The Beginners Guide to Over The Hump
By Travis Wilkerson / Captain of the Audi/Felt/HDX Cycling Team
Over The Hump presented by Audi of America and HDX Hydration Mix has become the go-to mountain bike race in Southern California. With a challenging, yet fun course, Over The Hump is seeing a huge turnout of mountain bike racers every week. Some of the largest fields at Over the Hump are the beginner and sport categories. For many of these racers Over the Hump is their first race EVER, or the only race series they have attended. With all the categories on the course at the same time, racing at different speeds, and different distances, it can get a little confusing at times, as well as a little scary when a pro comes flying past you with little or no warning.
HDX Hydration Mix has put together a short list of what to expect at Over The Hump and how to make your race experience the best it can be. Follow these simple tips from HDX and have even more fun at Over the Hump.
1. KEEP THE RUBBER SIDE DOWN | Everyone’s heard the old saying, “Keep the rubber side down, and the helmet side up.” Your race…and the rest of your week will go much better if you don’t crash at Over the Hump. Push your limits in the race, but make sure you are riding within your abilities.
2. TRAIN FOR IT | Not everyone has the time, energy, or the slightly lowered IQ to train like a professional or top-level category 1 racer. But putting in some additional time on the bike away from the race will show improved results at the race.
3. “ON YOUR LEFT” | If you’re a beginner or even a sport rider at Over the Hump no doubt you have heard the yell of the pro’s coming on you to please stay to the right as they come warping past you on the left. Letting a rider you are passing know you are going to pass and where, makes for a much safer race. Over the Hump will be doing all it can to help alleviate the issues of passing this year so that everyone can have a smooth ride around Irvine Lake.
4. DON’T BONK | Everyone has experienced the dreaded bonk, the body shutting down, and refusing to go any faster than a crawl. The bonk can be prevented with some simple planning and preparation. Avoiding the bonk starts well before the race with proper hydration and fueling, and extends into the race by making sure you are staying well hydrated out on course. The race is short enough that most people should not need any food for this race, but as it gets very hot at Irvine Lake during summer every rider should be hydrating during the race. The HDX Hydration Station will be back again for 2014, so take advantage of it while you are at Over The Hump. Remember, drink to hydrate – eat to refuel.
By following these simple tips from HDX Hydration Mix and the Audi/Felt/HDX Cycling Team, you can have more fun and better results at Over The Hump this summer. We hope to see you at Irvine Lake in a few weeks, and please stop by the HDX Hydration Station to say hello and feel free to ask the Audi/Felt/HDX cycling team members any questions you have about racing Over The Hump.