Hi David V,
As for training, you seem pretty fit right now, so I'd say just keep doing what you are doing. I havn't heard of the MAD mtb ride, so I can't really help much more than that. Is it a race, or just a ride (like ATB, Amy's Ride etc)? If it's just a ride, go out, have some fun and enjoy the new experience of mountain biking - you'll never get that 'first ride' back again, so enjoy it while you have it. If it's a race, go out, have some fun and enjoy the new experience of mountain biking
. Seriously, if it's your first mtb event, just go out and have some fun.
As for trail etiquette, riding on mtb trails is completely different to riding on the road/rail trails - the main difference being the mtb trails can be as thin as your handle bars! Basically, anyone who wants to pass you will yell something like 'track' or 'passing' or 'can I pass after that tree' etc. The general 'rule' (it's not an actual rule, but it's just curtious to follow it) is to get out of the way as quick as possible, but this may not be possible in tight single track, and most people will know this and will be patient (as long as you get out of the way when you can
Just a few more pointers/tips:
be people there that are faster than you (just like any event/race). Don't let them put you off having a good time - most of them are friendly, and will be able to tell that you are new to this (it's pretty easy to tell
), and give you lots of room. However, this leads me on to point #2,
There are some arrogant(sp?) pr!cks out there (just like anywhere) that will pass when it's not safe to do so, and probably won't even tell you they are passing. If this happens, again, just keep a cool head - most of them will know what to do, so nothing bad should happen.
When riding on tight singletrack, keep relaxed, look where you are going, and don't worry about what's happening behind you. If there is someone behind you that wants to pass, let them do so when you can - ie if the trail goes flat, yell stopping, and get off the track - almost everyone will thank you for getting out of the way (most people are quite friendly at mtb events).
If you are unsure of anything, just ask someone - we really are quite friendly (yes - even the pro's).
But the last point is, and I hope I've stressed this enough, but one last time: