New adventures in store for 2014 edition of Chocolate Foot's Singletrack Mind Series

Squidly Didly

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Heading into its 5th big year Chocolate Foot's Singletrack Mind Series has become a must-do series of quality events for mountain bikers on the east coast. Chocolate Foot relish giving riders new and exciting riding experiences, and in 2014 the series will feature two new venues, one of which has never been raced before.

Taree will again host the opening event and after the rave reviews about the Kiwarrak State Forest trails, Chocolate Foot is anticipating an impressive field on the start line come 18 May. At the race in April last year, Australian Mountain Bike Magazine's Jason Dreggs had nothing but praise for the work that the local club had put in, "These are the best trails I've ever ridden, and that's the honest truth". Flow MTB's Chris Southwood said "The stoke factor is very, very high ... the local club up here have clearly put a lot of work into these trails and it really comes across when you're riding". While the race loop at Kiwarrak is very fine indeed, the locals are keen to show visitors more of their extensive trail network and will be running a guided social ride the day before Round 1 on Saturday 17 May.

Dates and locations for the complete 2014 Singletrack Mind Series are as follows:

18 May: Kiwarrak State Forest, Taree – hosted by Manning Great Lakes Tip Riders
15 June: Maulbrooks MTB Park, Mogo State Forest, Mogo – hosted by Eurobodalla Cyclists
3 August: Awaba MTB Park, nr Newcastle – hosted by Hunter Mountain Bike Association
31 August: Mowbray Park Farm, Picton – hosted by Wollondilly Trailblazers MTB Club
19 October: Kinross State Forest, Orange – hosted by Central West Off Road Bicycle Club

Many factors go into the choice of locations for the series but for Chocolate Foot, a very important one is the significance to, and how the event may assist, the local host MTB clubs. These partnerships assist clubs to meet the cost of annual landowner fees, purchase trail maintenance materials or equipment, and fund rider development. Additionally, many clubs cite the events as a great motivation to improve their trails and facilities. It’s a series that gives back to grass-roots mountain biking. "The local clubs are the basis of the sport, not just for racing but in terms of trails and access, so we've had them involved from day 1" said Chocolate Foot Event Director Joe Ward.

The first fresh location for competitors is located at Mogo on the beautiful South Coast of NSW. It will be the first time the trails at the Maulbrooks MTB Park have been raced in this format and is certain to have competitors grinning from ear to ear as the course will feature two fast and thrilling descents per lap including the legendary Snake Track. “Events such as the STM series are hugely important because they not only attract visitors to the area which brings important tourism dollars”, says Anthony Mayne, Eurobodalla Cyclists Club President. “They also encourage locals who might be interested in mountain biking to have a go and that's a great thing for the club. New members are vital to small clubs like ours”.

Round 4 of the series sees the action come close to Sydney at Mowbray Park Farm near Picton. The Singletrack Mind Series will be the first major event to race on this purpose-designed, private facility and is set to be fast and challenging while riders enjoy epic vistas over rolling countryside. This venue is truly unique being a working farm/farmstay with a selection of farm activities such as pony rides, feeding the animals, archery etc. on offer – fun for the whole family both on and off the bike!

Also new for 2014: 4 hour solo categories! Due to numerous requests, Junior, Open, Masters and Super Masters solo categories in the 4 hour format have been added to the vast range of categories available and with the Singletrack Mind racing season now condensed into just 5 months, there's little excuse to not to get a number plate on!

The series enjoys continuing support from many great sponsors including SRAM, Rockshox, Avid, Truvativ, Hammer Nutrition, Serfas, Deuter, Bellwether, Finish Line, Mountain Biking Australia magazine, James Estate Wines, Aussie Butt Cream as well as OnTheGo, and new sponsors Rockpool Graphics/GrimmHewitt artwork and Cycle Studio.

The latest in timing technology has always been a key feature of the series with instantaneous live to the web results enabling competitors are able to check times and positions during the race from the convenience of their smart phone. This information being readily and immediately available has led to tight and thrilling racing right down to the final laps.

Entries are open now for the whole series and Chocolate Foot is again offering a Serial Offender discount for those wishing to sign up in advance for every round and save!

For more information see, email, or call 0457 084 552.

Photo credit Dave Bateman Photography