The first round of the 2018 Appalachian Championship Enduro Series was held in Ray, Ohio, on March 25. The event was hosted by Chillicothe Enduro Riders Association.
CERA managed to put together a tough, but fun, enduro with exceptionally good conditions.
ACES President, Kory Young, said the 63-mile course was mostly off-road. It was around 28 degrees at the start, which made the 4-mile transfer to the first section a chilly ride. Fortunately, the first test warmed riders up in a hurry with some pine forest, fast hills, and new single-track.
In some of the shady hollows a rider might hit an occasional patch of frozen soil that would get their attention, but the ridges had dust in spots.
Section 2 was in some large hardwood tracts that CERA has used off-and-on for more than 30 years. Large hill climbs in the big trees, rocky sections of gnarly trail, and some technical off-camber were part of the mix.
The third section had a sneaky in-check which kept the timekeepers on their toes. There were miles of new single-track with loads of off-camber shelf trails and loamy black soil.
Back-to-back tests 4 and 5 were a combined long-riding 11 miles in a tough section known as “the lease.” It was the most technical section of the day. Plenty of trials-like down-n-ups, super-tight fresh-cut single-track, some old logging shelf trails, and plenty of trees to hop over/ go under. The gas stop coming out of that section was a welcome sight for many.
Test 6 was started out in some clear-cut area that was very tricky with water bars and rain washes, and ended in some hardwoods with nice hills and some fast double-track.
The last test section of the day was right behind the parking area of the clubgrounds. Section 6 was classic CERA. Straight-up and straight-down single-track in a newer woods. Technical and challenging. The Romaniacs would be proud.
Unfortunately, the last section and the two checks had to be thrown due to a route card issue.
Nick Fahringer won the Overall, Open A rider Nathan Bidwell (pictured) clenched the Overall A, and Greg Hormel snagged the Overall B from the 30+ B class.
2017 ACES Overall Champion Robbie Jenks rode a hard and fast ride but struggled with pace after damaging two brake systems while hauling the mail in the tight trees.
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The next round of ACES, the Lost in Lodi Enduro, is scheduled for April 8 in Shade, OH. The event is hosted by the Lost in Lodi Enduro Grou
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