A few weeks ago a few of the MTB Experience race team members completed the Mad River Enduro. This Enduro is so popular it sold out in 4 hours. Upon registering all racers were prepped for what was to come their way with this disclaimer:

These trails are steep and mostly raw and will likely be dry this time of year. The local community has been excited to say the least for this developing, legal place to ride. The trails are all hand built and inherently steep with mostly natural features and hazards off the trail. We ask that you use your best judgement and know before you go. There are several places it could go wrong. This race requires that full face helmets be worn when riding your bike during practice and race day. We hope everyone has a great time and keeps it safe and clean.

There is steep then there is holy guacamole welcome to Humboldt with raw rooty chutes dodging trees kind of steep.

Here are the thoughts of Sara, Emilie, Kim and Jeni with her damn broken ankle reflecting back on such an amazing event.

Pre-ride: The day started with old schooling shuttling of throwing bikes into the backs of trucks climbing in and hanging on to the top of the stage starts. That climb was no joke and so incredibly grateful for the all day shuttling. Not to mention they had the BEST aid station ever. PICKLES AND BACON PEOPLE.

Emilie and Jeni getting their pre-ride on

Sara: Race vibes start in the shuttle line, no cuts no butts no coconuts!

Kim: We started off on what we thought was stage 1 – turns out it was stage 4 and we needed to make a turn where the trail was taped off to stay on stage 1. What tape? I saw no tape. Go back for any other try – there’s tape EVERYWHERE.

EmilieOMG pickles! 
Stage 1 practice: Kim and Emilie are waiting for Jeni after a very steep drop. Emilie turns to watch the drop for Jeni and sees her bike rolling/crashing off the road at the bottom of the drop, assumes Jeni was on it and went flying off somewhere, gets ready to sprint over, then sees Jeni sliding down the drop on her butt.
Jeni later talking to her bike “We can’t both make it down this. You go.” (when we return to those trails, both Jeni and her bike will be riding down that shit like nobody’s bizness)

Jeni: We rode one stage and I announced I shouldn’t be racing this Enduro. I am pretty sure my ankle called me an asshole.

To which Sara responds, “You have ridden ONE stage.” Jeni then spends the entire night before the race trying to get her bike stolen or food poisoning so she doesn’t have to race. Sushi with loads of gluten anyone?

Stage 1

Kim and Emilie waiting at the stage start. The stage starts were like like a fun party in the woods.

Sara: It’s never too late to scratch in a race track!

Kim: Definitely the weirdest stage. Bike-body separation: engaged. 

Emilie: Crying from laughing so hard while waiting for this stage to start…
11 year-old Ellis Gerstein to Jeni, “Your grips are on wrong.”
Jeni, “Oh really? It’s okay, I can just twist it around.”
**Everyone on the mountain stops what they’re doing and looks at Jeni**
Jeni, “I have a multi-tool! Everyone stop looking at me!”

Jeni: No need to stare people. On this stage I had the pleasure of having the sweep behind me witnessing my humiliation of running certain sections. He was so supportive, ” Ooohh this is steep but it’s ok you can do it- oh or that works to you. You do you!”

Stage 2:


Sara: Put on a hat and hold the f*ck onto it. Flowy and steep, once you drop in there’s no stopping..or maybe that just means I’m due for a brake bleed. Took the go-around option on the ‘lil g-out, hecklers weren’t expecting it and I had to dodge a dog chillin’ in my line.

The crew

Jeni: Sport/Beginner didn’t have to race this stage. When we asked Sara what it was like she said,”Steep.” All I could think is the other stages are mother f-ng steep, what was that one?!

Emilie: I was told it wasn’t as bad as Stage 3…um, okay….???

Stage 3:

Emilie charging

Sara: If you saw a gnome you weren’t going fast enough. Who needs two feet on the pedals anyway? 

Kim: Best spectators on this run – made me feel like I was the best mountain biker in the world!! “You got this!” “Good job!” “”Nice!”

Kim looking good on stage 3

Jeni: One of the spectators yelled out as I slid down a section not on my bike, “I did that on crutches.”

Stage 4

Sara: 6 pickles deep..

 Kim: Started out missing the first turn and running straight into tape. What is it with me and tape? Get to a steep drop off at a road crossing- came in set up poorly. Spectators: “You got this!” Me: “I most definitely don’t got this – not trying to die today”.  Push my bike back up the steep entry and take the go around so I don’t embarrass myself again. Spend the rest of my run chasing after Jeni who started the stage behind me and passed me at the drop off. 

Jeni: Managed to stay on my bike almost the entire stage until I stalled out in between two trees and could not get down a root drop in front of the finish stake. My hands weren’t releasing those brakes for nothing. This also bottlenecked Kim. I am that racer.

Stage 5:

Kim: Last stage before Beer:30!

Sara enjoying the climb up to stage 5

Emilie: Someone yelled “Go, Sara!” to which I responded “I’m her sister!!” Felt pretty damn good about myself for a hot minute. 


This was seriously such a fun day! The race organizers of this event are so nice and we can’t wait to come back with a herd of women ready to race!!

Emilie rockin’ 3rd place