Monday Morning Debrief June 26
Every weekend KLIM athletes and ambassadors across the globe tackle some of the gnarliest terrain and push their abilities to see what they’re really capable of. Here’s a quick recap of where KLIM athletes put their gear to the test this weekend.
June 28, 2023 at 9:47:09 AM PDT June 28, 2023 at 9:47:09 AM PDTth, June 28, 2023 at 9:47:09 AM PDT
Writer’s note: I knew just pulling into Kellogg, Idaho for the Silver Kings Hard Enduro and Round 9 of the AMA IRC U.S. Hard Enduro Premier Championship, Presented by KLIM, on June 23 & 24, that it was going to be legendary.
And I didn’t have to wait long to be impressed, not only by the spectacular scenery at the mammoth event – racing dirt bikes on a ski mountain is a whole different animal – but the entire city seemed to have Hard Enduro fever, right down to the bright yellow KLIM-colored K painted on the side of the mountain – for KLIM, right? Or was it Kellogg Peak…
My favorite part of the weekend was not watching the world-class athletes in action, from 50 states and at least five continents, especially on the endurocross-style street course with the top 32 pros doubling over k-rails right in front of my eyes.
It wasn’t riding a ski lift for the first time ever – the longest gondola in North America at 3.1 miles soaring up the lush Silver Mountain – but I had a great time eyeing KLIM’s Communication Manager, Lukas Eddy, from above, along with the 524 other racers attempting the most epic one-lap course in under six hours at what became the largest turnout of the year.
Ryan McCasland photo
It wasn’t watching every athlete race under KLIM arch at the start of Friday’s shorter prologue race to set the starting position for Saturday’s main event, or seeing more KLIM off-road motorcycle gear in action than ever before – right down to the embroidered KLIM hi-vis vests outfitted on dozens of Inside Enduro course workers.
It wasn’t hanging with the thousands of spectators cheering on their favorite racers, including KLIM athlete, Brad Roberts, who showed up just to spectate. “It’s kind of the perfect setup here,” he said. “I loved just riding the chair lifts today.”
My favorite part was actually inside the pits and under the KLIM tent where KLIM’s Motorcycle Athlete Manager, Mark Kincart and wife, Rose, cooked up breakfast, lunch and dinner for KLIM athletes and ambassadors to lounge and relax all weekend.
Tony Jenkins, a Ski-Doo Ambassador and KLIM motorcycle athlete, said it was nice to see KLIM supporting racers who needed to be fed or hydrated.
“There's a ton of racers here that were like, ‘Wow, that's pretty cool that KLIM came here and had a bunch of rider support for food – snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner.’ There were a lot of people that were pretty excited about that, and all you had to do was wear KLIM.”
I heard one of those not wearing KLIM say, “I have to buy some KLIM gear because you guys are the ones here at all the races.”
This one-of-a-kind effort represents the grassroots ingenuity shaping KLIM for over 23 years. Just like with our gear, we strive to do one thing above all – enhance the riding experience – and this time, that included food.
See you next year!
Now, on to the race report:
At least six professional KLIM snow athletes entered the event, including last year’s champion, Keith Curtis, debuting a brand-new KTM two stroke and a near-matching XC Lite Jersey in Potter’s Clay, who finished sixth overall.
Montana’s Sam Peterson finished top 20 in the Pro class and said he couldn’t be happier with his gear’s performance.
“The course was brutal and physically demanding for both my gear and my body,” Peterson said. “I had so much fun with the street rhythm, the parade and the final race. I am already looking forward to next year.”
Also in the Pro class, Joe Nemeth finished 24 with four checks completed.
For Mesa Lange, who finished sixth in Pro Women, the course was lovely if a bit sketchy in places.
“This one for me is really challenging because I never get to ride the steep scary stuff,” she said. “But it was a lot of fun and I had a great time. I just made it to the second checkpoint, but I'm happy with that. They did a great job and upped their game. I would definitely do it again.”
For “The Flyin Hawaiian” Dylan Hart, who finished 30th out of 169 in the A class, the Silver Kings Hard Enduro did not disappoint.
“It was brutal,” Hart said after the race. “I was hoping to get a little better finish result, I was running top 15 most of the race but had a couple hang ups in spots. Looking back, I am happy I got finished with all eight checkpoints and under the six-hour time limit. Only 46 Silver riders finished, so I’m stoked to say I was one of them.”
The course, Hart added, had everything: “It took everything out of me! Boulder fields, grassy hill climbs, sidehill goat trails, creek bottoms, root holes were all waiting for you around the next corner. I enjoyed the course, it was a really good challenge and pushed my riding ability.”Ryan McCasland photo
“I kept cool for the entire race and it held up great as well as protecting me in some spills and clipping trees and rocks on the course,” he added. “It will be great e-biking and dirt biking for the rest of the summer training for the upcoming sled season!”
Also in the A class, Eddy finished 18th out of 169 in A class and 18/240 Silver class riders – his best Silver Mountain finish to date.
“This race is different because so many people show up just for this one race – like all the sleepers come out – all the people who just have a tremendous amount of skill and don’t do any other races, they just like this race,” he said after the race. “They just have this reputation already for drawing a lot of people in because it’s great stuff.”
Jenkins signed up for the B class and took eighth overall, which exceeded his expectations considering his lack of seat time on the dirt bike this season.
“It was a fun course,” he said after the race. “It was hard in certain spots, but just fun, flowy technical – that's kind of the way I ride.”
In the ever-so-stacked 40+ Expert class, KLIM snow athlete Matt Entz finished 19 out of 41 and said he was happy with his overall result in his first-ever hard enduro “considering my starting position.”
“I will definitely be earning a better starting position next year! I loved the course! Nonstop challenges and was a huge mental battle,” Entz said. “My XC Lite gear held up amazing and kept me much cooler than I was expecting. Overall, this was an incredible experience that’s hard to put into words. Great to have my family there with me and will be back next year! So cool that KLIM provided great food. I took advantage of that on a couple of occasions.”
Jesse Ziegler, co-creator of the SUPERHARD video series, finished 22nd in 40+ Expert and said the weekend was epic with a great festival atmosphere.
“There's tons to do,” he said. “It's a great location. It's beautiful and scenic. And the hard enduro is a premium race, you get a lot of riding for your money and a lot of challenge for your money. I'm glad the racing part is over because I'm really beat up and tired.”
Also in the 40+ Expert class, KLIM ambassador Peter Wysong finished 17th out of 41 in his third Silver Kings event.
“It was amazing,” he said. “It’s my favorite one on the circuit. I’m getting better but it’s getting harder at the same time. I just like riding in the big mountains. I love the downhills – there’s some really steep fast downhills that you’re kind of just in a slot going down.”
Wearing the new KLIM Rage Off-Road Goggle was a great choice, he added. “The goggles were awesome and they were actually the perfect tint, so I was pretty stoked on that,” he said. “They’re really comfortable and I realized that they fit my KLIM helmet really well.”
In the Bronze division, Colby Summers, son of John Summers, KLIM’s VP of Marketing, finished 33rd in the B class in his first-ever hard enduro.
“I really enjoyed it,” Summers said after the race. “Everything they had set up was really cool and the track today was super fun. It was challenging enough but it was to the point where we would keep going and going without getting super stuck.”
KLIM athlete and US Hard Enduro Media Specialist, Max Gerston, accomplished his goal, too.
“We made it to all of our film spots and filmed all the gnarliest sections and did a good job showcasing this race for the awesome event that it is and showcasing the riders and their incredible talent.”
Header image courtesy of Emily Brown
In later news, Factory Beta’s Zane Roberts finished third out of six in the Pro class at Round 5 of the AMA West Hare Scrambles in Bellingham, Washington on June 18 with nine laps in just over two and a half hours.
“It’s a pretty cool venue right outside of town in Bellingham, Washington,” Roberts said. “It’s a really small property but they use just about every inch of it they can, which makes for an extremely tight woods course.”
After the start, Roberts said he held off his teammate for the first hour or so.
“I wasn’t feeling very comfortable with the terrain but eventually made a mistake and fell in a mud hole, which allowed him to get by,” he said. “It took me a while after that to get settled down and get in a flow. A couple of the faster Pro 250 guys caught me so I latched on to them to help get my pace back up. Fortunately, this worked and I ended up passing both of them back and working my way back toward the podium. I got a little lucky with another rider having a crash on the last lap and gifting me the final podium spot but I guess that’s why you keep pushing till the end!”
KLIM Cow Tag Off-Road Event, Challis, Idaho, July 15
2023 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, Red Bull Romaniacs, Romania, July 25-29
AMA US Hard Enduro - Donner Hard Enduro, Truckee, California, September 16-17
AMA GNCC - Round 10, The Mountaineer, Beckley, West Virginia, September 16-17
AMA National Hare & Hound - Round 5 - Panaca, Nevada, September 9
AMA West Hare Scrambles - Round 6 - Southern Idaho, September 23-24
Have a race report we missed? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Ride hard, ride often, ride KLIM. #KLIMLife