[Features]

Which Class to Enter, & Why

3 weeks ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Donat O’Kelly

Right, so you’ve sussed out the Transmoto Enduro Event race calendar, read the website’s info about each venue, chatted to your mates, and figured out which event(s) you plan to ride. But how do you decide which class to enter? Do you throw yourself into the deep end as an Ironman? Do you pair up with a mate or the missus? Or do team up with two or three others riders?
Here are a few class considerations to bear in mind before completing your online entry.

ARE YOU AS BIKE-FIT AS YOU THINK YOU ARE!

Over the past 10 years of running enduro events, we’ve gotten a pretty good handle on why riders sign up to various classes. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got your Average Joes who enter primarily to complete the thing, and that usually means they sign up as part of a three- or four-rider team. On the other end, you’ve got your shrewd moto mathematicians who divide the race’s length by the number of riders on the team to arrive at a value-for-entry-fee ‘solution’. What this latter group of riders often overlooks is that there’s much more to a Transmoto event than how much ride-time your entry fee buys you. And they almost always overlook the fact their body and/or bike isn’t up to the gruelling task of racing in the Pairs or Ironman class. There’s no point in maximising the bang for your entry fee buck if you buckle your body and/or bike in the process, right?!
Our experience is that a greater majority of riders who signed up in the Ironman or Pairs class later say that they wished they’d entered as a team – not because it’s cheaper (per rider) to enter as team, but because they came to realise the experience is more enjoyable when shared with a bunch of mates. Not only does riding on a team mean you’ve got a ready-made support network in your corner; it means you’ve got time to appreciate your picturesque surroundings, meet the neighbours, check out the trade alley, and get the most from the entire weekend-long experience.

ARE YOU REALLY A MOTO MASOCHIST?

Transmoto Enduro Events were conceived as team-based endurance events to maximise rider participation and enjoyment factor. That said, we’ve also acknowledged that racing solo can be a bucket-list challenge for some riders, which is why there’s an Ironman class – albeit in very limited numbers. But be warned; signing up as an Ironman is no small commitment. Aside from guaranteeing you’re going to flog your bike and body for six, eight or 12 hours, you’re probably also going to need a supporter or two in your corner too. Not to mention a few days off work afterwards to let your body recover. In other words, don’t sign up as an Ironman without putting thought into whether you’re genuinely up for it. Or not.
Note: While Transmoto’s events are operating under Covid-Safe restrictions, the Ironman class is not available.

ARE YOU THERE TO RIDE OR RACE?

At a Transmoto event, you can take the riding/racing as seriously or lightheartedly as you like. You will find the odd ‘off-duty’ Pro rider in the paddock, but they’re generally teamed up with weekend warrior mates or sponsors or staff from a local dealership, and they love the fact they’re there to race for fun, not sheep stations. In fact, according to our entrant surveys, a Transmoto Event will be the only race that more than half of the riders will enter all year. So these events are not exactly a hotbed of dog-eat-dog competitive rivalry. Evidently, racing as part of a team makes it way less intimidating, and that’s why Transmoto’s events attract more first-time racers than any other event in the country.
So, if you’ve not been to one of these events before, we’d suggest you sign up as part of a Team the first time around. That’ll give you a better insight into what the events are all about, and likely put the biggest smile on your face. From there, you can always step it up, strap your race-face on, and enter the Pairs or even Ironman class at the following event.

TEAMS TAKE HOME MORE BOOTIE

Teams, which can be made up of three or four riders, are grouped together when it comes to the Class and Outright results. But when you enter as a Team, you also sign up under a relevant ‘Team Category’ – Weekend Warriors, Young Guns, Wise Wizards, Mixed, Wonder Women, Open – and that increases your chances of taking home a trophy and/or some prize bootie at the end of the day. On average, more than half the field enters as a Weekend Warrior team, and they generally walk away with the biggest prizes and brightest media spotlight. That’s our way of incentivising riders to sign up in the Team class; because experience has shown us that racing as part of a team generally makes for the most enjoyable and memorable experience for entrants.

IN SUMMARY…

Enter as an Ironman if: You’re super-fit, well prepared, have a thorough understanding of nutrition and hydration for endurance events, boast iron-clad arse and hands, and can muster a support crew to help you out on race day.

Enter as a Pair if: You and your partner are fit, more focused on racing than recreation, have your bike(s) well dialled, and reckon you can maintain a good race rhythm for six, eight or 12 hours.

Enter as a Team if: You’re there primarily to have fun, create memories, and get the most out of the weekend’s experience; from the roadtrip with your teammates to the entire camping and racing experience.

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