Switching focus to enduro racing

Riding and racing in New Zealand to kick off 2014

2014 is off to a great start. I'm currently down in New Zealand chasing summer and training for the upcoming race season. I'm excited to be representing Santa Fe Brewing and Pivot Cycles again as well as the majority of my sponsors from last year and can't wait for my first race this weekend.

I made the decision at the end of last year to race only enduros in 2014 instead of splitting my time between enduro and cross country as I did in 2013. It was a hard decision, but it was the right one. I really enjoy the enduro format and always felt that I wasn't taking full advantage of my descending skills when racing cross country. That being said, my descending skills need work and my training recently has been focused on improving them. I'm already noticing a difference in my comfort at speed and in the air with the enduro-specific training.

I'll be racing more internationally this year but will still spend the main part of the race season in North America. After a local race here in Wellington, New Zealand this weekend, I'll be racing four of the seven Enduro World Series races, the Inca Avalanche, the whole Big Mountain Enduro series (including the Crested Butte Ultra), Downieville and the Kamikaze Games.

My time in New Zealand has been spectacular. In late January, Syd and I flew into Auckland and in less than 24 hours had bought a car, got a New Zealand cell phone number and headed south. We spent two weeks exploring the riding on our way to Queenstown then settled in Queenstown for a solid month of training, including multiple days at Skyline Bike Park.

We met up with Bernard Kerr, a fellow Pivot Cycles athlete and World Cup downhiller, and spent some time doing gondola-accessed runs and exploring the trails in the area. If you're ever down there, make sure to check out Rude Rock and the unnamed new trail that drops into Skipper's Canyon. Both are fast and flowy and certainly worth doing.

We're now moving north again, heading towards Rotorua where we'll spent the rest of our time in New Zealand before flying to Santiago, Chile for the first Enduro World Series race. Then we fly to Cusco, Peru for Inca Avalanche before heading back to the States, arriving in early May.

So if you see the Rockmelon (my little orange car) this summer, wave as you go by, or look for me on the trails and we'll do some pedaling!

Visit Macky's website at www.mackyfranklin.com.

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