MTB XC Race Novice — BikeRadar
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XC and Enduro
MTB XC Race Novice
edited November 2008
XC and Enduro
Im hoping to enter my first race next year.
How long does a race last and what speed should I be doing?
I mainly ride bridlepaths.
What do technical sections include and how can I prepare for them?
Depending on your category a race will be 1.5 to 2 hours long. You must go as fast as you can. Its as simple as that.
The main skill I would advise is to get used to steep, slippery, muddy descents, whilst your saddle is up. Good balance is essential.
Experience is the best teacher, really.
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I guess it depends on what you want to get out of it. .
I guess the best advice is ride a variety of terrain. Make sure your riding for longer than your race would be. Establish your strengths and weaknesses and focus on improving.
'to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift' Steve Prefontaine
"When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race" H.G.Wells
So what sort of mileage do races cover and what is an average speed?
Depends on the course.
Why not enter a few fun class races to get a feel for it?
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Not to be unhelpful but I agree. Speed is so course specific it is really meaningless. I have done one Trailbreak (Bramley/ Dunsfold) and one race - Gorrick Autumn Classic. Both were completely different and doing the first did not prepare me at all for the latter.
Only advice I would offer from my vast inexperience is enter fun not age group no matter what your age (even the oldest category of the 50+ at Gorrick were much more "professional" than the fun) and start at the back of the grid!
My first "event" was the 12 Hour Gorrick Enduro - baptism of fire but brilliant in a team of 4 - each lap was about an hour but got worse with the mud / rain and dark, .
I have also just ridden the Gorrick Autumn Classic and entered the "FUN" (!!!) section , which was 2 laps - each lap was about 5 - 6 miles and it took me an hour.
I also agree, at age 41, i nearly entered the VETS thinking it would be a load of old guys not as fit as me - Thank god i didn't, 3 laps with ex-pro's wouldn't have been fun !!!!!
You will find a lot of useful tips in this thread...
http://www.thetfordmtbracing.com/Thetfo ... php?t=1151
Lap by lap analysis, videos, photos, race reports and a map of race locations