It has been a few years now since Lance Armstrong appeared on TV and admitted to his, and his teams, use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDS). To say that there was an awareness of PEDS influencing the race results of the Tour de France is an understatement; however, to the extent that past racers and champions have admitted to using PEDS (both regarding the type and amounts) is frightening. In this article, I thought I would provide a recap of the most popular PEDS and how you can get the same performance results in a healthy and natural way.
Note: Your body produces these substances naturally in the body, the key to optimum health and performance is to maintain a high quality & quantity of healthy blood through clean eating and controlled training efforts (volume, intensity and frequency).
Drug: Erythropoietin (pronounced, ah-rith-ro-poy-tin, and abbreviated, EPO)
What EPO Does Within the Body
Erythropoietin (pronounced, ah-rith-ro-poy-tin, and abbreviated, EPO) is a relatively recent entry into the deceitful pursuit of glory. EPO is a protein hormone produced by the kidney. After being released into the blood stream it binds with receptors in the bone marrow, where it stimulates the production of red blood cells (erythrocytes). Medically, EPO is used to treat certain forms of anemia (e.g., due to chronic kidney failure). Logically, since EPO accelerates erythrocyte production it also increases oxygen carrying capacity.
Side Effects of EPO: Death
In the 1990s, there was a spate of sudden deaths associated within the cycling world associated with EPO: Marco Ceriani (16 years old), Johan Sermon (21 YO), Fabrice Salanson (23 YO), Marco Rusconi (24 YO), Jose Maria Jimenez (32), Denis Zanette (32 YO), Marco Pantani (34 YO), Michel Zanoli (35 YO). This negative publicity was at least part of the reason for the clamping down on EPO use, which was rampant at the time.
The reason that EPO, and transfusion blood doping, is dangerous is because of increased blood viscosity. Basically, whole blood consists of red blood cells and plasma (water, proteins, etc.). The percentage of whole blood that is occupied by the red blood cells is referred to as, the hematocrit. A low hematocrit means dilute (thin) blood, and a high hematocrit mean concentrated (thick) blood. Above a certain hematocrit level whole blood can sludge and clog capillaries. If this happens in the brain it results in a stroke. In the heart, a heart attack. Unfortunately, this has happened to several elite athletes who have used EPO.
EPO use is especially dangerous to athletes who exercise over prolonged periods. A well-conditioned endurance athlete is more dehydration resistant than a sedentary individual. The body accomplishes this by several methods, but one key component is to “hold on” to more water at rest. Circulating whole blood is one location in which this occurs and, thus, can function as a water reservoir. During demanding exercise, as fluid losses mount, water is shifted out of the blood stream (hematocrit rises). If one is already starting with an artificially elevated hematocrit then you can begin to see the problem -- it is a short trip to the critical “sludge zone”.
Additional dangers of EPO include sudden death during sleep, which has killed approximately 18 pro cyclists in the past fifteen years, and the development of antibodies directed against EPO. In this later circumstance, the individual develops anemia as a result of the body’s reaction against repeated EPO injections.
There are some other reasons why cyclists might be predisposed to sudden death - riding at high intensities when carrying viral infections (as pro athletes tend to do) is one of them. And, as Ryan Shay, and a number of other high-profile cases have shown recently, sudden death is a tragic, but not completely uncommon event. There are reports that Nolf’s cardiogram was normal, but even that are not a guarantee of health, because those tests can often miss the quite rare conditions that cause sudden death in athletes. Source: click here
How to improve the quality & production of red blood cells naturally
With a balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources, your body will produce the blood chemistry necessary to perform at an elite level. Determining the optimal amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats that an individual need for optimal health and performance is beyond the scope of this article; however, I want you to know how to create healthy red blood cells.
Natural Eating Solution: eat high quality protein along with high quality brown bread with real butter. The protein will provide your body with iron (helps form hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the bloodstream from the lungs to the muscles & brain) and the brown bread will provide you B vitamins (also referred to as Energy Vitamins). An additional benefit of eating protein and brown bread is that the bread with improve your absorption of the iron.
Drug: Human Growth Hormone (hGH)
What HGH Does Within the Body
hGH is stored in a pea sized ball called the pituitary gland and is the primary stimulus to muscle & muscle strength, bone growth & bone strength, tendon growth & tendon strength, injury repair and mobilization of body fat for use as energy.
Warning: this gets technical, but necessary to fully understand this process.
The key to overall health and performance is to stimulate your own production of growth hormone and you accomplish this by stimulating the pituitary gland correctly. The pituitary is stimulated to release growth hormone by another hormone circulation in the brain called somatocrinin. Levels of somatocrinin can be increased by increasing levels of brain neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are the chemicals that carry information from one nerve to another. Their activity constitutes your mind, your consciousness and dreams. To increase neurotransmitters, you have to get the amino acids that influence them past what is called the blood-brain barrier. This concept is beyond the scope of this article, but what needs to be discussed here is an amino acid, Tryptophan, which is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is a compound that slows down brain activity during rest & sleep. Shortly after you fall asleep, your pituitary gland releases a burst of growth hormone. Source: Optimum Sports Nutrition, Dr. Michael Colgan.
Side Effects of Synthetic hGH
External side effects of synthetic hGH include: intense wrist nerve pain, diabetes, overgrowth of the facial bones, gaps between the teeth as the jawbone widens, development of a fatter nose, thickened bone above the eyes resembling an ape and excessive hair growth. Internal side effects include stressed liver, thyroid & pancreas symptoms, diabetes and historically die prior to the age of 60.
How to improve the production of hGH naturally
As mentioned above, the largest growth homone release occurs 30-60 minutes after falling asleep along with high intensity exercise (within moderate volume levels). To take advantage of these normal physiological functions, racers need to increase the duration and quality of sleep and monitor exercise durations and intensity levels. Ideally, racers should train twice daily, mid morning and early afternoon and take a nap immediately after training. Remember, each time you rest, your body receives a burst of growth hormone naturally.
Natural Eating Solution: consume a high-quality smoothie that contains a high quality whey protein prior to sleeping and napping. Research has shown that the production of hGH can improve by up to 300% when high quality whey protein is consumed before resting.
What Testosterone Does Within the Body
Testosterone has two distinct modes of action, androgenic (masculinizing) and anabolic (tissue building). Up to a certain level of testosterone in your body, a level that varies widely with biochemical individuality, the androgenic action produces more maleness, broader features, more hair, deeper voice, and larger sex organs. Along with it, the anabolic action produces larger muscles and greater strength.
Side Effects of Synthetic or Excessive Testosterone
If you take synthetic or excessive testosterone, the androgenic action turns nasty (aggression, violent anxiety, paranoia, and manic-depressive reactions). Additional negative side effects are irreversible baldness, overgrowth of the prostate, (which chokes the bladder and requires a catheter in order to urinate), acne (the blood fails to contain the excess hormone and overloads the sebaceous glands), impotence, shrinkage of testicles, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
How to improve the production of testosterone naturally
Sleep 8-10 hours; eat high quality fruits, vegetables and high-quality protein. Control your exercise intensity & volume to avoid over stressing your body.
Natural Eating Solution: eat foods that are high in boron, zinc, vitamin C, branched chain amino acids and maximize the release of growth hormone.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestion for a future article, hit me up on the comments section below. I enjoy hearing from you. Oh, and don't forget to tap that "Follow" button so that you're notified when I post new tips on reaching your highest potential.
Coach Robb Beams Complete Racing Solutions
"While at Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world, Ryan was counting down the days for our dirtbike tour." Todd explained just moments before heading out on the trail.
It's hard to look down upon the Andes as you fly into the Cusco valley, and not have your mind blown with the enormity and vastness of the terrain below the wings. If you are crazy passionate about dirtbikes, it's even more mind blowing to imagine riding it on two wheels. Todd and Ryan joined up with Scott Englund of MotoMission Peru for a custom three day hard enduro ride. The ride catered to their skill levels, journeyed across the type of terrain that the boys wanted to ride, and filled their minds with hundreds of unforgettable images of Peru. Each teetered on the edge of comfort as Scott managed to push them beyond their norms of riding in Colorado.
The official tour video...Check it out!
"There is something special about leading a father son duo into the back country." Englund said as he explained how his own father bred a bit of adventure in his own heart. "I get people from every corner of the planet. They are all awesome peeps, but to share this experience with Todd and Ryan, that's a thrill."
Three days of exotic dirtbiking. Beginning at Englund's home, the trail begins just minutes from the garage. "No trailers, you'll see what I am talking about. You won't even have time to warm up before we hit the trail." Englund explained.
What goes on inside of Motomission is nothing short of a dream. Scott has been running MotoMission Peru for a number of years. He is a social entrepreneur who gives 100% of the profits of the business to charity. His family is supported by a number of people and/or businesses who believe in his mission. Sponsors have supported MotoMission with equipment and gear. The marketing arm of the business are happy customers that tell others about the experience and share the included tour video via social media.
Scott does what he loves to do. Riding dirtbikes, exploring new areas, cinematography, adventure, travel, serving others, business...It all fits his lifestyle. You can see it in his smile when he hands over the bike to you at the beginning of the tour.
So many views!
"I've got the coolest gig on the planet!" Englund states. "In my wildest of thoughts, I couldn't have dreamt up a better situation. I live here with my amazing family, all who ride, and I get to do what I love to do, while giving it all away."
It's not all happy and easy. "It really sucks when you have to haul a bike out of a canyon in backpacks." recalled Englund of a time when a customer launched a bike off a ledge so steep and deep he couldn't see where the bike had landed.
Good times with Dad!
Todd and Ryan got the full package. Englund was able to lead the men into an unforgettable riding experience like they had never imagined. Beyond tired, they had to make it to the next town for the night. They rode a section that is typically a two day ride, all in the scope of one day and a little bit of night. "My hand is so tired I can't squeeze the clutch anymore." Ryan said as the cramping in his forearm curled up his hand.
When it comes to an exotic dirt bike adventure, MotoMission Peru has the holeshot. With countless untouched routes, an epic landscape, and a personable and capable guide, you owe it to yourself to check out this little gem in the Andes.
You can reach Scott at Scott@motomissionperu.com to find out more about tours and riding in the Andes. He is always ready to talk shop!
Also, don't forget to "FOLLOW" this blog if you want to have access to MotoMission Peru's new posts and videos.
Today I want to share some pointers on preparing new or re-plated cylinders that will help ensure your engines run stronger and last longer. Plus, I've got an update on the two-stroke book I've been working on that I'd like to share. Let's get started!
A Universal Concern
First, both new and re-plated cylinders must be cleaned prior to assembling. Normally the cylinders will arrive looking clean, but looks can be deceiving. I have no doubt that the factories and re-plating services clean the cylinders as part of their processes, but I highly recommend cleaning the bores a final time prior to use. Shown below is a new Yamaha cylinder that I extracted quite a bit of honing grit out of.
If left in place, the honing grit will ensure that the piston rings will wear out faster than they need to, so be sure to take the time to properly clean new cylinders prior to assembly.
What’s the best way to clean the cylinder bore?
Start by using warm soapy water and a brush to clean the cylinder. Take your time and be thorough.
After the majority of the honing grit has been removed switch to automatic transmission fluid and a lint free rag for one final cleaning.
As a test to check cleanliness, rub a cotton swab against the cylinder bore. If the swab picks up any debris and changes color, your cleaning duties are not over. The swab should be able to be rubbed against the bore and remain perfectly clean.
Two-Stroke Port Dressing
For two-stroke owners, the second item I want to bring to your attention is port dressing. Port dressing is a term used to describe the process of deburring/breaking the edge at the intersection of the cylinder plating and the ports in the cylinder. During the plating process, plating usually builds up excessively at the edge of the port and must be removed after honing. Proper removal is critical to ensure acceptable piston ring life.
Manufacturers and plating services will break the edge in different ways and to different magnitudes, which ends up being a whole other topic. The important thing is to ensure that any new or re-plated cylinder you use shows visible signs that the port edges have been dressed. A dressed port edge will be easy to spot because it will feature a different surface finish than the cross-hatch created from honing. This is easily visible in the image shown above. Many port dressing operations are done manually so some irregularity in the geometry will usually be present. If there is no visible edge break on the port edges, I would be highly suspicious and contact the service that plated the cylinder or sold the cylinder and confirm with them if a step was missed. Typically a chamfer or radius in the .020 - .040” (0.5 - 1mm) range is used.
Two-Stroke Power Valves
Lastly, it is possible that some of the power valve components, such as blades or drums, will not fit correctly on cylinders that have been replated. This is because the plating can occasionally build up in the slots or bores where the power valve parts reside. Prior to final assembly, be sure to check the function of the power valve blade and/or drums to ensure they move freely in their respective locations within the cylinder.
If plating has built up in a power valve slot or bore, it will need to be carefully removed. To do this, appropriately sized burs for die grinders or Dremel tools can be used. If one is not careful, irreversible damage to the slot or bore can result. When performing this work proceed cautiously or leave it to a seasoned professional. Burs for the job can be difficult to track down in stores, but are readily available online from places like McMaster-Carr. When purchasing burs, be sure to pick up a few variants, such as rounded and square edged, designed for removing hard materials.
The Two-Stroke Book
From February to March we photographed the entire book. From April onward we have been formatting and proofreading. Needless to say, we are in the final stretch! If you want to stay updated on the moment the Two-Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook is ready for pre-order, sign up at the link below. We can't wait to get this book out the door and into your garage.
Sign Up for Updates on the Two-Stroke Book
Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week!
Hello ThumperTalk readers! It’s been a while, and a lot has happened! My absence hasn’t been a negative time, but rather a time of building and preparation for the success I had just a few days ago. As I said in my previous entry, things are always likely to change, and I’ll talk a little about that too. Let’s get to it!
In the weeks leading up to the largest amateur national, Loretta Lynn’s, the preparation was nothing short of busy. Working three 12- hour days in the Florida heat, the other day spent either on the bike training with, Ricky Renner, in the gym or on a road bike. One thing I hadn’t thought about, I hadn’t been on an amateur national gate since November 2015, and I was competing in two of the most competitive classes at the ranch. However, a little bit of ignorance was bliss, and it allowed me to come in with a level of confidence to start the week and only get better.
Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 2, Photo by MEPMX
At the ranch, the usual ups and downs of competition is an understatement. However, I found myself able to walk away with my head held higher than ever, accomplishing many firsts and doing it was more awesome than I could’ve imagined! In the 250A class, if something could go wrong, it did. A nasty get-together with another racer over a jump – first moto, a fried clutch – second moto, and a flat tire in the fourth lap third moto, it would’ve been enough for some folks to give up and go home. On the opposite side of the spectrum, it seemed like everything went right in the College 18-24 class. It was in this class that I got my first ever podium moto finish, moto win, and overall podium at Loretta Lynn’s! 5-3-1 for 3rd overall!
Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, 250A Moto 2, Photo by MEPMX
This year was very different from the rest. With the guidance of Renner, and my long-time wrench, Amish Sam, we came into things with more strategy and well-thought out plans for success, rather than “just go for it” mentality. I am not an inside starter… but this week was different. The slight disadvantage of a 250 against 450s, I had to get a good start to set myself up for the rest of the moto, rather than trying to get a holeshot from the center of the starting line and putting myself in a spot to potentially get pinched off and shuffled to the back. We made a few bike changes throughout the week, different gearing, different piston, and new mapping (big thanks to Doug @ Kawasaki for helping me). More than anything, I was open-minded to achieve the success I wanted along with hard work and effort it ultimately created the scenario for success, and more confidence which allowed for greater accomplishments.
Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 3, Photo by Ricky Renner
I believe the most exciting thing that happened last week was the last moto of the week, College 18-24, when I had my first ever moto win at Loretta Lynn’s! Perhaps you have experienced the feeling when you are leading, thoughts of, “just stay up”, and there’s a good chance of caving under the pressure. I went from 6th to 2nd in about 3 turns, and from there I passed into the lead by the 3rd lap finishing 8 seconds ahead of second place. When I passed into the lead and started to pull away, there was no sense of “don’t go down”. Instead, I was feeling confident and pride in myself. It felt like it was another day doing 20-minute motos… just nailing the lines, clicking off laps, in control, and CALM. It was at that moment I realized, that this is what I have trained for, all the preparation, to be in first place, at the most prestigious race of the year. To feel calm and comfortable in the most coveted spot. How awesome to be at the highest level in amateur racing of the year, leading the race, and feeling like it’s another day at the office, the sense to just keep it flowing! Going forward with this new confidence, I believe is a great stepping stone for further accomplishments at other national events and even into professional racing. I just had to have the breakthrough and get the momentum going!
Loretta Lynn's Amateur National, College 18-24 Moto 3 Win & Awards Ceremony, Photos by Ricky Renner
As mentioned in my last blog, plans change. I will be staying amateur another year. This decision has been unanimous with those who support me. I have missed a full year’s worth of gate drops, training and practice, and want to give myself adequate time to fully re-integrate back into the top level of amateur racing/competition. When I go pro, I want adequate support behind me, and to have all the tools necessary to create waves, and go in with the speed to be competitive off the gate drop. I will continue to document my journey in the A class, Arenacross run, and further. Be sure to check in and click the follow button for future blogs! We are always keeping it interesting in the Meshey camp.
I want to thank everyone who helps me along this journey. Wouldn’t be able to do what I do without all of you! Jimmy, Mike, and Eddie at Cycle Springs Powersports, Chris and the whole crew at Race Tech, Erik at Boyesen, ThumperTalk, Mike at FLY, Brad at EVS, Dien at Acerbis, Rich at EKS (X) Brand goggles, Rob at Dunlop, RoostMX Graphics, Simon at Mika Metals and DT1, MotoSeat, Kevin at Tamer Holeshot Hookup, Gregg at Lynk’s Racing, Dale at Bulletproof Threads, Andrew Campo, Ricky Renner for stealing my candy, Amish Sam, Momma Meshey, Keith, Amanda, Adam, and Lauren. Also, a huge thanks to everyone at USF Health, especially Dr. Tabatabian and Dr. Welsh for bringing me back to good health! Also, I look forward to my future with Wiseco, big thanks to Al and Kevin over there!
Photo by Ricky Renner
THE OFFICIAL TOUR VIDEO...Enjoy!
The day started early. We wanted to get going early as the route was formidible and there was a high likelihood that we couldn't all make it to the other side. In fact, I didn't even call ahead and get hotel reservations. I was pretty certain we stood no chance.
The day's ride was not long in distance, but in difficulty, it was overload. I had done the route once before as I rode it solo. Looking back on it, I realize I am an idiot. I am working on a solo documentary project and this route was the culmination of the film. So I rode it solo, filmed it solo, and suffered all by myself. The film is in post production at the moment and will be coming out in the next few months, at least that is the plan.
As for the four of us, we had a plan to reach the pass at no later than 3pm. Any later and we would have to come back the way we came, defeated. All gassed up and ready to ride hard, we headed up the canyon to the trailhead.
The anticipation was high. Fernando Puga, who I just call Puga, told me that there is no option other than to reach the other side. He's a tough fella and a good rider. To put it in perspective, he is a bronze finisher in the 2017 Redbull Romaniacs. He is one of the top riders in Peru. He was determined.
His buddy, Duilio, who stands at about 6ft 4inches give or take a few inches, is a beast. He, also, had no intention to give up. We either made it or we made it. No other options.
In addition, there is Alex. He is my riding buddy from Cusco. This guy has a story to tell. I won't give it all away now, but he is as short as they come. I call him Chatito. That means "Shorty" in Spanish. He is starting the inning with a couple outs. His feet hardly can touch the ground when he mounts up on his KTM 300. However, the boy can ride.
The plan was to ride steady. No long stops. I was the only one who knew just how tough it would be. Alex had seen parts, but not very much of the trail. We began pounding through obstacle after obstacle. They just kept coming. Relentless, gut wrenching, head exploding obstacles that scream at you to quit. One by one, we conquered. I am not sure how many times the guys asked me if we were close, but it made me chuckle each time.
There were a number of "filters" that we would face on the climb to the 15,800ft pass. Each one posed its own set of problems. The technical part was enough to make one give up. However, add the altitude to that, and the will to continue dwindled to hardly anything.
It was a privilege to watch these guys battle the mental part of this journey. None of us had it in us to finish. However, there was something about the makeup of the team, that compounded the energy we had left, and turned it into a reserve for each other when we needed a little bit more boost. Somehow, we pushed through each obstacle to get closer to the top.
One of the obstacles, that is properly named for the biblical scripture painted in graffiti on the rock, is the Stairway to Heaven. The words say that the day of God is soon. Pretty much spot on. We spent an hour climbing 100 feet of elevation. There are 13 switchbacks, and enough rocks to build a quarry. Literally a one foot lunge forward on your bike was all one could do in most parts. It was a war. Each in their own battle, working their way to the top. The arrival at the top was met with a view of the upper valley, a long break to recover from the chaos, and a bunch of fluids and protein which would lead us to the next set of filters that would certainly break us down some more.
It seemed like forever, but we finally pushed through all of the obstacles to the pass with exception of the pass itself; a 15,300ft rock garden with an incline that makes me want to cry just thinking about it. One by one, we arrived at the top. Somehow, everyone made it.
I remember Puga asking about the downside of the mountain. He had this idea that it would be "just" a downhill. I chuckled again and informed him that we were not done with the filters. Just because its downhill, doesn't mean it's easy. After a short celebration on the top, our heads were ready to explode from the altitude. Air was light and nothing could get us off that mountain fast enough. Down we went.
The highest altitude area is full of rock. We had to navigate hundreds of steps and drops to bring us down toward the Cuncani Valley. With our tongues hanging out, we pounded down the edge of the canyon. Little by little, the air began to provide more oxygen as we reached the 14,000ft range. It's crazy to think that one would be happy to breath the thin air at that altitude, but when you compare to the pass, we were happy with 14k.
Before long, the hot springs that awaited our arrival was on the forefront of each of our minds. Cramping arms, legs that no longer wanted to properly stand on the pegs, and minds that were exhausted from the 7 hours of intense concentration were beginning to let each of us know that the day was just about over.
We reached the little community of Cuncani and found a new dirt road that had been cut, which we were happy to use to reach the hot springs. It wasn't long before we found ourselves pulling into the hotel and pool area, ditching our gear and plunging into the steaming mineral water to soothe our hammered bodies.
The ride was something only one could dream about, with the exception of the four of us. It's a privilege to be able to do this. Finishing a day of riding in this manner should always feel this good. I am so stoked to have shared and fought the trail with these guys. I can't wait to try the next impossible!
Stay tuned for the next adventure!
I am super excited about this new series captured by Treehouse Creative Designs (TreehouseCreativeDesigns.com)!
The vision of the series is to learn more about my background, my training methods, and my perspective on the motocross industry. In this first segment, I was asked "Who is your favorite rider you have worked with and why?"
If you have a question on your mind, email us at Contact@CoachRobb.com and we will incorporate it into our next video series. #MotoE
Podcast #21 POST-RACE DEPRESSION – HOW TO AVOID THE NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS OF OVER TRAINING
Over the last 34 years of coaching, I have has seen countless cases of post-race depression. This is not a subject that I take lightly and in this podcast I explain why it happens, as well as providing some very important steps you can take to help offset the symptoms. **Note: if you are dealing with depression, I strongly urges you to seek professional help immediately! **
I also outline what over training is, how to identify if you are on the path to over training, along with four specific questions you must answer to keep it from happening again. Grab a piece of paper and jot down the blueprint as I walk you the necessary steps to elevate your health, wellness and performance without having any future performance setbacks.
Listeners questions include: What is the difference between electrolytes and calories in a sports drink; When should I resume training after muscle soreness, Tips to keeping Energy Fuel cold during long workouts, Can you drink Energy Fuel with dinner, and the fine line between being too technical and not technical enough.
If you have any questions or frustrations, please post them below and we will address them directly here on TT! Thanks for listening.
Thinking of entering your first race? Have no idea what you’re doing and don’t know where to start? Great! I have learned a few things that may help you prepare and enter your first race.
The first step is gathering information on what you can expect. Second step is to get a dirt bike, third step is to learn to ride it really well so you don’t embarrass yourself,….At least, that’s what your probably thinking. I urge you to ignore step three, step one is a good idea and step two is kind on non-negotiable unless you want to make a statement by showing up at the line riding a pedal bike, though I think you may end up timing out and camping in the woods for the night. I just started riding dirt bikes last year and earlier this spring I went to my first Enduro race. I will tell you that entering a race is one of the best ways to up your game in very short amount of time. You may be confused on how it’s organized, you may fall, you may get beat by 12 year olds, you will have to get over yourself.
Once you have it in your mind that you would like to enter a race, you better get your body and bike race ready. There are a lot of youtube videos out there to show you some great exercises to get in shape, and riding itself is a great way to become physically prepared. If you are entering as a novice there is most likely a shortened course. The shortened course can be anywhere from 2-4 hours of riding. It’s a good idea to ride 4-5 hours each practice standing the whole time in preparation. I don’t want to get into too much detail on the physical and mechanical prep as there is a ton of info on Thumpertalk and various videos already. Very good idea! Make sure you bring gas, tools etc in case of last minute adjustments. Do not be that guy who sits there revving his engine in the prep area a hundred times to dial in the carb. Do this at home.
Next you have to figure out what race is right for you. There are many styles of racing, and I will not detail each one as there are plenty of resources out there doing just this. I will tell you to choose one close to home, because you will be sore for the drive home. It’s also a good idea to look on youtube, there are plenty of people who post their gopro footage of the race. This will give you an idea of what the terrain and course looks like. Also check out the area for camp sites, hotels or other places if you are spending the night. I spent the night in the prep area sleeping in the back of my car. I folded down the back seat and spend the rest of the night ensuring that I found every single metal bracket in the back of the seat with my back. Once I was sure I had the brackets fairly well mapped out I was able to get some sleep. In the morning a fellow racer told me he puts down a small piece of plywood in the back of his car for just this reason.
Once you get to the race location you must sign in/sign up. Bring cash! Some locations require extra money on site for various fees, entry sign ins, race monitoring devices etc. Not everywhere is covered with cell signal so bring cash in case their machines do not receive signal to accept debit/credit cards. Once you have signed in and got your transponders (in enduro) you then go to the noise check station. This would be the guy who looks like he’s checking out guy’s butts as they rev their engine. No he is not some moto perv, well actually, he may be, but he is also checking to make sure your bike isn’t too damned loud to be on the course. This person has an actual decimeter, and is not using a phone app. I have tested these phone apps and they can be way off, do not rely on them. After the noise check you then have a while to wait before the pre-start meeting. Quite a few guys do not gear fully up until after the pre-start meeting as it can be a few hours from the start of sign ins to the pre-start meeting. After the meeting where they thank sponsors and lay out the rules for the gas stops etc then they start lining up for the race. Do not line up too early and congest the start area, hold back a bit and talk to other riders to see what line they are in and adjust yourself accordingly.
There are a few things to take note of when starting the race. First is what position you want to start in. The lower the number the earlier you start. An earlier start can mean better trail conditions, however it also means that more people are behind you to pass you. It was my experience that I lost most of my time from moving out of the way to let other riders pass. The later the start the less people there are to pass you, however the track may not be in a very good condition. Remember when you looked for youtube videos from previous racers? See if they commented on what row they were and look at the track conditions. I started at row 30 out of 50 and found that to be perfect. Race pace is also very important, and there are a variety of resources online that speak about this as well. Basically you do not want to go too fast you burn yourself out.
When I was racing I had to move over quite a few times. If you practice your balance you will be able to ride slow on the side of the trail allowing others to pass. If you don’t have very good balance you may have to stop and put a foot down, loosing quite a bit of time.
In reality the first race will be a race against yourself. This is the time where you need to figure out the process of entry and dynamics of how the race structure works. Don’t be hard on yourself if you place last, just work on learning how to race and its an accomplishment just to finish. If you can, buddy up with someone when you get there who has done a few races and get them to show you the ropes. The guys we have in the off road community are usually great and don’t mind helping out someone new.
One of the most important things to remember is not to take yourself too seriously. If you are afraid to enter because you’re afraid to come last or look like you don’t know what you are doing, you’re missing out on a huge part of off road riding!
Manitoulin Island is a beautiful place to ride, unfortunately, the entire thing is privately owned, this means as dirt riders we are stuck to the roads, which means we are driving an unregistered vehicle illegally or on trails we are trespassing on private property. Riding gravel roads is a good time, some fun wide open stretches, although my almost stock CRF230F falls flat on its face at high rpm, it is still fun to push the limits on this little bike. Luckily we did find snowmobile trails that did not have any no trespassing signs posted, how can we know it's trespassing without a sign, right? Manitoulin has a lot of rocky terrain, much like what you see around Muskoka and along highway 400, just a little more flat. If you look hard enough you'll find trails consisting of flat rock and patches of sand and clumps of grass, great for faster riding. If you want the more technical stuff, it is not a hard task to find some rocky hills (although they won't be too long), all you need to do is ride in a ditch for about a kilometre and you're almost guaranteed to hit something.
I would not call this a destination for off-road riders, dual-sport riders, on the other hand, would love this, dirt road after dirt road. The scenery is amazing and you will likely enjoy just cruising through the countryside and maybe finding some rougher road allowances. In our case we have bikes that are not even green plated as of our time on the island, we weren't worried about getting stopped though, whenever we saw anybody we just wave at them, not that the residents know the difference of a plated bike, but everyone seemed to respond with a friendly wave.
After searching google maps' satellite view, we went to check out what looked like a trail, we end up at a "no exit" road with a fairly wide, but bumpy, trail going straight back into the woods. Following this rail fence all the way back until a fork in the trail, with a cottage and no trespassing signs on our left, we gladly took a right, the direction of a major road we were looking to get to. Being fairly new to trail riding, and having never been on the trail before we proceeded quickly but cautiously. Zipping along the packed ATV trail with hunting stands passing by on our left and the same rail fence on our right, we figured we were right on the property line of two lots. Suddenly the packed dirt turned to cracked uneven rocks, working hard not to let my tire slip into a deep crevasse, I hit a steep hill, with some pretty tall rock steps. Not to worry the one thing the 230 can do reasonably well is low-end torque, trying hard to pop up that front tire and jump the ledges. A few more hills like this and we popped out on the road that connected us to our cousin's cottage on the other side of Lake Manitou. Not only was it the road we wanted, but the snowmobile trail we were on continued alongside this road, perfect. Fearing a gas shortage we turned the other way and made our way to the closest gas station.
A couple days later we decide to take that awesome trail once more and pay a visit to the other side of the lake, we made our way through the same section as before without any problems, finally, we popped out on the road and were ready to test the new section. A variety of technical, rocky and flat, open trail, it was a lot of fun. We made it there without any problems, cooled off in the lake and chilled there for a few hours. Ready to make the trek back, we fire up the bikes as I turn my bike around I feel it break traction, didn't think much of it cause I was on the grass making a sharp pivot. Every turn I made after that I could feel my tire slipping. Finally, I recognized my tire was flat, we stopped and looked at it but we couldn't do much considering we had no tools or anything to fix this. The only option was to ride home on it, going slow as not to destroy my tire (although it is toast but I'm too cheap to replace it) and save my rim. Instead of 25 minutes, it took closer to an hour and 15 minutes.
This is where it comes to mind that maybe an Emergency/Repair Kit wouldn't be such a bad idea, not only can we avoid unnecessarily long trips in the future but changing a tire on the side of the road might even be a fun experience/story to tell. We quickly hopped on Fortnine (formerly the Canadian Motorcycle Co.) and started adding things to the cart, referencing the Fortnine youtube channel and Frickin Jim as well, both of whose opinions we trust. Our Kit now consists of:
1 80/100/21 STI Heavy Duty Tube
1 100/100/18 STI Heavy Duty Tube
1 Stop and Go, Patch Kit
3 Tire spoons we already owned
1 handheld air pump we already owned
1 Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight Watertight Kit 0.3
And we didn't have a small bag or a small container so, for the time being, we threw a litre of conventional oil in there, which will probably be reduced to 500mls or less.
Tubes obviously as a backup, patch kit was cheap and is extra insurance. Spoons to actually make a tube change possible, pump to pump it up although it will take a while. Med Kit in case of an emergency on the trail, and Oil for topping up the bike if need be, or lubing a chain, or some cables, possibilities are endless.
watch part of this Manitoulin Dirt Biking Adventure Below
The seat bounce is a fundamental MX jumping technique and in this video I cover how to seat bounce, when, and why. Are you using the seat bounce? How's your technique? Struggling with anything? Hit me up in the comments section below! I'm here to help you improve your riding skills so you can be a more effective racer or simply have more fun & ride more safely.
Oh, if you want to be notified when I post new content to this blog, be sure to tap that "follow" button.
Garrahan Off-Road Training http://garrahanoffroadtraining.com/
Thumpertalk member Mark McMillan sporting a cool new jersey
Congrats to Mark McMillan on the cool new Motomission Peru jersey! Mark submitted his opinion on our latest Never Ride Alone film contest and he was picked as the winner. Thanks to all of those that sent in their opinions and votes for the official movie poster. Here is the poster with the most votes!
THE WINNING POSTER
The Never Ride Alone film is moving forward toward the finish line. I am excited as ever to finally see this thing on a big screen. The final touches are being completed and this thing should be ready to hit the film festival circuit. Make sure to stay connected via the official Never Ride Alone film page on Facebook. Also, I will continue to post information and distribution dates on this blog as it comes available.
Below is a self interview about the film. My hope is that you can gain a bit of insight into whats to come on the screen. Hope you enjoy. Also, make sure to watch the official trailer if you want to see what the film might be like.
THE OFFICIAL NEVER RIDE ALONE FILM TRAILER
What motivated me to make this movie?
Originally, the idea was to take a group of guys( and dear friends) that raced in the 2007 Baja 1000 and do a ten year reunion ride from the Amazon Jungle, from one side of the Andes to the other, and reach the beach of the Pacific Ocean on the western coast of Peru. For various reasons, that project had to be postponed. The current Never Ride Alone project is actually the backup project that was mostly filmed during the time that was set aside for the original project.
I love making film. It started back when I was in grade school decades ago. I had a media class where we experimented with video equipment and I just got hooked. I also love to tell stories. What better way to match up my passions for film, storytelling, exploring, and dirtbike riding?
A COMMON BACKDROP IN THE ANDES OF PERU
How long have you been working on this project?
It began with an idea about three years ago. From there, the dream never stopped. It sure brought out the naysayers. When you dream big, it draws negativity like a magnet. I had to decide if I wanted to listen to it or make my dream a reality. I am still up to my neck in this thing.
ANOTHER PERFECT TRAIL
What have you learned along the process of making the film?
Most of all, I learned about Scott Englund. It was like a gym. Each day I would work out to make myself stronger, faster, and better. Not just in physical strength, but in mental endurance, technical riding ability, filmmaking, and problem solving. When you watch the film, there is a profound theme that follows a "never give up" attitude that one must have to reach a goal. There have been hundreds of valid reasons to give up. The value of finishing the project is more than throwing in the towel.
Why is Peru the stage for the film?
I live here. I ride these mountains daily. I know what a treasure and privilege it is to do what I do. I am like a kid that just received the coolest present for Christmas and has nobody with whom to share. Of the hundreds of thousands of hard core dirtbikers in the world, only a fraction ever have the opportunity to ride in these mountains. I love showing off my back yard to other riders. I am hoping that you come and ride with me some day. It's perfectly beautiful. Don't get me wrong, there are other beautiful places in the world, but this is as exotic as it gets. Millions of acres to myself. Its hard to wrap your mind around, but literally millions of acres without another dirtbike out there. They don't make rules to keep dirtbikes out. They would have to make the law just for me.
The trails are endless. I have hundreds of routes that I have yet to tackle. No way in my lifetime will be able to explore each one. There are hundreds of trails that have never seen the tires of a dirtbike. When you put the landscape and the mystique of the Andes together with trails that dirtbikers can only dream about, you get a perfect stage for a film.
What's the theme of the movie?
The perfect movie stage
It's a solo project. I chose to build a film without the help of a crew to see if it was possible. I carried all the equipment in my pockets and backpack, I set up each shot, rode through many of them, and edited and developed the story along the way. My goal was to create a visually pleasing film that would trick the viewer into thinking that there was a crew that helped in the process, but it was just me(with the exception of a few parts outside of my riding story).
It's a dirtbiking film. The riding is real... no stunt people, no special effects, just me and my bike. However the story is universal. It's about choosing and challenging oneself with an impossible journey, preparing to tackle it, and then stacking up a bunch of obstacles on top of the impossible just to push myself even further. My goal is to show an ordinary dude in a real life dirtbike story facing eminent failure, but giving 100% anyways. If I can motivate one person to think differently and go a bit further without giving up, then the film was a success. I also wanted to create a film that makes you want to ride. I am pretty sure this will do it.
MY TRAINING GROUND
When will the film be ready for purchase by the general public?
I am currently finishing up the final editing touches in order to be ready to enter a number of film festivals. Generally, films become available for distribution at the end of the festival circuit. There are a number of variables in the mix. If it is well received by the festival world, then the distribution will have a much wider spread. That is my hope.
Make sure to follow along by liking the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/neverridealonemovie/
Big things to come,
Scott Englund and his family run a high end dirtbike adventure operation in Cusco, Peru called MotoMission Peru. They operate the business as a social enterprise and donate 100% of the profits from the business to support local social projects in the Cusco area. Check it out at www.MotoMissionperu.com.
Frustrated with trying to figure out what or when to eat and drink during your athletic training and racing? Cramping? Bonking? Feeling tired all the time?
Whether you’re a national champion or weekend warrior, this workshop is designed for every type of racer. MotoE founder, Coach Robb applies his 34 years of experience as a nutrition and performance coach to provide proven solutions to the most common nutrition and hydration frustrations.
You will walk away with:
▶ Customized nutritional & hydration strategy for improved strength to weight ratios, speed & endurance
▶ Proven process for determining what you need to eat & drink (and how often) during training and racing
▶ Clear understanding of what foods aid in muscle recovery and support your adrenal and immune systems
Order Here - CLICK HERE
Get a sneak peek of the presentation here:
During this Podcast (#18), I outline How to Train and Race in Hot and Humid Conditions for Optimum Performance. I walk you through 5 key steps to take prior to, during and following training and/or racing to ensure that you perform well in these difficult situations, along with how to correctly recover in the shortest amount of time. During the first segment, I also outline how to identify and offset a heat stroke.
During segment #2, I address the Role of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat as it Relates to Performance. This includes how each of these plays a significant role in your energy levels, performance levels, and your ability to recover. You might be surprised to learn what it takes to become both lean and strong!
Finally, I answers listener’s questions about eating enough to off-set weight gain associated with stress; how to lose fat and not muscle; why eggs are important in a meal plan; and why do I train faster than I race?
If you have any questions that you would like me and/or my staff to research and discuss, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email to: Contact@CoachRobb.com
Over the course of my time operating MotoMission Peru, I have had various opportunities to host/guide dirt bike adventures with other riders. I have a special place in my heart for father/son adventures. I guess it must have something to do with the sentiment I have with my dad.
Official MotoMission Tour Video...Check the others on our Youtube Channel
Dirtbikes and Dads go together
When Tony and Joran contacted me about doing a tour, my excitement level rose. A father/son combo with limited dirt bike experience would be a challenge, but a welcome one. I normally cater to seasoned riders, but his one would put a different pressure on me as the guide. I needed to push these guys to their limits, while completing a route within our time frame of four days. The terrain needed to fit both the skill level and the distance we needed to cover each day. The fellas wanted to roll their tires over some amazing parts of Peru, get some mind blowing pics, and live to tell about it.
A face with a smile tells a story
My work was cut out for me. I put Joran on a crf 230 because of his size and experience. Dad, Tony, was on the Husky 300, I rode a Honda 450x. I figured I could swap out with one of them if I needed. Bike selection worked out perfectly.
The route itself was ideal. It was a mix of single track, some rough two track, and some free ride(go where ever you want) type of stuff. It was perfect to try a hand at hill climbs, scare oneself silly on rock fixtures, and put the tires on the edge of mountain ledges to make the heart flutter a bit.
The ride was fantastic. Tony and Joran both expanded their riding level to new heights. In fact, I was able to coach the guys on various little riding tricks that someone showed me along my journey. Stand up more, focus eyes on where you want to go, as well as some mechanics of body positioning and how it relates to traction and control. It was a bit of a seminar/riding school/test day. No doubt that the guys are better riders now. I thoroughly enjoyed that part of the tour.
The view they wanted to see!
When it all boils down, we had a fantastic four days of riding. Each were pushed to the limit various times each day. When the heads hit the pillows each night, it took no time for the sleep to begin. Smiles were abundant, and there were no shortages of whoops, hollars, and high fives.
Certainly another successful tour!
MotoMission Peru is a social enterprise operated by Scott Englund. If you want to see the Andes via dirtbike, this is how to do it. High quality in every aspect. Service, guide, routes, equipment, and overall experience cannot be beat. Contact Scott via Thumpertalk messaging or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What looks like a healthy choice on the outside (and marketed accordingly) isn't always what it's wrapped up to be on the inside. Here's 5 food marketing buzz words that sound oh so good until you peel back the covers for a better look:
Made with real fruit
Reality: there are no regulations around this claim, according to Joy Dubost, PhD (spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics). She provides a simple example. Consider Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars Mixed Berry. Sounds like a relatively healthy snack. But the "made-with-real-fruit" filling contains puree concentrate (made with sugar) of blueberries, strawberries, apples and raspberries.
Solution: the lower a fruit is listed in the ingredient panel, the less the product contains. If you want to reap the benefits (vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, water, electrolytes) of eating fruit, consume a piece of in season fruit every time you sit down to snack and/or have a meal.
Reality: Unlike “sugar-free” and “no added sugars”, this claim isn’t regulated by the FDA. It is easy to be fooled. A simple example is Wheaties Fuel, a cereal that is marketed specifically to athletes and carries the lightly sweetened label; however, it contains more sugar per ¾ cup serving than the same amount of Froot Loops.
Solution: again, read the nutritional panels. Avoid products that have sugar within the first five ingredients (Note: also look for words ending in –ose (sucralose, fructose), these are all sugars and should be avoided because they are synthetic sugars).
Reality: To make this claim, a product must be made without wheat, barley or rye. But there have been reports of cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains during growing or manufacturing says Pamela Cureton, RD at the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Solution: look for a seal from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, the Celiac Sprue Association or the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness which test products to ensure they have not gluten.
Reality: though products with this claim do actually pack additional fiber – often listed as polydextrose, inulin (derived from chicory root), or maltodextrin – it’s unknown whether consuming them has the same benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, as the fiber found naturally in whole foods.
Solution: it is okay to consume added fiber (often found in cereal, yogurt and energy bars), but too much can cause a derailing bellyache. Strive to consume 14 grams per 1,000 calories as a general rule of thumb.
Reality: “True wild rice comes from a plant that’s indigenous to certain lakes and rivers in the Midwest and Canada,” says Peter David, wildlife biologist at the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission in Wisconsin. “Most people eat the kind produced out of California, which may be treated with chemicals.
Solution: look for the plant name Zizania palustris on the ingredient panel. It packs four times the amount of protein, 73 times the potassium, and 12 times the fiber per serving as its impostor.
Learning what to look for in your food for optimum health, wellness and ultimately performance…another piece to help you Work Smart, Not Hard!
Yours in sport & health,
-Coach Robb, Coaches and Staff
Hello ThumperTalk readers! Been a while, I’m going to go ahead and bring you up to speed on where I’ve been and where I am headed.
After numerous crashes and a bit of luck I managed to gain my Road To Supercross points by making the main events at both the Greensboro and Florence Pro Arenacross races in both the AX and AX Lites classes, as well as top 5 finishes in the 250A class at the Tampa and Atlanta Amateur Supercross rounds, winning the Atlanta round. I have to say that my experience with Arenacross was a bit different than the first time I had jumped into it. While I really only had about a week’s worth of prep in total for my Arenacross races, I at least had a good idea of what the entire day is like and what to expect as far as the track goes, the racing, and the strategy. I definitely was able to be more deliberate about my actions on the track and that allowed me to advance into the main events. Whether it was knowing the spot to get aggressive in an LCQ, or knowing that the two guys in front of me were going to take each other out and where it was going to happen in order to set myself up to pass both of them when they hit. Moral of the story for Arenacross racing, was that I had to be calculated and smart to achieve the outcome that I wanted consistently.
Loretta Lynn's Regional Championship at WW Ranch, photo by Maine Event Photography (MEPMX)
Since getting my Road to Supercross points, the focus has been going through the process of qualifying for Loretta’s… which is something I am way too familiar with at this point! Both of my area qualifiers had something interesting in store for me. For my Southeast region, I had the chance to race against Tony Archer! It was definitely a cool experience, even though I managed to screw up my lead on the last lap by overshooting the inside line with my front tire by just enough to go down and then not being able to catch back up. Definitely learned a bit about being confident in my speed and staying forward-focused to keep me in front of someone that has a lot of experience and a lot of speed. It’s definitely different having someone behind you that is very well-versed with racing at the highest level and has the ability to read someone and their next choices like a book, compared to most amateurs (myself included) that still have a bit of that gusto to just try to use brute force or drag racing someone to the inside line. My Mideast qualifier… well that was a bit muddy to say the least, starting the weekend with a backhoe pulling us into a spot to pit. Having less than an hour of ride time on my 350, as well as about 20-30 minutes of ride time on my Twisted Development 250 created a little bit of uncertainty, but also excitement in the race! I’ll have a review on the performance of my Twisted Development motor up soon.
2018 Loretta Lynn's Regional Championship at Redbud MX, photo by Diffysmooth
Then came the regionals. Feeling like I had a point to prove a point, along with the next level of confidence of being on some very competitive equipment… it didn’t exactly mesh well for me for the conditions of the track. While there was some back luck I could not control in terms of other riders and a freak cross-rut on one of the faster jumps, I was in the positions to qualify, but my problem was that I did not want to settle and could not put my bravado of believing in myself aside to just do what needed to be done. When Redbud came around, however, the mindset had changed. While it rained every single day and at some points it would’ve been better to have a jet ski on the track… I relied on my knowledge of putting myself in a good position and being more mindful of my ability and what the track conditions allowed me to do. Until it was all set and done, I had finished 11-2-2 for 4th overall in Open Pro Sport and 5-3-11 in 250A for 5th overall, both positions that get tickets to the big show! Definitely not going to talk about both of my 11th place finishes… let’s just say it was the kick in the rear I needed to get a set of acorns and not be intimidated by the mud (which also came from a talk from mom).
2018 Loretta Lynn's Regional Championship at WW Ranch, photo by David Lando
From there, it’s on to Loretta’s! From Loretta’s, we’ll see how things shape up. Until next time, keep the dirt churned up. I’ll see you out there. Thanks for reading!
Huge thanks to everyone who sticks behind me. Husqvarna, Xtreme Powersports, Race Tech, MPR Suspension, Boyesen, Fly, X Brand, RoostMX, Acerbis, Dunlop, Twisted Development, Twin Air, Mika Metals, Wiseco, EVS, Tamer Holeshot Hookup
Today I want to shift gears, open the floor for discussion, and talk about the state of dirt biking as it relates to the bikes we buy, ride, and maintain. In my relatively short existence, a number of things have happened in the industry which has been interesting to see. A few examples, which are not by any means exhaustive of all that has gone on, include the emergence of the four-stroke power plant, electronic fuel injection, improved tire technology, electric bikes, and the development of air forks. On a more micro-level we’ve seen improvements to materials, new manufacturing processes, and coating processes which have allowed ever increasing performance.
As a fellow rider and someone who has no bias or stake when it comes to manufacturers and product offerings, I’d like to hear your thoughts as they relate to today’s machines.
My question to you is a simple one, are your needs as a consumer being met by today’s manufacturers and bikes?
What aspects of today’s machines do you love and what are pain points for you?
If you could do things your way, what would you change?
Are there machine variants that aren’t being offered?
Leave a comment below that addresses these questions or share your historical perspective! I look forward to your responses.
Thanks and have a great week!
Want one of these cool jerseys? We need your help picking out the best film poster.
My last post highlighted a moto documentary film that will be coming out soon. Its called Never Ride Alone. Make sure to follow the official Facebook movie page at Never Ride Alone Film https://www.facebook.com/neverridealonemovie/ to stay up to speed on the release dates and film festival showings.#neverridealonefilm
As I am in the final stages of putting the finishing touches on the film project. I find myself in a spot where I need some help. So, I thought I would find some good old Thumpertalk advice. Instead of asking for opinions on which is the best oil, guaranteed to bring a thousand opinions, I thought I would ask opinions on movie poster options. What better way to prod you for a response than to make it a contest.
Here goes. I have an official MotoMission Peru jersey to give away to one of the TT members that cast their vote for the movie poster. All of the votes will be taken into account, a list will be made of each person that provides a vote, and one of the names will be randomly drawn. The winner gets a sweet jersey out of the deal, just like the one in the picture above.
Option 1, 2 or 3...Pick your favorite and message me for a chance to win an official MotoMission jersey
The Official Never Ride Alone Film Trailer
I am not sure if you caught my last post, but I shared the official movie trailer with the TT community. Here it is again in case you missed it. It should get you excited for the film. The film is about exploring the Andes mountains of Peru on a dirtbike, and its filmed, directed, and produced by a dirtbiker. I will let the trailer do the rest of the teasing.
As for the film, many have asked about release dates. The film should be finished during the summer of 2018. It will be released in the film festival scene first. From there, it can take a few different paths, but it will be available for purchase after the film festival circuit is complete. Again, make sure to follow the official Facebook movie page at Never Ride Alone Film to stay tuned to festival schedule and showings near you.
I am looking forward to tallying up your votes. Also, stay on the lookout for a sweet movie coming soon.
Until the next one,
Scott Englund is the owner/operator of MotoMission Peru, a social enterprise hard enduro operation nestled in the Andes Mountains of Cusco, Peru. Check out our website at www.motomissionperu.com or find us on Facebook at MotoMission Peru. Feel free to follow along this blog for ride adventures in exotic places, with amazing people, and with some incredible experiences along the way.
Tired of your ride and want to try something new? Bike too big or too small and think you need a size adjustment? Here are a few pointers on how to trade what you have now for that perfect bike you’ve been dreaming of at little to no cost! If you are thinking of swapping dirt bikes there are a few strategies that you must be familiar with to be successful.
The first strategy and the hardest part of trading off road motorcycles is getting one in the first place if you do not already have one. Riders do like to swap bikes, however it is uncommon that they want to trade it for something other than another dirt bike. The only people who are usually looking to get out of the sport are those that either have been injured or those who have a new family and no longer have the time to ride. In either case both those types of people are usually looking to maximize their profits to help out with their respective causes. If you do not already have a bike I found that there are two main items people usually swap one for. The first are ATV’s. People who have dirt bikes tend to be hooked to off road riding, though some find dirt bikes too hard to too risky. These are the types of people that want to swap for an ATV. It’s been my experience that most people prefer 4X4 ATV’s instead of the race ATV. I find this I mostly due to again race ATVs being too fast and higher risk. Also some people prefer them because you can have a passenger and is cheaper to ride 2 up on an ATV then have 2 bikes. If you don’t have an ATV to trade the second most popular trade item sought are boats. The most popular boats accepted as trades seem to be bow riders. After contacting a few of these people, it seems that they no longer have the time for both their fishing and biking past times and they chose fishing as their primary activity. Lastly if you have neither an ATV nor boat to trade you can try household items such as riding lawn mowers, snow blowers, hunting equipment etc. I was able to secure a 1984 Honda CR 125 by trading some camping equipment I had just sitting in my basement. I did have to drive over 6 hours but seeing as how I was looking for trades for a few months at that point I jumped at the chance.
The second strategy of trading is if you have a two stroke then trade it for a four stroke or vice versa. We all know the two vs four stroke debate. Some people just prefer to ride the one style vs another. This is your opportunity to profit by finding someone who just rode their buddy’s horse from a different pasture and trading with them. Nobody likes to lose out in a deal but you can turn that feeling of joy they felt in riding the other style bike into value in your bike. What I mean is people will trade their newer bikes for ones a few years older simply because they feel that style is better for them. This may take some convincing by reminding them how great that snappy responsive two stroke is vs their heavy slow four stroke, or how much smoother and more neighbor friendly your four stroke is vs their two stroke. The main point here is find out why are coveting their neighbor’s goods and play on that. Most of the time people are willing to sacrifice to trade for your bike that’s a few model years older to get what they want.
The third way to trade up bikes is to trade one in perfect running condition for one that is not. The purpose for this would be to trade from an older model of either stroke to a newer one. For this you will need some mechanical prowess and a few dollars depending on what needs to be done. I wouldn’t really recommend trading a fully functional bike for a nonfunctioning one unless the nonfunctioning one is significantly newer. One of the main points here is that the newer bike should have a greater value when running then your old bike plus the amount of money you’re going to sink into the new one to get it running. This is how I was able to get from my 1984 Honda CR125 to a 2005 Yamaha 250F. The owner could not start it and just wanted a bike that ran. As it turns out all the bike needed was a valve shim (At this point in my riding career I was just starting to work on bikes and made a fatal error in placing the new shim causing a catastrophic failure but none the less the bike was able to start and run. Had I done the work correctly I would have been well ahead but more on this in a later blog) Beware of people who claim it just needs a carb clean, as this is almost never the reason it’s not running. Be prepared to replace the whole valve train.
Another way of trading and the fourth on this list is trading from a motocross style bike to a trail riding model or vice versa. Often times a racer will want to give up on the motocross scene and get into the relaxed world of trail riding. This may be your opportunity to trade your slightly older comfortable Cadillac cruising trail bike for their newer high revving beast. On the contrary others may opt to want to get into the fast paced world of mx racing and give up their newer modded trail riding pony for your motocross bike. I personally traded my 2005 Yamaha 250F for a 2004 Yamaha WR250F for the reasons stated above. The race bike was all I could trade for at the time, but it gave me leverage to get into the WR. A fellow in my town build a new mx track so I was able to capitalize on someone trading in their trail bike to get onto the track. Most people are wary to get a bike that has been raced, but if you’ve taken care of it, have a log of the work that’s been done and can show receipts of work you will have a much easier time. I tend to trust racers who know their bikes inside and out more than I do the backyard trail riders who have never checked their shims or cleaned their oil screen. There are however some racers who bag the crap out of their bikes then dump them, and trail riders who meticulously care for their princesses so you have to ask the questions. What have you done, when and how many hours.
Lastly the fifth method of trading is for power. There are plenty of people out there who bite off more than they can chew and are looking to trade their 450 four stroke or 250 two stroke for the next smaller size down. This also works in reverse for people who have outgrown their bikes and are looking to trade up. Many times they are willing to sacrifice a couple of model years to achieve this, or go from a more expensive brand to a less expensive brand to get what they want.
Some other points when it comes to trading are to be patient. Frequent all of the different online used sites. Some people include a willingness to trade in their ad, others don’t, I would ask everyone who has an online ad regardless on if they say they will trade or not as often times they have just never thought of it. Never trust anyone at their word on what the bike needs to be repaired unless it’s backed up by a repair shops written opinion. Be willing to travel and check your neighboring town’s ads as well. Its rare, but you may also benefit by trading your bike for something not necessarily what you wanted, but something that is more trade-able or more desirable then what you have as a mid-step to trade for what you want.
Do you have a good trade story? Share it in the comments below!
In this training video I cover cornering line selection on the motocross track and the advantages & disadvantages of each. As always, if you have any questions, hit me up in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Brian Garrahan Garrahan Off-Road Training
The official Never Ride Alone film trailer
A couple of years ago, a big dream of mine began manifesting itself into a huge film project. The story has been there since our group of buddies took on the 2007 Baja 1000. We put together a hodge podge team of riders/friends to take on one of the coolest races on the planet. One that we had all dreamed about as kids...some day.
The idea of the story was to bring the same team of riders together, ten years later, to take on another impossible. Ride from the Peruvian Amazon Jungle through the entire Andes Mountain range, and end up at the beach on the Pacific Coast of Peru. No route, just overland enduro. Navigating however we could manage to reach our destination. The plan was being put together by a professional film producer and director. The film and support crews were being built, the logistics plan was developing, and the excitement from the riders was explosive.
At the finish line 2007 Baja 1000
Our project took a tough turn. With a number of obstacles in our way, we postponed the project until the right pieces lined up. In the meantime, there was a section of two months that I had blocked out for filming and doing the ride. I had arranged to keep that time free and not schedule any tours or travel.
Capturing stories on film...
During the months leading up to our original film date, a backup film project reared its head. I could see things unraveling with our original project and didn't want to lose two months without anything planned. I developed the idea of doing a solo film project. This one would be all on my shoulders. Nobody to count on but me. No film crews. No other riders...just my bike, my backpack, and my camera.
The Andes are a special place
I am now at the final stages of completing the project. It's been a couple of years in the making. I thought I would share the trailer with the Thumpertalk community and let the cat out of the bag so to speak. I still have a lot of finish work to do, but the end is near. I am currently building the promotion and marketing side of the distribution effort. Make sure to like and follow our Facebook movie page at Never Ride Alone Film. From there, all the updates and release information will be available.
Some alone time...
As with everything we do at MotoMission, the film project is another one of our endeavors to help support social projects in the area of Cusco, Peru. Our hope is that the proceeds from the film will help support our partners at the Altivas Canas Children's Project for many years into the future..
Enjoy the trailer...And be on the lookout for an exciting film journey through the Andes by another Thumpertalk member gearhead and budding filmmaker.
Eat, sleep, work, and repeat. Sound familiar? This is the hamster wheel we’ve all heard about. It’s hard to see it and even harder to break the cycle when you’re in it. Some say this is the cycle of life and that’s just the way it is. I say I want more. To quote one of the best movies of all times “This is your life, and its ending one minute at a time.” Tyler Durden, Fight Club. Let’s take a look at one of the best possible ways you can use those valuable minutes.
I came into dirt biking at the age of 32. I was not bottle fed as a child out of old Rotella bottles. The only clutch control I had was clutching at my TV remote when my wife tried to steal it from me. I had been very active in the outdoors as a kid growing up, but the last 10 years had seen a move across the country, a new career and a new mortgage. I was, for a while, living only to progress my age. I felt every rung of that wheel as I ran along. It was just over a year ago when I rode my first dirt bike, and my average suburban grind had a fistful of cayenne pepper thrown on it, then lit on fire, then thrown off a cliff. Point is I woke up to a whole new lifestyle and I know I could never go back.
I ran into my first obstacle the minute I opened my mouth and spoke the words Dirt Bike around my wife. I got that look of “Oh yeah? At your age” and she spoke to me of not being a kid anymore and what bills we had to pay and that I would just hurt myself and blah yadda yadda yadda. I zoned out. After hearing silence for a few seconds I snapped to and realized by her last inflection of her voice she had asked a question. “Well” I said “you know, if you put things off you want to do throughout your life, eventually you will have a midlife crisis and end up running away with a 20 year old in a new convertible. It’s better to do irresponsible things in small doses throughout your life instead of at one big go when you realize you’ve never done what you wanted and it’s almost too late.” I finished, giving her the most genuine look I could muster. Luckily I have a really great wife who really supports me if I want to do something, and she agreed.
The next few months I spent absolutely obsessing over the online used stuff website, I’m sure you know the one. I also read every review, article and watched every youtube video on how to select the proper bike for you. After some long theoretical debates with myself over what type of rider I wanted to be, I determined that the WRF series from Yamaha would best compliment me as a theoretical rider. I then poured over the web looking for the nicest, newest WRF I could find. I ended up with a 1984 Honda CR125 with no front brakes.
You see, there’s one small thing I forgot to mention, as a part of my wife agreeing to me riding, it was that it would not be at the monetary detriment to our family….And seeing as how we had only in the last year bought a new house and had to pay for all the accoutrements that go with it. I was house poor. I ended up getting the Honda by bartering and trading some household items to a man that was an approximately 5 hour drive from me. Beggars can’t be choosers. After watching a few videos on how to strap a bike into a truck, as I had a hard time believing it would stay in with just two straps to the handle bars, I was able to load it up and take it home ready for the new life I was about to have. This was but the first bike in a few I would own over the last year, after having bartered, traded up and sold my soul I now have a 2017 Husqvarna FE350.
Stay tuned for my next chapter on how you too can maneuver into the bike of your dreams, and some of the pitfalls to watch out for along the way. Do you guys remember what your first bikes were and what you had to do to get it? Post in comments below.
Also don’t forget to follow this blog to get alerts on new entries.
As you might know, I'm one of the contributing editors for the ThumperTalk.com review crew, and I wanted to let you know that I just finished up my review on a set of custom wheels built by the folks at FasterUSA with components from the folks at RKExcel America. If you'd like to read my review as well as catching a video of me racing on them, here's the link:
Thanks for taking the time and hit me up in the comment section below if you have any questions. Oh, and don't forget to tap that "follow" button so you'll be notified when I post new stuff.
Scott Meshey #141
In this offroad motorcycle training video, I want to show you the benefits of using your front and rear brakes at the same time for maximum control and speed. Give it a watch, see how you're doing, and of course, hit me up in the comment section below if you have any questions or comments.
Brian Garrahan Off-road Training
Do you struggle with building a nutrition and training program that doesn’t leave you exhausted and flat on race day?
During Podcast #13, Coach Robb walks you through the four stages necessary for optimum strength, speed and endurance specific to anything endurance (triathlon, running, mountain biking, road cycling, adventure racing, long distance open water swimming, hiking and climbing, off road motorcycle racing (2 plus hours like BAJA & GNCC).
Before listening to this podcast, make sure you have a pen and paper to take some notes. Coach Robb outlines the three main components associated with performance then walks you through four stages associated with building the perfect endurance program: Creating an Athlete Performance Profile, Creating an Athlete’s Foundation for Performance, Performance Evaluation and Performance Development. After listening to this podcast, you will have the ultimate template for optimized endurance specific performance.
And as the people’s podcast, Coach Robb answers listeners questions about the benefits of massage, how to control intensity for weight loss and cycling, how to recover from a snowboarding session, benefits of energy gels and blocks during a half marathon and when to review biofeedback indicators.
Click the play button below to to listen to the podcast. If you want to be notified of future podcasts & blog entries, be sure to tap the "Follow" button right here on ThumperTalk.
Click Here for the latest MotoE Performance Newsletter. Within this issue: Power of Protein Part 2 - Avoid Cramping & Fatigue and more!
If you are looking for a complete nutritional and performance program (to improve speed, endurance, drop fat and build muscle), please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com.
Yours in health and sport,
Eat Prior to Working Out
Eat soon before you head out and you could be plagued with G.I. (gastro-intestinal) issues. But if your last snack or meal was hours ago, you could run out of energy. The goal is to time your meals & snacks to provide a stabilized blood sugar level throughout your riding session or cross training work out. Accomplish this by eating every 2 hours after you wake up in the morning
Allow 2 hours after eating a complete meal before exercising – this allows for complete absorption and proper purging avoiding cramping. If you are tight on time, consume 8-10 ounces of Energy Fuel to provide your brain and muscles the easily absorbable carbohydrates and electrolytes necessary for optimum performance.
Use a foam roller before your pre-ride or work out stretching. The direct pressure helps vasodilate (open up) the tissue bringing fresh blood to the muscles about to be used. When you foam roll prior to stretching, you will reduce the activation of the Stretch Reflex, reducing your risk of a pulled muscle.
Chronic aches and pains like Achilles tendinitis, planter fascia, etc. benefit from direct pressure before exercise because it increases blood flow & muscle elasticity. Riding & cross training is more productive when tender/sore spots are warm. Start by rolling with a tennis ball move to a lacrosse ball then manual massage then sport specific exercise.
There are three physiological benefits to an effective warm up. First, your warm up is an activity that allows the body to transition from inactivity to activity and to distribute the blood flow into the extremities. This distribution of blood warms up the muscles, tendons, cartilage and ligaments avoiding any cramping or tearing.
Immediately after a riding or cross training session, your muscles and liver are looking for simple sugar to replenish your storage levels for the next workout. Your window of opportunity is 20-30 minutes after you finish because of an enzyme (glycogen synthase) that is at its highest activity level immediately following exercise. By consuming real food that is easily digestible is the key to optimum replenishment and recovery.
Ice your pain
When to apply ice depends on the injury. If the pain is chronic, here's the best post workout sequence; foam roll, static stretch, ice. But for acute pain (less than 72 hours since incident), skip foam rolling & stretching and ice immediately. The quicker you ice, the faster you slow down inflammation. Do a 5 minute on-off cycle as much as possible during the first 72 hours after injury.
NOTE: Refrain from applying heat to the aggravated/injured for the first 72 hours – this will only increase the inflammation process.
Yours in health and sport,
In episode 8 of my video off-road riding techniques training series, I want to cover the fundamentals of riding into ravines. Give it a watch to see how you're doing and if you have any questions or comments, hit me up in the comments section below. I'll do my best to get back to you. Thanks for watching! Oh, almost forgot... If you'd like to be notified of when I post new training videos, be sure to tap that "Follow" button.
Brian Garrahan, Garrahan Off-Road Training