, then decide if you like it.
  • 2 1
 All mountain biking is good mountain biking, @lindsaybeth, even if it's geeky. All in good fun.
  • 12 0
 Yeah Bender!
  • 7 1
 bro, r u down 2 race?
yea bro
  • 6 1
 I can't wait for the Bootleg Benduro!!! (Pretty sure this is the only Enduro I'll do)
  • 1 0
 I'm so pumped to hear you are doing it CJ!!
  • 4 0
 So sick, this is right up my alley. I wish I could attend this. Hope it is successful and more events like this can be organized all over.
  • 1 0
 thanks! Benduro hopes to be around for a long time!
  • 3 0
 Bootleg plus Bender equals rad effing time. But bring your big boy, or girl, pants cuz the course is gonna be rowdy...
  • 3 0
 This is a sick option for another CA race...and how can you beat a Sedona race? I'm keen on attending!
  • 1 0
 we hope to see you!
  • 2 0
 Holy cow that pic of the trail at El Dorado looks unreal! It looks like a cave made from trees.
  • 1 0
 It's seriously a magical mystery land out there.
  • 4 4
 Couldn't they have picked a better pic to represent "any" type of race?!? Dang it! That guy, if it's Fender Bender, looks drunk, off line and off balance! Geees that's a wack photo!
  • 1 0
 The sea otter race pic? Look closely at the chain/derailleur he just broke his bike on the sweet jumps up top. Sorry Benduro doesn't have a budget (yet) for media and we did the best we could with what we had...
  • 3 0
 "Life's too short not to go big, gotta go big"
  • 1 0
 true! and remember to create a great day
  • 2 0
 ya, that shot of the pigmy forest was insane. wouldn't want to have a pack on my back runnin that section..
  • 1 0
 There's clearance for packs, some f those trails see regular moto use and we are thankful for those guys and gals keeping the trails open and clear.
  • 3 0
 Looks rad to me..hope to get to one or two!
  • 1 0
 Good event in El Dorado. Needs another stage and some logistics work. (Waiting so long for results was tough) But an awesome course and good time was had by all.
  • 2 0
 Wow... I might actually participate in this! Definitely looks unique
  • 2 0
 Sounds like a good time,I wish Bellingham had some shuttle events nearby
  • 2 0
 Love Sedona and Bootleg alot. Bootleg Canyon will eat your tires up!!
  • 2 1
 A race in Sedona? For reals? How'd they pull that off?
  • 1 0
 I am so stoked first endure race ever!!!!!
  • 3 5
 The first picture looks like an awkward landing on the top jump of the Sea Otter 'DH' course.......I guess that's the 'trail system we've heard of'.
  • 2 3
 wow negprops for that? i speak the truth.
  • 2 0
 There's no race in Sea Otter, I think that's why you got the negative props...it says Bootleg, El Dorado and Sedona are the three locations.
  • 2 1
 Right, I didn't read the article too well, but the first photo is from Sea Otter, I'm 93% sure.
  • 1 0
 Yeah it sure looks flat enough to be Sea Otter, haha.
  • 1 0
 The random race pic is indeed Sea Otter DH and they do run their Enduro down the DH. Benders hanger snapped (see the chain flapping?) and this was the only recent pic we could find of him racing... Besides Crusher in the Tusher.
  • 1 0
 Haha I know that course all too well. thx for the backstory
  • 2 5
 "you would know that he loves to rip his 29er trail bike"... Houston we lost another rider, Houston!, aaaahhhgggggg why Bender why!
  • 1 0
 Well having tried that bike, and finally liking 29 myself... And he's still riding 29 after 5 years... I think you might have a limited perspective.
  • 2 1
 babe you can ride whatever you want, and so Bender, 29ers are so not Bender tho, after seeing him sending the biggest drops at the time and now riding a 29er is odd, I was expecting 27.5 but no 29ers, I guess the his "got to go big" is playing a role here ah!
  • 1 1
 Don't you BABE me buddy! Watch out or I will deck you right through this screen. Let me guess, you're one of those guys who thinks size doesn't matter right? You know mommy told you that so you'd feel okay about your small size. How can you say its "so not Bender" how well do you know him? How many times have you rode with him? Hes sent road gaps on the 29er.
  • 1 0
 lolol easy Lindsay, don't punch me too hard. I could show you my small size... 26er, if you show me yours, we could still be buddies after :+.
  • 1 3
 That bootleg race is terribly timed.
  • 1 0
 Good news is we wont be using the winter series timing.
  • 1 0
 @lindsaybeth: ???? I was referring to the dates being so close to Easter.????
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