The JetBlack 24 Hour was as triumph for us in many ways. Not only did we have a huge turnout of riders, something that had been illegal for large parts of the year, but the event had also no big injuries, smiling faces and a record sales of Rocky Trail hoodies due to the cold temps overnight.
For me (Martin) personally it was a huge moment of satisfaction delivering this race successfully. The Jetblack 24 Hour had been the first event that we were forced to postpone due to Covid-19 in early 2020 and that in my mind had marked the moment when for us as a business this whole pandemic journey had begun.
2020 couldn’t have been a year with bigger contrasts:
Since we founded Rocky Trail Entertainment in 2008 this turned out to be our worst, most exhausting and challenging year and yet it was our best, most rewarding and successful year too – depending on how you choose to look at it, I guess. Months with almost no turnover financially and worries mentally, followed by the highest ever turnover in a single month (last July) in the 12 year history of Rocky Trail, and back to worries again. A true rollercoaster of emotions and business activities.
It was a hard year to grow together with a new team just brought on board and the influx of event crew and staff across both NSW and QLD.
The QLD/NSW State borders being shut was a huge challenge, but one that welded us together finding out exactly how much pressure is ok to handle and at what exact point the pot eventually boils over. It’s like over-cooking a corner, unless your front wheel washes out you will never know where the grip limits are.About the physical and mental challenges as an event management team
2021 is going to be a continuation of 2020 with one major difference for us a business:
We now have the invaluable knowledge of those exact grip levels and we absolutely understand how to plan events that would under “normal circumstances” be considered as “unplannable”.
You may think, “What do I care – just let me race!” and rightly so. We’re with you! We WANT to let you race and we promise you that we WILL make every race count. As we are looking towards the start of the 2021 racing season our attitude is that very event we can deliver successfully in whatever shape or form will be a win for us for now.
Interstate borders will continue to open and close and hot spots will continue to be declared. Our Plan forward is to have many plans and communicate those to you as early as we have them.Our action plan for 2021
Take the brand new Mt Buller Alpenflow event for example:
Our 2 teams are located in QLD and NSW, Mt Buller is of course in VIC so it could be that only 1 team is allowed in (which is currently the place as at 5 January) or both or none. So in this specific case we have,
- Plan A: VIC borders are open and everything goes ahead as planned on 5-8 March 2020.
- Plan B: VIC border is open to QLD and regional NSW only, we can get the QLD team in who will run the Epic Superflow element only, but the other events will happen at a later date
- Plan C: VIC border is shut and the entire event will be pushed back to November 20-22. Surely we will have a working vaccine by then FFS, honestly!
What we ask of you so that we can make 2021 happen:
Flexibility. Please be flexible and work with us and understand if registration opens late and very close to the actual race date, because we will only open it up if the event is likely to happen as planned. Last minute changes due to potentially new Covid-19 cases emerging and of course agreeing to stay away from the event if you have any symptoms or have been to a hot spot.
One huge thing that I realised throughout 2020 and what I’m so proud of is that our events have become more than just races. They have provided a much needed shift of your focus onto something positive, a healthy challenge and something to look forward to.
A reason to train for and stay fit. A day out with friends and family where the chatter is about ‘shit mountain bikers say’ rather than the ‘shit’ we are bombarded with in the daily news updates.What our #rockytrailraces have been telling us
Check out our Event Calendar and you can even import the LIVE calendar into your device (instructions on the event page at the bottom), that way you have the up to date information at hand all the time.
See you at the start line of 2021!