(or… Why should I race?)
There’s no big prizes, or corporate sponsorships
awaiting our participants, it’s all about going out, having a ride and testing yourself and having a hoot. Our races and courses are specifically set up to attract the as many participants as possible. This means the course is usually simple, with few (if any) technical challenges such that beginner riders will also enjoy participating.
Generally, the races are held on a loop circuit, the length of the loop will vary with each race, depending on the length of the race, the location and how much track is available to use. You don’t have to ride for the full race. If you feel like doing just the one lap, and having a break, then that’s great, you’ve come along and participated. This is the goal of DORC, to maximise the participation (and fun) in the great sport of mountain biking.
Some race format may also lend themselves to a team participation, that way, you can share the load. Anything that gets you (and your friends) riding is fair (of course, as long as it is safe!).
I won’t be fast enough
Fast enough for whom? Approximately half of the participants at any race event would categorise themselves as beginner or intermediate level riders. They participate for the fun, but also to challenge themselves. For events that are held on similar courses each year, they measure their performance and improvement from one year to the next.
Or they find riders of similar pace and skill and test themselves against each other.
Get to the race registration area with plenty of time to get registered, and to get your bike and yourself organised. Sometimes there is a queue for registration, so be prepared and be early.
Generally, there are two types of registration: Club member and Day License.
The registration fees for club members are somewhat less, and registration is quicker. It’s much more convenient to be a member of DORC, and there are other benefits too. If you’re planning to do a few rides and races, consider becoming a member.
Use a day license if you’re not sure about becoming a member. You’ll be asked to fill out a form and pay a higher registration fee. The extra expense goes to AusCycling to cover insurance costs.
Also, at registration there’s usually a noticeboard with DORC news, a map of the race route and safety information. Make a note of the mobile phone numbers (and put them in your phone if you carry one).
Now that you’re registered and you’re read to race, hang about for the…
Just before the start, the race director will conduct a race briefing. This will cover information about the course, the race and any other important details before you set off
During the race briefing, everyone will have gathered with around the race control area with their bikes. Already there some form of informal seeding process will have taken place. It’s pretty easy. Slow riders at the back, intermediate riders to the middle and if you fancy your chances at getting into that first corner ahead of the pack, then the front is for you.
The race director will call the start, and you’re away.
Sharing with faster riders
Many new riders worry that they will be in the way of the faster riders during a race. It is the responsibility of the faster rider to pass you safely. When a faster rider comes up behind you, they will call “Track please” (many may also say, “when you’re ready, may I have some track please”) You’d be surprised about how polite mountain bikers are! When you have a safe opportunity, you can call back “On my left” or “On my right”, and make room for them to pass safely.
Sheep stations are not at stake, and our top level riders are also here to have some fun and to test themselves.
Everyone was a beginner once and we all remember that.
Give our volunteers every opportunity to help you. Please arrive well before race start time, so you can register (sometimes there is a queue), get your bike and gear prepared.
Hydration and refuelling
If you’re planning on having a longer crack at it, you may wish to bring some extra water bottles and/or something to eat. Fruit, sugar lollies (eg snakes) or energy gels all can help you keep powering.
Often people will set up a small area around the race control where they will keep extra water bottles, gels, fruit, or maybe some tools and/or spares.
If you have a mechanical or stop at an obstacle
If you have a mechanical failure, move off the trail as soon as possible. If there is another racer behind you, you should move out of his or her way immediately.
If you fail to negotiate an obstacle or hill, get out of the other racers way immediately. Do not stop at the top of a hill or at the very end of an obstacle if it will cause the riders behind you to bottle up.
In the event a rider crashes in front of you
- You may go around if you can do so safely.
- If the rider is in need of medical attention, provide it if possible.
- You are not required to provide assistance: If you are unwilling or unable, please alert the volunteer you see.
Need more information?
Check out our social ride information page.
If you have a question now, drop us a line in the comments section below, or on race day, you’re unsure of anything, ask someone, either at registration or someone who looks like they’ve been here before. (Hint: Pick out someone wearing a DORC jersey).
We’d love to help. Seriously. We love mountain biking, and we really want as many people to participate, to come back and to tell their friends.
Come and have a go, racing is a hoot!