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What is best first race to aim for?


Pyrate's picture

By Pyrate - Posted on 01 June 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Greetings,

New to the sport but rapidly becoming addicted to the point that, even though it's only very early days, I am keen to participate in an event in the foreseeable future.

My goal would only be to complete not compete, then working up distances over time.

I would welcome any advice or opinions on what events might be most suitable for a novice such as myself.

Thanks!

Lenny_GTA's picture

If you have a local club, start there with a club race.

It will give you an idea of your actual level, fitness and ability and you can go from there.

hawkeye's picture

One of the WSMTB club races would be a good place to start. Relatively easy from a technical standpoint, and great fun. Let me know when you want ot go and I'll tag along (July and firt half of August excepted).

inertia's picture

I don't know about club races - obviously everyone is different, but I have never enjoyed XC racing.

The races I did enjoy early on were the 8hr races in a team of like-minded mates. 3 person teams (or possibly 4) are a good way to start - got a friend or two to talk sh#@ with between laps, its a great atmosphere, always something going on at the event centre.

Edit: probably should not have used the tern "enduro" - that has changed meaning these days...

ChopStiR's picture

As mentioned above

A club race is a good quick introduction. D grade at WSMTB is only 2 laps and a slow rider like myself will take just over an hour to complete.

Getting some mates to team up with for an enduro makes for a great weekend. One team member is out riding a lap while the rest are chilling back at your base set up. Bring Shade, chairs and a Variety of good nutrition so you're ready for your lap.

Have you rode the Oaks Firetrail in the Blue Mountains?
Coming up on the 29th of June is the Careflight Woodford to Glenbrook Classic. This is a 25km race along the Oaks Firetrail. Fantastic for beginners and elites. This was my first race that I participated in. I had walked all the hills and managed to finish my race with a time of 1h:12m:10s.

This year will be my 5th W2GC and I'm hoping to break the hour mark and beat my personal best which I achieved last year of 1h:00m:11s

I highly recommend this race to all beginners. If you're keen, get in quick as rego closes 16th June.

nh's picture

25km race that is mainly downhill and has a lot of fire road.

Pyrate's picture

Thanks everyone!

I was eyeing off the Woodford to Glenbrook Classic in fact, as 25kms seems quite do-able for me, so I have just entered myself.

I must admit I hadn't fully considered the Club thing - D Grade certainly sounds like my speed. I will most definitely be looking that one up! Hawkeye - will drop you a note closer to the time!

Thanks again.

Ian_A's picture

1st race I ever did was actually with ChopStir when he got a freebie for helping with track work at Mt Annan a few years ago.
After that I did a couple more team events, a couple of club rounds and a few 50km races.
Last year we won the Chocolate foot 7hr series in a team of 3.
I'm doing OK in A-grade club races these days.
I still haven't raced in a 100km marathon (maybe this year?) but I've done a solo 6 + 6 where I rode around 220km between the 2 sessions (also at Mt Annan) and done plenty of 4hr solo races with a couple of podiums.

Club racing is a great place to start. I race with WSMTB and it is a very friendly and welcoming club.
Have a go, you'll have a great time.

Ray R's picture

Hi James,

Some great advice above. The W2G (ie "Woody Worlds") is a great ride - just be careful on some of those steep fire road descents if you are not too experienced.

Our next XC race at Western Sydney MTB Club is on Sunday 6 July at Yellomundee Regional Park. See www.wsmtb.com for details or email me on xc@wsmtb.com

Club racing is a friendly, low pressure introduction to racing - where you can race with hot champions and also plodders like me.

Ray Rice
XC VP WSMTB

(PS: from Roseville it will take 55 minutes to Yellomundee on a Sunday morning. Via M2, M7, Richmond Rd, The Driftway, then Springwood Rd. It's actually closer than Ourimbah.)

Pyrate's picture

Thought I'd update you all considering your good advice, that I completed the Woodford Classic yesterday in a at time of 1 hr 15 mins 47 sec.

I lost my chain 2 kms in and had trouble getting it back on then had a bit of a stack with a K to go, so reckon I left at least 3 minutes out there.

I already have my next race in sight - the Wollombi Wild Ride in September - and will try to get to a club race by the WSMTB schedule doesn't really fit in with mine at the moment- school hols and a ski trip - but will see what I can do.

thanks again

ChopStiR's picture

Well done on your time. Better than my time when I first done it and I didn't have any misshaps back then either.

Sounds like you still enjoyed it despite the mechanical and stack.

Some alternative racing you may want to look at is the Manly Warringah Cycling club. They hold Cyclocross races at Terry Hills and have an Open bike(Mountain bike) category. Last event I went to had roughly 30 Mountain bikers enter. Its a lot of fun and the race only goes for 30mins.

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