Preparing to Race
Mountain bike racing is not just for the highly trained. It is an exhilarating physical activity that can add to your health and quality of life. Racing is as much about fun, shared experiences and making new friends, as it is about competition. The Minnesota Mountain Bike Series is open to and welcomes participants of all ages and abilities.
The Series has various "Classes" to accommodate racers of all abilities and ages. A beginner should consider the "Citizen" class or "Kids Comp" class (if age 14 or under) if they are unsure of their fitness or technical riding skills. Race courses for the Citizen and Kids Comp classes generally use "Green" level trails. An intermediate rider may consider the "Sport" class, which may use "Green" and "Blue" level trails for their race course. More advanced riders may consider the "Comp" class or even "Elite" class if they are confident in their fitness and riding ability, as race courses for these classes typically use "Blue" and even "Black" level trails.
At least a day in advance, check over your bike to make sure everything is in good working order: check your wheels, drive train (chain, crank set, cogs, shifters, derailleurs) and brakes. Refrain from making any significant changes to your bike within a week of the race, such as changing your seat or handle bar positioning or replacing or upgrading components. If you have questions about the proper bike for a course we recommend contacting one of the local retailers who support our Series.
Get plenty of rest, nutrition, and hydration the night before your race.
Eat a good breakfast 3-4 on race day.
About an hour before your race, have a light snack (power bar, fig cookies, etc.), to give your body a little energy boost.
Drink plenty of water leading up to your race but you should stop 30 minutes before the race. This will give you time to use the bathroom just prior to the race start.
For a race under 60 minutes, you may not need food. However, some people use energy gels to keep up there energy up during a race.
During longer races, it is recommended to ingest the gels every 20 minutes with fluid to maintain hydration and a steady energy flow.
Continue drinking during your race to remain hydrated.
We recommend registering in advance online whenever possible. This will save you money and speed up your registration experience at the race. Arrive at the race an hour or two prior to your start so you can check-in at Registration (if need be), change clothes, and get in a good warm up ride.
When you register, the race registrar will direct you to fill out forms and pay your entry fee. If you have registered online, you should still visit the registration table to pick up your race number.
After registration, change into your race clothing and prep your bike. Final bike prep includes putting your race number on your handlebar, checking tires and suspension for proper air pressure, checking for clean shifting, and checking your brakes.
If you have any questions please ask for the race official.
All racers can benefit from pre-riding the race course. Pre-riding the course consists of riding the designated race course prior to the day of the event. If it is not an open trail, pre-riding information can be found on the events page. Pre-riding the course gives you the opportunity to learn the terrain and boost your confidence for your race.
Be sure to warm up before your race. A good warm up ride will greatly improve your race and you will feel better and be faster on the trail.
It may be beneficial to carry a multitool with you during the race.
You should arrive at the starting area 15 minutes prior to the start. Usually there is a scheduled racers meeting just prior to the start, so listen for instructions given at the registrars table.
Mountain bike races start fast, so be ready to work hard after the countdown. Usually the hard initial pace slows a bit and the riders find their comfort zone.
Beginner races are usually short enough that you can maintain hard work for the duration depending on your fitness.
Most importantly, have fun. Mountain bike racing is a great way to spend a day and the people you meet along the way make it even more rewarding.