“What do you mean no enduro?”
It is a term that is banded about across the sport but what do we mean when we refer to ‘enduro’ outside of the EWS and what does it mean for enduro mountain bike tours?
Why we don’t use the term Enduro mountain bike tours
“Enduro is a form of Mountain bike racing in which there is [sic] a number of timed downhill sections of trail, and a number of uphill transfer stages, which are not timed, but might have time limits to complete.” (Wikipedia)
Putting it simply, to us, enduro is a race discipline.
The incredible growth of the EWS over the past few years has been underpinned by the race series closely mirroring the riding we all love to do; long days in the mountains with steady climbs and testing, fast, grin-inducing descents. The affinity felt for what is, perhaps, the very essence of mountain biking, has quickly been appropriated by marketing departments.
“to us, enduro is a race discipline”
This is not without its benefits, however, and it is clear that the rise of enduro racing has allowed manufacturers to push on technology and components tenfold, creating the current crop of crazily capable machines we have at our disposal. Putting cynicism aside, this is something that benefits everyone who loves to ride, with the only (not insignificant) downsides being the ever-changing world of ‘new standards’ and marketing buzzwords.
While this situation clearly has both pros and cons we are always keen to stick to our roots. Rather than trying to align ourselves with a term that aids easy description we would rather focus on working to show our adventures with all the complexity and diversity that they really involve.
We ride trails across the world that could feature in EWS stages (and some even do!) but it is a simple and possibly lazy description that belies the depth of experience a tour can offer.
What’s wrong with ‘mountain biking’?
We’ve been operating bike tours for a long time now and riding bikes for even longer. The discipline we started enjoying was called ‘mountain biking’, then perhaps XC, trail, all mountain, enduro…you get the picture. Irrespective of terminology the trails and terrain we ride today are exactly the same as when we started. We never referred to our riding as anything other than mountain biking so why would we do anything different for our tours?
If you asked a customer to describe our journeys they might well say we offer ‘Enduro mountain bike tours’. We ride up and down, on bikes around the 140-160mm mark, but nowhere will the clock come into play except perhaps to remind us it’s time to ditch the helmet and bike for a beer, but that’s about it, honest!
“The discipline we started enjoying was called ‘mountain biking'”
For ten years we have been cherry-picking the best trails and experiences that make for the perfect journey. From our very first trips in Scotland we didn’t compromise in trail quality for the sake of simplicity. We wanted our tours to include the very best trails in the Scottish Highlands because that’s what we love riding and that’s what showcases the country best. If we then compare that to our newest adventure – a world-first bike-and-boat trip in Norway, for example, we see ourselves ten years on, but still with no compromise in trail quality, no change in riding philosophy or style.
Now don’t get us wrong, we are not having a dig at anyone for using ‘Enduro mountain bike tours’ and certainly not at enduro racing itself as we genuinely believe it is the purest from of mountain bike racing there is. We are simply trying to clear up why we don’t use the term.
If you’re a mountain biker, love exploring the world’s finest ribbons of singletrack, tantalising your taste buds, and experiencing new cultures we’re more than confident we have a tour up your street, ‘Enduro’ or not!