I am Asher Weinberg and I am 12 years old. This past weekend I raced the Big Mountain Enduro Finals in Crested Butte with my dad chaperoning me, as I was the youngest racer in the field and had never done an enduro race before.
For day one the courses were Doctor Park and Cement Mountain to Rosebud. We started at Spring Creek at the bottom of Doctor Park. The climb up was easy because we took it pretty slow. Going slow like this was new to me. I have raced cross country and downhill but, never enduro. In enduro racing only the downhills are timed so you try and save as much energy as you can while climbing. When we got to the top we waited a while for the juniors to start. (Juniors start last.) We ate a lot of food and drank a lot of water. Sometime around noon I was in the start gate. They counted down from five and then said gO! I was able to stay calm in the start because of my background in ski racing. I headed down Doctor Park. Right when I started I could tell it was going to be a hard race. I got into the first trees and followed the line I had picked out before. I’ve ridden this trail six times this summer in preparation for the race. Next I got into the section with the switchbacks. I was still going as fast as I could. After this was a little uphill to the traverse, I was pedaling the whole time. Five minutes later I was sprinting onto the climb in the middle of the course. I was going so hard I thought I was going to throw up. Finally I raced the last switch backs and to the bottom. I had passed four people who had started at thirty second intervals ahead of me! I even had a loose quick reIease on my rear wheel and my dad made me stop in the middle of the downhill to fix it. I thought Doctor Park was the hardest downhill stage because it was so long. It took me 18:42 to get down. The fastest pro man did it in 15:09. I was 11th out of 29 12-16 year old boys in that stage.
After Doctor’s, we climbed up Roaring Judy road to the next downhill stage. This was the hardest climb in the race and hardest climb I’ve ever done in my life. It took about two and a half hours of mostly hike a bike of 20 miles and almost 4000 vertical feet. I’m really glad my dad was along to keep me fed and make me drink. Next we went up Cement Mtn. Trail to a high point were the downhill started. I got there before most of my group and no one was starting so I went. I had never ridden this trail before. Cement Mtn. Trail was steep and rocky. It has drop offs and and loose rolling rocks everywhere. Then there was a right hand turn onto Rosebud. Rosebud is a very high speed downhill with some unexpected loose sections. I felt good and smooth throughout this section carrying a lot of speed. At the bottom I blew through a creek and went right through the finish. My dad and my older friend Dillan were there at the finish with me. We rode down the rest of Rosebud to Spring Creek Road where we drove back to Crested Butte. That was the end of Day One. I was very tired and went to bed at 8:00 that night.
The courses for the second day were to ride up Warm Springs from Cement Creek, up the Wall on Walrod, and then up 405.2A and down 409.5. I had never been on either of these trails. That was the first stage of the day. The last stage of the race was Teocalli Ridge which I had ridden the weekend before.
Going up Warm Springs and Walrod would usually be pretty hard climb but it felt like nothing after going up Roaring Judy the day before. I had a pretty smooth run on 409.5 but my dad lost his brakes and I bet that was very scary. My dads brakes made it so he could not ride Teo with me. Luckily my uncle Morgan was already there watching and had his bike stuff on so he rode Teo with me. We took it easy up the climb to save energy for the final downhill of the weekend. The downhill was hard because I was so tired and there was a lot of fast pedaling. I still had some energy so I was able to pass two women that were in a category farther up than me because I had started early again. When I got to the bottom my family and a few of my friends were there to watch and cheer me on. I passed the last corner, my timing chip beeped as I went through the finish line and I was so happy I was done and in 7th place for the weekend in my category. 16 of the original 29 in my 12-16yr old category finished the race. My goal at the start of the weekend was to finish the race so I was really excited to be in the top ten! I think my first BME race was a good experience and I hope to race more next year!