Categories 2016

SO much fun traveling to great events in the Pacific Northwest!

Remember all races really only last 15-20 minutes then you cannot pedal much harder, and in most cases will end up in racing against 1 or 2 people for the next 1-2 hrs and hopefully make a new friend.

Have FUN!

Categories are listed below and offer a wide array of ways to participant in any of the series races.

Each event may offer a unique age group inside of any Series category as long as it is clearly identified as a Non Series category

Series Champions in each of 20 categories will have a chance to win this jersey post event from Primal Wear

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Categories 2016 (Categories that are in Bold text are eligible for the above Champion jersey post series)

Any rider may self select any category except Elite. No points will be upgraded at Athlete Path for riders that upgrade past the 3rd event so choose your category wisely and have fun.

Mandatory upgrades will occur through Spring Thaw and Race #4 per OBRA rules, so if you are fast you may want to upgrade prior to being asked to.

I have described racing for now close to 25 years as most only race for 15 minutes or so and then you are maxed out and can relax and make a new friend on the trail! You have a plate on your bike so we know who you are in case you crash or need assistance. This is my personal opinion of categories given my vast experience or perspective. Thanks for the support!

There are a lot of Categories?

  • Mountain bike categories in Oregon are  self-selected besides Elite which requires an upgrade or prior USAC Pro License. You can request this upgrade to our local association OBRA
  • Faster adult racers should move up or start at Sport (Cat 2) level or Expert (Cat 1) to prevent sandbagging and allow more space in the novice and sport fields. This means go ahead and enter Novice, but if you ride alot Sport is the best option to start out!
  • Juniors should begin by racing their age class and novice (cat 3); they can ‘race up’ but it’s best if they remain in their age category and Novice before moving to Expert Junior and a minimum age of 14
  • Special categories like Singlespeed, Clydesdale (200+ lbs) and Fat Bike are specialty categories based on weight or bike type)
  • Masters have many options and for most the Sport (Cat 2) is where most end up if you self identify as a person who typically does not “Race”

What Category am I?

  • If it’s your first race and you want to take it one step at a time, you’re in the “Novice” division or “Category 3” (Cat 3). These races take most people about an hour and are accessible to all abilities. Once you move up, you cannot downgrade unless you send a written request in.
  • If you’ve done several races or come in from racing in other sports or are a fit person, you can choose to race “Sport” (Cat 2). Equivalent categories may be Cyclocross B or Faster C Riders, or Road Category 4. These races vary from 1 to 3 hours (average 2 hours) and may include technical features and sustained climbs.
  • If you can ride anything and can go fast for over two hours, then try the “Expert” class (Cat 1). If you race cyclocross A or  place in the Top of the B field or road 1/2/3 then this may be your category or likely is.
  • If you are the previous years Champion in Novice (Cat 3) or Sport (Cat 2) and under 49 please move to the next ability level for the subsequent season. OBRA Rules mandate 3 top 3’s in 15 person mens and 10 person womens fields to upgrade from Novice to Sport and Sport to Expert. Expert 45+ does not have to upgrade to elite and 50+ riders can stay in Sport (Cat 2).

60% of all racers are Sport level (cat 2) and having fun on your bike is the name of the game. One other constant is there will always be that fast guy or fast girl, especially from other states or sports that will beat you. If you are only participating to win……well you better ride alot, if like me you want to be in the top half of your field and or just are out for a good time then you will be with 90% of all people who go to events. The coolest thing about mountain biking is Baggy shorts are perfect…..lycra skins suits are also cool as well as Jeans and a t-shirt….just remember to have a good helmet and good shoes and warm clothes when necessary.


(25 Champion Categories, best 5 of 10 races count) Final race decides any tie….check out scoring for more info!)

(Only Champions that race 5 or more times will be awarded a Champion Jersey)

Elite Men (requires upgrade or prior approval from OBRA or a current USAC Pro License)

Expert (Cat 1) Men 19-44

Expert (Cat 1) Men 45+

Elite Women (requires upgrade or prior approval from OBRA or a current USAC Pro License)

Expert Women (Cat 1)

(The Above are Cash Purse Categories for the series races) SS may be included if they are included with the Elite wave or in some cases the fastest overall times count towards the cash purse)

Singlespeed  Men

In most cases all of the above will run on the longest course



Expert Junior Men**

Sport ( Cat 2) Men 19-39

Sport (Cat 2) Men 40-49

Sport (Cat 2) Men 50-59

Sport (Cat 2 ) Men 60+

Clydesdale 200+ Men

Fat Bike (Non Gender) on the Sport course

 Expert Junior Women**

Sport (Cat 2) Women 19-39

Sport (Cat 2) Women 40-49

Sport (Cat 2) Women 50+ **

All of the Sport (cat 2) categories will race on the middle distance or longest with events with only 2 distances

Novice (Cat 3) Men 19-39*

Novice (Cat 3) Men 40+*

Junior Men 10-13 and 14-18

Novice (Cat 3) Women 19-39*

Novice (Cat 3 Women 40+)*

Junior Women 10-13 and 14-18

Please if you did win your category in Novice the previous year you need to upgrade or self select Sport or Expert.

(junior Men and women overall in the above categories will be scored for the Oregon Off-road Champion Jersey sent Fall 2015)

Fat Bike 3.7 inches or larger tires, Sport course!


**The Expert Junior category 14-18 is not self-selected (Expert Junior).

All riders must request your upgrade from Mike Ripley 1 week prior to registering. A simple race resume with at least 3 wins from the previous year or previous year champion will be allowed to race in the Expert Junior category. Please know that the 20 mile courses are tough and require a good amount of training and independence while on course. We at the Oregon Off-road series do not want to limit your options but to only guide you to the best experience possible. Also the minimum age to race Expert Junior will be 14 years of age for 2015.


* Shorter course
Please do not race in different ability levels from race to race. If you start out and are over your head you can downgrade officially through OBRA and move to your appropriate ability. Participants can select any of the above abilities through Expert (Cat 1) without an official Upgrade from OBRA. Annual licenses are recommended and only 25.00 HERE but a one day license is fine for any category for 5.00 and or Junior Annuals are only 5.00!


 Typical Time or distance of each and definition

Elite……Super Fast requires an upgrade  Time to win 1:45-2hrs +  depending on Distance verses Elevation
Expert (Cat 1)
  • Fast and same long course staging with the Elites, People race this for either the distance or because they are fast, or like to be away from all the other groups behind them
Sport (Cat 2) Time to win 1.5 hrs to 2.25 hrs depending if this group races a lesser distance than the Elite/Expert (Cat 1) distance.
  • May race as the longest course at some venues but not quite ready to step up to the fastest group (Largest fields by far)
  • Most age groups are offered by the Oregon Off-Road Series in this intermediate field.
  • This is the typical distance for Clydesdales 200+ also.
  • This group at most events will have multiple wave starts to provide the best racing
In many cases the top 3 in this Sport (Cat 2) category would place top 10 in Expert (Cat 1) for the Men
  • Novice (Cat 3) Just starting out?
  • I like to race 1 hr to 1.5 hrs and am out for fun!
  • Juniors can race Expert Junior by requesting 1 week prior to the event

Juniors are allowed to race up in Expert Junior but must request this by e-mailing 3 top 3’s in the previous year or a race resume is required.


Team Competition

Any Team Can Compete and you up to 4 members at each event to score points. Even non OBRA Teams will be tracked Via Athlete path for the series so if your team name does not show at OBRA please look at the individual race and or Athlete Path for your results for whatever need you may have.

Team Names are official after the series starts or by Mudslinger so no switching teams during the season of XC races or points transfers between teams

Team captains or leaders have until Wednesday at 9am after each event to make any adjustments.

Special Pricing for Top 3 teams from our Jersey Sponsor Primal Wear

Custom Trophies for top Team in the Series for 2016


Please wear a helmet at all times while on your bike. This includes before and after Events. You can be DQ’d for not doing this. OBRA rules apply!

  • Please use toilets and do not urinate where others can see.
  • No bad language or attitude
  • Do not drop gel packs or anything on the course except for sweat.
  • Please pull over if vehicles are on the roads when warming up and remember that any course could have a vehicle on it so pay attention.
  • There is no insurance provided by OBRA if you crash. We will call the emt or 911 in an emergency (lets not have any accidents like that)
  • BE nice when passing slower riders, say—— coming by, track, when its safe, love ya —ect


The Series is part of the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association and sign up for your Membership early with OBRA for 25.00 for Adults and 5.00 for Juniors or pay 5.00 for a one day license to race.

Individual race Directors will be selling memberships at the races.  Each race will have 300-500+ Day of race plates for you and twist ties or zip ties. These plates you can keep and put on your garage wall, ect. Do not use these plates in any race other than the one you are racing. The Junior MTB Series will have special plates for the 5 race series inside of the Oregon Off-Road Series

Special note:

This is a great year to get more people and reach out to Juniors from across the state to join and learn from your Team in 2016

Have Fun be safe and I will see you soon on the trail


Mike Ripley
Oregon Off-Road Series director

Please let us know if you have any feedback and feel free to contact me anytime at