By Kent Robertson
After a one-day rain delay, the 11th annual Fears, Tears, and Beers Enduro got underway under threatening skies in Ely, Nevada on June 12th. With the base start/finish headquarters in Broadbent Park in Ely sitting just under 6500’ above sea level any and all kinds of weather can be expected in early June. And 2016 did not disappoint.
The Great Basin Trails Alliance has been pulling this race off with a small, but dedicated, group of passionate members since 2006. Originally conceived by Kalem Lenard, an enthusiastic land manager and Mark Weaver, an old cross country mtb racer-turned motorcycle enduro rider, they developed a unique (at the time) race format patterned after ISDE motorcycle enduro qualifiers where riders climb on beautiful single track at their own pace, then raced for time on multiple, mostly downhill sections of fast, twisty, narrow and occasionally hairy, untrammeled Eastern Nevada trails.
Since that time, enduro mountain bike racing has swept the country, but the Fears Tears and Beers was likely the first of its kind in North America and continues to be one of the hardest, and most fun, races around. Pick a loop based on your skill level and how far you want to ride and you’ll ride from 10 miles with under 1000 feet of climbing for the Fun Loop and two timed stages to over 40 miles and 6000 feet of climbing and seven timed stages for the pros. Beginner class riders do 17 miles and 2000’ of climbing with three timed sections, Sport class adds another seven miles, 1000’, and an additional stage on to that, while the Experts do that whole loop on Ward Mountain plus an additional loop to the top of Squaw peak adding another 1,800’ of climbing and two more timed sections, including the infamous Whore House Hill final descent.
About 115 racers turned out for this annual beat down, with nearly 90 riders braving the rain delay and competing on in the postponed event. Despite a challenging mix of rain, mud, wind, lightning hail, and sun the race went off without any major hitches and all had a good time and were treated to some good old fashioned Ely hospitality. The after race dinner and awards ceremony and raffle were sponsored by the Jail House Hotel and Casino. Other major sponsors include Hubsessed Cycle Works out of Ogden Utah, Robinson Nevada Mines Corp, Mt. Wheeler Power, Aaron Crowder of Highliners MTB, and the White Pine County Tour and Recreation Board.
After a full day of intense racing (and casual chilling…. This is enduro afterall) Jeremiah Newman took home the top pro men’s trophy and cash prize, with Eon Jarvis placing 2nd, and William Marks finishing third. In the pro women, Katherine Teubner took home first, with Ana Rodriquez, and Ahmi Bryant finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
For full results, see the results page in this issue. Check out all the talk, pictures and results on the Fears Tears and Beers Facebook page.