12 Steps to Riding Time Card
For many enduro bike riders the concept of a time card sounds a nightmare, but that's why im here to help you get your head around it! Here's my latest no-nonsense off road biker guide:
Step 1 - START EARLY
If you want a good result turn up early and walk the special tests 2/3 times so that you have the course as best fixed in your head as possible.
Step 2 - PREPARE YOUR TIME CARD
For a typical centre level time card event there'll most likely be one check for a whole lap of the course. Add the lap times to your start time to make a schedule for your race.
Step 3 - ADDING THE TIMES
Once you've marked the times store the card in a pocket or tape it to your bike to present at checks. Duplicate them to a strip of duct tape to your bike so that you can keep check on your progress against time keeper's clocks.
Step 4 - NOW PLAN
Look at the time you're allocated for each lap and the distance per lap. From this you can work out the average mph you will need to be going in order to meet this time. Say the course is 12 miles and you have 50 minutes for the first lap = (12/50=) 0.24 miles x 60 minutes = 14 mph
Step 5 - WHICH MEANS
You will also need to plan refuelling your bike. How long can your enduro bike run on a tank? Similarly you will need to conserve energy - stay hydrated and eat energy snack at checks to be ready for the burn that will come at the end of the day.
Step 6 - CHECKS
Marked by white flags, you should spot these and slow up ready to sight the check proper which is marked by yellow flags about 100m later. Do not cross the yellow flags until the clock shows your time.
Step 7 - EARLY-LATE
If your early, wait til your time shows. Go in early and you'll be penalised 60 points for every minute you're in error. If you're late you need to get in the check as quick as you can.
Step 8 - ONCE YOU ARE EARLY-LATE
You need to recalculate the rest of your day's check times to accord with your new arrival time.
Step 9 - LAST LAP/CHECK
You can check in early on the last lap usually without penalty.
Step 10 - YES, THAT TEST!
Abide by the marshalls instructions as you enter, try and clear as much of the track ahead of you as you can. If you start right behind another rider you could get balked, costing you precious seconds.
Step 11 - MAINTENTANCE
Looking after your bike is pretty easy these days, so prep your enduro bike well and you should be fine. Keep a few home spares and fix its just in case you have a crash or breakage. A bum bag comes in handy for longer lap enduros.
Step 12 - EMBRACE THE DIFFERENCE
It all sounds one big faff but once you get into it you will love it. It's a neat mix of skills - riding and intelligence based. You get to ride terrain you'll never see in any other form of off-road biking and for once you'll find brain is as important as braun.
So that's how to ride time card! Don't forget - riding is one thing, making sure your pride and joy is safe when in storage is another. MCE Insurance offer enduro bike insurance, protecting your bike from theft and fire whilst laid up. To get a quote call: 0844 338 68 05 or click here to request a call back.
20.05.2012 - Big Ed