I had always heard about “the ranch” from people, as they described what sounded like the most the most epic day riding their mountain bikes. Steep rock chutes through dried up creek beds, road gaps, wall rides, tight berms, flowy berms… The amount of outrageous adjectives used to describe the 260-acre mountain bike wonderland was simply endless. With a diagnosable case of fomo, I attended the 2017 TDS Enduro as a spectator to check it out myself. What I found quite literally blew my mind. I felt like Charlie discovering the Chocolate Factory for the first time. The strawberries really tasted like strawberries.
The Sanchez family and a little help from their friends has created one of the most authentic mountain bike races I’ve ever witnessed. Utilizing a trail system I would dub “the mini Whistler of California”, the 2017 TDS Enduro featured 14 stages over 2 days and would also play host to an advanced mountain bike camp for a group of injured Marines in conjunction with the Semper Fi Fund. While Marco Osborne and Joanna Petterson would, again, take the win, the competition was absolutely fierce, as were the brazen crowds. As if drinking directly from the chocolate river, racers and spectators alike were fulfilled with high-speed two-wheeled stoke.
Welcome to the 2017 TDS Enduro. Just follow the goggle mustache men.
Ron Sanchez welcomes participants at the riders meeting and introduces TDS’s partnership with the Semper Fi Fund.
There was an endless supply of Hey Buddy IPA by ol’ Republic Brewery, in honor of the loved Buddy Newman.
One of the original “18 guys getting drunk in the woods,” Mark Weir has shaped the TDS into one of the best mountain bike races ever.
Custom TDS Enduro socks were issued to all racers.
The stage theme this year was beer, glorious beer. Corona, Coors Lite, Miller, PBR, Rolling Rock, Sam Adams, Budweiser, Olympia, Mickey’s, ol’ Republic, Schlitz, and Hamms. Hopefully each stage was as smooth as its brew.
A custom start house sits atop the mountain biking wonderland. But be warned, entry to this paradise must be earned.
A familiar face to the local female enduro circuit, Lauren Gregg of Fuji Bikes would finish 11th overall after making easy work of this off-cambered wet rock section.
Rachel Pageu sprints her way off the start to finish 5th overall.
Joanna Petterson nails the loose rock chute, and would take the overall victory for the 4th year in a row.
Spectators took to the trees to avoid the falling rock, which was displaced after each rider rode the chute.
Local favorite, Amy Morrison finished 3rd overall. It was a family affair for the Morrison’s. Both her brothers, Chris and Al, raced as well, while mother and father proudly watched.
Liz Miller minds the gap over 3 wild ladies.
The best drinking game ever—take a gulp after each rider airs over you!
Before the ladies would roll through Ass Slap Alley, there was a question whether their behinds would be spared. Nope. Not even the women were safe when sprinting up this slight incline.
Liz Cunningham of Yeti Cycles powers through the slap.
Tasha Thomas laughs her way though Ass Slap Alley as she receives the wave.
Liz Miller pierces her way through the tunnel of arms.
One of the most challenging tracks at the ranch—oh yeah, let’s ride our bikes down this steep-as creek bed.
There is no easy way down Vigilante. There is no dirt. Just rock after rock after rock, with 5 foot walls on each side. Liz Miller shows us the double dab technique.
There are 4 wall rides in a row at the ranch. Tasha Thomas shows us the ranch is much like an amusement park.
Rachel Pageu on the wild wall ride.
Spiders were the least of our concerns while at the ranch.
The most abundant green plant on the forest floor was poison oak. This seemingly innocent little plant will make your skin blister and itch for weeks.
Tandie Bailey gets high up on the wall.
Lauren Gregg takes a ride.
The TDS goes high tech. Results and stage wins were easy to decipher.
Joanna Petterson takes the victory. Ariana Altier in 2nd by only 3.5 seconds overall. And Amy Morrison rounds out 3rd place, trailing by 25 seconds.
I spy a goggle mustache man.
If the greatness of a mountain bike race can be measured by its spectators, the TDS Enduro is fast approaching legendary status. Equipped with ample hydration, costumes, noise makers, and chants that could rival a hockey game, the spectators were a true testimet of how the TDS Enduro is keeping mountain biking real.
Oh, heck yes.
Boosting down the ramp of the custom start house.
Unless invited by the owner/builder, please consider these trails closed.
Parker Degray would end up 19th overall for the weekend.
With 2 stage wins, Dan Chiang would swiftly swipe 2nd overall.
Representing Team Semper Fi, Ryan Beamish takes 32nd overall.
There are some pedally sections at the ranch. In a tunnel of massive manzanitas, Daniel Orellana gets all enduro at the bottom of Stage 1.
There are some very steep sections at the ranch too. Here, riders must navigate 2 steep, loose rock catch berms.
Daniel Orellana shows up this section of trail is pretty much vertical.
In a section where approximately only 3/10 people ride it cleanly, officials must hang out in the trees in case of accident.
Junior, and future enduro star, Duncan Nason shows us rock chutes are little challenge. Finishing 7th overall, this kid was on point all weekend.
Getting a piece in Ass Slap Alley.
Marco Osborne likes to think of it as “encouragement” and shows us that a little ass slappish is a vital ingredient to take the overall victory at the TDS Enduro.
Nathan Riddle outsprints even the fastest of slaps.
Tim Krentz, the Machine, is known for dropping the hammer in the pedal sections.
Forerunning and sweeping each stage, the medics rode each and every section the racers did. Thank you for keeping everyone in one piece.
The dirt at the ranch is perfection.
And perfect for shaping road gaps, as Zach Petersen demonstrates.
Marco Osborne keeps it low and aerodynamic.
The families of the TDS Enduro are just as wild as the trails.
The network of trails at the ranch is more like Charlotte’s Web. Signs, signs everywhere.
Axe Grinder was more like a roller coaster. That’s the beauty of digging trails on private land, they can abruptly drop you into a creek bed, and make you climb directly out the other side, hopefully in the proper gear to match your speed.
Marco Osborne knew exactly how to anticipate the drop and seemed to gain momentum as he climbed out of the creek.
Jon Buckell airs into a rock garden most riders tentatively entered.
Mud was a concern for several of the rock gardens this year. With long sections of muck in between rocks, it was imperative to know your break points.
Polaris donated several side-by-sides to the cause. Shuttling 9/14 stages, riders were less fatigued for a more technical American enduro than usual.
Even puppies got Polaris Ranger rides.
Colby Pastore boosts one of the 267ish sweet airs at the ranch.
Josh Hennessy likes rollercoaster rides.
Not only is riding at the ranch fun, it’s pretty too.
How about a pitch into a 90 catch berm? Yes please.
Nic Dru keeps it low and tight off wall ride 3.
Marco Osborne thanks Dan Chiang for keeping him pinned all day.
Mason Bond in 4th. Scott Countryman in 3rd. Dan Chiang in 2nd. And the winner of the 2017 TDS Enduro, Marco Osborne.
Remember, you must receive a golden ticket from the owner or a builder to ride at the ranch.