The game is very, very fun once you get the hang of it. I haven't played any F-Zeroes, but I can tell you that it takes a while to get used to the control scheme of the game. But once you're able to do that, Sonic Riders is a challenging, fun game with many hidden surprises.
There's basically 3 forms of travel that I know of as of now:
Board: The main form of travel. You start off with only this, and is useable by most characters (only one that I know can't use a board is Shadow)
Skates: After you beat the Heroes story, you get this, along with Shadow and a few currently known unlockable characters. They, as of now, seem to be useable by all of the known characters that I have (sorry, no info on Eggman yet). Some are specific to character, but the first one you get can be used by all (or, depending on the Eggman situation, most) characters. Generally, they have less power ratings than Boards, but I don't know much else about them. I think they have generally better speed and less weight.
Motorcycle: As far as we know, only Eggman uses it, but I need to go further into the game to find out.
And the trick system is simple. When you see one of those things that gets you off into the air, simply pass over it and use the control stick to perform a trick. If you hold A, you can charge up a trick and you can perform tricks faster, and create trick combinations with the control stick. If you fail doing a trick, you don't fall off, you just lose a little speed and continue on. But if you do a trick properly, your fuel rating will increase.
Although it takes a bit to get a feel for the game, once you have a grip on the control scheme, this is a short game with loads of fun even when you're done.
Oh yes, and the thing between Tails and Knuckles at the second part of the Heroes story was hilarious.