Important Tips – Advice

The Boring But Very Important Stuff

Welcome to the Mean and Dirty Off Road Challenge 2014 (MADORC).

Our sport is extremely versatile and in particular, mountain bike endurance events, can bring forth lots of challenges. Therefore, we have created a list of tips and tricks for novices and even the most experienced riders, based on observations from our own experiences, as well as advice from endurance riders and specialists. Regardless of competency, every rider should thoroughly read these points to make sure that every eventuality is covered and you get the most out of your riding experience.

Please have a read through, if we have forgotten anything that you think should be included, please drop us a line at:

1. You are using a machine: Make sure that machine works as well as it possibly can! Ensure your bike is in perfect condition when you come to the events. If you are not good with a spanner, take it to a good bike shop and get it given a quick once over. Otherwise, get the spanner and the oil can out and prepare your steed by getting it in tip-top condition. You will be surprised what a difference it can make to yourself and to the safety of others.

2. You are out on your own: Ensure you can sort most problems out on the trail! The events are mass participation events. Although it is unlikely that you will be on your own during the event, it is essential that you take some emergency tools and spares with you – so that you can sort out problems without relying on others. Take the time to learn how to fix all common mechanicals – a puncture, broken chain, and how to set up gears and brakes, etc.

3. You’re the engine of your machine: Get in shape for the ride! MTB endurance events are supposed to be enjoyable. From personal experience we can tell you that it is far more likely to be fun during the ride if your body is capable of tackling a long distance ride. Get some long rides in beforehand so that your legs, back and bum get used to being in the saddle for long periods of time.

4. Fuel your engine! Please don’t wait until you’re hungry or thirsty to eat or drink – when those feelings occur you’re already running at a deficit and it is too late….the dreaded “Bonk” is just around the corner. A good rule of thumb is to drink between 500 – 750mls of fluid, eat one energy bar or three gels per hour of riding. A feed stations will be out on the course but are purely there for topping up your cake intake/water supplies.

5. Enter soon: To avoid disappointment on the day! These events are very popular. Entry will be online only and there will be no entry on the line, on the event day. Entry will close on August 16th

6. Don’t be late: You might miss the fun otherwise. You have to register yourself: we can’t accept a friend or family member to do it for you. If you have not signed on, you can’t ride. Registration opening times are as follows:

Parking on 14th September will open at 0700.

There are 2 approaches to Brockworth Rugby Club: turn into Mill Lane from the A46, Shurdington Road. Through traffic lights and the school is on your left, with the rugby club a further 100 yards on your right;

Alternately, turn into Vicarage Lane from Ermin Street, carry on straight ahead at roundabout, and first right into Mill Lane. Proceed ahead until you reach the rugby club on the left.

Please park considerately, we have a lot of people to fit in. it is very important NOT to park on the sports pitches, which will be cordoned off. There will be people directing parking, please follow their instruction.

7. Toilet traffic jams on Sunday morning: Be prepared! Everybody will need to go to the toilet between 7.00am and 09.00am on Sunday morning. It is impossible for us to have toilets for 500 riders at the same time – we can only suggest keeping the ‘toilet traffic jam’ in mind and going earlier rather than later, if you can.

8. Pace yourself: No point burning out in the first couple of hours! Riding off-road is tiring. Don’t put the hammer down straight away; it’s not a race! It is very easy to get carried away by riders storming past you at the first hill, but you will be surprised how many of those you will pass later on, if you just keep it steady. Pace yourself, once you figure out how much juice you have left – then go like hell.

9. Respect other riders and other trail / road users and road traffic: This is not a race! You will be out there with around 500 other riders on the day. You might get in someone’s way or vice versa. If you struggle with a climb or a downhill and you have to get off, please clear the trail straight away, so that riders behind you can keep going. If someone in front of you can’t get out-of-the-way quickly enough, be patient and polite and remember: this is NOT a race. Treat fellow riders and other trail users, like walkers, horse riders and other road users, in the way you would want to be treated – with utmost respect. Respect the traffic on the open road! Please keep in mind that parts of the route are run on the open road, so you will be mixing with other traffic. Make sure you: take a good look around before you overtake other riders or go into blind turns; always ride on the left hand side of the road; always watch out and don’t rely on other riders to do so for you

10. Help others: remember it could be you: The emphasis at our events is very much on ‘riding together’ rather than ‘racing against each other’. Besides being respectful, it also means that if you see someone in trouble, you can stop and help make sure that they are okay. If necessary, inform the event organisers or the event marshalls as soon as possible. You are asked to take a note of the organisers telephone numbers with you.

These are: Andy Gardner – 07521 815695 Graham Foot – 07403477747

If you do want to overtake, please warn the rider in front of your intention and indicate on which side you will pass; only overtake where it is safe to do so and not on a technical downhill section, where you may distract another rider’s attention, leading them to crash. If you are being overtaken, please move aside a bit, where it is safe for you to do so. Remember, this is NOT a race.

11. Wear a helmet: No helmet, no ride! Don’t forget to bring your lid. No helmet, no ride: no further comment necessary.

12. When tiredness kicks in: If at any stage of the ride, you feel that you cannot carry on, just take the marked shortcut back to the event HQ, or make your way to the next checkpoint/ feed station, where we will arrange a pickup. The short-cut will be indicated from the feed-stop. If you are choosing to leave the course or taking the short-cut, please let a marshal or organiser know. This is very important as we will not want to re-create a scene from “Manhunt” and involve the police in looking for you, while you’re sat at home drinking tea and watching “Eastenders”.

13. Endurance events are little adventures: Be prepared for everything! The 2012 season demonstrated what extremes UK weather can go to. Every location, season and general conditions, present a different challenge for the organisers as well as for the individual. Make sure you prepare yourself as much as you can by: carrying extra water, having the right clothes with you, comfortable riding shoes, a comfortable pair of riding shorts, quick drying top, good gloves, wind/waterproof in case the weather changes. We recommend a hydration backpack with at least a 2 litre bladder and enough storage for your spares. On your adventure, please follow the marked route. The route crosses private land and we are very grateful to the landowners for allowing access. Please make sure you do not litter and leave nothing but your tyre-prints. Please remember to shut any gates you pass through. If you don’t know it, have a quick read of the countryside code. This is the first of many events and we can all play our part in being welcomed back for years to come. ???

14. Smile when you see a camera: In fact, smile all the time! Our event photographer and his colleagues will be taking pictures of pretty much everybody. You’ll want to give people who think that you are slightly MaD, the impression that this is fun! ????

15. Younger riders: Anyone 16 years and under must ride with a responsible adult, who will remain with them at all times. Please be realistic about the young-gun’s physical ability, bearing in mind you may be cycling for up to 8 hours over challenging terrain.

16. Be realistic about your ability: We have first aid cover, but don’t want to use it! If you are not sure about a section of trail, stop for a look before committing yourself. There is no shame in walking and riding off…but it would be a shame if you had to eat fish and chips through a straw. If you do ride a tricky section, remember the 3 Cs: concentrate; Commit; Confidence and go for it! We want everyone to complete the route safely and to be able to get out on their bikes the next day. The organisers accept no responsibility for any damage you or your bike incur. By signing-on, you accept that you participate entirely at your own risk.

17. Checkpoint stamp: You will need this to authenticate you have completed the course, as it will be stamped at each checkpoint. There may be points where checkpoints get clogged with riders: be patient, don’t shout at marshalls and wait your turn….remember it is NOT a race. Additionally, you will have to present this in order to get your cup of tea and piece of cake. You will also need this at the end to collect your t-shirt and hot meal.

18. Medical conditions: You may be alone for a while should that wasp decide to attack! If you require medication for whatever condition, remember to bring it along. Also wear any bracelets or carry any cards that identify any medical conditions you have: this will save valuable time in the event of an emergency. Some form of identification is also useful.

19. And finally…don’t forget to have fun: it might hurt, but it is fun! It might not feel like the greatest idea whilst you are doing it; you can’t get tired of the feeling of achievement once you cross the finish line. If you keep this in mind, then the whole ride is going to be one big fun-filled MaD day-out. We will do our best at our end and hopefully all of us will have an enjoyable and successful MADORC.

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