On Sunday the 30th of November Drift Bikes is presenting the final round of the Hunter Mountain Bike Association Cross Country Series for 2014. Everyone at Drift Bikes is “ultra-mega” excited to announce our involvement in the up coming cross country race, that will affectionately be known as the Killikaze.
How did the name Killikaze come about? Well it certainly doesn’t mean anyone is going to die! It’s name is due to the proposed course including a Killingworth first, a FLYOVER! The inclusion of the FLYOVER will allow riders to utilise the full compliment of trails available in the Killingworth area without compromising both direction and flow! Divebomb beneath your competitors but live to tell the tale. (now say CHEESE!) The Killikaze will not only be the final HMBA club race of the year, it will also be a chance to revisit one of the most fondly remembered race venues in the country. We're looking to get all y'all asses out of Glenrock for the day and offering up the opportunity to race a sweet track in a cruisy and fun environment. For the meaning of all y’all please consult the following diagram.
The Killingworth trail network was used by the HMBA for over 20 years and has seen mountain bike racing progress and grow to what it is today. It has hosted countless State and National series races over the years in both XC and DH and was the original stomping ground of 24 hour MTB World Champion, Jason English. Drifters Robbie and Freemo were both race directors at Killingworth at one point and have raced the trails since they were boys at the tender, innocent age of 12. They have a soft spot for it's fast, yet technical trails.
Using this intimate knowledge of the trail network and vast collection of topographic maps, spy photos and studying space age infra-red video surveillance they have dreamed up a compilation of Killi's greatest hits that will have you grinning and grimacing from ear to ear. If you've never raced before and are perhaps a little bike-curious about the whole racing scene, there's never been a better time to give it a muddy crack.
MTBA have launched a FREE trial membership program which will make it super easy and inexpensive (only $10 entry fee) to have a go at your first race. Details here - http://www.mtba.asn.au/news/2163-free-trial-program-to-revolutionise-access-to-mountain-bike-australia-membership
How To Race
If this is your first race, you'll probably be surprised by how laidback and friendly the local club racing scene is. An HMBA club race is a great way to ease yourself into MTB racing and we're sure you'll love the experience. Jump onto http://www.mtba.asn.au/news/2163-free-trial-program-to-revolutionise-access-to-mountain-bike-australia-membership and grab your free trial membership prior to race day to ensure sign up on race day is as simple and smooth as possible.
Registration for XC racing will open at 7am and close at 8am sharp.
You can register on the day.Race Entry $10 Pre-registration is fine if you email firstname.lastname@example.org by the Wednesday before the race with your MTBA membership number but you will still be required to pay on the day. If you get a temp membership ie. online registration complete and awaiting official membership card, you will be required to bring your receipt along on the day so HMBA can verify. If you require a license and have not applied online thru MTBA be sure to leave plenty of time (ideally half an hour) to sort this out at the rego desk prior to the close of rego at 8am. Day licenses cost $20. HMBA use a graded racing system, graded A through D with separate Men’s and Women’s categories. You can self seed however sandbagging (as it was known in the 90's) is still frowned upon. So if you need a tip on what grade is best for you, then enter the class that you are worried about keeping up with, not the one you think you can win! Given the length of the proposed November course (approx. 10.7km) we are aiming to try and have everyone finish around the same time. Once again remember that all riders must be registered by 8am.
A Grade (4 laps) will start at 8:30am.
B Grade (3 laps) will start once the final competitor from A grade crosses the start finish line at the completion of their first lap. We approximate a 9am start for all other grades.
C grade (2 laps) starting 1 minute behind B
D Grade (1 Lap) starting a minute after apart once the final competitor from B grade has completed their first lap.
Juniors (1/2 Lap) must pre-register at email@example.com - starting at 7.30am. This is designed so that the majority of the competitors finish at the same time. We estimate the following overall times for Grades A thru D and Juniors A grade - riders to finish in about 2 to 2.5 hours B grade - anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2 hours C grade - 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 mins D grade - in about 45 minutes to an hour. Juniors - 20-30 minutes Your body and bike will be put under a lot more pressure than normal during a cross country race. This won't be easy, but it will be fun!
Make sure your bike is in excellent mechanical working order - you will be riding a technically demanding course that will have steep pinches, rocky sections, rollers, flig-goo-goos, ruts and corners galore. It will require smooth operating / properly set-up suspension, crisp shifting gears, powerful brakes and plenty of bite left in your tires!
Preparing your body for the effort is different for everyone - if you're used to riding for 1 - 2 hours you will probably last the distance no problem at all. What might be the problem (and what tends to surprise most people new to the scene) is the pace of the field, coupled with the fact that you're not stopping - catching a breath, admiring your bike and posting on Instagram #lovinglife #glenrockpicnictable
Know the track We suggest riding at Killingworth as much as you can to get confident on the dusty turns and technical features. Check out the Strava profile below.
Drift will be holding one of our Wolf Pack rides on Saturday the 22nd of November at the race track, so you guys can familiarise yourself with the course and get some help with some of the more challenging sections. We will hold as many Saturday morning Wolf Packs at Killingworth as we can in the lead up to the race over the next few months, so stayed tuned to our Facebook posts. There are many opinions on how to prepare physically for racing - But as a bare minimum, ride continuously for the length of time you intend to race and push hard on EVERY climb. Most new comers tend to go out too hard and use all of their energy in the first half of the race. In your training if you can get used to evenly distributing your energy, pushing hard but knowing your limits and staying focused and smooth in the technical sections, you will definitely start reeling in the first lap commandos as the race goes on. Another excellent training tool is to push hard in the last 10% of your training rides to simulate pushing towards the line as your race comes to a close. This means you will be prepared to leave everything on the track when the end is in sight! Make sure you have adequate nutrition for before, during and after the race. Late November can be very hot (especially at dry, dusty Killingworth) - Bring lots of water including electrolyte’s, food and some gels. You'll need to keep drinking during the race, prepare enough bottles so that you can grab one at the start of each lap. Place them somewhere that's quick and convenient to scoop up on the way through (or better yet, have someone hand them to you so you look really pro). Have at least 1 gel on board, use it before you need it and keep the fires burning all the way to the end.
Want to Race the Best?
Weather permitting Drift Bikes will be offering up their demo fleet of Specialized bikes for race day. This is a unique opportunity to demo a Specialized Camber or Epic. Sizes include Medium and Large and you can pick it up on Saturday from Drift Bikes between 10am and 3pm. All bikes will be set up to your requirements including suspension pressures, seat height and saddle fore/aft. A test ride fee of $100 applies, which is fully refundable if you purchase a bike within 6 months of your demo ride! This is an awesome way of stepping up your equipment for race day and potentially even sneaking in a ride Saturday afternoon on your demo bike prior to race day!
Do a practice lap!!!
If you can't make it to any of the wolf pack or instructional days that drift bikes will be holding in the lead up to the event, be sure to arrive early on race day and do a practice lap prior to your race start. Allow an hour for a practice lap, and enough time to register before the close of registration.
How to find the race site
Finding the Killingworth Trails is straight forward: Starting at Wakefield Rd, turn at the sign to Killingworth onto The Broadway. Follow The Broadway into Killingworth itself and turn right into The Boulevard (follow the MTB sign on the power pole). The dirt road turnoff to the Killingworth trails is 450m on the left, before you reach the power sub-station. From there follow the road and signs, under the freeway, to the event centre some 1-1.2Km in. Keep in mind, the road in is un-sealed and will be rough in places. If you don’t feel comfortable driving on this style of road you can always park at The Boulevard and ride in.
THE WRAP UP – Things you MUST know
- The race is on Sunday the 30th of November
- You must be at the race site and registered by 8am
- You must wear an Australian Standards Approved helmet.
- You must wear covered footwear, no thongs
- Sleeveless jerseys are tolerated but generally frowned upon unless they are of pre 2000 vintage
- Day Licenses are available for $20 (cash only) on the day however if you visit the MTBA website you can register for a free 8 week membership
- The race entry is $10 cash on the day.
- Remember to bring your own food and water and nutrition, the club has very limited supply of these essentials.
- Be prepared.