Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get – and the answers we give to our best ability. If you have any more questions, email us at cycle@rockytrailentertainment.com and we will reply immediately and add them here with the answers. Remember, there are no stupid questions! And we are here to help! (Plus we always love a good bike chat!)

How does the online registration system work?
Our online registration system is very straight forward. On the specific event website you can check out all the available racing categories and entry fees before you click on the “REGISTER NOW” button, which will transferred to our Active Network platform for that event. There you will be asked for your email address and via that you can log on later on to amend and update your registration file. You pick the category you want to race and follow the steps, which are to collect data about you and your team mates. Often we offer merchandising items lie energy gel packages. You can add those onto your entry and check out via credit card payment through the secure Active Network portal in the end. We've had great feedback from riders about our registration system – it's fast, very straight forward and simple. How it should be.
Are the shuttles included in the entry fee?
The entry fee includes shuttle or chairlift transport to the top of the downhill track for two days. Shuttles on Saturday run from 9am to 4pm. Sunday shuttles start again at 9am and racing usually commences around 11.30am and finishes by 3pm.
Can I race an event even if I can't do the entire series?
Yes, the series classification is a yearly ranking and for every race position riders can collect points. At the end of the series the top three in each category are awarded special prizes and the winners will be awarded the official NSW/ACT Downhill State Series title.
Can I race at the State Championship event even if I haven't done the series?
Yes, you can. There is no qualification requirement – the State Championship event is open for any rider. The State Championship title, however, can only be awarded to a New South Welshman or a rider from the ACT. Should the winner of a category be from another state, the fastest NSW or ACT rider will be awarded the title.
How does the State Series points allocation work?
A points schedule is available on the RESULTS page on our website.
What will expect me at the event centre?
Event registration: The heart of each Rocky Trail event centre is our registration tent – that's where you come to meet us and our crew to pick up your number plate first.
Food, drinks, music & entertainment: We'll have the music going, there usually is a coffee van selling food & drinks. Please bring plenty of water yourself; we have basic supplies covered.
Event sponsor displays: Our sponsors will have their marquees set up displaying their products, a lot of which you can test on the day!
Basic amenities: We will also have plenty of portable toilets organised.
What happens at registration?
Every rider needs to read and sign a Race Waiver. We will have a master copy at registration that you can read through and then sign the document.
You will be issued with your number plate.
What about insurance?

You are responsible to cover yourself for the race.

How do I best prepare for the event?

The best training ground for the State Series and Championships are club-level events where specific skills and racing etiquette are easily picked up. We try to cover a wide variety of tracks and venues in our State Series and Championship evens, which is the ideal playground for young riders to train for National and International events.

Downhill racing is on very technical and steep tracks and we recommend that racers participating in our events already possess a sophisticated level of riding skills. If you are interested in getting your skills up, send us an email or give us a call and we can help you find a local club or trainer that can assist with specific training and riding goals.

There are very specific clothing requirements for Downhill events – please read through the specific race rules and regulations on our event website to familiarise yourself with it.

At Rocky Trail Entertainment we are big on good, nutritious food. That's why we have asked our friends at Food & Nutrition Australian to provide us with some recommendations of how to prepare for an endurance event and how to “feed” your body with the right food throughout a race.

http://www.rockytrailentertainment.com/pdf/Get ready for an endurance event - full version RTE.pdf

If you have any more questions regarding nutrition and physical race preparation – give us a call. We can share our strategies that we use when we race ourselves and see our participants apply. And we can also refer you to sports nutritionists and personal trainers that we know can help you with specific programs and goals.

What do I need to bring?
There are very specific clothing requirements for Downhill events – please read through the specific race rules and regulations on our event website to familiarise yourself with it. Please also bring drinking water for you.
Will food and water be available?
Yes, we will have a coffee van organised at minimum, who will sell sandwiches and some basic food to fuel up during the event. They'll also have drinks and please bring your own water supplies for the day to fill up your bottles/hydration packs.
What skill level is needed?

Downhill racing is on very technical and steep tracks and we recommend that racers participating in our events already possess a sophisticated level of riding skills. If you are interested in getting your skills up, send us an email or give us a call and we can help you find a local club or trainer that can assist with specific training and riding goals.

Through our State Series and Championship events we want to provide especially young riders with a platform to train for National and International events, so we run events that are very inclusive and supportive of those up and coming riders. Generally we promote a very positive atmosphere and the safety aspect is our main concern.

How long are the race tracks?
Most of the NSW/ACT downhill runs are between 2-4 minutes long and we see overtaking actions mostly on longer tracks, like in Thredbo where the race times are between 6 and 8 minutes and upwards. In race runs there are 30 second gaps between riders and in practice sessions the riding is more relaxed anyway where riders frequently stop and start to review critical track sections.
I have never raced before, where do I start?

A first race can be a bit intimidating, however, do dare giving it a go. We at Rocky Trail are there to help you along the way and if you have any questions or concerns. We're happy to have a chat and provide you with some tricks, from our own racing experience and from what we see our racers go through during events.

Downhill racing is on very technical and steep tracks and we recommend that racers participating in our events already possess a sophisticated level of riding skills. If you are interested in getting your skills up, send us an email or give us a call and we can help you find a local club or trainer that can assist with specific training and riding goals.

Through our State Series and Championship events we want to provide especially young riders with a platform to train for National and International events, so we run events that are very inclusive and supportive of those up and coming riders. Generally we promote a very positive atmosphere and the safety aspect is our main concern.

Downhill racing is a very specific type of racing with a lot of rules and regulations that are to be adhered to. Club races and the State Series and Championship events are the ideal platforms to pick up on them and our commissaires are there to assist with specific questions.

What happens out on the track?
Here's a bit of racing etiquette that we promote at Rocky Trail events (also check out the racing rules & regulations section of this rider briefing). A lot of our racers are experienced riders and we want to make sure that riders who don't race as often have an awesome time out there.
What to do when you are being overtaken

So to all the newbies, don't freak out when you hear those chains rattling behind you. But especially in downhill you are REQUIRED to let the rider behind you pass.

Mind you, those situations don't often occur during race runs, as most of the NSW/ACT downhill runs are between 2-4 minutes long and we see overtaking actions mostly on longer tracks, like in Thredbo where the race times are between 6 and 8 minutes and upwards.

In race runs there are 30 second gaps between riders and in practice sessions the riding is more relaxed anyway where riders frequently stop and start to review critical track sections.

How to safely overtake a rider
As per the recommendations above, please indicate to the rider in front of you that you want to overtake. We do ask that the overtaking rider is considerate about the safety of the rider in front.That's all it takes to get you ahead smoothly and leaves the overtaken rider with a good experience, which might be an awesome motivation for him/her to give their best for the rest of the ride.
How are the race tracks marked?

Please do look out for those directional signs and watch out for and track-specific announcements via the official Communiques by the Chief Commissaire. He will point out critical sections, if there are any major risk spots etc., which will be clearly marked, of course.

In the lead up to the event we will walk the track, marking certain sections and placing arrows, signs and directional tape on strategic and critical sections. We will also work with bunting tape and have other warning signs out on the track, alerting you to technical sections.

A sign with double arrows facing downwards means that a very technical section is coming up.

A sign with triple arrows facing downwards means that an extremely technical section is coming up.

How does the timing work?
The downhill timing devices of our timing partner work to a precision of 1/10,000th of a second internally, allowing reporting to 1/100th of a second. At the start we normally use the same setup as many international DHI events, with a wand style start gate, connected to a start clock to provide consistent starting intervals. At the finish we have two ‘light beams’, where one is used consistently as the primary finish, the other records backup times if required.
How do I keep track of my time?
Race times will be published as soon as a category has finished their race via print-out results at the main event tent.
How does a downhill race work and who wins

All Rocky Trail Downhill State Series and Championship events are two-day events. Check out the event-specific schedules on our website, but generally we offer practice sessions all day on a Saturday, which is followed by another short training on Sunday morning. Usually the racing order is as follows:

The male categories are:
Junior Under 15
Junior Under 17
Junior Under 19
Elite
Expert
Sport
Veteran 30 - 39 yrs
Master 40 - 49 yrs
Super Master 50 - 59 yrs
Grand Master 60+

The female categories are:
U15 Women
U19 Women
Elite Women
Expert Women
Master Women

Riders get 30 second gaps between them. We generally leave 3 minute gaps in between categories.

How does the transport work to get to the race start?
We provide shuttled transport to the top of the downhill track, which is included in the entry fee. Depending on the specific location the racers might be required to cover the last distance to the official start on foot/riding their bike. Our main concern is the safety of riders and that the shuttles can turn around comfortably, safely and fast. We usually have 3-4 busses and trailers. Thredbo is the one location in the series that offers chairlift access and the entry fee includes chairlift tickets.
Will there be race marshals?
Yes. We have volunteers who are stationed as marshals at critical sections of the downhill track. They are in radio contact with the Chief Commissaire and First Aid Officer. They are also instructed to look out that no riders cheats, ie cuts off parts of the track to achieve an advantage over other riders.
What happens if a rider cheats?

We'd like to think that we mountain bikers are a pretty decent bunch of people and are out there to have fun. We'd like to keep it fair – browse through the race rules & regulations in the later section of this rider briefing, which we need all competitors to adhere to.

Please be aware that there is a simple Rocky Trail process in place:
We will alert all marshals to look out for riders to adhere to stay within the marked track and any bunting/barriers. As with any complaint, the Chief Commissaire and his judging panel will discuss the issue and may hand down a time penalty or disqualify that rider.

When will the results be determined and what about ceremonies and prizes?
The winners will be announced at the prize ceremony after the race and results will be posted on our website usually the day after or that evening. There will be a lot of prizes from our supporters. Oh, and you will get officially recognised bragging rights too!
Can I bring my family and friends?

ABSOLUTELY! All venues are very family-friendly, there are spaces for kids to roam around and as we have the event catered, they should be looked after also. We do recommend that you bring tents or marquees to provide shade on a sunny day.

Check out the event schedules – we often provide additional activities for spectators (e.g. free kids races etc.).

Will there be a bike shop to assist with bike repair?
Yes, we always try to get a dedicated supporting bike shop on-site for the entire day of racing. In the rare cases where we don't have a bike shop on site we will arrange that there are plenty of supplies and spare parts for sale through our sponsors/supporters.
Will there be a First Aid Officer?
Yes, we will provide first aid officers, who will be on-site at the race or event. They will be located in a clearly marked tent or area. Please read the race waiver carefully.
What happens, if it rains or if bad weather is forecast?

Racing in the wet is quite an experience and can be good fun. However, bring lots of warm and rainproof clothes for the laps and afterwards. A bit of rain won't do any harm, however, if there are torrential downpours and we decide it's not safe any more then we might either interrupt the race or have it shortened.

We pride ourselves on operating a set of very proactive wet weather procedures. We are very conscious about your safety and the sustainable use of the tracks – so if very bad weather is expected for any of the race weekends, we'll monitor the situation in the lead up and provide you with updates via our website, social media channels and newsletters.

For certain venues we have specific wet weather policies in place in accordance with the rules and regulations set out by the various land managers. These will be clearly announced and publicised on our event-specific websites.

For our event cancellation and refund policy, please refer to the individual registration pages on our event web pages.

What happens, if hot weather is forecast?

We have a lot of experience with racing in hot weather (Martin at several Crocodile Trophy events in QLD) and also hosting endurance events in hot conditions, like our 24-hour events.

So we are well aware of risks and the challenges our racers will face and we will prepare for it. At our 24-hour races this included routing the race track past the showers for instance so also the solo riders could cool off mid-race and sending out race marshals with extra water supplies and water sprinklers to cool down riders.

We always monitor weather conditions, not only in the lead up, but also mid-race and our main concern is the safety of our riders. We have several options, including delaying starts to avoid the midday heat, resting certain categories (e.g. juniors) until the cooler hours of the day etc.

Rest assured, you'll be in good hands with us.

© Rocky Trail Entertainment Pty Ltd