Andy Murnane at last year’s Dirty Weekend.

We asked veteran Dirty Weekender Andy Murnane from Cycleworx Avanti Plus in Woodville for some tips for those looking to be competitive on the day.

The Dirty Weekend is South Australia’s biggest MTB challenge – where riders cut laps around a trail for 6, 12 or 24 hours. While many enjoy the social nature of the ride – others are out there to win their category. Andy Murnane has a few handy tips for anyone with a competitive edge.

What distance will you be doing and how do you train for it?

We’re going to be doing the 12 hour and aiming to win the 4 man category. That way we can split our time between competing and providing help and support for participants.

We do a mixture of road riding and mountain biking. At the moment we’re doing downhill riding. If riders are coming to the Dirty Weekend with a road bike background then they should go to Cudlee Creek and lift their mountain bike skills before the event. Likewise, for any mountain bikers who are new to the event, they should be putting in some long road miles to lift their cardio ability.

What about food?

I generally eat pretty healthily anyway, but it’s a good idea to carb load and it’s really important to hydrate leading up to the event. Think of it like a long road trip in your car: you need to make sure the car is in good condition and has a full tank of fuel before you leave.

How should I prepare and care for my equipment?

The biggest mechanical problem I see results from a lack of preparation, with bikes not adjusted and not lubricated. You should have your bike serviced a week prior to the ride. We’re more than happy to help keep you rolling at the Dirty Weekend, but if you’re well prepared you shouldn’t have to see us.

Any tips for during the race?

I use a camelback, that way I don’t have to take my hands off the handlebars. Also, having less things on the bike helps to get the bike as light as possible, reducing unsprung weight, I also use CO2 canisters to help this.

During the race you should lubricate your chain about every 2 hours. Every four hours you should check your shock pressures if you’re on a dual suspension bike, or a hard tail with an air fork. We have shock pumps and we’re happy to adjust and/or advise you on your shock pressures at any time. (at the CycleWorx Avanti Plus event setup)

What’s your favourite part of the event?

The festival atmosphere, especially at night.

Bicycle SA recommends all riders get their bicycle serviced at their local store before the Dirty Weekend. 

If you have any tech questions (or want your bike serviced) feel free to go in and ask at Avanti Woodville, or you can call them on 8268 6404. They live and breathe cycling. 

You can register to ride the Dirty Weekend here – online registrations close at 5pm, April 30.