North of England XC Club
A Guide for First-Timers
Here at the north of england XC Club we aim to give you the best day’s fun on two wheels. We also try to be as welcoming as we can to newcomers to our sport. We’ve been riding off-road for years and still enjoy it 100%. We hope we can introduce you to this great game called XC that is a real test of endurance.
Just follow our step-by-step guide:
Step One – Get yourself some Regs that are on line on-line entry page.
Event organisers publish a set of regulations (‘Regs’) for each event. These set out the rules of the competition, and help ensure that everyone is treated fairly and safely. They also give key information such as when and how to apply and how much it will cost you. We try to make these regulations as clear and simple as possible. However, if you are new to our sport you may have some questions, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You will need to state which ‘class’ you are entering. These are Expert, Over 40, Over 50, Clubman, Sportsman, & Hobby Rider, Youth Male, Youth Female & Junior. If this is your first event you’ll probably be in the ‘Hobby Riber’ class.
A few days before the race you will receive ‘final instructions’ on-line. The Final Instructions will also tell you your rider number. You need to display this number clearly on your bike, as set out in the instructions. Numbers are for sale at events at 50p per number.
Step Two – On the day
When you arrive at the event you will find the normal enduro facilities – and maybe a few extras, perhaps some trade stands selling bike spares and so on.
Who’s Who: The Marshals
First a word about the most important people at the event – The Marshals. These are not just a few blokes we dragged in off the street, they are experienced riders and organisers trained to ensure your safety and the fairness of the event. Each can be identified by high vis vests with the North of England XC Club logo on. They will be all over the course, checking and watching, re-placing markers, and so on. They will be in radio contact with race control, and the medical team. The person in overall charge of the event is the Clerk of the Course, you will find his/her name in your Regs.
Step Three – Sign-On
The first thing you need to do when you arrive is to find the Secretary and ‘sign on’. You need to show your ACU licence if you have one, or purchase your single event licence otherwise at a cost of £15. You also collect your transponder wrist-band for the computer lap-counter and place it on your right wrist.
Important – You must not use a transponder from another club as it will not work with the timing system.
Step Four – Scrutineering
Once you are happy that your bike is prepared, take it to the ‘Machine Examiner’ (aka Scrutineer). This is a basic safety check. Some events will require a noise test. Your helmet will also be checked.
Step Five – Parc Fermé
Having passed the Scrutineer, take your bike to the Parc Fermé (‘Closed Park’) AKA Bike Park for your class. The pits are will be next to this area with (your re-fuelling area during the race), leave your fuel cans and any tools you may need behind the parked bikes. It’s a good idea to clearly mark your fuel – faced with 150 fuel cans honest mistakes can be made!
Step Six – The Start
Just before the first riders start you will be given a final verbal briefing. This may include such details as ground conditions, depth of water out on the course, and so on.
You will be called forward, one class at a time, Experts first, and given time to warm your engines. You then line up, ‘under Starters orders’. This is a dead engine start. The Starter will display a board giving you a 10 second warning. He/She will then retreat to the side and drop the stop engines sign. – when this is dropped you may start your engine and proceed onto the course.
Course marking. The course will be clearly marked using a combinations of tape and arrows. Arrows will be used to indicate a change of direction. A single arrow pointing to 2 o’clock indicates a turn to the right. Double arrows pointing to 9 o’clock indicate a sharp turn to the left, and so on. Where the course is marked with parallel arrows you MUST ride between them. 2 crossed arrows indicate a hazard.
Step Seven – Lap Count
At the end of each lap you will pass a computerised lap counter. This area will be marked with blue tape and must be ridden at walking pace.
Hold your transponder wrist band close to the black scanner panel. The light will flash once to confirm that your lap has been registered.
Step Eight – End of the Race
When the set race duration is up (1.15 hours for Youth/Juniors & 2.5 hours usually for adults) no one may start a new lap. Those riders out on the course must complete their last lap. This will count towards their total. However, the time you spend on the course after the end of the race duration is a penalty against you. So for 2 riders with the same number of laps it’s the first one home that wins. (I.e. the rider with the lower penalty time spent on his/her last lap.)
Step Nine – Results & Presentations
As long as the computerised results system holds up, we aim to have the provisional results printed and on display in around 45 mins. after the last rider finishes. Presentations will follow shortly after.
It’s not that complicated, just get out there and enjoy it! We are here to help you.