Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • First time race advice
  • domino
    Full Member

    Right then – off to Lee Quarry for my first ever race on Sunday. I am apprehensive but looking forward to it. Whether I come first (LOL) or last is not a worry, I am doing it to see what its like and to have fun. All the same, I want to at least try to do things right so STW people what are your words of wisdom? Oh and say hello if you see me on my blue and white Rocky Mountain ESX70.

    thomthumb
    Free Member

    if there is the option of a practice lap do it: not only will it be a good warm up, but it settles nerves and you know whats coming.

    enjoy yourself.

    take the peak off yourhelemt and use a bottle – makes you feel more race!

    the last one is a (semi) joke! :-)

    oldgit
    Free Member

    Just go and enjoy yourself, it’s almost impossible to get it right first time out.
    You wont be last, and if you were you probably would’nt realise it.
    Don’t join a cat that’s to easy for you as you will feel cheated.
    See it through no mater how hard it is the feeling at the end is great.

    I got dropped in the nuetral zone of my first road race!

    clubber
    Free Member
    0091paddy
    Free Member

    Not in this order, but make sure you do most, if not all of the following:

    Make sure your bike is in full working order as well as de-greased, re oiled and cleaned. (The day before)

    Write a list of all the stuff you need, tick off as you pack it in the car/kit bag. That’ll stop you forgetting something. (so: spare tubes, pump or C02, warming riding kit, cold riding kit, allen/hex keys, etc)

    Get to the circuit nice and early after a good breakfast (Porridge, Muesli etc).

    Get some warm kit on, and go and ride the circuit. If you struggle on any sections re-ride them, and try to pick out the best lines.

    Once you’ve done that go and chill in the car or whatever, then no later than 45mins before your race starts, get a good warm-up.

    Warm-up should ideally include some sprints, and spinning through the gears. This will get your legs nice and loose before the off. You don’t have to stretch off, but it can help. So include some basic 30sec hold stretches if you get chance.

    Unless, they’re gridding from a previous race. Try and get to the start about 15minutes before, so you get a good place on the start grid. (Nothing worse than being at the back!)

    Oh, and good luck! Enjoy.

    Ciao.

    JB
    Free Member

    Its my first race on Sunday too… have decided to just try and ride at my own race, not get too competitive and see what happens… but chances of not getting competitive for me is virtually impossible… oh and the bike’s not fully built yet! Preparation is everything eh! Currently panicking about what tyres, what food, how many bottles, how do I strap my pump to the bike so I can ditch the Camelbak… etc etc etc

    0091paddy
    Free Member

    JB – two bottles should be more than enough, as for the pump either put it on your bike, or if your jersey has a back pocket put it in there.

    A couple of gels will do, unless you don’t like them. And you’ll be suprised with how soon a race is over, so you proberly won’t get chance to eat anything else.

    Ciao

    domino
    Full Member

    Some great advice, and thanks for the link Clubber, your advice on there seems to match my outlook.

    List is written, bike tinkering tonight and swapping my tyres for non-mud specific ones.

    I will use my small camelback for essentials, tools, spares etc. Its only a short race, 90 mins or so. Do I need any food, an energy bar maybe. Camelback will be filled with plain water.

    stratobiker
    Free Member

    After a thorough warm up, and you’re sitting on the start line ready to race, take a quiet moment to yourself, stare at a distant object if you like…..

    You tell yourself that the next hour and a half (whatever) is gonna be total pain, and that you accept that pain because you have chosen to race and you’re going to immerse yourself fully in it. Bring it on!

    Switch to race mode. Kick some!

    Well that’s what I do :)

    0091paddy
    Free Member

    A couple of gels or bars will be fine.

    twinklydave
    Full Member

    Definately do a pre race lap of the course.

    Get the basic essentials sorted well before the race itself – something to drink, maybe an energy gel or two if you’re well up for it (which you should be, it’s a race!), your bike set up as nicely as possible (no start line faffing)

    Best thing to do on the start line is feel extremely jittery, almost hyperactive and descend into a state of mild panic about everything and anything. That’s what I do anyway :)

    Always remember that you’re racing and get as completely caught up in it as you can; chase anything in front of you and try and get away from anything behind you. Go fast. Really fast. The chances are you won’t be the fastest out there, it doesn’t matter, just go fast! – it’s one of the few times you can really do it

    Don’t get angry though, people will want to get past you, provided their not in your cat let them (if they are in your category then it’s up to you; are they miles faster than you or can you ‘av ’em?! :wink: ) they should tell you how/when they want to get past in plenty of time, but remember that they’ll be just as out of breath as you so it might not come across very eloquently.
    It’s not the end of the world for them to have to wait for a second or two to get past safely, then again don’t hog the singletrack, let them past when you can…and maybe even try and keep up for a bit, you know, just to see how long you can!

    The feeling while you’re racing, especialy for the first time, will probably be a mixture of fear, excitement, near total confusion and a deeply uncomfortable feeling in your legs. That’s fine. The feeling once you’ve finished more than makes up for it. You won’t even realise how much you’ve enjoyed it until afterwards!

    oldgit
    Free Member

    Does he need bottles and tools? for some reason I thought it was a short multilap xc race.
    Can’t wait for my first one of the seaon.

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    First things first – bike and kit. You need a bike that is at least 80% carbon fibre in order to be competitive. Anything not carbon must be shiny and anodised, and it must have your name on the top tube. If you have another bike bring that along to, as it can sit in the pits and show everyone how serious you are.

    Make sure you have matching race kit, including shoe covers, or you will be laughed out of the paddock. Make some world champion stripes out of electrical tape to psych out the competition.

    Don’t pre-ride the course – the surprises will make the first lap more fun.

    Choose the least competitive category that still has half-decent prizes.

    At the start, arrive at the last minute and push your way to the front.

    If you’re overtaking anyone, remember the correct etiquette is to shout “EXPERT RACER, COMING THROUGH” and barge them into the bushes. On no account tell them which side you’re passing in case they try and get in your way.

    Don’t bother with any tools or puncture kit. If you do get a flat or a mechanical, make a great show of stamping on your bike and hurling it into the undergrowth before heading back to the pits to take it out on your hapless supporters.

    Have fun! :wink:

    oldgit
    Free Member

    Mr Agreeable are you french?

    bomberman
    Free Member

    why bottles as opposed to a camelbak?

    thomthumb
    Free Member

    why bottles as opposed to a camelbak?

    for the speed inint – you ever seen a camel do mach 4?

    mrsflash
    Free Member

    Has anyone said that you need to barge past everyone yelling “podium rider coming through” yet?

    domino
    Full Member

    LOL at some of the comments, now you are scaring me.

    JB
    Free Member

    Thanks Paddy

    oldgit
    Free Member

    Oooh don’t forget the Ladyshave on the way home tonight.

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    why bottles as opposed to a camelbak?

    Because a Camelbak means you’re not “serious”. And racing is a serious business. If you’re not out to win then you might as well not bother. :wink:

    Mr Agreeable are you french?

    No. But I share their sense of sportsmanship.

    GaryLake
    Free Member

    I actually think that stating which side you’re going to pass on is good etiquette, you just need to make sure you’ve already made the pass and put the rider in the bushes when you do this…

    (Actually happened to me at Bristol Bike Fest ’08 LOL)

    Assuming this is a xc race rather than enduro/marathon – don’t start near the front and don’t try to keep up with the sprint at the start. Just find your own pace and get round.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

The topic ‘First time race advice’ is closed to new replies.