Jess Enlund shares the excitement of the DME...
When the entry date for the Dodzy Memorial Enduro rolled round I was probably calmer than most as I knew I wouldn't race but partake once again as a volunteer, stoked! No one looks after their volunteers like Nick and the crew at the gorge, it is a rad weekend with epic food, good entertainment, swimming and our own volunteers ride day up there at a later date - I felt I got the better deal!
But as it drew closer to race date something in my mind changed and I suddenly really really wanted to race! Now I felt rather stressed about the fact that I might not find an entry!? But as things in life have a tendency to it worked out in the end and my name was on the list!
Practice day was awesome! I'm not sure what happened between getting out of bed and arriving at Barry's flat where I had my first coffee but I strongly believe nothing important ever happen in that time anyway! Although intense struggles down some greasy sections (read: Jumanji) I spent the day enjoying the trails and feeling surprisingly at ease with the fact that I was going to race the next day, first stage blind and third stage (from top to bottom) lasting anywhere between 15-35 minutes!!
The road to the gorge, it turns out, is much longer when you're about to go racing, but race day delivered from the get go- kicked off in style with the best race briefing yet!
The blind stage, 'Marks Run' in memory of Mark Dunlop, turned out to be surprisingly manageable with only one of my true-to-character over the handlebars face plants. With the head slightly wobbly but still attached I could happily continue down the hill to finish the first stage where the rest of the girls in my category were all waiting and cheering everyone on - such an unbelievably cool group of girls!
The second stage finishing off just before lunch was SUCH FUN! Stoked about the fact that I had not gone down the bank on Kurtology the mind now started wandering over to Jumanji -the grease ball tree roots from hell and my 20-something-minute long stage to come. Luckily the lamb wraps from the kitchen tent quickly demanded my full attention.
Not entirely certain I would be able to finish this last stage without a short snack break we jumped on the bus to the top, where the longish wait allowed for some top-notch heckling fun lead by the Masters.
When I finally started my run it was pure enjoyment the whole way down, with the Jumanji tree roots now grippy as anything I turned into a travelling smile! As soon as Alice, my partner in crime for the weekend and I both had finished we hit the river, there was a certain mental as well as physical sensory overload during this little ritual and we realised this is WHY we do it! All the nervousness, potential crashes and pain to follow are all worth it for this one feeling at the end!
Bring on DME 2018!
You can see more photo's and experiences shared from the rowdy woman's field here
About the Dodzy Memorial Enduro
The ULTIMATE Enduro weekend in New Zealand’s ULTIMATE mountain bike playground! This is the DME, it’s all about good times and good trails in memory of a great man.
James “Dodzy” Dodds was a friend and inspiration to thousands of mountain bikers. He was a talented rider, racer, skills coach, trail builder, bike designer and all round nice guy. His life was tragically cut short in September 2012.
Dodzy was one of the joint architects of the trail network in Wairoa Gorge and the Dodzy Memorial Enduro celebrates his vision, talent and contribution to New Zealand mountain biking.