Dirt Crits resumes on Thursday 26 November

With the recent relaxation of Covid restrictions for outdoor sporting events in Victoria we are able to resume our summer Dirt Crits series this week. Racing for DirtCubs (3-6yo) and DirtMasters (7-12yo) will kick off at 5:45pm. Please be on site at the Oak Forest at 5:30pm for registration and marshalling.

Remember a Race Off Road licence from AusCycling will be required by all riders. A four week trial licence can be obtained at no cost which will provide coverage for the balance of the series in November and December.

Dirt Crits postponed until 26 November

After further review/clarification of the current Covid 19 restrictions currently applying to cycling in Victoria we have (sadly) reached a decision to postpone the Dirt Crits series for the next two weeks. Assuming that restrictions are further eased on 23 November we plan to recommence the series with Round 2 on Thursday 26 November. Handicaps based on last week's time trial will still apply.

Parents and guardians of those currently enrolled in the series have been notified by text.

Apologies for the disappointment and any inconvenience that this may cause. Please keep riding and training in the meantime.

Covid Stage 3 restrictions

Stage 3 restrictions come into force in regional Victoria from 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August. Under these rules residents are only permitted to leave home for exercise with members of their own family or with one other person. This makes it impossible to conduct our monthly social rides in August and September.

We will aim to reschedule our social ride calendar once the Stage 3 restrictions are lifted.

Remember also that the guidance from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is for exercise to be undertaken at the closest available location to your home.

You can check the latest guidelines here.

Bendigo 2 Wheel Academy Scholarships

A number of our younger members have participated in the Bendigo 2 Wheel Academy in the past few years and have reported very favourably on the quality of this coaching program and the opportunities it has presented. The Club is keen to facilitate new pathways for our junior riders to progress within the sport, especially in response to the level of participation and enthusiasm shown in the summer Dirt Crits series.

For the 2020/21 Bendigo 2 Wheel Academy program the Rocky Riders will be offering up to three scholarships to enrol and participate in the program. Each scholarship will cover the cost of registration in the Academy program (approximately $225 per rider). Registration is open to active mountain bike riders in the 10 to 14 year old age bracket. This level of the program covers weekly coaching and skills clinics held in Bendigo on Sunday mornings from July to March. Other coaching and training opportunities are available for riders wanting to compete at a higher level.

Participation in the 2 Wheel Academy does require a solid commitment to attend the skills sessions and the support of parents or family members who can provide the necessary transport etc. Equally mountain biking should be considered as your primary sport in order to minimise conflicts with other activities. A good quality mountain bike and riding gear is also required (the Club may be able to assist with upgrades of equipment if required).

We are now inviting members of the Castlemaine Rocky Riders to apply for a scholarship to the 2 Wheel Academy for 2020/21. An application form can be found on our website. Applications will close on 30 April with a selection process to follow.

If you need further details about the 2 Wheel Academy or the scholarship process please check out the Academy website or contact Frank Forster, Communications Officer on 0414 410 411.

March Social Ride Cancelled

Please note that our March social ride on Sunday 22nd has been cancelled in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation is obviously fluid and the Club will keep monitoring the situation and official advice in order to determine the status of future events on our calendar.

We still encourage you to get on your bike during this fine autumn weather and enjoy the trails in our region, but please do so in observance with the current advice re social distancing, personal hygiene etc.

The Bike Vault/Merida Dirt Crits series update

The 2019/20 Bike Vault/Merida Dirt Crits series is at the halfway point with a clear leader in the Dirtmasters category, and an old hand asserting his claim for back to back titles in Seniors. The most pleasing aspect of the season to date has been the strength (in both numbers and enthusiasm) amongst our younger riders with close to thirty riders competing in most rounds. As a result there have been a few issues with rider management out on the track, but the skill level and trail confidence is increasing simultaneously. The second half of the series promises to be very exciting.

In Dirtmasters young Ned Lock has shown great form and reliable consistency to establish a significant break on the rest of the field. He currently leads the series by more than 20 points over second placed Angus Melville. Note however that Angus has only competed in four rounds compared to Ned's five round tally so the gap is not actually that significant as Angus has been consistently scoring 20 plus points per round. This could turn into a very close contest as the season progresses.

Following Ned and Angus we have a bunch of riders that have accumulated seventy points or more and fill positions from third to seventh on the leaderboard. This includes the highest placed female rider, Maggie Drydon, currently holding down fourth place on 75 points, also from just four rounds.

Remember that the final series tally is based on each rider's best seven results, including a maximum of one Individual Time Trial, so there could be some significant adjustments to the leaderboard as the series reaches its conclusion.

In our Seniors division entries have been lower than in previous years, while a number of the Dirtmasters have been backing up by riding in Seniors events. Defending champion Rob Hole is still riding his trusty Kona to good effect and has established a six point lead over Grant Barnett as we head into the second half of the series. Tim Godfrey has recorded some consistent rides and holds down third place from just four rounds. There is still plenty of scope for any of the other riders to climb the leaderboard, or even for some new riders to make their mark in the second half of the series.

Round 6 will be the second of our Individual Time Trials to reset handicaps for the remainder of the season. The series re-commences on Thursday 30 January so get your race preparations in place now.

Rider Profile - Sam Krajnik

NameSamuel Krajnik

Profession - Roof tiler soon to be pro rider in XC

Uphill or Downhill? Both! must have disciplines in each to be the best

When did you start riding mountain bikes?
I started riding mountain bikes 1 year and 6 months ago and have seriously come very far from just a casual roadie rider. Its all in the moment and the thrill of the ride.

Who/what inspired you to begin riding?
My friend Geoff sent me a few clips one day and next day I purchased a Giant Talon (destroyed it in 6 months).

Most epic day on a bike?
My most epic day would have to be Bright - Mystic Mountain. The second mtb I owned was a downhill! All I could do was just go for broke and let loose. On every jump I just got higher. The trails had me hooked, all in my first 6 months of riding. I was doing in months what takes most people years. The thrill of being in the air and seeing how hardcore one can go is the first moment a person knows who they are and where they were meant to be in life. Riding is more than just a love; it is my passion and is in me physically to a point I look at any mountain and I see where we are meant to be.
But the best day of my life to the point of super epic was meeting a man named Ian de Kam, a fellow member of the Castlemaine Rocky Riders (rider profile September 2019). He took me for a spin out there as I just decided to ask him to show me around and ever since I've been riding the Castlemaine trails!! I fell in love with how hard you can push your self mentally and physically. I was doing things I thought I couldn't and dropping the gnarliest loose trails so fast and swiftly on my BH Lynx bike. Wow what a day that was!!

I'm currently riding…
a BH Lynx 2014/ Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 10/ Giant XTC Advanced 2018/ and GT Avalanche Expert.

Favourite trails (other than Castlemaine)
- Favourite would have to be one in Harcourt - Track 8 - risky, gnarly, insanely loose and still scares me every time I drop in! A few more as well but too many to mention.

If I wasn't mountain biking I'd be...
a very sad man! I'm glad I am; I wouldn't be in a good place, maybe not even here alive today, honestly.

One day I'll ride...
BC bike race and trails in Canada - Squamish etc.

When I head out for a ride I never leave without...
food! water! pump ! tube! multitool

My race highlight? H
arcourt and Castlemaine! XC 3rd place!!!!!!!!!! And 3rd place overall! Wow; never thought i could be such a beast.

Dirt Crits - Total Fire Ban

Thursday 21 November has been declared a day of Total Fire Ban for the whole state of Victoria ... on such days we are required to suspend our Dirt Crits event. So no Dirt Crits this week. Let's hope this is not a common occurrence this summer.

Read more about the fire ban ratings.

Rider Profile - Mandy Chilcott

Name – Mandy Chilcott

Profession - Fitness Instructor

When did you start riding? I started riding road bikes back in the early 90's while living in Cairns. I played netball with Cindy Grant, wife of Pete Grant from the Bike Vault. Pete owned a bike shop in Cairns and was running a triathlon club; he encouraged me to give triathlons a go; my love of cycling started then. My first road bike was an Apollo, I still have it hanging in the shed!
I also had an old mountain bike back then, but never did any 'mountain biking'; it was my commuter bike.

Who/what inspired you to get into mountain biking? We moved to Barkers Creek in 2011; a couple of years after that Carrie Edney started up a Facebook page 'Castlemaine Women Cycling'. It was the introduction to Carrie and her coaching skills that inspired and encouraged me to give mountain biking a go. Carrie was great at getting groups of girls together and showing us the trails around Castlemaine. Carrie was very generous with her time and enjoyed coaching us to mountain bike ride.

Uphill or Downhill? Definitely uphill, had too many stacks on the downhill.

Most epic day on a bike? Cycle touring the East Gippsland Rail Trail with the 2 boys on our back seats. It was a race against the clock to ride the 42km from Orbost to Nowa Nowa Pub in time for Christmas Day lunch. Sandy conditions, inclined gradient with our 2 boys and luggage was an epic effort.

I'm currently riding … Carrie Edney's old Giant Anthem

Favourite trails (other than Castlemaine) - Victorian Rail Trails- cycle touring with the kids.

If I wasn't mountain biking I'd be ... Road riding. Or in the garden.

One day I'll ride ... In NZ; have a trip planned to Rotorua this December with a few other Castlemaine families.

When I head out for a ride I never leave without ... Telling someone where I’m going or filling my water bottle.

My race highlight? Haven’t done many race events, but beating the steam train to Maldon in ‘Race the Train’ is always fun!

What is in your backpack? Don’t carry one - my phone, dried fruit and nuts fit in my seat bag.