There comes a time in the life of any amateur rider when they feel the need to compete and enhance their skills. But deciding to start racing is only the first step of the process. After you’ve made this choice, it’s time to start preparing by gathering the necessary gear and equipment. And naturally, the crucial thing that you need to have is a reliable bicycle.
According to MountainBikeReviewed.com, a sturdy and easy to ride mountain bike is perfect for beginners looking to build a career in the sport. Once you’ve gathered enough experience, you might feel the need to invest in your bike a bit more, but something like the Roadmaster Granite Peak is an excellent choice for any first-timer.
Safety equipment should be next on the list. Besides specialized clothing, you will need a helmet, protective glasses, and gloves above all else. When you’re out there competing, your well-being should be your main concern. Winning always comes second after it, not the other way around.
After you’ve got all your gear and equipment ready, it’s time to sign up for a competition. There are plenty of amazing ones out there that are suitable for your skill level, all you have to do is take your pick. Here are the top five MTB events in the California and Nevada regions that make the perfect choice for your first race.
According to the event’s official website, Sea Otter Classic is the season opener for mountain biking races all over the North American continent. Enthusiastic beginners and seasoned pros alike gather each spring in the Californian city of Monterey on the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca to celebrate mountain biking in all its forms.
The tradition began way back in 1991 when Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolph thought of putting on a mountain bike race. The then- called Laguna Seca Challenge opened on April 6th of that year to just 350 riders and 150 spectators. Now sponsored by Subaru, it draws in more than 9,600 athletes and 72,500 fans, being one of the most important MTB affairs of the year.
Its magnitude doesn’t imply that beginners are not welcome. Sea Otter Classic competition is open to riders of all skill levels because it aims to strengthen the American community dedicated to the sport and offer an occasion for people to explore their talents in a safe environment.
The SoCal Enduro Series represents a series of MTB races rather than one unitary event. Each one lasts for one day during select spring and summer dates across California. This year’s competitions are set to take place in Los Olivos, Fontana, Big Bear and the Vail Lake Resort in Temecula. A total of seven races have been announced for 2018.
Their uniqueness lies in the fact that riders approach 3 to 5 different trails during one day in order to operate in true enduro style. Enduro is an exciting and rather new combination of downhill and cross country that preserves the best of both worlds. This means that the courses aren’t as difficult as your standard downhill, and there is minimal climbing involved.
There is a special category dedicated to beginners with all the races in the SoCal Enduro Series. This makes for a fair contest during which you can have fun and explore this novel MTB style, while at the same time engaging in the race for victory. It’s a great way to build your skill levels and prepare yourself for future events.
Situated on the state line between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is one of North America’s premier mountain biking destinations. The trails there offer a challenging and engaging experience complete with picturesque scenery that everyone is welcome to enjoy. And if a race is what you’re after, then the Tahoe Trail is what you need.
The course begins with a pleasant ride through the Northstar California Village, then it transitions onto the trails of the ski area. You will surely get an adrenaline rush as you descend into the Northstar Bike Park. The race is finished at an altitude of 6,000 feet in the Overlook area, where good food and entertainment await.
Moving east from California and into Nevada on the shores of the scenic Lake Tahoe, there’s nothing like the off-Road MTB event that takes place in June in the latter’s Carson City. The competition allows riders to choose the distance they want to complete. The options are 15, 35 and 50 miles, which means that both amateurs and pros have a shot.
The festivities last for three days in total, during which you can enjoy a lot more than racing. There is free live music, cold beer and a lot of fun for everyone who participates. Furthermore, there is a trophy involved as well, and it comes in the form of an engraved railroad finisher spike. Nevertheless, the important thing is to have a good time. Winning it is just a bonus.
Don’t let the name fool you. Nevada’s Fears, Tears and Beers Enduro mountain biking event isn’t a scary competition that only the most experienced athletes can approach. Located in the town of Ely, the festival caters to all classes of participants, and it’s mostly downhill too. Thus, if you choose to participate, you’re in for the perfect mix of classic and novel.
After you’ve participated in your first mountain biking event, you’ll surely get the taste for it and keep signing up for others. Taking the initial decision is perhaps the hardest part, but it’s not impossible when you research the topic and find the best competition to suit your preferences and skills. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a race now!
Feature image credit: Epic Rides
Rad's top 10 action sports, adventure events and music festivals in 2019
Rad's top 10 bars & nightlife guides