Sturdy Dirty enduro race
Whether you’re a competitive racer or a professional fun-haver, the Sturdy Dirty Enduro is an inclusive race meant for any woman who loves riding bikes outside. It’s an epic annual event that brings the women’s mountain bike community together, gives back to the trails, and is a straight-up party in the woods. This year’s race, held at Raging River in North Bend, WA, featured a petting zoo with mini ponies, men in jorts serving drinks, and the Canyon Creek Down Hill – a blue trail spicier than the Gatorade margarita I downed before dropping into the last stage. Categories ranged from Enduro Lite – including one stage and less than 1000 feet of climbing – to Pro, which had the racers completing six timed stages and climbing roughly 4,200 feet over the course of the day. Even if you skipped on the cardio and enjoyed the chair lift bike parks a little too much, there’s a category for everyone. Aid stations hosted by event sponsors were scattered across the mountain to support the women. Fellow Loam Wolf reviewer Cole Gregg was tasked with providing mimosas, delicate sandwich triangles, and guiding racers to SRAM’s masseuse or bike repair station. Other volunteers dressed up in costumes reminiscent of your sweet ol’ grandma to cheer you on. Racers donned tutus, party shirts, and even a slug. Win or lose, everyone celebrated all the sturdy women who showed up and raced their hearts out.
At first, faced with the massive group of 300 women racers, I felt intimidated – but it quickly morphed into a feeling of inspiration. My mountain bike community at home has a distortedly small ratio of women to men, even fewer women that show up to race, and to see and be surrounded by so many like-minded women who are passionate about bikes, racing, and caring for our communities was an intense feeling. With a warmed heart (might’ve been from the aid station with the whiskey and candied bacon), I did my best to bring my inspiration home to Spokane, where I hosted women’s-only enduro prep rides leading up to the Eastoberfest Enduro race at Beacon Hill. We shared laughs, ate dirt, borrowed bike tools, tackled gnarly features, and we did it all alongside each other. There was a unanimous consensus among the group, which consisted of all levels of skills and competitiveness – racing with friends is FUN! So here’s my shout-out to the ladies: whether you’re enduro-curious, love the thrill of competition, looking to grow your skills, or you’re searching for new bike buddies, the Sturdy Dirty Enduro is the race for you. And if you don’t live in the Northwest, I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone, host women’s rides, and create your own bike community! Seeing other women shredding, proving to be resilient, and being down-right STURDY inspires us to do more than we ever thought possible. We need more of us out there doing the impossible.