Here are some questions we often get when we chat to women about our Diamonds in the Dirt event. Founder Juliane Wisata at the ready:
Which category should I enter?
Have a look at the descriptions online – you can either ride solo or in a team of two and we tried to split the categories so that riders of similar riding abilities and “race comfort level” are grouped together when it comes to comparing times/results. We can always easily change a category on race day on-site – have a chat to us and we are more than happy to swap categories before race start:
- Marquise – Experienced riders – 3 hrs Experienced in racing scene, you have your eyes set on the podium and will ride in the pointy end of the field
- Classic – Confident riders – 3 hrs You’ve been riding for a while, have done a few races or have an intermediate level of fitness.
- Radiant – Up and coming riders – 3 hrs You are a raw diamond when it comes to MTB or are looking for a non-pressured and friendly race experience. You want to challenge yourself to come, participate and do your best.
- Princess – Junior Solo – U15 – 2hrs This is for the youngest diamonds among us. You like riding, are confident to ride on single trails and perhaps have been in a race before.
- Princess -– Junior Solo – U18 – 3hrs This is for the young diamonds among us. You like riding, are confident to ride on single trails and perhaps have been in a race before.
- Emerald – Pairs – 3 hrs Team of 2 – Don’t want to do it all by yourself, bring a friend and do it relay-style, you get to rest in between laps.
- Hearts – Junior Pairs – 3 hrs Two little hearts beating for one team. Juniors Team of 2 U18 riders. Relay-style like the Emeralds.
Can I race my e-Bike?
Yes, absolutely. Juliane and Martin from Rocky Trail are big supporters and literal ‘trailblazers’ when it comes to eBikes.
We have seen how it has transformed the European leisure and competitive markets, offering a more inclusive environment and we know they have their place also in Australian mountian biking!
Where do I go when I first arrive?
The event is happening at Awaba MTB Park near Newcastle, home track of the Hunter Mountain Bike Association, on Mount Faulk Road. It’s a fire road entry to get to the main cross-country car park. This is where the event centre will be and where you will pick up your race plate with the timing chip for the day.
I know that rego is a daunting step when you haven’t done it before – I will be there with our crew, we will check your details in the timing system and we can have a chat. We will have a coffee van serving hot drinks and breakfast too.
Do I take my bike to rego?
You don’t have to unless you want to and we can help attach the number plate to the handlebars too.
How do I attach the race plate?
Use 2-3 cable ties, which we will have available at the rego desk too. The number plates have holes in the corners to fix them to the handlebars. At the back is a timing chip, which will record the time that you cross the line – it’s a circuit race, so you do as many laps as you want or can in the three hour timing window. You can ride solo or in a relay team of two.
How early do I need to be there?
We will kick off at 8am and a detailed schedule is on our website, I’ll ask Martin to do a rider briefing at about 9:30am and at 10 am we will all start together. I’d recommend not to arrive much later than 9am so that you’re not rushed getting ready.
Do I have the stamina to compete?
If you’re not chasing a podium position you can take your own time to complete each lap – mind you, at our events, as soon as you have done one, you have a result! We time the event for an extra special challenge, but it’s really not a very serious competition, we are all out there to have fun and to enjoy each other’s company.
How long would the 6km loop take to ride?
I’d say 30 minutes on average.
The event is for 3hrs, do I just keep riding or should I have stop breaks?
You can absolutely take breaks in between. The time will start running as soon as we roll out (as close to 10am as possible) and if you take breaks, it will keep running. So from our mass start until you cross the timing point in the event centre after your first loop around the circuit that will be your first recorded lap time. If you decide to have a break, your next time stamp will be recorded when you cross the timing point again, so your recorded lap time will be longer than your actual riding time.
If I have stop breaks what is a target time I should rest for?
If you complete a lap and feel you want to take a break, I’d give yourself say 5 minutes. Have a drink and a stretch and roll out again. – Or, by any means, grab a coffee, have a chat to the guys and girls in the event centre and then do another lap, if you feel like it.
The main thing is to really take advantage of that unique positive energy that happens when a bunch of like-minded women comes together!
Is the track technical?
We will be using the ‘yellow loop’ at Awaba MTB Park, which is the 6km option in the park. It is definitely a mountain bike track with rocks and berms and climbs, however, there are no big jumps or scary sections and if there are unexpected corners or bridges there will be club or Rocky Trail signs to alert you. The track is marked with Shimano bunting and yellow Rocky Trail arrows in addition to the existing club signage. Double-arrows down are the alerts to watch out for upcoming unexpected obstacles; I’d say the yellow loop will have 2-3 sections that I will mark with double-arrows.
What should I wear?
Whatever mountain bike or riding outfit that makes you feel beautiful and powerful and comfortable to ride and race. There is no dress code, but I did get a note just today that our marshal crew from the local coaching business ‘Momentum Is Your Friend’ has been preparing matching outfits to make you happy and to cheer you on! Go wild, if you want to!
I’d definitely recommend padded bike pants – either opt for lycra cycling shorts or padded cycling undies and there are quite a few choices out there nowadays for baggy shorts too. I’ll be wearing my owayo padded cycling knicks and dhArco shorts and gloves. I will have a Rocky Trail jersey with pockets and I’ll take an energy gel with me out on track as well as a mobile – every number plate has our Race Director’s phone number on it, so if you need any help you can give him a call. There is phone reception all around the track, but we have our marshals out there as well and plenty of fellow racers, so you’ll have lots of support should you have a mechnical or need some motivation.
I think in the morning it might be a bit chilly, so I’ll bring a cycling jacket – basically I’ll be wearing layers that I can take off should I get too hot whilst riding.
You’ll also get a water bottle at registration and we’ll be publishing a rider briefing on the Wednesday before the race on our event NEWS/BLOG, which we will email out as well, so watch out for that for final event information.