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Pemberton Enduro set for Saturday

Roughly 150 riders expected for race



Spring is prime time for riding up in Pemberton.

With riders itching to get back on their bikes, the Pemberton Enduro is set to be one of the first major races of the year in the Sea to Sky.

Organizer Ian Kruger of the Pemberton Off-Road Cycling Association (PORCA) said plans for the April 29 race were coming together.

"We're in a good space. The trails are really good right now. As with any event where you invite 150-ish people, there's a bit of anxiety about making sure everything's going to flow, but I think we're doing pretty well," he said.

The map for every stage except the first (which will be a day-of-race surprise) was released on Trailforks on April 22. Kruger hopes it's a setup that's appealing to a wide variety of racers.

"We tried to get a little of everything in terms of both ability as well as trail styles," he said. "I think there is something for everyone. The pros aren't going to feel like it's too easy and I don't think our intermediate riders — there will be a few sections that will definitely challenge them — but in general, it's definitely slightly easier than last year in terms of technical ability. It might be slightly shorter, so hopefully we continue to hit the sweet spot."

Kruger said the goal was to get to 150 racers this year, though an early glitch limited registration to last year's cap of 100. That's been fixed and there were still a few spots left as of April 24.

"I had always hoped to bump it up to 150 this year. It was just a matter of literally changing the number in the computer," he said. "We're around 130 right now, so there are a few spots still available for sure. Ideally, we fill up but if we don't, it's not the end of the world. The emphasis is just having a good time. It's not to be taken too seriously.

"What I hope people see (in) the format is (that) you're basically just going for a bike ride with your friends and you get to do some racing in between."

In terms of the general scene in Pemberton, Kruger noted the early spring is an ideal time to come up and get some pedalling in.

"This is one of our prime times because the trails in Whistler haven't opened up yet and in terms of trail quality, this is one of the best times to be riding around Pemberton. Things are off the hook," he said. "We've got lots of people coming from out of town on weekends. We've got lots of people coming from Whistler seven days a week.

"Our Toonies have really good reception and the women's nights for our bike club have been overwhelmingly successful. We're stoked on that and we're trying to maintain that momentum and try to keep it local and grassroots."

Kruger said the race would benefit both PORCA and the Pemberton Valley Trail Association.

"It's a great event, but it's (also) a membership drive for both organizations," he said.