The Second Round of the SEER Hard Enduro Series took place in Young Harris, Georgia at the Rockcrusher Farm. The weather was absolutely perfect for the 4-hour day of racing and 161 riders lined up from 17 different states.
I found myself on the second row in the Silver 35+ class with 18 other classmates. A punctual on-time start sent the Gold class off the line at 10 AM and promptly one minute later we were heading into the 4.5-mile course starting in the pit area with an exceptionally well-designed Endurocross section.
The features were technical but wide enough for multiple line options and side-by-side racing. We quickly went into the woods and onto the freshly cut, extremely tight, off-camber single track.
With over 1000ft of vertical elevation to the property we climbed and dropped several zones allowing for the race order to sort itself out before the first trail split dividing the Gold/ Silver riders from the Bronze/Iron class at what was referred to as Hill 10.
Upon arrival at hill 10, the Gold class was still working their way through the loose rocky ravine, requiring multiple riders to immediately realize that some teamwork would be the only way to clear out of the first special test.
As several of the Silver riders from the 16-34 class had now joined our row the first 15 of the silver class riders were watching the mid and last of the Gold class riders and preparing to team up with their fellow classmates to work our way up the now deteriorating section.
A spring was hiding under the rocky valley and with each Gold Class rider through produced more mud on the roots and rock faces. By the time I and the early Silver class riders were finally attempting the most technical section of this hill the race promoter Adam McCluskey and a few other course workers had arrived to add reinforcements to the section workers to try and clear the bottleneck.
Roughly an hour later I crested the top of the section at Hill 10 and I set off down the single track once again stopping to catch my breath at the extremely steep downhill drop off next to Hill 10.
The trail sections put all of the classes back on the same path for the next few miles of Climbs and Descents as we crossed the property heading to the next split at the section known as Grahams Gorge. I have filmed the Race Recap for Adam for several years but this was my first time getting to ride the property on course and I was definitely looking forward to making it up and out of all the slimy shelves of rocks in Grahams Gorge.
I took my time to regain my composure before each technical spot to make sure I could conserve my energy and that played out better than I expected. Only needing to give one “second attempt” at the large center rock section which was probably the slickest place on the entire track.
After exiting the Gorge, the trail continued to climb up several very steep and moderately technical switchbacks as we summited the property for the second time in the first lap leading us onto the Downhill Mountain Bike section which was a fast-flowing relief allowing you to bring the heart rate down while covering some distance on the way back to the Starting check. I stopped in the pit area next to the Endurocross to grab a quick bite of a Granola Bar, swapped my goggles and gloved, and went back out for Lap two refreshed.
I made it back to Hill 10 and 3/4 of the way up the section before the 4-hour time limit ended my day. Nick Fahringer won Overall, followed by Quinn Wentzel and Jeremiah Burkhart. I finished 5th in the Silver +35 and definitely enjoyed getting to finally race this property. This is my 5th time racing a SEER event and each race I have attended has been exceptionally well executed.
As The American Hard Enduro Videographer for the AMA Series and several SEER events in the past, I have seen this sport and community grow leaps and bounds, and I can tell you that this SEER Series is doing everything right. I highly recommend trying one to anyone who is remotely interested. The class formats, sectional splits, and 4-hour time limit allow every level of rider to explore their skill set on a variety of terrain and trail. You will be challenged, you will get your money’s worth of riding, and you will find out exactly where your limits are!
Hope to see you at the next SEER event! May 28, the Nightmare Extreme!
Text: Blake Terry – American Hard Enduro
Photo Courtesy: Greg Nolf, Jared Pettinen, Carly Short