What you need to know about your First Race

Every single person that races, has a first race. Everything you are worried about, they worried about. There is nothing you can do about those jitters, but we hope this post will let you be more settled, more relaxed and more excited about your first race!


How fast do I need to be able to race?

If you are at the stage of contemplating a race, you are likely fit enough. Fitness is far more important than speed. Anyone that can do a lap of their local XC track is fit enough to race in a team. Anyone that can ride up the firetrail and down the all mountain track is fit enough to race in a superflow.

If you are an absolute beginner (with no sports experience) perhaps skip racing until you develop more, but anyone that can social ride on a weekend is welcome and will love it.

What if I’m too slow or in the way?

When people approach you, they will yell ‘rider’, or ‘rider right’ or ‘rider left’. If they yell rider, look for the next safe place to give them room, and yell back ‘come through’.

If they are yelling left or right, that is the side of you they are coming past.

NOBODY is bothered by this if you are polite and let them pass as soon as practical


What is ‘safe’ for someone to pass?

Nobody wants you to move aside in an unsafe manner. In the days of modern wide bars and tight single tracks, it might take a while for you to see somewhere to pull over.

Basically, unclip or step off your pedal, front tire into the bushes on the side of the track, rear tire over and lean the bike to the side for a ride to pass.

You will never have a section so steep in a GP that isn’t safe.

Passing in Superflow

Downhill sections in Superflow are steep, and its sometimes more dangerous to stop. For this reason, talk to the person in front and behind you. If you are not familiar with the track, or feel like you want to take your time, EVERYONE is more stoked if you say it out loud.

It simply means we leave a little more space between riders dropping in, and you don’t need to have the pressure of someone right on your tail.

It’s also an easy start of a convoy with your new riding buddies! For first time racers, its great to do Superflow with someone you know your speed relative to.


How should I prepare?

Ride, lots. Even better, ride in the race location if you can. In general, the majority of riders are weekend riders or hobbyists. If you like, you can train like the pros but its not necessary or needed.

For your first race, we really recommend not to stress it. There are riders of all ages and abilities, you are going to be fine!

Is my bike up for the challenge?

This is normally a bigger issue than the person, the bike needing a good service. Don’t start a race with worn pads, stretched chain, and bald tyres.

If your finance allow it, a service prior is a great idea. If not, all consumables should be checked over. Little things like making sure your gears shift well may save the day. Nothing is worse than being trackside trying to fix your bike while others are having fun!

For GP, front suspension and disc brakes are all that are necessary. A dual suspension will make the day easier on your legs.

For Superflow, dual suspension, good brakes and plenty of grip on the tyres for steep sections.

Check early! don’t do the inspection the night before and realise you need parts on the way to the race!

Jetblack 24hr MTB, 2019

What clothing kit do I need?

Whatever you comfortably ride in on the weekends is fine! Baggies or lyrca, up to you! We would recommend wearing Knicks if you are in a GP! Of course, a helmet that is Aus compliant is needed!

Water and snacks?

Go overboard. Bring too much water and too many snacks. Its a far better option than not having enough.

Some people like gels, some people like muesli bars, some people eat nuts. Try a few different things on your weekend rides, and see what feels settled when riding.

You don’t often hydrate while moving on weekend rides, but that will be different during a GP, get used to using your water bottle when moving.

For Superflow, we still recommend a camelpak (or similar) or water bottles (that won’t fly out during the downhill). It gets hot and exposed on the climbs up, and you want to be able to drink as much as needed before dropping in!


What is a A-line and B-line?

A-Line is more challenging, faster and with more risk. We always recommend you look at the A line in practice and NEVER hit it for the first time in a race run.

The B-line will be safer, for all levels, but may be slower

What if I fall?

Someone will be there soon, DO NOT STRESS YOU ARE SLOWING PEOPLE DOWN. Remember, everyone there is a rider, and we’ve all been through a fall on a track!

Make sure you are OK slowly, and if not, we’ll have the staff to you very quickly! Don’t feel pressured to get up and get moving.

What do I do at the start?

GPs have a mass start. If it’s your first race, place yourself toward the back and relax. Let the fast guys/gals take off, and enjoy the first lap.

The first lap of your first GP is an experience! You are matching speeds with others, especially up a hill, in clips, is awkward the first time! Its fine, and we’ve all gone through it. Just realise the first lap will not be mashing pedals.

The superflow, everyone heads up the hill (in no rush) and forms a line to drop in!

Do I have to ride the whole 4h/7h?

No, you don’t! take it on as a team, or call it a day when you have done enough laps to satisfy yourself. Our classes are below

GP4 – Solo

GP4 – Solo 18

GP4 – Solo E-bike

GP4 – Team 2

GP4 – Team 2 – U18

GP7 – Solo

GP7 – Solo – E-bike

GP7 – Team 2

GP7 – Team 2 – U18

GP7 – Team 3

GP7 – Team 3 – 18

Rocky Trail Shimano GP, Ourimbah, 2019