Top Ride: Local Mountain Biker defends North American Enduro Championship

Oct 22, 2015 1:20 PM by Ross Field

A Chico man has reached new heights by triumphing twice in a fierce mountain bike racing circuit. Action News Now's Ross Field has the story.

When Kyle Warner was sixteen years old, he began racing his mountain bike to help him deal with a stressful situation.

"I was kind of at home helping my mom out, she was really sick, battling some things, kind of going through some chemotherapy for a Hepatitis-C treatment.
go ride and get my mind off things," said Warner.

Little did he know.

Those first few runs through Upper Bidwell Park would be the start of something special.

The 23-year-old is now the reigning two-time North American Enduro Tour champion.

"It's the biggest tour nationally for my sport," Warner said. "I didn't really believe it until I was on the podium, and I was like 'oh wow.'"

Enduro is a form of mountain biking which involves timed downhill stages on demanding terrain. The faster you finish the better you perform.

"It's a combined points system, so you got to be there every weekend and you have to be racing good every weekend," Warner said. "There were nine races all across the U.S. and even Canada."

Places like Mt. Hood and Mt. Whistler to name a few.

"I was actually able to podium at every single race this year which is pretty cool," added Warner.

Some of the races carry on for ten, even twenty minutes.

"If I want to win, I'll sprint until I'm droolin," Warner said. "You don't even really think about the physical pain. I broke my collarbone four times in a year and then in 2009 I broke my s-i joint in my back, knocked myself out and went blind in one eye for two hours, but I'm pretty lucky."

Next season, Warner wants to step it up as he plans to ride in the Enduro World Series, an eight-race circuit that includes courses in Italy and New Zealand.

"I've proved myself at this level, so stepping up to the World Series level is just the next jump and I think it's almost like chasing a demon a little bit, I really enjoy it just pushing myself seeing what I'm made of," said Warner.

Seven years ago Kyle Warner found his calling. What started as a way to get his mind off things has become much more than just pedals and chains.


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