Black Bear Enduro

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Black Bear Enduro 2003

New location for this long standing enduro provides fun for adults and kids alike

by Mike Rudolph

Are you looking for an organized off-road motorcycle event that offers a super fun, well marked course through some great Northwest ORV trails? A competitive event where it isn’t necessarily the fastest rider who wins? A chance to ride with buddies, but without the typical crowds associated with popular poker runs? An event that offers a little bit of everything from easy going scenic trails to sections of speed and skill? Then look no further than Cascade Family M/C’s Little Bear Beginner Enduro and Black Bear Enduro coming up August 23 and 24, 2003. These events are a trail rider’s dream and touted as some of the finest off-road events the Northwest has to offer.

Cascade Family M/C has been running the Black Bear Enduro since 1991. For the past 7 years it has been held at the U.S. Forest Service Little Naches area, offering some incredible mountain riding with spectacular views of Mt. Rainier and other peaks of the Cascades. It has received the prestigious "Northwest Motorcycle Association Enduro of the Year" 5 years in a row. This year’s event will take place at Capitol Forest near Olympia, Washington, at the Middle Waddell Trailhead.

What in the world is an Enduro? Are they complicated? Do I need special equipment? These are common questions asked about enduros. An enduro is simply a trail event that puts the rider against the clock. The rider is required to maintain a certain speed average over a given course. Sometimes these speeds are slow which require the rider to ride slowly and at other times the speed averages are fast and only the best riders can keep up.

There are "secret" checkpoints out on the course. Riders are penalized for being early or late to these checkpoints. Enduros are great fun and once you try a few they are easy to ride and really don’t require any special equipment. Although it does help to have an odometer, wristwatch and a roll chart holder on your bike. Roll chart holders are plastic cases mounted to the handlebars to hold a long piece of paper that provides speed averages, mileage changes called Resets, and locations of possible checkpoints. These can be purchased from any motorcycle store for about $25.

The best way to learn about an enduro is to attend a Beginner Enduro which offers a special school that teaches the important components of a typical enduro. An experienced instructor takes the time to go over the rules, strategies and scenarios behind an enduro. Then the students ride an easy, 35 mile or so beginner enduro. The Little Bear Beginner Enduro, scheduled for Aug. 23, will have an hour long school followed by a 2.5 hour enduro. Winners will be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.

Enduros are the civilized man’s way to race or just trail ride. First of all, there is no mass start like you’d see in a Hare Scrambles event. Riders are assigned different "minutes" to start out. For instance the Beginner Enduro will have 2 riders per minute. Riders will take off at minute :01, :02, :03, etc. Since the event is run against the clock it really doesn’t matter if a rider passes you, they could be way off the mark and lose points anyway. Secondly, in some sections a rider can get ahead of schedule and come to a point that offers a rest break of a few minutes to wait for the clock to catch up. These are welcomed spots to catch a drink, talk to your buddies, or bask in the view.

So what are you waiting for? Come experience some great fun trail riding at Capitol Forest.

Cascade Family M/C is a club associated with the Northwest Motorcycle Association that organizes the Grizzly Hare Scrambles, Super Dirt Poker Run and the Black Bear/Little Bear Enduros. The club is made up of 28 families and donates countless time and money to trail repair in Northwest Forests and support issues related to preserving the sport of off road motorcycling.


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