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  1. #1
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    Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    I'm a new rider (road for 4 years and mtn for the last 2) and am looking for some new challenges this year. Having never raced before, I am just looking for some info on the Durham Forest Thursday night races. Good for beginners? I'm a clydesdale and definitely not very fast, but thought if the atmosphere is relatively friendly and relaxed, it would be a good way to get a hard-level effort in each week on a schedule.

    Any input and feedback on these races is greatly appreciated.

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    I've only done them twice, but I think they'd be a great set of beginning races.

    Large variety of riders, young, old, fast, slow. Low cost, relaxed atmosphere. Give it a shot.

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    Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    I did a few of these last year and think they would be a good intro to racing. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed, and as mentioned a wide range of riders. Races typically take around 45 minutes.

    I guarantee doing these regularly will improve both fitness and skills. And you'll have fun.

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    Thanks for the responses. I think I'll try it out in April when it starts up and see how things go.

  5. #5
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    The weekly draw prizes are the best anywhere as an added bonus to a great race series

  6. #6
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    Fellow Clyde.

    I'll see you there this year buddy!

    Come on out, they're good for the soul. Even if you have a bad race everyone there is just there to ride and race and you'll make a bunch of group riding friends otherwise. You'll always have your win at all cost meat heads, but they're so far and few between that the only time you'll run into them is if you're causing them to suffer. You'll be racing with a lot of people in the exact same position that you're in.

    If we get a bunch of big guys, you never know, they could put together a clyde cat and have all of us big men duke it out together

  7. #7
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    I moved to the durham area about 10 years ago and have been riding durham forest for about 7 of those. I have seen a couple of races there and have been always wondering what it would be like to get invovled, but have no idea how. Unfortunately most of the LBS around here are horrible for getting info on anything related to biking outside of them selling you something, in my opinion and still prefer going into Toronto for help. Is there a website or anything online so a beginer racer (not sure if I would call me that yet as I am only thinking about it) can learn more. Most of my riding is just for fun but it sounds good from what I am reading so far.

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    DMBA

    DMBA can get you situated with novice to advanced rides in Durham Forest and sometimes puts together some race teams. But apart from that they're also big on getting information to you about biking in general as well.

    Bike NXS - Durham Region MTB Events

    Its fairly early in the season but all the info you will need about the Durham Forest series will be on that page. If you email them, they should send you all the info you want about getting started there.

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    14stone thanks for the reply that is exactly what I was looking for. I have never entered a race before, partly cause I am always fat and outta shape. I really enjoy riding though and always thought it would be fun just to push the limits for competition. I might try to convince another friend of mine and me to join a race and go from there. Again thanks for the great info much appreciated.

  10. #10
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    Looking forward to the series this year. Thanks again for the info. I think I'll drag a few friends out to give it a go.

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Did the whole series last year. I won't lie and say the races are easy. My first week, I only managed a lap before coughing up a lung. By half way through I was doing all 3 laps and getting quicker. Join us, you'll find it addicting. I highly recommend it for upping your fitness further.

  12. #12
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    MTBREC Thursday night smackdowns @ durham forest?

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Mtbrec?

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    MTBR Eastern Canada

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Ahhhh!

    Let's rip it up! I'll be there on the 11th and most weeks following.
    Last edited by TheWiseFool; 03-22-2013 at 08:30 PM.

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    I'll be there for most races.

  17. #17
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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    I'll be the poser decked out in Scott gear.

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    Awesome. I'll be the poser in the Masher Twin Six Jersey.

  19. #19
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    Come May, my summer hockey will interfere with this race series, which is why I didn't take part last year, but y'all have got me thinking that I should come out for the April races. Should be a good way to kick start the season!

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    It's all for the shites and giggles. Who knows, if your lucky you might win something in the raffle too. If you have no plans Thursdays then there's no excuse.

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    no excuse? trust me, I'm an expert in excuses.

    but still, I'll make it a priority because I just can't pass up a good raffle.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidey2422 View Post
    . Unfortunately most of the LBS around here are horrible for getting info on anything related to biking outside of them selling you something, in my opinion and still prefer going into Toronto for help.
    I strongly recommend Northern Cycle in Ajax, the guys are super helpful and experienced....
    They are taking good care of my bikes and I didn't buy not even one bike from them.

    The only downside is the turn around time in peak season; sometimes I had to wait more than a week to get back my bike....

    As for the series, it has a pretty relaxed atmosphere, lots of super fast guys, same course back to back weeks.

    I'm planning to do a couple of them too.....

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWiseFool View Post
    Did the whole series last year. I won't lie and say the races are easy. My first week, I only managed a lap before coughing up a lung. By half way through I was doing all 3 laps and getting quicker. Join us, you'll find it addicting. I highly recommend it for upping your fitness further.
    How long is each lap?

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Usually between 4-5 km a lap. Typical race is 3 laps except for the very young or the very... "experienced". I think my phone gps was reading closer to 4 km after each lap.

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    So how does their race structure work? Do you have to do as much laps as possible during a time period or do you have to complete 3 laps and record your time? I'm looking to race for the first time and I'm wondering if this is something I can do.

    Thanks for all the replies!

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    I haven't done one (YET!), but I assume it's like most races in that it is a set number of laps. you do those laps. Fastest person wins. But everyone has fun and gets to push themselves.

    You might surprise yourself when you get into a race at what you're able to achieve. This is something anybody can do.

    I know some people are intimidated by races because they don't want to "be in the way." To those people I always say, just hang back, let the hammerheads go, and then go at your pace, or better still, find someone who seems at your level and try to push each other. If you get lapped, you get lapped, but by that point in the race the field will be so spread out that being passed shouldn't be any big deal, and besides most MTBRs out there are very friendly and full of encouragement. We all win with larger participation in the sport.

    So it's settled then. you're doing it. See you on the 11th.

  28. #28
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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Re: Race Format

    It's staggered starts, usually the fast guys first, followed by the older guys (40+), followed by the younguns and women. If you don't feel comfortable starting in the first wave (like I did) you can always arrange it to start with the second group.

    You race to finish 3 laps. Most people are done within an hour. Shortly after there are the raffles and that's it. There are no podiums or much recognition for 1st to 3rd except for the end of the season for series medals.

    Timing is done by organizers so no need to track it yourself.

    My first season it took my half the season to be able to do 3 laps. I was way out of shape. It didn't matter, everyone is there for the fun of it. Sure you might get lapped when you first start but who cares? Use it as motivation to push yourself to improve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWiseFool View Post
    Re: Race Format

    It's staggered starts, usually the fast guys first, followed by the older guys (40+), followed by the younguns and women. If you don't feel comfortable starting in the first wave (like I did) you can always arrange it to start with the second group.

    You race to finish 3 laps. Most people are done within an hour. Shortly after there are the raffles and that's it. There are no podiums or much recognition for 1st to 3rd except for the end of the season for series medals.

    Timing is done by organizers so no need to track it yourself.

    My first season it took my half the season to be able to do 3 laps. I was way out of shape. It didn't matter, everyone is there for the fun of it. Sure you might get lapped when you first start but who cares? Use it as motivation to push yourself to improve.
    Awesome..I don't think I'll be able to do all 3 laps the first few times. Im way out of shape right now and just got into biking last year. What happens when you don't finish all 3 laps?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoolin_gt View Post
    What happens when you don't finish all 3 laps?
    You win at drinking beer first.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14Stone View Post
    You win at drinking beer first.
    alright then! I guess I'll see some of you guys there!

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    If you don't finish, you get motivated to improve fitness/skills so that you will next time. That's about it. The results will show the times for the laps you completed and you'll get a DNF. No big deal. It's a short course so it's not a long trip back to the start/finish if you can't complete the lap.

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Most importantly your fitness will improve by leaps and bounds. I used to be the slowest in my group of friends when we rode two years ago. After my first year doing the Durham races I'm now getting into the middle of the pack and find I can keep up and hold pace for A LOT longer. Your body will hate you during the short term but love you long term.

    Sign up for the whole season, that way if you start thinking up excuses not to come, you'll remember that your just throwing money away if you skip.

    P. S. If you want to see some embarrassingly slow race times pm me and I'll send you mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoolin_gt View Post
    Awesome..I don't think I'll be able to do all 3 laps the first few times. Im way out of shape right now and just got into biking last year. What happens when you don't finish all 3 laps?
    This series is as grass roots as it gets, race your friends, race yourself, or don't race at all just do the laps as you wish. Depending on your age category, you'll do 2 or 3 laps. If you don't finish all the laps, who cares, maybe next time you will. You've got everyone from 10 year olds to 70 year olds, beginners to elite racers, and we all race together (staggered start but everyone's out there within a few minutes). The key is that all the regulars seem to get it at this series. Yeah, the fast guys battle against each other in the open, but its not unusual to see them pull up in single track behind slower riders and chat for a while or encourage the younger or less experienced riders. Eric (organizer) has set the tone for this race for years, relaxed, fun, everyone welcome. If you want to try some racing, or just have somewhere to push yourself every Thursday night, this is the series.

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    So where does everyone meet. Went on the sites provided but it does not explain where and costs if any. I am really thinking of showing up on the 11. Even if the new bike isnt ready yet i will be riding the old one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidey2422 View Post
    So where does everyone meet. Went on the sites provided but it does not explain where and costs if any. I am really thinking of showing up on the 11. Even if the new bike isnt ready yet i will be riding the old one.
    The meeting place is the clearing at the end of the dirt road that the radio tower is on. It's south of the main Durham Forest parking lot on concession 7.

    Here's a marker on a map to help.

  37. #37
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    I'm wondering what shape the forest is going to be in by the 11th.

    Lord knows I haven't been in the woods yet and I reckon they're a few weeks off at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thewake View Post
    I'm wondering what shape the forest is going to be in by the 11th.

    Lord knows I haven't been in the woods yet and I reckon they're a few weeks off at least.
    Still lots of snow/ice in Durham Forest. It's going to be interesting to see how good it gets for the 11th. Keep an eye on Bike NXS - Durham Region MTB Events for updates.

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    I'm hoping for good conditions but expecting a muddy mess. It's warm enough in the next few weeks with rain coming that it should hopefully melt off whatever is in there but I don't expect it to be dry.

  40. #40
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    Sounds like a lot of fun.
    Just started riding last summer in Durham Forest.
    I'll come check it out on Thursday.

    Picked up a registration form from Northern Cycle on the weekend.
    Registration opens at 6pm
    Start Time: 7pm
    Race Length: 45 min to 1.25 hrs
    Cost: $13 per night / $11 per night if under 18 years old
    Full Season: $165 (over 18)

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Sent an email to the bikenxs guys about this week's race. If I hear back I'll post. DMBA is saying to stay off the trails for now so I wonder what will happen.

  42. #42
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    I heard that this Thursday will just be a sign up night, no race. With the 20 cm of snow in the forecast for Thursday in Uxbridge a snow shoe race might be possible

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Ugh! You're sitting me. I checked the weather a day or two ago and it was completely different. 20 cm of snow?! I'm going back into winter mode till May

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    Sorry, but here's the current long range:

    Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer-screen-shot-2013-04-09-9.47.21-am.png

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    Confirmed on bikenxs.com, this Thursday is series registration only, no race. First race is now scheduled for April 18th.

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    Are they still going to be doing the registration inside DF at the hill by the Tower?

  47. #47
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    First race is now scheduled for the 25th due to current forest conditions, reg only Thurs 18th also asked to stay off the trails for at least another week
    Winners do what loser don't !!

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Tomorrow: yay or nay?

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    Looks like it's a go. I'm planning on being there.
    Trails are mostly dry, I'm sure tomorrows course will avoid any sections that are still susceptible to damage.

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    Hey everyone! New to the thread, but not to Mountain Biking.
    I plan on racing this year at Durham for the first time as well (I've done Albion and Coulsons Hill Series over the last 8 years), and agree 100% on everyone's feedback of the different race series across the GTA. If you join one, not only will it improve your overall riding skills (might take some time but you'll get there), it will also improve your overall fitness level. I'm somewhere in between the "fast meathead guys" and the easy going "just there for fun" type of guys (I too am a Clyde... well, 215lbs - but a fairly quick one!). What I am curious about... is beer. Anyone ever go for beers after the Thursday races? If so, where's a good place to go?!

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    Can anyone advise what time I should be there if I'm not yet registered for the series? Looking forward to tomorrow night, first time on the mountain bike this year, could be painful.

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    Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    I emailed Bikenxs and received the following: Registration begins at 5:45 pm, race starts at 7:00 pm.

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    Thanks for the info!

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    Confirmed! Tonight is a go! Time to shred some trail.

    Nice warmup for the O-Cup this Sunday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face Visor View Post
    I emailed Bikenxs and received the following: Registration begins at 5:45 pm, race starts at 7:00 pm.
    Anyone know where the race starts? Is this by the radio tower? Their site (Bike NXS - Durham Region MTB Events) does not provide any info regarding the start location.

    Thanks!

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    Yes, it's at the clearing at the east end of the dirt road that the radio tower is on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face Visor View Post
    Yes, it's at the clearing at the east end of the dirt road that the radio tower is on.
    Great thanks!

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    Re: Durham Forest Thursday Series for first-timer

    That was fun! Bit cold but it flew by. Who made it out?

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    It was a good time!! Trails were surprisingly dry too! That final climb is a prick, and to do it 3 times!! It reminded me how important it is to actually do something during the winter months, I was the guy on the ground in the fetal position at the finish line.

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    I made it out too. It was fun and great to finally get back out on the trails, which were in surprisingly good shape. I was the guy on the black Misfit singlespeed. Looking forward to next week!

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