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1  - 20 March 2012 06:33

A moan from me, please tell me if I'm wrong??

Lap 4, I was totally knackered, 3 riders catching me going into a tight uphill section where I knew I would be off the bike and walking as I'd lost granny gear and there was no space to pass.

The first rider called me so I immediately pulled out of the way, leaning against a tree to let them through. The second rider commented "NOT A GOOD PLACE TO STOP MATE!"

Thanks for the courtesy! If I hadn't stopped there you would have been walking behind me.

The 3rd rider was courtiuous, "thankyou"

2011 Mid XC Round 1 - 54th Vets
2011 Mid XC Round 2 - 34th Vets
2011 Mid XC Round 3 - 51st Vets
2  - 20 March 2012 09:18

Charming. He wouldn’t have known your reasons for stopping, but he didn’t need to comment. It’s not typical in my experience. Fast riders coming through can sometimes be a bit brusque and aggressive, but I suppose it is a race and they’re out of breath and pumped full of hormones. Hard to think who would’ve been coming through that fast on your last lap though…
I always say thanks when passing people even when they probably didn't stop for my benefit. And I always say sorry when I hold people up cocking up/getting off/falling off/whatever.
I guess you just have to shrug it off and carry on enjoying your ride - and next time carry a stick to shove in his spokes!!

3  - 20 March 2012 10:04

I think everyone is guilty of getting caught up in racing every now and again. (Some are worse than others)

I try to be as polite as possible when passing people (Always call & always say thanks) but I did get a bit uppity with a guy on my last lap when the gap to myself and Lee was 20 seconds or so.

That being said, I called, "Rider up, when you can" and got no response. After calling once or twice more, I got the response of "I'm racing too".

The fact is, he is racing, but at the same time, he wasn't racing me.

I have no issue with a slower rider, shouting back "Yep, when I can", I never expect a rider to stop his race, get off his bike and out of my way but it's a two way street and I think some people forget that.


4  - 20 March 2012 20:02

Giles - i was the rider in question, you did yes say rider up in which i pulled as hard over to the left as i could but the section being tight single track wooded section it did not leave you much space but i did try, shouting 2 more times in the same single track section?? what would you of liked me to do ride into a tree / get off my bike - to allow you to race? i seen ahead a place to allow you to pass which was at the top of the wooded section on the right hand turn which i did ride off line to allow you to pass and cause me time loss on the guy who i was racing who was insight but allowing you to pass caused to much of a loss to catch. in only a few years racing i would say that the mentioned really spoiled the weekend for me as i have never had any issues with the quick lads geting passed me before

5  - 20 March 2012 21:57


Genuinely, I'm sorry if this experience ruined your weekend/race & your personal battle. I'm not the kind of rider that shouts or berates (not that I feel like I did either of these) slower riders because they're holding me up.

I obviously didn't get it across very well in my original post, but my issue wasn't holding me up, it was the non-response. If you'ed decided on a spot to allow me to pass, all it really needed was, "Yep, on the corner" or "Yep, As soon as I can".

I'm not having a go simply saying chances are, if you acknowledge the guy behind, he'll chill out and wait regardless of his situation.

6  - 21 March 2012 07:30

This seems to be my pet topic - the rules state that the rider being lapped must allow the overtaking rider to pass without hinderance. That should mean moving to the side of a section of single track even if it means stopping to do so. It's a while since I raced mountainbikes but during they few cross races I've done recently I make a point of checking over my shoulder before I go into a singletrack section to see if I need to wait, even before the rider comes up behind me and has to shout. Shouting when you're on the rivet battling for the lead isn't that easy.

7  - 21 March 2012 09:07

I have a bit of a soap box about this topic too. I ride ladies Expert and as such am a bit of a midpack wonder. I come in about half way down the MENS sport race and so get both overtaken and have to overtake. Both sides of this story get a hard time and there is no easy answer. With the way most XC race times are staggered, it is often not a case of being "lapped". Riders are often on the same lap but with faster riders who started later catching up the rear of pervious fields. In my races it is not usually the expert men who cause the problems. These guys usually float past with minimal effort and sufficient skill to ensure the whole procedure is painless. It is the other "midpackers" who are often moving only fractionally faster than me, who are equally as knackered as I am, and are equally as inept with bike handling by the time we are on the last lap, are struggling to breath and our brains have long since stopped functioning rationally. And sometimes I will catch up a slower rider who I actually don't want to overtake (because they are only fractionally slower or because the trail ahead is too technical for me to overtake on, or because I am just plain knackered) but just by being behind someone it can be intimidating. I would love to say I always inform the rider infront of my intentions but sometimes I just can't speak!
The answer, be nice, try and talk to each other, understand that people will make mistakes (when you are brain addeled from racing right and left seem to blur into one wether you are being overtaken or overtaking) and if YOU make the mistake be appologitic and if necessary stop and pick up the poor bugger you knocked off.
Happy racing
Four4th Lights
8  - 21 March 2012 11:05

As a fellow mid-pack rider, I think Louise makes some very good points.

When I first started racing, I would panic, slam on the brakes and pull off the trail every time I could sense someone behind me, often way before they actually caught up. With a bit more experience I have learnt that even the fastest riders are not going that much faster than me, so there is almost always time to find a good place to let them past without you actually having to stop.

Another thing I've learnt is that if there's someone behind you and they don't call, don't automatically move over - ask them if they want to come past. They might just want to follow you - and if you let them through they may then slow you down! At Cannock I had a lovely ride through most of the second lap on the tail of this guy who was just a bit more confident than me on the singletrack, allowing  me to go a bit harder than I would have otherwise. All until he took the chicken run at the far end and I lost him behind me - ha!

But even if you do lose time letting someone past or getting past someone, remember it's only a matter of seconds. Everyone else will also lose time like that somewhere on the course. Having a quick breather might even make you faster overall. I feel some riders take things a bit too seriously - if you're not likely to make the podium, what is a few seconds here or there?

We all have our personal goals in a race, but the main thing surely is to have fun!

9  - 21 March 2012 13:38

I have to say that unless the person who is overtaking you is in your catergory then you should always move over.Even if this means you slow yourself down.Being towards the front of races we do find we lapp people from the mid point of the race and some people are fantastic.I always say thanks and please when i do.But even at cannock i shouted a few times at a chap who wouldnt get out of my way and i had to dismount run around him remount and get on.I feel that you should know the rules if your racing and that if your being overtaken by those faster than you.If your response is "ive paid for this too" then you also need to appreciate that part of your responsibility is to move over when safe to do so,not when convenient.I moved over when any elites lapped me last year by pulling off the line.You should too,there is a heiracy in racing and the fastest riders have a precedent.
hope that helps
Bruce Dalton

10  - 21 March 2012 14:49

I've always been under the impression the only time you MUST let someone pass is if you're being lapped by the leaders of your own race ie if you're in sport you only have to give way to the sport race leaders. So (having some time on my hands!!) I decided to check the BC regs: "8.3.8 A rider must act in a polite manner at all times and permit any faster rider to overtake without obstructing." Which presumably means the slower rider can't deliberately block a rider trying to get past but the responsibility for any passing manouvre falls to the faster rider (who has greater visibility of the situation).

11  - 21 March 2012 15:35

The ThetfordMTB organisers have it I think, it's something I agree with - the onus is on the overtaking rider to get past, not the overtakee.
Just because you're racing Expert or Elite doesn't mean you're more important than everyone else on the circuit. Good manners and courteousness will make you and your sponsors look better than barging past in order to stand on the podium.
Everyone has paid to enter and have a good time, and if you can't overtake safely I don't see why a rider who's maybe going to beat his PB or rival should sacrifice his goals so you can hit yours.

Mike Moore - LFCC

29th Expert - National XC1
12  - 21 March 2012 18:23

This is the reason I'm moving down a category. I have no problem with letting past the leader, or with the polite people - hell, I'm barely moving - it's the guy who thinks that being stuck behind me in the singletrack is the reason he's not winning the tour de france: that's the problem

13  - 21 March 2012 20:59

Interesting conversation!

I am new to MTB-ing and MTB racing and Cannock was only my second one, so I did a lot of wondering what the etiquette is. I raced cross last winter and there you let people past if and when. In my first race I did most 9f the overtaking, but I find most riders courteous. They alert you of their presence, I answer: when I can... then tell them left or tight when I find a spot where overtaking on singeltrack is possible. Works most times.

I unfortunately got stuck in the granny ring on Sunday, as my front mech gave up the ghost halfway through my first lap. This slowed me down no end, so from overtaking I went to being overtaken, rather too often! Only 2 or 3 times was this done in a rude manner. Considering the size of the field, that is well impressive...

I have to admit though that I feel pressure when faster riders are stuck behind me. I such a way that, when I got really slow because of the mechanical, I kept actually getting off and pulling to the side. I know it is me, and I should really just keep riding, but in the end that lost me a lot of time. OK, I was no longer in contention once I had my mechanical and dediced to keep riding, so the pressure not to hold up others was even stronger, but still... Next time, hopefully on a fully functional bike, I will be a little less accomodating I think... But I always acknowledge shouts from behind with: when I can...

14  - 21 March 2012 22:10

Never really had a problem overtaking or been overtaken. I shout rider to let them know I am coming and then left or right. If its clear there is nowhere to go I wait. When I go past I say thanks.I keep a look out for faster riders approaching and move as soon as I can. If its the race leaders coming up on me I will sacrifice a bit of time if necessary to make sure I don't alter the outcome of the race

15  - 22 March 2012 03:02

And this is getting worse because of shorter courses...

16  - 22 March 2012 22:09

short courses don't help, thetford ws rd 3 was 7.5 miles and 4 laps no probs , rd 4 was 6 miles and 6 laps lots of problems ! both rounds were full with 500 riders

17  - 25 March 2012 16:36
sx-f wrote:

short courses don't help, thetford ws rd 3 was 7.5 miles and 4 laps no probs , rd 4 was 6 miles and 6 laps lots of problems ! both rounds were full with 500 riders

Lack of Courtesy and respect  is a BIG issue in all walks of life now, not just racing.

18  - 25 March 2012 19:23

Sadly it sure is !

19  - 13 May 2012 15:56

My 12year old daughter raced at Cannock last year in the juveniles race and the abuse she got from men because she was slower was appalling, it nearly made her give up racing, we now refuse to let her race in midlands Xc because of this, and since then she's raced in the nationals and nutcracker races with no problem
it seems unfortunately that there seems to be some frustrated wanabee over 40 racers who take out there frustrations on the new young riders instead of encouraging the future champions
Casing point today my daughter raced at nutcracker MTB and she said men were saying well done keep going and all manner of encouragement, what a differance to her confidence this made..

20  - 19 March 2013 17:45

now unfortunately (for me) there seemed to be far more overtaking me than me over taking.  no issues for me was quite happy to get out of racers way the very best I could being conscious of it being my first race.  however I did notice there was a varying amount of 'enthausiasm' from those shouting about coming by.... hope you all had a great day (I did) but any chance we can have a little less mud next time?

21  - 19 March 2013 17:47


got the wrong year  smile

22  - 19 March 2013 18:41

I have to admit that I have a horrible habit of forgetting to call and just blasting past whenever there is space. And because the youth riders are usually out on course at the same time as open/juvenile I do end up having to overtake a fair bit (not meaning to boast/offend ;D). Almost every race I tell myself to call out, but in the heat of the moment it is easy to forget. If done carefully (which I always do) it goes smoothly 9.9 times out of 10 though. I apologise now to anyone I've offended.
One thing that did slightly annoy me was the organisation at the recent Gorrick spring series where practising riders were out on course at the same time as my race, many of whom held me up on the singletrack a fair bit. It just made me feel as if my race didn't matter to them, as I know this did not happen in the later races (vets, experts etc.).

23  - 20 March 2013 10:30

First post!

The only place I had a problem with peoples overtaking was on the first singletrack section on lap1.
I wasn't feeling too good on Sunday, so I started near the back of Vets, and when I got to the wooded section, it was essentially a mass of bodies! Pretty much every one was off the bike with the usual hold ups of people stalling/pushing past etc. Then the front end of Grand Vets caught up and it was carnage! Its no use shouting rider if everyone is already on foot and trying to push/run 2 abreast on singletrack. I'm guessing this was down to the super flat start loop - do future rounds have climbs/longer loops to ameliorate this?

24  - 20 March 2013 10:54

Jees, just man up, Don't take it personally, n enjoy.

25  - 20 March 2013 16:09

Just a quick point, sometimes just shouting 'rider' isn't very helpful to the person in front of you, it doesn't tell them what you're planning to do or what you want them to do. A bit more info on which side you want to pass on or tell them if you've seen a passing point up ahead makes it safer and easier for both of you. That's assuming you're still able to speak at that point of course!

26  - 20 March 2013 17:03

Hi, Please lets not forget about the time and cash riders at the front and the back put into getting to a race, if I hear a rider behind me i let them know when to pass not wait to be asked, usually works just fine. problem I see a lot is the reluctance of riders who are slower who do not want to move out of the way.

if we just are aware of who is around then it makes racing more fun for everyone. no answer for the carnage at the back of the vets race, I was on the front row so had a good start but I have to feel for the riders who were involved. can't blame the organisers for that really they have enough to worry about.


27  - 1 April 2013 07:54

The more information the better really, I've raced when a large number of the elite racers would shout 'elite passing' from quite a distance, this would alert me quite quickly to pull over as they would be passing quick.

28  - 7 April 2013 20:14

Just a thought,why not have a number and category label hanging from under the seat,wouldnt have to be big just enough to say elite,expert etc,just so you know if you racing the person in front.
Also theres been some good points but basically it boils down to good manners,so fast rider shouts and picks a spot to overtake then says can i take on right or left.


29  - 10 May 2013 05:54
Cyclecraft wrote:

My 12year old daughter raced at Cannock last year in the juveniles race and the abuse she got from men because she was slower was appalling, it nearly made her give up racing, we now refuse to let her race in midlands Xc because of this

The abuse levelled at juniors can be utterly despicable and an embarrassment to the sport. I have seen several juniors in tears after being forced off knocked off or verbally berated by adults in a bid to pass. At sherwood a very nice lady rider gaveup her race to look after a young rider who had been both verbally abused and knocked off as a male rider tried to pass her.

Easy to say something gin the heat of the moment to another adult but to junior's? 

Good to hear it isn't a problem seen everywhere!

30  - 10 May 2013 14:32

I normally find that its riders that "think" they are fast that cause the problems!

31  - 28 December 2016 09:43

Some good points here from both ends of the field.  As an Elite rider / senior if i pass i have the knowledge and experience to call "Elite rider, passing on your right/left please", followed by a "thanks".  It dosent take much to say that, its polite and informative.  Slower riders should have the courtesy to slow or pull over when SAFE for YOU and acknowledge.  Simple, we dont expect you to pull over there and then as that can be quite dangerous and unexpected, and we appreciate you have your own race as well, but a quick acknowledgement and ASAP action is appreciated.

Abuse to any racer should not be tolerated but especially to young riders who is the sports future.  I had an unbelievable situation / experience at the FNSS @ Mallory Pk (and sorry it does seem to be the 40+ riders with an issue),  The leading seniors caught the leading vets, but the leading vets caught the Youth riders.  In the woods a Vet was SCREAMING and F'ing & blinding at a youth rider to get out of his way.  The poor lad was under so much pressure that he fell off and landed in a bramble bush of all things, in 2nd i actually stopped/slowed to see if he was OK.  TOTALLY seeing red by this i caught that vet rider back up and did the same to him.   This piece of sh*t in a red "club kit" actually got off his bike and tried to square up to me.  I slowed and put him in his place explaining what he had done.  He replied and said "so f*king what, they need to learn".

What a complete and utter piece of S%IT!!!   Unfortunately i did not get his race nO or remember his kit to report, but its a good job i didn't see him again at the finish area!! 

I hope he reads this - what a big man you are, you shouldn't be allowed to ride a bike let alone race!!!

32  - 5 January 2017 13:59

Some of those who are faster, and like to yell at slower riders ought to think on a few things.

It may well be the responsibility of a slower rider to allow faster riders to pass when being lapped, but in tight single track you might just have to suck it up and wait.

Sometimes there's more going on ahead and behind than just you. Again, if there's a battle for points going on in a 'slower' category, those riders are still racing for position.

Sometimes all the yelling in the world is pointless. I'm DEAF. I can't wear my hearing aid riding a bike under normal circumstances (even gentle pootling about) so no chance it'll work in a race. So you can yell your head off as much as you want. I'm entitled (by law!) to not be discriminated against, so don't try the "you shouldn't race then" nonsense. I keep a watch behind so that I can target areas where I can move off line, and I do the telling you which side to pass on.

Above all, "Elite?" Do come on. You may be faster than me, but if you're really all that "elite" then shouldn't you be off racing in events where you have to pre-qualify for an entry? That keeps us pesky peasants out of your way completely. Because a £30 entry fee is the same £30 for everyone. It doesn't entitle you to be an arse, or create some imaginary 'pecking order'. Remember that it's all those chubsters, novices, and grumpy old gits who are "getting in your way" who are actually making these events financially viable to run. Without us, your precious races would be far fewer and a lot further between.

I spent a good portion of my second lap at Round 1 of this Brass Moneys series pulled over to the side to let others pass. I believed (in good faith) that I was being lapped. Turns out that a number of them were on the same lap as me, and therefore racing me directly. Should I be slowing or stopping to willingly trade position with a rider directly racing me? I'd suggest not.

And don't get me started on the overwhelming number of "leader coming through" shouts I recall from a race two years ago. There were more leaders than entry categories, it seemed.

I've no quarrel with moving across for riders THAT much faster than me that I'd never beat them in a month of Sundays. I can't easily find a copy of 'The Rules' online. Maybe publishing them so that people could read up BEFORE booking races might help. And some clarification as to meaning/intent too. After all just stating that it's the slower rider's duty to make space for lapping riders doesn't really assist in giving examples of what might be termed a "reasonable" delay in ceding the race line. Immediately? After the next tree? Wait for the upcoming fire road section?

I'm not expecting much of a favourable response  from this post really. Suffice to say that "rider coming through" is of little use to me, and then screaming "NOW!!!" will only serve to annoy me. Making me less likely to move across. Sorry, but if abuse can be "heat of the moment racing talk" then so can stubbornly sticking to the centreline of a trail section when rude, abusive ass-hats are shouting at you. I don't set out to ruin your race. Have the decency to not try to ruin my whole event experience in return eh?

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