Make sure everything is packed. Double-check your checklist.
Be sure to eat. A good rule of thumb is that your last pre-race meal should be 3 hours before the race so you have enough time to digest. Eat something light. A big beef burrito probably isn’t the best idea as a pre-race meal. You can also have a light snack 30 minutes before race time. (bar, gels etc)
Plan to arrive about 1.5-2 hours before the start of your event. This will give you time to register/check-in/take care of any paperwork, use the facilities, get dressed and warm up.
If there’s a course preview before your event, plan your arrival to take advantage of the preview if there’s enough time between the preview and the start of your event. Remember that a course preview is just that- it is NOT a race. Take it slow, check out the lines, check out what to expect.
It’s completely normal to be nervous.
Check your watch for the time. Listen for staging announcements. The last thing you want to do is miss your start or start in the wrong field.
Listen to the Chief Referee’s announcements. It is very important that you hear and understand these announcements as they often contain very important information about course hazards or information about the finish. If you cannot hear or understand, speak up. If you didn’t hear, it’s likely others did not too.
You may be nervous. Take a deep breath.
During the race:
For all types of races:
Communicate with other riders. If you are on someone’s left, tell them “on your left”. Don’t surprise other racers!
Always pay attention. Race dynamics change pretty quickly. It may be hard to maintain focus toward the end of the race when you’re tired. Pay a lot of attention and re-focus yourself.
Be predictable. Make your moves smoothly. No one like to be surprised. Don’t slam on the brakes unnecessarily.
Look before moving laterally. You wouldn’t swing across three lanes of traffic without looking! Take a peek.
Don’t forget to hydrate and eat.
Don’t half wheel. e.g. overlap wheels You could go down if the front rider decides to move to the side.
After the race
Do NOT re-cross the finish line after you are done! Have fun!
Don’t go to the judge and pester them for results. Results are posted at a specific location and should be posted online within 24-48 hours after the event. Sometimes results are posted to the website within minutes of the completion of the event.
If you feel that there has been an error in the results, please contact the Chief Judge within 15 minutes after the results have been posted at the race venue. If you discover an error in the results after they have been posted on the website, then contact the Chief Judge listed at the top of the results page within 24 hours after the results have been posted.
If your team is an official OBRA team and your team name does not appear next to your results, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. If you have questions about our team listing policy on results, please also send us an e-mail.
Discipline specific suggestions
You should always enter and leave the track at the start of the straights to give yourself time to get up to speed and slow down. Only if you want to get up to speed or get in a pace line should you venture down near the black line. The red line to the blue line is usually reserved for riders who are passing or pulling off of pacelines so try to keep above or at the blue line when going slower on the track, or just ride on the apron.
Never go very slow (under 15 mph) while warming up as you could slide down track taking out a paceline or two along the way. Listen for things like “stay”, “stick” or “hold”, and do not go up track if you hear this even if it is your turn to pull up track. While faster riders do get the sprinters lane it is the rider who is passing that needs to pay attention and go around the slower riders who are also in the sprinters lane. Remember the important thing is to be aware, ride a straight line and look first. If there is a crash or mishap, the riders involved will “use” gravity and go down track, so you should always attempt to ride above them and go up track. Riders with a mishap should head towards the apron or infield and never go up track as this may just make it worse (gravity).
Attempt to ride as close to the main group as you feel possible. Remember that the sprinters lane (between the black and red at the bottom) is the fastest line, so use it when possible, especially if off-the-back. It is fine to pass around the top or underneath as long as you have room. (Do not pass underneath riders that are already in the sprinter’s lane.) Always give yourself room when passing as other riders may choose to pass at the same time and may not notice you from behind. When being passed by faster riders always hold your line. While it is better to be high on the track when the group passes, both to allow the faster riders to race and give you a chance to use gravity to get back up to speed, do not attempt to go up track at the last second and make the faster group go even higher to try and pass. As long as you pay attention to the other riders you should be fine.
Mountain bikers watch out for each other and you should come prepared to be in the woods with proper gear, clothing and tools.
If you come across a crash, ask if your fellow racer needs help! Races are secondary to the well being of your fellow competitors!
Be courteous on the trail. If a person that is not in your category is wanting to pass you, let them pass when it is safe to do so. If you are wanting to pass, do not get aggressive, be polite and pass when it is safe to do so. We do not want to discourage other racers from coming back!
Be polite! When passing or attempting to pass- do so only when it safe to do so. Do not swear or berate other riders.
Listen for the bell. The bell signals the last lap of the event.
You may be finished before last lap. The length of the race is determined by the race leaders.