"The Golden Tour" of the California Enduro Series

Posted by on

Words by Ryan Gardner @gofastgardner

The Golden Tour is a “series within a series” representing the most technical and difficult races of the California Enduro Series. The first stop of this year’s Golden Tour brought me to China Peak resort, deep within the Sierra Mountains east of Fresno, California. The terrain at China Peak has become well known over the past few years as both the California Enduro Series and the Pro GRT DH series has made stops here. The entire hill is made of granite in various stages of decay testing racers with steep, rough tracks and minimal traction in the dusty corners. This year the late winter added a new feature, mud bogs which seemed to grow exponentially from practice to race runs, dotted a few of the stages. The variable terrain made for tricky tire selection. There were a ton of Vigilantes and Breakouts roaming around, but I decided to run the full mullet with a tough/high grip vigilante up front and a tough/high grip Riddler in the rear. Pump those baby’s up to 32psi each and I felt comfortable that I could smash my way through China Peaks gnarliest rock gardens while still rolling fast enough to buy me some time on the pedally stages of the weekend.

It turned out that even a fast rolling tire like the Riddler wasn’t enough to save my legs after a tough week of work and too much sitting! After three days of meetings I got up early on Thursday, flew to Los Angeles for yet another meeting, flew home to the Oakland Airport at 9pm, hopped in the van, and made the 4-hour drive directly to China Peak. I did what I could to get my head back in the game during practice on Friday, but the pop just didn’t seem to be there. My suspicions were confirmed during the first few stages of race day. I was riding well and my Process 153 was feeling perfect, but I just couldn’t summon the power to make up time on the long pedally sections. Lucky for me China Peak kept my favorite stage from last year, a long, rocky and mostly downhill track that includes some long open sections of exposed rock slab that were riotously fun. After making up some serious time on stage 4 and crawling back into the top 5 it was time to take on the much talked about stage 5.

This stage was new for 2017, lovingly cut by hand by fellow racer Evan Turpin earlier that week. Everyone agreed this track was the hardest yet raced at any CES event. It was steep, rocky, and completely blown out by race day. I knew there was only so much you could push in the upper section which had steep chutes into tight corners filled with light fluffy decomposed granite. Even in these tough conditions the Vig/Riddler combo was doing work and allowed me to get through the anti-grip corners with good speed. I took it clean and consistent and then opened it up a bit towards the bottom and was stoked to take the second fastest time of the day and move myself up to 4th overall.

I was more than happy to take home some points and some confidence at a traditionally tough race for me. Plus, I got my first novelty check which will be proudly hung in the garage. Now it’s time to take a few weeks to tune the motor and get ready for the next race of the series as I make the move south to Big Bear Lakes in a few weeks.

CES Golden Tour kona kona bikes ryan gardner wtb

← Older Post Newer Post →

News

RSS
Tags
#Adventure #Explore #TBT #TheCommute 10 miles range 1969 Pontiac LeMans 1982 1982 Toe Flilps 1985 NORBA 1985 NORBA Championship 1985 NORBA Nationals 1985 Punk Bike Enduro 1985 WTB Fixed Angle Seatpost 1986 Rockhopper Race 1987 WTB 1988 Mountain Bike Action 1988 mountain bike tire 1988 WTB Chainstay Protector 1989 1989 Ground Control Extreme 1989 mountain bike tire 1990 Ground Control Extreme 1990 mountain bike tire 1991 Mountain Bike 1991 mountain bike tire 1992 Mountain Bike 1993 1994 Phoenix 1994 Reebok Eliminator 1995 MTB 1996 1996 Olympics 1996 Olympics Mountain Biking 1996 Squaw Valley AMBC 1997 Fat Tire Festival 1997 Squaw Valley Downhill Mountain Bike Race 1997 Team Diamondback 1997 UCI World Cup 1999 WTB 200 2013 WEMBO 2013 WEMBO Solo 24 hour Mountain Bike Championships 2014 Old Pueblo 2014 race season 2014 Tour de France 2014 Tour de France Cadel Evans 2016 2017 24 hour 24 Hour Nationals 24 hour racing 24 hour world champ 24 Hour World Championships 24 Hours of the Enchanted Forest 24 hr 24hr 24hr Racing 24hr Solo 24hr Solo Single Speed World Champ 24hr Solo SS Champion 24hrs in the Old Pueblo 26" vigilante 27 plus 27+ 27.5 27.5 x 2.8 27.5+ 27Plus 29+ 3 Ring Circus Race 3 Shell Sizing System 4-Lungs 44 Bikes 650b 8th Annual Supermarket Street Sweep a journey beyond Abiquiu abner kingman Abner Kingman Photography Absolute Bikes Adventure adventure by bike adventure_by_bike advocate African Savanna alaska All Mountain alleycat benefit Alleycat Charity alleycat food drive Alp d'Huez Alpine Trail AM AMB 100 AMB100 Amendment Brewing American Breezer American Carbon amy morrison Andes Pacifico Andes Pacifico Enduro Andy Stockman Angel Island Derby angler anita gehrig Annadel State Park Anneke Beerten Annette Rose Antelope Wells Anthony Medaglia Appetite Seminar April Fools April Fools Derby Archive ariel lindsley Arizona Arizona Trail Arizona Trail Race Arizona Trail Race 750 arkansas Arnold Zhang Arrowhead 135 Ashland Ashland Mountain Adventures Ashland Mountain Challenge Ashland Oregon Ashland Spring Thaw Ashland Super D Ask Us Anything aspen athlete Auburn Bike Company ausangate Australia Australian Mountain Bike Austria Axial Axial Racing axialfest AXLPATH AZT 2014 AZT 750 AZT 750 Record AZTR B Road B+ Back in the day Back in the day when I was young I'm not a kid anymore back in the day when I was young I'm not a kid anymore but sometimes I sit and wish I was a kid again. Backdoor Backflip canyon gap rampage Backyard Bicycle Company backyard organic Ballooner Banff bantam classic Bart Taylor Bay Area Super Presitge BCBR beacon becky gardner Bee Line Belgium Bellingham Bellingham WA Ben Cruz ben hammer bentonville Bespoke Cycles Bicycle Advocacy Bicycle Breakfast Bicycle Derby Bicycle Touring Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay bicycle trends Bidwell Bump Big Cyclocross Tire Big Granite Trail Big Mountain Enduro Big Ride Big Ripper Big Sur biggest backflip rampage biggest backflip red bull rampage bike adventure Bike Bags bike fishing Bike Fit bike hunt Bike Mag Bike Magazine Bike Monkey Bike Packing Bike Park Bike Park Wales Bike touring bikefishing bikehunt Bikepack Bikepacking bikepacking pack list Bikepacking Regret Bikepacking singletrack Bikerumor Bill Roussel BioPace Blackburn blackburn ranger Blackhawk Pass Blister Gear Review BLM bme BME Crested Butte BME Keystone BME Moab BME Snowmass Bob Poor Bobby McMullen Boggs Boggs 8 Hour Bomber Bomber Cage bombtrack Brad Benedict Brake Squeal Breakout Breakout 2.3 Breakout 2.3 tire Breakout tire Breakout tires Breeze & Angell Breezer Brett Bellchambers brevet Brian Lopes brian ohlen Brian Raphael bridger British Columbia Broken Pelvis broken sacrum Bronson brown trout BTI buddy buddy newman Buena Vista Bunyan Velo Butcher Ranch CA Cabo Verde Cadel Evans California Enduro Series Cam Falconer CamelBak Cameron Falconer cameron sanders Camp Tamarancho Campbell River Camping Canada canada to mexico Canberra Cannibal 1.8 Cannibal 2.2 Cannibal 2.2 Gray Cannibal/S 1.95 Gray Cannondale Cannondale Big Ride Cannondale Over Mountain Cannondale Overmountain Cannondale Overmountain Team cannondale synapse Canterbury Cantilever Cantilever Brakes Cantilevers Canyon Gap Rampage Canyonlands Fat Tire Festival Carbon Carbon Cargo Bike Cargo Bike Carl Gooding caro gehrig Cascade Bicycle Club Cascade Cream Puff Casey Kunselman Cass Gilbert Castle Hill Catwalk ces Chain Pup Chain Tool Challenge champion championships Changhua Charlie Cunningham Charlie Kelly chiang mai chiang rai ChicoBag Chile Chilean Andes Chileno Valley Road China China Peak CHIRU Chocolate Thunder Chris Chance Chris Feucht Chris King Chris King Precision Components Chris Lawrence Chris Wright Christchurch Christine Vardaros christmas christmas gift guide Chromaculture Chuckanut ci24 Ci24 Rim CID cisco grove Claire Mechtly Clayton Wangbichler Climbing Harness Clunker Clunkers Clunking CO Trail Coconino 250 cody Coil Suspension Coilovers Collector's Item Collegiate Range Colloidal Colorado Colorado Cyclery Colorado Trail Colorado Trail Race columbia Comfort Zone Comfort-Zone grips Compact Speedmaster Compact Toggle Cam compliance confidence inspiring Contest Cory Wallace Cottonwood Coyote Classic Craigieburn Crawl Ratio Crested Butte Cross Boss cross wolf Crossroads II Cruiser Cup CTR CTR 2013 Custom Custom Carbon custom cargo bike Custom Wheels cycling fashion Cycling Festival Cyclocross Cyclocross World Championships dagger Dan Milner dan riey dan wolfe Daniel Carruthers daniel riley danimal Dave House Deb Hubsmith Decline Deja Vu all over again Derby Derby Bowl Derby Ride desert bikepacking Desert Raptor Deva Deva Saddle Deva SLT Devo Devo saddle Devo SLT DH dirt Dirt Bomb Dirt Drop dirt fest Dirt Jumping Dirt Jumps Dirt Rag Dirt Road Adventure dirt road riding Dirt Tour Dirt Touring Dirt Works Dirt Works Australia dirtrag Dirty Kanza Dirty Sanchez Enduro Disciples of Dirt Discovolante distance racing do you even enduro? Don McClung Downhill Downieville Downieville CA Downieville Classic Downieville Downhill Downieville tire combo Drift Drop bar Drop bar dirt drop bar MTB Drop Bar offroad Drop Media Dropper post DTS DTS Enduro Dual Slalom Durango 1987 Nationals Durango CO Durango Nationals Durango to Denver dZi Foundation early mountain bikes Early Saddle Sizing Eastern Sierra Econoline Econoline Saddle EH El Silencio Elite Urban Armor Elk ellsworth Enchilada Enduro endurance endurance gravel endurance racing Enduro Enduro des Hautes Vosges enduro pack Enduro Racing Enduro World Series England Epic Cymru Epic Wheel Works Eric Koski Erik Koski Esky essense barton europe evan smith evan's cycles Evil Peter Evolution Point EWS ews 5 EWS 6 EWS Chile EWS Crankworx ews pro EWS Scotland EWS Tweedlove ews whistler experience Explore exposure 30 exposure 32 Extra Extra Wide hub Extra-Wide hub Fabien Barel Facial Hair factory racing Fairfax Fairfax CA Fairfax California Fairfax Cyclery Falconer Falconer Cycles Fall Ride Fanny pack Fast Freddy Falk Fat Boy 1.25 Fat Chance Fat Tire Festival Fatbike file finale finale ligure First 29" tire First Divide Trail fishing Fitzgerald's Fitzgerald's Bicycles Fitzy Fixed Angle Seatpost Flagstaff Flathead Fat Tires florida Flow fly fishing Fooses Creek Trail ford Fort Collins Fox Racing Shox Fox Suspension Frame Builder France Fred Cauthen Fred Falk Fred Glo Freedom Freedom Bicycle French Cup Frequecy i25 Frequency Frequency i19 Frequency i19 29" Team TCS rim Frequency i19 Team Frequency i23 Frequency i25 Frequency rim Frequency TCS Frequency TCS i19 Frequency Team Fresh Air Bicycles Frozen Hub fuji Gailbraith gak galaxy saddle Gallup New Mexico gardner Gary Fisher Gary Fisher Big Sur Gary Forest Gary Forrest Gary Gleason GC Gearing Genco Mongolia Bike Challenge Genghis Khan Geoff Kabush Georgia Pass Gestalt Haus gift guide gifts Gila Gila National Forest Gila Reroute Gina Hall girls who ride Global Measuring System GMS Gnar Go Beyond Go Big GOATS Gobi Desert goggle man Golden Tour Goose Grease Goose Greaser Gooseberry Mesa Goosebury Mesa Gooser GPM gpp gpp growler grinder graeagle Graegle Graphite Grass Valley Gravel Gravel Grinding Gravel Race gravel racing Gravel Riding gravel tire gravel tires Gravel Touring gravier gravity ireland enduro series Gravy Wheels Gray Eagle Lodge Grease Guard Grease Guard BB Grease Guard Bottom Bracket grease guard hubs Grease Guard Press Fit Grease Guard Pressed In Grease Guard Tandem Grease Guard Tandem Hub Great Divide Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewardship Green Bay Packers Greg Biber Greg Gleason Greg Minnaar Grinnell Grip Master GripMaster Gripmaster Dual Compound Grit & Thistle Film Company Grit and Thistle Grit Clinics Grizzlies Grizzly Ground Control Ground Control 1.95 Ground Control S Ground Control Tire Ground Control/S 1.95 Ground Control/S 1.95 Gray Grundig UCI World Cup GU guide Guitar Ted Hammer Handles Hand Made Frame handcycle Handmade Hank and Frank Bicycles Hank and Frank Lafayette Hardpack Hardpack II 1.8 Hardpack II 2.2 Hardpack tire harlan price hayduke Hebberd hellbiking helltrack High School Mountain Bike Racing High School Racing high tail Historic MTB Historic Sea Otter Historic WTB History of Enduro Hite Rite Hite-Rite Hodaka holiday Holstein 100 horizon Hotlines Hotlines UK how-to Hunter Cycles Hunter Fresh Air Hunter FreshAir Huntsman XXX I-Beam i23 Ian Schmitt Ibis Idaho iF Design Indian Ridge Trail Ines Thoma Infineon Raceway Injury Inner Mongolia Interbike Interbike 1992 Interbike 1993 Interbike 1994 Interbike 1999 Interbike 2014 Interbike 2015 Internal Frame Pump Interwolf 38 Iran Iran by bicycle IRC Missle ireland Ischgl Challenge Ischgl OverMountain Challenge Issue 0295 Italy Jackhammer Jackson Hole Jamie Goldman Jamis Jannine Fitzgerald Jason Fellman Jason Moeschler Jason Sager Jay P Jay Petervary JayP JayP AZT Jeff Herbertson Jeff Kendal-Weed Jeff Kendall-Weed Jeff McWhinney Jeffrey Herbertson Jen Burt Jeremiah Newman Jeremy Rozen Jerome Clementz Jerrabomberra Jet Black 24 JetBlack JetBlack 24 JetBlack 24hr Jim Cummins Joanna Peterson joanna petterson Joe Breeze Joe Kott Joe Lawwill Joe Murray Joe Peterson Joey Peterson John Cowan John Kress Johnson Valley OHV jordan carr julie tickle Jump Jam Pro Class Jump Jam Results Junuary Jurgen Beneke Justin Schwartz Kali Protectives Kamikaze kamikaze games Kangaroo kansas kanza Karpiel Karpiel Disco Kat Sweet Katerina Nash Katie Compton Kennebec Pass Kenny Burt kenya keystone resort killian callaghan king of kanza King of the Hammers King of the Hammers 2014 kitsbow kitsbow venture van Klunker Klunkers Klunking koda KOH KOH 2014 KOH 2015 Kokomo Pass kokopelli trail KOM KOM i23 KOM i23 29 KOM rim KOM rims Kona Kona 2015 Kona 2015 Launch kona adventure team Kona Bicycles kona bikes Kona demo Kona RIDE 2015 Kona WO Koski krampus KRD Imports Kris Henry Kris Sneddon Kyle Warner Kyrgyzstan L.A. La Bresse Laguna Seca Raceway Lake Davis Lake Davis gravel riding Lake Sonoma Lake Sonoma Ricochet Lake Tahoe to San Francisco Lakes Basin Lakes Basin Campground Landscape photography lani bruntz Lapierre bikes Lapierre Spicy Larkspur Larkspur Canyon Gang Lars Sternberg Laser V LaserBeam LaserDisc Laura O'Meara Laura Omeara Lauren Gregg LD stem Leadville Leadville 100 Leo Pershall Les 2 Alpes Les 2 Alps Les Deux Alps Letter from Mark Weir Levi Leipheimer Limantour Beach Lindsey Voreis Links Liv Ladies AllRide Tour Loam locator Locking Tubeless Locking Tubeless Rims Long Term Advocacy los angeles lost Lost & Found Lost & Found race Lost & Found Recap Lost Park Rally louisa sussman lourdes Love Enduro Racing Low Lucy Macmillan lukla Made in the US Made in the USA Made in US Made in USA Madesino mae hong son Mammoth Mammoth Games Mammoth Kamikaze Mammoth Kamikaze Games Mammoth Mountain Manitou marc maurer Marcel Hagener marco Marco Osborne Marilyn Price Marin Bikes Marin Bikes Factory Store Marin County Marin County CA Marin County Food Bank Marin Food Bank Marin Headlands Marin Independent Journal Marin Knobular Mark Horrowitz mark scott Mark Slate Mark Stevenson Mark Weir Mark Weir Accident Mark Weir Injured Mark Weir Injury Mark Weir Oak Mark Weir Oak Tree Mark Weir Ranch Mark Weir Thank You Marla Streb Mary Moncorge Matt Hebberd Maurice Tierney Max Plaxton Maxime Marotte MBC mbo MBUK McLaren Bike Park McLaren Short Track Challenge Meatsauce Cycles Mega Megavalanche Mendocino Merida Cup Mick Hannah Midnight Oil midweek Mike Johnson Mike Rust Milan Cizinsky Mill Valley Mill Valley CA Mills Peak Miners Mountain Bike Team mini bike races Minus Sized Tires Mixed Terrain bicycle tires Moab Moab UT Moab Utah Modified Modified Drop Bar Modified Pump Modified Seat Tube Pump Molas Pass Mom Arm Monarch Crest Trail Mongolia Bike Challenge Mongolian Steppes Monster Cross Monster T Montana More Extreme 1.95 More Extreme/S Gray 1.95 More Extreme/S Gray 2.5 Moto Moto 2.4 Moto Rapter Moto tire Moto X Moto-X Moto-X Clamp-On Mount Tam Apparel mountain bike Mountain Bike Action Mountain Bike Camps Mountain Bike Coaching mountain bike fashion Mountain Bike Germany Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Mountain bike history Mountain Bike Magazine Mountain Bike Oregon mountain bike skills camp mountain biking Mountain Biking UK Mountain Lion Mountain Lions Moustache Cycles MP250 MP250 Stealth Pedal Mr. Dirt Mt Elwell Mt Stromlo Mt Tam Mt Tamalpais mt. tam Mt. Tamalpais MTB MTB drift MTB Hall of Fame MTB History MTB Skills Clinic MTBR mud spike multi width saddle multi-day Multivan Merida Mutano Mutano 2.4 Mutano 2.4 Race Mutano 44 Mutano Raptor Mutano Raptor 44/44 700c MutanoRaptor Myles Rockwell NAHBS nano nano 2.1 Nano 2.1 29 Nano 2.1 29" TCS Nano 2.1 Race Nano 2.1 TCS Nano 29 Nano 40 Nano 40 Race nano 40 tan wall Nano 40 TCS Nano 40c Nano 40c Race Nano 44 Nano 44/40 Nano Raptor Nano Raptor 1.85 Nano TCS Nanoraptor NanoRaptor 2.1 29 Napa Knobular