Rules & Guidelines are designed to provide consistency among categories, and to encourage a safe, fair, and enjoyable racing experience for all Racers and Spectators.

Race Rules

  1. Only registered races may compete in the Palos Meltdown. Official Race Number plate must be displayed on the front of your bike.  No racer shall cut, fold, mutilate, apply stickers or alter in any way their number plate.  Numbers are not transferable. 
  2. All racers must wear a properly secured helmet, complying with DOT or CPSC Standards at all times during competition as well as pre-riding or warming up on the course.  Competitors must wear proper riding attire, including shirt, shorts, and fully enclosed shoes during competition.
  3. Each racer is responsible for having their bike in good operating condition including but not limited to: two fully functional brakes, plugged handlebar ends, NO hazardous attachments including kickstands (reflectors are permitted), adjusted hubs and headset, true wheels, and a sound frame (no cracks, bends or dents).  Racers must start and finish with the same bike throughout any single event.  CAMBr reserves the right to prevent any Racer from racing with an unsafe bike.
  4. Racers may not wear, or use on their bike, headphones, personal listening devices, publicly audible sound devices, or anything that interferes with their own, or other Racers’, awareness of their surroundings or other Racers.
  5.  All racers must be self-sufficient.  The individual racers must perform all repairs during the race.  The racers must carry tools and spare parts used in a repair.  No off-course assistance is allowed.   Repairs may be conducted on the side of the racecourse (off-trail) as long as safety to other riders is not jeopardized.
  6. Racers may finish the Race by riding, pushing, or carrying a bike that is mechanically impaired, as long as Racer finishes all laps and has not short cut any of the course.  A racer riding a bike has the right of way over one pushing a bike.  A Racer pushing the bike must make every effort to yield the fastest most rideable part of the trail to Racers on their bikes.
  7. Deviations from the marked course will result in disqualification unless the competitor re-enters the course at the point of exit.  A competitor that leaves the marked course is deemed to have retired from the race and will be scored as DQ or DNF.
  8. Pre-riding the Racecourse on Race Day after 8:30 am is not permitted.
  9. Hand-ups and feeding are permitted; however, interference with another Racer during a hand-up is grounds for disqualification. No littering of the Racecourse permitted, including gel packets, food wrappers or drink bottles.
  10. Lapped Racers must yield the trail immediately to faster Racers lapping them. Lapped Racers may continue to ride and complete their Race.
  11. It is the responsibility of an overtaking rider to pass safely.  No racer is expected to stop their race to allow other racers to pass.  However, no rider shall intentionally impede the progress of another rider.  A rider should make his/her presence known when overtaking a slower rider.  Especially in the single track, await a retune communication from the rider being overtaken that it is safe to pass.  A rider passing another is expected to do so in a manner that requires the least accommodation from the rider being passed.
  12. Racers must ride with courtesy at all times.  Unsportsmanlike conduct, use of profanity or flagrant discourtesy directed toward another Racer, Race worker, or spectator, is grounds for disqualification from the Race.  Racers failing to heed instruction of medical personnel or course marshals attending to an injured rider will be disqualified.
  13. Race course is approximately an 8-13 mile loop of single track, multi-track, and grass. Mileage changes as conditions and CCFPD rules alter the course CAMBr reserves the right to change the mileage, modify the racecourse, or delay or suspend the Race, because of weather conditions, trail conditions, Racer injury, or Cook County Forest Preserve requirements.
  14. No refunds issued due to weather, trail conditions, or for any other reason.  Your registration fee is gratefully considered a donation to CAMBr's mission to further trail development. Every effort will be made to run the race, rain or shine.  If single track is too wet to ride, Race will be run on multi-track and grass. If weather conditions present a danger to the safety of racers or spectators the race will be canceled. We will attempt to reschedule, but the scope of planning unfortunately will make that difficult.
  15. CAMBr reserves the right to add, delete or combine classes, or age groups, depending on racer turnout, or for any reason.
  16. Race results provided by timing service are final, subject only to Race Official review. Any protest must be registered with a Race Official within 15 minutes of the final racer crossing the finish line.
  17. Falsification of registration information will result in disqualification of the Racer.
  18. A protest of the results, the conduct of a Racer, or any other Race-related matter, must be reported or filed with a Race Official or CAMBr Race Committee Member within 15 minutes after completion of the Event, or posting of the results or a ruling. All results are final as of the awards presentation, unless any technical error is later discovered.
  19. All Racers will observe Cook County Forest Preserve District rules and regulations, including (but not limited to):  No riding off trail, no presence in Forest Preserve before sunrise or after sunset, no glass bottles in FPD, no littering, always yield the trail to hikers and horses, only park where permitted.
  20. CAMBr reserves the right to change or delete any Rules deemed in the best interest of the Race, or its participants.
  21. The sale or display at the Meltdown Race of merchandise, product or signs, for promotional purposes (including banners, tents, and anything not permanently attached to a Racer’s vehicle), is only permitted by confirmed Race sponsors, or with the permission of CAMBr or its Race Committee. 
  22. No E-Bikes. Anyone riding an e-bike will be disqualified.