Ashton Stoker's Race Report from El Doce
My name is Ashton Stoker. I am a mechanic at the Ogden shop. I have been riding mountain bikes all my life and have been racing for the past 6 years. I just recently did a 12 hour endurance mountain bike race called El Doce. For those who don't know, El Doce is one the hardest mountain bike races in northern Utah, but it is also so much fun. Many people describe it as just a long fun day on your bike with all your friends. This race is not necessarily very competitive. Many people don't do it to try and win, they do it to try and just finish as many laps as possible. That is the name of the game. Do as many laps as you can in 12 hours.
The course is very challenging. Each lap consists of 15 miles and about 1,750 feet of elevation gain. This loop starts with a steep winding climb from the parking lot of Powder Mountain up to Paper Airplane. You will then head out for about 7 miles of flowy rollers and lots of rocks. You then start the climb out of the fields and make your way to the top of Powder Mountain’s highest lift, called Hidden Lake. After the steep long climb you finally descend back near the bottom.
This year they re-did the downhill trail and it was a mess. By the end of my last lap the corners were gone and there was also about 5 inches of dust that you had to ride through. After riding though all the dust the worst part was yet to come: the super steep, tight and very loose switchbacks. These switchbacks were what challenged people the most. By the end of the race, most people would just walk up these because they were too tired to ride them. But lucky that was the last climb you had to do, it was all downhill to the finish.
El Doce is probably one of the finest races I have done but it was also one the hardest. I ended up completing 5 laps in about 11 hours. I did 75 miles with around 8,750 feet of elevation gain. I wanted to do 6, but did not make the time cut off. I still was able to get 5th place in my age group and got 20th overall. I highly recommend this race. It is so much fun. There are so many categories that you can do. The year before I did a 12 hour 4 man team. That just means that each lap you switch between teammates, it's like a relay race. This year I challenged myself and did a 12 hour solo. It was hard but my training paid off. In order to get ready for this race I knew that I need to be able to do the distance so I did many long rides that raged between 60 miles all the way to 100 miles. Those rides were often on the road and were pretty boring but they definitely helped.
Training for long races like this is very important and getting long rides in is even better. It helped me keep going each lap because I knew that I had already gone that distance on the road so I knew that my body could handle this race. Overall my race went well. It was so much fun but very challenging. I highly recommend doing this race if you are up for the challenge.