Demystifying Enduro with Aja Jackson

Hi friends, my name is Aja Jackson, I’m a Texas transplant from North Carolina. I am a Service Experience Designer by day, and when I'm not at work, you'll find me racing my bike or encouraging more women to ride bikes. I have been competing in enduro for almost two years now, and I absolutely love it! I think that all women should try enduro at least once, because it is an incredibly fun and challenging sport. Enduro takes some of the best aspects of mountain biking, such as technical descents and fast singletrack, and combines them with rally-style stages that are timed. 

What is enduro racing and how does it differ from other cycling disciplines?

Enduro is a type of mountain biking that has been gaining in popularity in recent years. So, what is enduro? And why is it so popular? Let’s take a closer look at this growing sport and see if it’s something you might want to try.

First, Enduro is a form of mountain biking that combines downhill and cross-country riding styles and emphasizes descending skills. Enduro events usually take place on trails that are more technical than your average XC trail, with rocks, roots and drops making up a significant part of the terrain.

Who can participate in an enduro race, and what do you need to know before signing up?

If you own a bike, you can participate in Enduro, however, there are certain milestones you’ll want to cross before signing up in addition to knowing what bike set up works for competing.

I first got on a mountain bike in August 2020, my first Enduro race was in March 2021. During that 7-month period I had ridden over 600 miles, gained experience riding on rocky, rooty, and steep terrains comfortably and confidently, and also competed in 2 XC races. I’d recommend riding until you feel comfortable riding various terrains.


What are the top tips for conquering an enduro course, whether you're a beginner or experienced rider?

Whether you are a beginner or experienced rider, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success in an enduro race. First and foremost, make sure you have the proper protective gear. A good helmet (full face), gloves, and pads will help reduce the risk of injury if you take a spill.

Once you're on the course, it's important to pace yourself and not overdo it early on. An enduro race is a long event, so you need to make sure you have enough fuel in the tank to make it to the finish line.

What are the benefits of participating in enduro races, and how does it affect my overall cycling experience?

Enduro races have a few key benefits that have had an impact on my overall cycling experience. The first is that it has helped me to strengthen my skills and confidence on the bike. 

Racing against other cyclists, both experienced and beginners, has pushed me to become a better rider. I have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places for enduro races. 

Empower MTB, Aja Jackson

I hope these tips have been helpful and I look forward to seeing you at future races! If you want to learn more enduro or have questions, come join me in the Empower Network

-Aja Jackson

enduro-ready styles

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