7) Remember to eat and drink enough
Inextricably linked to point 5 and 8: The nervous poo will leave you feeling hollow and you will need to refuel more so than doing too many practice runs.
At your first race it’s hard to gauge how much fuel to take on without feeling queasy, despite being super fit, racing asks more of your body than a normal ride would.
Don’t rely on the catering at the race either, bring what you know works, bring too much of it and you will be fine.
Bringing a single pack of Jelly Babies for a 50km enduro race will not do you much good and you will likely be requiring attention before the day is out.
8) Don’t do too many practise runs
Dialling in your lines at any race is key to getting the result you want. Riding yourself into the ground is diametrically opposed to this.
Find a happy medium.
Arriving the night before the race rather than first thing in the morning will give you ample time to walk the track before you even ride it.
Value for money is a powerful force but will eat into any time you have remaining to resolve any of the other issues previously mentioned.
9) Learn to put your bike on the uplift properly
This mistake is downhill-specific. Only Glencoe and Fort William sport chairlifts, and the lifties will help you if necessary.
Everywhere else, you will likely be putting your bike next to someone else’s in a cattle truck.
“You run the risk of having your bike mangled.”
Put your bike the wrong way round and you won’t be able to get as many bikes in the truck.
Leave your pedals sitting high and you run the risk of gouging someone else’s paintwork/stanchions/wheels, or having your own bike mangled as the truck rattles its way up the hill.
10) Remember you’ll have the most vocal support
Not a mistake to avoided as such, just something that’s always true at your first race. This is a big deal for you and your friends/family.
They will make you feel very conspicuous even during practice.
Deal with it well by sending a wheelie, turnbar or pro line.
Deal with it badly by piledriving yourself into the ground within inches of your nearest and dearest.