SOUTH FORK—Over the summer Scott Bright and a team of volunteers brought back the art of endure racing to the South Fork area. In 2016, Bright and his crew came back to South Fork after several years to use the trails and roads located just south of town on Forest Road 345 near Willow Park. Over 300 riders showed up for that event and it sparked something the town of South Fork has been looking to host for a while.
Bright brought the race back to the area again this year and through the combined efforts of several area business and landowners; the riders were brought closer to town which resulted in a huge economic boost for not only South Fork, but the neighboring communities of Creede and Del Norte as well. Racers who came to this year’s event stated that the race was one for the history books, bringing back the old-fashioned way of dirt bike riding through the challenging trails, welcoming communities and forged friendships along the way.
At the beginning of October, Bright announced that he had taken the funds collected through the race fees and donated them to the Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance (CTPA). The collected fees will help pay for the restoration and preservation of hundreds of miles of trails in the South Fork and Del Norte areas, to help ensure that the race and other outdoor activities can continue well into the future. The donation of $5,000 was issued to the CTPA on Oct. 3 with a message from Bright, “We are really proud to be able to support the CTPA with a portion of your entry fees. If you raced it, then you played a part in this. It doesn’t matter if someone is looking, give yourself a pat on the back.”
Bright spent several weeks prior to the event in the area with volunteers, working on the designated trails and mapping out specific tests each class of riders would have to complete. Each day featured a new obstacle that took riders up creek beds, down tree-filled hillsides and through tight dirt tracks weaving in and out of forests, fields and meadows. The terrain of the course was both challenging and beautiful for all of the participants who ranged in age from 10 and up.
The race is made to test the endurance of any rider regardless of age or ability. Participants ride the trails located north of town in the Rio Grande Forest between South Fork and Del Norte. Riders travel anywhere from 50 to 90 miles of trails per day and undergo rigorous tests throughout the race. Each rider that participated had nothing, but good things to say about the trails, the area and the welcoming people in South Fork.
Bright explained in an interview in July that he had wanted to come back to South Fork for some time, after trying to bring the race to the area in previous years. It wasn’t until the cultural scene in both Del Norte and South Fork changed that Bright thought he might have a chance at resurrecting the race and has succeeded in bringing the sport back to the area. Residents, property owners and local officials have all changed their tune in allowing this type of event to take place in recent years and welcomed Bright and his crew with open arms.
The race will be back next year for their third annual Shady Burro Enduro.