The Grand Enduro is a premier regional enduro mountain bike race that will be held on the Lunch Loops Trail System in Grand Junction, Colorado on June 1-2, 2019. With the cancellation of both the Scott Enduro Cup and the Idaho Enduro Series for 2019, this event will be a mainstay on the enduro calendar. We caught up with race organizer John Klish of Mad Racing Colorado to ask about the event.
Cycling West: Tell us about the event. What's the main draw to the Grand Enduro?
Mad Racing Colorado: The Grand Enduro hosts the most exciting features of enduro mountain bike racing on a world class mountain bike trail system within the Lunch Loops and Tabeguache trail system. This is a unique opportunity to race a professional course within a laid back fun event where the sense of community is large and good vibes abound.
CW: Tell us more about the stages. What are the highlights?
MR: Stage 1 of the Grand Enduro features the world famous Ribbon Trail which giving you an incredible moon like landscape, vistas of the whole Grand Valley, and a 7-10 minute brake burner downhill with several challenging technical features, some cliff exposure, and runs with multiple technical lines. Midway through this stage you’ll enter the Wine Glass featuring speeds approaching 50 mph. At the bottom part of this section is a radar gun to catch the fastest of each category.
Stage 2 is the Gunny Loop with lots of technical features, high speed rocky sections, and a lot of tight turns. The lower part of the Gunny Loop is fast, with loose rock, and tight squeezes. Be prepared with what you need in case of a flat and save some juice for the uphill at the end.
Stage 3 begins on Free Lunch, the first purpose built free ride trail built on public land in the United States. This 3rd and final stage features multiple play areas and various lines, making it essential to pre-ride this to choose which line is best for you. Then comes a rowdy section called Pucker Up including drops, a wall ride, and Cathedral Rock area with a gnarly drop. There is a walking bypass for those not comfortable dropping in on this feature.
CW: Racers are encouraged to bring their families. Tell us more about some of the things to do in the area before and after the race.
MR: We encourage people to make this into a family trip. The beginning of June is one of the best times to visit the Grand Valley with great weather and endless fun activities.
Beginning May 26, Grand Junction hosts of the Junior College Baseball World Series (JUCO). Mike the Headless Chicken Festival on May 31st is a super fun family festival in Fruita, CO. This festival is dedicated to the amazing story of one chicken’s will to live.
Finally, in downtown Palisade, CO, more than 100 bikes from near and far will be on display for the The Unknown Motorcycle Show. Admission and parking are free along with live music, contests, and fun for the kids!
CW: What sort of festivities are planned?
MR: Less than a mile away from the finish line is where the MADness will begin and end at the event venue and also Stage 2 sponsor, the Handlebar Tap House, serving up gourmet burgers and craft beer. There will be vendors, live music, and games featured Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon.
CW: Where can people stay? Are there motel discounts? Camping nearby?
MR: Amazing camping is available just across the street from the venue at The Camp. You’d never know while at your tucked away camp site that you are a 2 minute walk from restaurants and a shopping plaza with a grocery store, liquor store, pet store, and more! Several hotels offer discount rates throughout the weekend. Details will be included in the Grand Enduro digital guidebook viewable at www.grandenduro.com
CW: The Colorado National Monument is nearby. Tell us a little about the park and the history of the area.
MR: The Monument, as locals refer to it a gorgeous plateau of sheer walls, steep canyons, pinyon, and sage protected by the National Park Service. It hosts tons of wildlife, including red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, desert bighorn sheep, and coyotes. It’s great place for a scenic drive or camping at many locations throughout The Monument.
CW: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
MR: This is a super down to earth, fun, and exciting weekend event. All are welcome, we love meeting new participants and their families each year.
June 1-2 — Grand Enduro, Grand Junction, CO, 3rd Annual, Race the top 3 trails of the Lunch Loops (Ribbon, Gunny, and Free Lunch) with amazing views in the background. This is the only race on the Ribbon… come see what it's like to ride up to 50mph on a big slab of rock! 22-35 minutes of racing over 6.2 miles of trail. 2.5-4 hours of total ride time covering ~22 miles., John Klish, 970-744-4450, [email protected], madracingcolorado.com