Riding & Racing

At Port to Port MTB we work with many stakeholders and private land owners to create an amazing course for you to enjoy. Please respect the private properties and understand that the complete course of Port to Port MTB can only be ridden during the event. Thanks to all of our riders for respecting the course.


Over the four days of Port to Port MTB you will ride a variety of terrain that will require a number of different riding skills. We have some tips to help you prepare.

General Trail Riding

When riding fire-road trails or single-track, pick your line well ahead of where you’re riding (about 10m, if possible) keeping your front wheel in your peripheral vision. This will make your transition around bends smoother and faster, conserving your valuable energy.
If other bikes have ridden the trail ahead of you, there will be a visible “line” on the trail that indicates where they have been. This line will have less loose gravel and will have better traction for your tyres.
When entering corners or turns, try and identify any embankments (called berms) that may offer better cornering traction.


When climbing, it is ideal to keep your chest low to the bars, elbows bent downwards and your weight evenly distributed between the wheels, which may mean you need to change your seat position toward the front of the seat. If your front wheel lifts off the ground, move your weight towards the front wheel, if the back wheel spins move more weight towards the rear wheel. Try to apply a very smooth rotational power through your cranks, avoiding sudden surges. Avoid standing when climbing on loose surfaces.
If you stop on a climb, position the bike with a clear path in front of the bike, aiming your bike partly across the slope at 45 degrees (not straight up it). Apply both the front and rear brakes to stop the bike rolling backwards, position your strong foot near the top of the pedal stroke (1 o’clock), look directly ahead.

Descending Slopes

Your cranks should be horizontal and you should be standing up off your seat with your weight towards the back wheel. The more aggressive the terrain or obstacle the further back your bum should be over your back wheel. The cranks are level to ensure when you hit an obstacle your body stays back without pushing on the handle bars, which could cause the bike to flip forward.
With your weight back your elbows should be slightly bent and pointing downwards (not outwards) and your arms should be loose (not tense) to allow the bike to move freely underneath you.

Riding over small logs

Approach the log at a fast walking pace. As the front wheel gets to the log, lift it onto the top of the log by shifting your weight back and pulling backwards and slightly up on the bars. With practice, you will be able to place your wheel on top of the log. As the front wheel rolls off the log, move your weight forward and lift your legs up underneath you. This will cause the rear wheel to lift over the log. Obviously, practice this over and over until you perfect it. The bigger the log (or the faster you approach it) the more precise you have to be and the faster you have to do it.