The first and, for much of 2020, the only mountain bike race to take place in St. Louis happened on March 14 at West Tyson County Park. Called the Chubb Enduro, it was unique to the area in that the format consisted of timed downhill stages connected by untimed uphill “transitions” (the fastest combined time on the downhills wins).
“I was nervous, being the youngest kid there,” said 14-year-old Brody Burlingame (pictured, top). “The race was exciting, and intimidating at first, because it was so sloppy and muddy that day.
“There were a couple of times that I crashed on real rocky sections. Like, I was going too fast around a corner and cut too far inside and slid out, but I got up and kept going,” he added. “I felt very accomplished to finish. I felt like I had done really good and was happy about that.”
Brody and others like him will have more chances to apply their skills at downhill racing when the Missouri Enduro Series (MES) comes to the Show-Me State in 2021. Matt Johnson, the organizer of the Chubb Enduro and founder of Loki Events, is the mastermind behind the four-race series, currently scheduled for March, April, May, and June in Steelville/Potosi, Eureka, Ironton, and Busiek.
Johnson, 49, who works as a carpenter and heavy equipment operator, has invested a significant part of his life savings in a SPORTident system to time the races he plans to host.
“Trust me, it hurt really hard after [buying] that system, because I’d planned to do a lot more enduro races [in 2020]. When COVID hit, it really socked it to me,” he said.
Despite that unexpected delay, Johnson remains confident in his investment and in the idea of MES.
“I think it’s going to bring the mountain bike community even closer,” he said, “because when you get a bunch of people together that like to do the same thing, whether it be cross country or enduro or gravel, I think it’s going to grow [the sport] even more.”
More information about the Missouri Enduro Series will be posted on the Loki Events website (lokievents.com) when available.