First Time Racers

GETTING STARTED

Riders ready to raceSo, you think maybe you’ll give this Desert Racing a try?  Here’s just a few things to consider before you head out to the Desert.  First thing is to make sure you are legal, as in spark arrestor and State ORV Sticker.  Both available at your local friendly M/C Shop.  Once you  are ready to give it a try, it is best to go out to one of the races and just check it out.  Hang in the pits, or at the check point, ask questions, observe all the fun you have been missing.  Once you are sure you are going to join the racing crowd, just always remember we all do it for the fun.  Very few if any “factory rides” come out of this.   Get yourself on the SIDRA mailng list , so you’ll know about the coming races, watch the SIDRA and Club’s web sites, you can get ton’s of info off the websites.  So now you are at the race site, you followed the tape and signs off the main road to the start area.  Look around, locate the pit area, and park your rig accordingly. Please don’t be a” pit hog”  and park sideways.  You should go to the Signup area, purchase your SIDRA Comp Card, (or better yet, get your official SIDRA number and get them on your plates, before you hit the race site.) complete the forms they give you, and pay the nice lady the money.  Just a reminder, NOBODY likes seeing a Hundred dollar bill at sign up. Checks work really well.  They will give you a helmet tape and a check point mark card or tape. Place those where they told you to put them.(helmet & bike).

Most races do not allow any pit riding at all, so have your M/C ready to go, as in suspension and jetting.  Attend the rider meeting, do not be afraid to ask any questions you may have, remember, everyone there started at some time.  The club will direct you to the start area and get you lined up, Don’t pay too much attention to what the racers around you may be saying, they all lie and exaggerate everything.  Make sure you understand when you are to start (with which group), then watch the banner and when it drops go forth and have fun!

Remember, even the last place finisher beats somebody, and you have to finish to finish first!  It is highly recommended that you carry a source of water while you ride, as finding water to drink on a race course is difficult at best and mostly impossible.  A few hand tools to change a plug or master link could save the day also. After riding your first event you should consider joining one of the local clubs, and, no, the AMA is NOT a local club, they are a sanctioning body (for some of the races) that will not help you in the pits.  In joining a club you will gain all kinds of insight to racing, and you’ll get to be a part of promoting the races!   So go out have some fun!  You will not meet a better bunch of people than those who “Race the Dez”.

TIPS FOR THE RACE

1)     Know how far your bike goes on a full tank of gas. Pushing  is never easy!  See the picture page..

2)     Let the fast guys go by.  You’ll make friends instead of being taken out. From experience you’ll get a thank you if you let them by.  If you block them you’ll get a face full of roost....

3)     If you break down, STAY WITH YOUR BIKE.  Sweepers will be by  & get you out.

4)     Follow the markings, NOT the guy ahead of you! Ride Tape to Tape.  Pay attention or you might get a nickname like “Wrong Way”

5)     Bring a pit crew helper, for refueling, a drink, & fresh goggles.

6)     Bring treats for your pit crew, drinks, snacks, etc..keep them happy.

7)     STOP AT CHECK POINTS!  The crews don’t get paid and won’t chase after you.

8)     Always be nice to the race help..you may want to join the club .

9)     Load-up as soon a you finish, before your body gets sore and stiff.

10)   Always pickup your trash from you pit area.

11)   DON”T bring your wonderful dog.  Dogs and races are dangerous to all involved!

12)   Don’t be afraid to talk to the clubs in the pits, they all want you for a new member!

13)   Practice the things that gave you trouble in the race, whoops, sand, rocks, hills, you’ll feel more confident at the next race!

Phil