A4DE for Rookies 

Special thanks to Lyn Braico for putting this together.

Well, the A4DE is fast approaching and I am receiving lots of phone calls about how the event runs and what you need to enter the event. Keep an eye on the website www.a4de.com.au for updates!

First, please read the Enduro and Reliability Trials section of the Motorcycling Australia Manual of Motorcycle Sport rulebook the latest version is always available from http://www.ma.org.au/. Read the whole chapter – it explains Enduro first then the A4DE rules and classifications.

Also brush up on the All Disciplines section in the MOMS as well for general rules about motorcycling sport.

Soon the Supplementary Regulations and Entry Forms will be published.  The Supplementary Regs have additional information specific to this years A4DE, over and above the MOM's rules as listed above.  You must read these carefully as they will give you the schedule of “early bird entries”, normal entries, other deadlines for the event and event procedures.

DOCUMENTATION

So...  what do you need to do an Australian Four Day Enduro??  Aside from a passion of riding through the bush, you will need the following documentation:

  1. Current Motorcycling Australia or Motorcycling New Zealand or FIM Senior National Competition Licence. (To get this you need to join a club and complete the necessary paperwork)
  2. Current RTA or equivalent (civil) motor driver's license with endorsement on it for the capacity of the motorcycle you intend to ride. (Just as if you were going to ride a road bike on the open highway)
  3. Current MA, MNZ or FIM Club Affiliation Card – club named on card should match the club listed on your MA Competition Licence.
  4. Registered motorbike and all registration papers for the bike. For bikes not registered you will need an Unregistered Vehicle Permit.  These may be obtained through event administration at a cost of around $75.00.  See supplementary regulations for more information on the permit.
  5. Proof of valid Ambulance Coverage – either card from your provider or in some states, a utility bill that shows ambulance cover on it.

Sort all this out NOW before you come to the (Parc Fermé)  “That card is in my wife's wallet” is not a valid excuse for you not to have this stuff at sign-on! 
No documentation – no riding!!

SIGN ON

Many of you have done club days etc. where you register on the day.  THIS IS NOT THE CASE AT THE A4DE.   Sign on will be clearly marked on the Supp Regs That's it !!!  Check Supplementary Regs and Final Instructions for exact times.     You need to be there at these times or you will miss out, regardless if you have pre-entered.  Please bring everything from the above documentation list with you to sign on so we can process you smoothly and efficiently.  You will be given your Scrutineering Accreditation Card and riding numbers with the appropriate coloured background at sign-on.

SCRUTINEERING

Scrutineering will be held as per the Supp Regs, your bikes must have a working headlight and tail light (as per supplementary regs) cross bar pad, fitted side stand, 2 mirrors and a horn.  Your bike must also be nice and quiet – Noise Limit is 94dB(A) and all bikes will be noise tested during scrutineering.  You fail and you will have to fix it on the spot, by close of scrutineering before your bike is allowed to be entered into the event. 

WHAT TO BRING TO SCRUTINEERING

You need to bring many things to scrutineering!  You will need:

  1. Your helmet
  2. Your bike, complete with the riding numbers fitted that you were given at sign on
  3. Your Scrutineering Accreditation Card from sign on Pack
  4. Bike registration papers
  5. Sense of patience as sometimes it can take a little time to get everyone through!

 

IMPOUND

As you enter impound you must have your transponder fitted to your bike, and if you are hiring one then it will be allocated to you at this time. If you have your own you may elect to fit it during your work period the next day, but you CANNOT fit it while in the impound.

So, you are signed on and your bike has passed scrutineering – what next?  ALL bikes are now impounded at the Parc Fermé.  This is a restricted area and once impounded, you cannot touch the bikes. Here they will stay for the next few days until the race starts, out in the open, out in the paddock area.  All bikes must have an enviro mat under them in the impound and may not be covered, nor have the pipe plugged in any way.  Rain, hail or shine, it's the same rules for everyone, everywhere at any major enduro! 

 

EVENT GENERAL STARTING PROCEDURE

All riders will be issued with a daily schedule so you know what time you start and when you are due at all the time controls throughout the day.  This schedule will tell you about the course, how many kilometres each section is (so you can estimate how much fuel you will need), how long you have to travel between time controls and what time you will finish each day.  You will fill out your event time cards based on this schedule (more on time cards later!)

Day 1 and you will have an “Enter Parc Fermé”  time on your schedule.  This is when you go into the impound and pick up your bike.  DO NOT START YOUR BIKE, nor work on it at all.  At the “Work Area” time on your schedule, you must wheel your bike to the morning work area where you then have 10 minutes to work on your bike.  Note: This is one of only two places where you can change tyres during the event – the morning and the afternoon work areas, as well as general maintenance and precautionary look over your machine.  You will then be asked to wheel your bike to the start area where you will be instructed to take your place on the “start line” - normally three bikes start per minute.  YOU MUST NOT START YOUR BIKE UNTIL YOUR START TIME COMES UP – i.e. when the flag drops on your grid.  Yes, your bike will be cold ( that is part of the event - the “cold start test”) but you have 1 minute to gently  warm up you machine and pass the 20 metre line under your own motor,  before you are off on your transport section!

It's a good idea to arrive at the Parc Fermé early Day 1 and watch how the Trophy Riders go through the start process so you can get an idea of the procedure.  It's easy when you see how it works

DURING THE DAY – TIME CONTROLS AND SCHEDULED TIMES (see also time cards and schedule example)

Note: time control = control = time check = check point = TC (different terms for the same thing)

There are a number of time controls throughout the course- up to day (see final instructions for actual numbers per day – some locations you go to more than once).  These are places where you can be re-fuelled and eat and drink something.  You may only be re-fuelled at these designated time controls (or at the work periods at the Parc Fermé) and you must always have an enviro mat whenever you replenish any liquids on your bike – even when you oil you chain!  You are responsible to get your own fuel (and food) to these time controls, the organisers do not transport rider's items.  Most rider's have friends or relatives who come along to the event and they meet them at the time controls with food and fuel.  You may need to organise this asap in case you have to band together with other riders to have a group area at the time controls,  e.g. so that one friend goes to Control 1. and another friend goes to Control 2. 

There are 2 types of time controls – service and no service (no parts, tools, fuel or oils can be supplied).  The start of a Time control is marked on the course by seeing white flags.  No service time controls will have white flags with a black cross on the flag.  The white flags are about 200m from the time check part of the control.  Your supporters are between the white flags and yellow flags.  Yellow flags are about 20m from the time check (where you present your card).  There is a display clock at the yellow flags to let you know what the time is.  Green flags mark the end of the time check and you are back on the course. This is a layout of the controls with a list of what you, the rider, can and can't do and what your helpers can and can't do for you.  Please familiarise yourself with this layout.

Rookie_Table1.JPG 

 If the activity is not listed under the assistance section then it cannot be done.  Most common errors relate to touching or holding the motorcycle when not related to an allowed activity, touching marked parts when they are off the bike (like wheels) and lubricating the chain (rider must apply lube and spin wheel over an enviromat).

The time on your schedule will determine how long you will have to replenish at each time control.  E.g. If you arrive between the white and yellow flags at Control 1 at 9.50 am. And your schedule lists your time at Control 1 as 10.00 am., you have 10 minutes to fill up and eat.  Your schedule time is when you PRESENT YOUR CARD TO THE OFFICIAL AFTER THE YELLOW FLAGS TO LEAVE the control, not when you arrive at the control. 

If you are early to leave or late to leave you will incur a time penalty.  E.g. If you leave Control 1 at 10.05 am and your schedule lists your time at Control 1 as 10.00 am – you have lost 5 minutes.  You will incur a five minute penalty PLUS you must remain on the amended time (5 minutes late) at every control thereafter for that day.

If you lose further time this day e.g. you leave Control 2 at 11.10 am instead of your scheduled 11.00 am. (and taking into account you must stay 5 minutes late because of Control 1),  you have now lost a further  5 minutes and now must remain 10 minutes late for the remainder of the day.

You may lose up to 30 mins per section on any day and still remain in the event – otherwise you “Time-out” and will have to stop for this day.  You may apply to restart the event – check the MOM's rules and supp regs for details on this process.  If you are deemed a restarter, you will not ride on Day 4 at the final moto.

As you leave each Control you will be required to supply the officials with your time card to have your leave time noted on the card.  Please try to keep it clean and dry and not down the side of your boot (it's gross for the worker's to have to touch it if it's been there!)  Check what time the officials write on your card and if you have any queries, ask the officials to note it on their master sheet and then move on.  Do not hassle the staff on site, there are procedures and ways to approach these hiccups after the end of the day's ride!

TIME CARDS

Time cards look something like this example below and are something every rider is required to fill out daily (from the official time schedules) and carry with them at all times whilst on the course.  These are your checklist throughout the event.   Make sure you put your name and rider number on it asap so the card can be easily identified as yours!  You would be surprised how many people do not do this basic function and it makes it difficult for the scorer's to know which card is who's  if there is no name or number on it.  You hand your card in at the Final Control at the Parc Fermé at the end of each Day. If you happen to not finish the day, hand your card into the nearest Time Control staff so they know that you are safe and accounted for.

If you lose your card, ask the time control staff of a new one.  They will fill in your number and the arrival time at the time control.  They are not responsible to fill in other information for you.

NOTE : MAKE SURE YOU FILL IN YOUR RIDER NUMBER !!!!!

            NAME: …..............................................................

Rider

Number

Start Time

Rider's Score Card

Sections

Time

Distance

Score

Orig.

Sched.

Time

Start

Arrival Time

     

1

 
     

2

 
     

3

 
     

4

 
     

5

 
     

6

 
     

7

 

 

SCHEDULE

A schedule will look something like the example below.   Reading across the top section, you will see that it has what time the Parc Fermé starts – 7.00 a.m. In the morning.  It also shows the section times – e.g. 60 minutes between each time control and the distance e.g. 28 klms between the first two time controls.  From this information riders can calculate how much fuel they will need to send out to the Time Control  TC1 in order to replenish for the next section to Time Control TC 2, and so on, for the day. This distance and time combination will also tell you if there is less kilometres and more time allowed per section, the course will be slower and more technical in that section i.e.  the course between  TC1 and  TC2 is faster for example than the course between TC2 and TC3.

Next section down is the rider number and their schedule times for the day.  Reading from left to right you will see that riders numbered 1, 2 and 3 will all pick up their bikes from the impound (Parc Fermé)  at 7.00 am and then enter their 10 minute morning work period at 7.05 am.  They will then walk their bikes up to the “start area” and wait until 7.15 am for the flag to drop and then they will start their bikes and ride off to the first Time Control TC1.  For example, they may then arrive at TC1 around 8.00 am.  where they will have approx. 15 minutes to fuel their bikes and eat and drink something before presenting your card at the TC1 control table after the yellow flags  at 8.15 am sharp to continue onto TC 2.  This pattern is the same all day, for all riders.

Rookie Table2

Example of John Smith's Card – Rider Number 2 –  as filled out by rider using the above schedule

            NAME: ….John Smith...................................

Rider

Number

2

Start Time

 .7:15 am

Rider's Score Card

Sections

Time

Distance

Score

Orig.

Sched.

Time

Start

Arrival Time

60

 

8:15

1

 

41

 

8:56

2

 

70

 

10:06

3

 

 

Rider 2, John Smith,  has remained on time all day, so his card will look like this when he hands it in at the Final Control.

NAME: ….John Smith

Rider

Number

2

Start Time

 .7:15 am

Rider's Score Card

Sections

Time

Distance

Score

Orig.

Sched.

Time

Start

Arrival Time

60

0

8:15

1

8:15

41

0

8:56

2

8:56

70

0

10:06

3

10:06

However, Rider 4, Bob Brown, (example below) has not been so lucky and lost 5 minutes on the first section – his card will look like this when he hands it in at the Final Control and he will wear a 5 minute time penalty for the day.                                                                       

NAME: ….Bob Brown

Rider

Number

3

Start Time

 .7:15 am

Rider's Score Card

Sections

Time

Distance

Score

Orig.

Sched.

Time

Start

Arrival Time

60

5min

8:15

1

8:20

41

0

8:56

2

9:01

70

0

10:06

3

10:11

PRE FINISH AND FINAL WORK PERIOD

At the end of the day you will have a pre finish control and final work period.  The pre finish control is just outside the Merrijig Rodeo Grounds and staff will hold you there until your scheduled time (same procedures as at other controls).  Once your Pre Finish time comes up, you will be instructed to ride into your final work area where you have stored you gear and quickshade etc..  There you will have 15 minutes maximum to work on your bike.  You can change tyres, do oil changes, air filters and all mechanical work on your bike.  You may have assistance from helpers to replenish fluids (e.g. fill your bike, fill radiator, do an oil change) but they are not allowed to do anything else to your machine.  You alone must do all maintenance, mechanical work etc.  They can pass you tools and advise you on what to do, but they must not lay a hand on your bike or you will be heavily penalised.  Check the MOMS for what helpers can and can't do.  If in doubt, don't let them touch anything – do it all yourself !!!

On your schedule, the last Time Controls, Pre Finish and Parc Fermé times are listed like the example below.  If you happen to finish all your work on your bike within the 15 minute time allowed, you may go into the Parc Fermé early.  THIS IS THE ONLY TIME DURING THE DAY YOU CAN CHECK IN EARLY AND NOT BE PENALISED!!!! 

33

50

15

13

25

0.1

TC 7

Forest

TC8

Pre Finish

TC9

Parc Fermé

13:30

14:20

14:35

13:31

14:21

14:36

13:32

14:22

14:37

You hand in your card, park your bike back in the impound at your allotted spot, on your enviro-mat and kiss your bike goodnight.  Again, you may not cover your bike, nor plug the exhaust; it must be left on its side stand with all its mates!  

Normally when you hand in your card from Day 1 at the Parc Fermé control, you will receive your new card for Day 2. Hang onto it as you will need it to fill in your time schedule when the seeded start times come out early in the evening. Otherwise the schedule will be on the website with results after 6pm www.a4de.com.au

You just finished Day 1 – well done!!

So what else should you consider when doing an A4DE??

FITNESS AND PREPARATION IS NOT ONLY ABOUT YOUR BODY!

Any endurance athlete will tell you that physical fitness is only part of the makeup of their success.  You have to be mentally strong to be able to cope with all the challenges the A4DE can, and will, throw at you.  Not only do you have to be able to ride, you must be able to navigate, calculate times and diagnose mechanical issues should they arise.  You need to pace yourself and ride smart, rather than ride hard – “to finish first, you first must finish!”  Even the fastest rider's may not complete the course if their mind or machine fails on them.

So make sure you are prepared.  Do you know as much about your bike as you can?  Sure, you can have others verbally help you, but when push comes to shove – how do you get to that bolt in a hurry?  Familiarise yourself with your bike and it's characteristics so that you can know if and when there is a problem and how to fix it.  This will save a lot of anxiety and worry along the way if you are confident that your bike is tip top and you can then concentrate on riding as well as possible.

 

BE ORGANISED

Your work periods are only 10 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at the end of the day.  Use this time wisely and have all your gear organised where you and your crew can find it. Have your stuff in crates or boxes so that it is easily accessible in a short amount of time. Write lists so that your helpers know what you need at the end of the day and where to find it.  Label everything so that your air filter, goggles or gloves do not get mixed up with someone elses gear.  There is nothing worse than trying to find a specific item in a mountain of bike gear and parts if you do not know what you are looking for and it's all unlabelled. 

As mentioned before, you need fuel and food at all Time Controls.  However, you only have one supporter able to transport it for you – how are they going to get to all Time Controls for you?  Solution... group together with other riders from your state or club and work as a team.  Your supporter then takes out 4 rider's gear and the other three rider's helpers split up and go one to each of the remaining Time Controls to fuel the group as a collective.  That way you are sure you have fuel and food at each stop without your supporter running themselves into the ground trying to beat you to the next fuel stop.

Closer to the event, you will be advised how many Time Controls are planned for each day and you can then work out how many fuel cans you will need. In the interest of the environment, it has been requested that all fuel be in small containers, not large jerry cans. Therefore you are required to use 10 litre fuel containers during the event – not 20 litre containers half full! Remember, you must always replenish fluids over an enviromat – riders will receive one at sign on and more can be purchased from Administration during the event.

Space in the Parc Fermé Work area will be very limited so we need everyone to be mindful of how much room they require and please see the Parc Ferme co-ordinator when you arrive to have your spot allocated.

 

DON'T ONLY FUEL YOUR BIKE

Some of the best rider's in the world have come unstuck with a simple mistake – they forget to fuel themselves.  Camelbaks are invaluable and snacks in your bumbag are a must.  At the Time Controls make sure you have food and fluids available and remember to eat and drink at every opportunity.  There is nothing worse than a sick, dehydrated rider – it is dangerous and can be life-threatening!  Mix up your fluids so that if you have “power” drinks in your Camelbak, you have water at the Time Controls.  Too much of one can either leave you with too much sodium or not enough electrolytes, it’s all about balance!  Even if you are late to a control, take that extra moment to shove something into your mouth to carry you onto the next section.

Recovery is also important.  Eat as soon as you can after the event so your body will have time to catch up on the energy it has used during the day.  There will be food available at the Parc Fermé canteen and simple bush catering/BBQ's at all Time Controls.  Make sure that there is enough food and fluids for your supporters as well, they can get dehydrated as well waiting for you in the scrub all day!

 

ITS ONLY MONEY!!!

I know, I know – Enduro is not a cheap sport, but it is fun and a family activity for many of us.  I have had quite a few phone calls from novice riders re the idea of using mousses in their tyres for the event.  Sure, they are a bit pricey, but how good are you at repairing punctures in a hurry??  If you intend to ride on the same tyres for all four days of the event, maybe consider investing in a set of mousses.  I am not on any commission for the sale of mousses.  However, I have seen riders spend a lot of time and effort even getting to an A4DE only to hour-out on Day 1 because they have got a puncture, then pinched their spare tube, then pinched their 2nd backup tube and in the end not been able to complete the course on a frustratingly flat tyre.  A properly greased mousse will last you many months and I believe once you get used to them, you won't even look at an inner tube again!  If you do go down this track, source your mousses now before the last minute panic!

I'M SO TIRED – WHERE CAN I SLEEP?

If you have looked on our website you will have noticed a link to the Accommodation in the area that are supporting us so please use them first.

 

WE ARE ALL REPRESENTATIVES OF OUR SPORT

How easy is it for you to ride in your neighbourhood?  If the answer is “not possible”, then you are victim to the weekend warriors, with no helmets and noisy, unregistered bikes who have terrorised the general public for far too long.  Enduro and the future of our sport relies on good public relations with local groups and communities.  Residents are only 100 metres or so from the wire fences that will watch over your bikes.   So it is up to us to be considerate ambassadors for our sport.  You, your supporters, families and friends will be expected to be on their best behaviour.  We will be placing a curfew on bike/work noise there are no bikes, nor generators to be started before 9.00 am. in the lead up to the event and no bikes, generators or noise in general after 7.00 pm. anytime over the week.

Anyway, that is all the info I can think of for the moment  - if you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Looking forward to working with you all.

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