Pop my dirt cherry – My first MTB race.

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Marx SS, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

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    My MTB: “Avanti Aggressor” – now Specialised Stumpjumper (frame recently replaced), runs Schimano LX throughout, XT rear derailuer, 27speed. Schimano wheels.

    (Australia, Melbourne)
    Last night was the first time I turned a wheel over a start line of a MTB race.
    Run by Full Gas Promotions (http://www.fullgaspromotions.com.au/dirtcrits.html ) it’s a weekly Dirt Critium race that covers a loop set out at Westgate Park Melbourne & also takes in some paddock area as well. I’ve heard about this event for a few weeks now but only competed for the first time last night as the weather was pretty much ideal – for Melbourne in August – and I recently got my relatively new Avanti Aggressor MTB back from a warrantee replacement for a cranked frame the day before (not really an Avanti anymore as you can see in the pix but that’s another story).

    They had 3x grades, A, B & C. The course was approx 5km loop, A grade did 5 laps, B did 4laps & C 3laps. The grades were sent off 1min apart. Start was 6:30pm so I rode straight from work (finish 5pm) to make the sign in etc, also 6:30pm in Melbourne at August mean darkness & cold, so we all ran lights. I opted for a 10wt helmet mounted light (http://www.cecilwalker.com.au/category261_1.htm ) instead of bike mounted lights as the beam dances around heaps on the move, helmet mount give you a steadier light.

    In C grade I rode off last in my grade & followed the bloke in front for most of the lap. Weird riding by spotlight but it actually made riding technical going easier because I wasn’t distracted by drop-a-ways or obstacle out of the field of vision (what you can see, doesn’t scare you). By the tail end of the first lap I pulled a couple of passes & began to power on alittle harder.
    With not much experience with some of the more technical stuff, I dismounted & pushed through & tried to make up lost ground by going harder in the open parts, using brawn over brains. A couple of times I backed off or baulked which tossed me off into the darkness.
    3 stacks down I rounded for my 3rd & final lap. Legs feeling weary but my adrenalins was pumping away at the crank. Half way around the A grade riders started to come through lapping me, “ Passing on your right!”, I tried to stick with them & maybe learn a thing or two, but it didn’t last long.

    Finish, & made it in one piece. Was surprised that I didn’t do that may gear changes, mostly stuck on the centre chainwheel & maybe went up & down on the rear derailleur, too busy looking where I was going to play around with the shifters for that perfect cadence. Besides the course was pretty flat with only short climbs & drops.
    Wasn’t that muddy. Was coated in sweat even though it was like 10degrees Celsius. The ride home from the event was a slow affair with the backpack full of ‘workwear’ etc & the tiredness seeping in.

    Be there next time (in a fortnight 2nd Sept as next week it’s not on), no worries.
    :D
    Pix of me as a moving chicane:
    http://fullgas.fotopic.net/p6847555.html

    http://fullgas.fotopic.net/p6847523.html
     
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  2. mattv2099

    mattv2099 New Member

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    Was Niki Gudex there? She's hot.
     
  3. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

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    Yes!
    You want her number?
    But, shes busy this weekend, Saturday night, & if all goes well Sunday morning.............
     
  4. Fallguy

    Fallguy New Member

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    Just had a read of your experience at the MTB racing and I gotta say it sounds like a lot of fun. I have been on the lookout for places that run these races. Tell me your opinion on the track and the way the whole thing is run. I look forward to your reply. :cool:
     
  5. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

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    Not sure where you’re from Fallguy, but I’m located in Melbourne. Things might idff in other countries/states.

    I’m only one race down, but I didn’t find it too hard. I had the opportunaty to pre-ride the course 2 weeks before on the weekend which helped heaps (park is always open, tyre tracks left show the direction) . Knowing the C grade was 3x laps, that’s what I rode & then gauged my perfomance.
    There will be some parts of the course where you’ll get off & lift you bike through, but that’s OK. Watching how the A grade guys jump/hop/ride through the real technical stuff spins me out, but I suppose enough events & we’ll all be doing the same.

    There a 50/50 mix of single track (where you can’t pass easliy) & open stuff generally speaking so if someone comes up behind you, there would be a place for them to pass, no need to stress.
    There’s just some bunting & witches hats to mark the course so you could do short cuts but that’s not how its done. Some of it isn't pretty, but it's there - thats the main thing.
    Pretty casual air about the whole event(s). Rock up, fill in the p/w, pay your entry( for me it was entry $10, & one day competition licence thing $10 = $20). They give you a number & some zip-ties/wire to tie the numb to your bike. About 50 entries that night I did it.
    With the bike – MTB, run knobbies, good to have med level groupset up, but I saw some single speeds & rigid forks going great guns. No need for top level disk brakes or whatever, anything with a new price tag of $800 up can make it easy.
    I rode to/from the event, but it might be best to cart you bike there, save the legs for battle.
    I didn’t drink during the race – about 30 mins – so I didn’t carry the bottle, but bring some anyway for the end of the event. Good to secure your tailight & remove pump/tools etc off the bike, because it gets bumped around & if you can lose something you will – travel light. You can leave a bag of stuff at the start/finish. Not sure about a flat repair kit as the event is pretty short – 30mins, by the time you get the tyre fixed the race will be over.

    I might have a go at other events run by other groups (clubs) soon too.
     
  6. Fallguy

    Fallguy New Member

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    I'm from Melbourne in the outer eastern suburbs, so this is why this interests me. As far as my bike goes it is a 2004 Giant XTC3. Thanks for the info. :D
     
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