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Too Cold to Ride?

Gary Semics



Well, that depends on how bad you want to ride. When I was in my early teens I rode year round in Ohio. In the winter months I usually rode once or twice a week and raced most weekends in harescramble events. I remember many times when there was snow and the ground was frozen solid. The AMA didn't allow studded tires in Ohio but we still raced. Harescrambles are like a GNCC race but are two hours instead of three. I was fortunate by my late teens I could stay in FL or CA during the winter months to practice and race. But now at the rip age of 60 when the snow flies here in OH I'm happy to just be training inside. Not inside as in indoor Area Cross tracks but inside as in Gym. This way when I start riding again it only takes a few days to get comfortable on the bike.

I realize that I'm somewhat of a rare bird, being addicted to training. I know a lot of people who don't train and seem to be content and happy. I guess they have large amounts of serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) floating around in their brain. I must have missed the lineup for that one. I guess I have to exert myself through some sort of exercise to get my buzz on. I have also realized that even those serotonin rich individuals feel better when they exercise, at least some sort of exercise regularly. Of course it's more difficult to find time to exercise with things like work, family and all the other things life throws our way on a day to day bases pulls us away from personal time. Exercise is the last thing on most people's minds. For many even the word "exercise" steers up painful feelings.

Exercise is way more popular these days than when I was growing up. Back then kids were naturally busy playing outside, doing sports and for many like myself also working outside. I didn't have far to go because I lived on a farm. I knew kids from school who had part time jobs (especially in the summer) for farmers, including my dad's farm. Most adults were so busy with manual labor jobs that they didn't have the time or energy to even think about exercise. Those people who had office jobs smoked and had no interest in being active. This was all before the new health craze, now at least people know the facts regarding what's bad for health and what's good. Back then most people didn't have a clue. What's mind blowing is even now when people know most still ignore the facts.

I may have ended up in the same boat if I hadn't found such a strong passion in motocross. It was when I was 15 and 16 that I discovered I needed to train and eat right if I wanted to win races. Back then we ran three 30 minute motos at the bigger races and even the local races were pretty long. At many of these bigger races after the third moto I would be so exhausted I couldn't even stand up for more then five minutes. I would start throwing up and then start dry heaving if I stood up, sometimes for the rest of the evening. A few times at hot races this would happen after the 2nd moto and I still had one more to go. These episodes happened because I was too nervous to eat all day. At the same time once the gate dropped and the adrenalin kicked in I was wide open until the checkered flag, never feeling how tired I was until I got off the bike and settled down. Then it would hit me and the dreaded episode would begin. After these races I just wanted to go to bed. Thankfully I always felt okay the next morning. Talk about learning the hard way, I knew early on I had to take an interest in exercise and nutrition.

I have to admit for the first year or two I hated exercising. I would be hard after it for a week or two and then stop for a few weeks or month. Then back at it again. This went on as I kept being reminded by occasional bouts of throwing up and dry heaves. After about two years the lifestyle of training had set in. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it but I kept doing it regularly. I wasn't getting sick at races and my results improved. By this time I was racing against the best racers in the world and they were also training. I know I would have never gotten even that far if I didn't make training a part of my lifestyle. The interesting thing is that the thing I hated in my late teens (training) is still a big part of my life today. I can honestly say I love it. I don't always love or even like pushing through a hard training section but I do love the way I feel when it's done. And that good feeling last until the next day or two when I do it again.

For you young guns who want to become a successful racer you have to accept the fact that training is a primary key in the job description. For those of you that don't have your sights set on a racing career, training, at least some training, is still part of the job. If you're alive and breathing oxygen exercise is still part of the job, still part of being alive. Embrace it!

If you think you don't have time, stop using that excuse. Put a bicycle on a trainer in front of a TV and work up a sweat at least 3 times a week. Come spring you'll be glad you did. It's all the way you look at it. If you're developed negative thoughts and feeling about exercise start replacing them with positive thoughts about training. Soon the positive feelings will be there also.

Send your questions and comments below. If you can use some motivation I have some for you. Whatever you need just ask.

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while you're inside pedal pushing in your undies because you think it's too "cold," we'll be out tearing it up..


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How much time should we spend exercising at a time? 30 minutes good? I have a Airdyne and a concept 2 rower, but I need to add some weights training in. Where can I find a good program to start with?

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How much time depends of what you're goals are and where you're current fitness level is now? Time spend also depends on intensity. There are many factors to consider. I currently have two MX Conditioning DVDs that come with PDF Training and Nutrition Manuals. The first DVD has a lot of training and diet info but is more geared toward motivation. The second DVD, which also comes with a PDF Training and Nutrition Manual has more info about training, specific workouts, weekly routine examples, nutrition, meal samples, est. Both are on sale and can be found in the DVD stand alone category. You don't really need both DVDs unless you have a problem with self motivation, one or the other will give you what you need to train and eat right for MX. 




MX Conditioning V2 COVER resized.jpg    
Training_Diet DVD.jpg


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I am 54 and 2 states west of you. We (5 of us) ride all winter.  We stud the tires and rip it.  This year I am trying a set with 1/4-20 bolts sticking 3/4" out of every knob. Almost 600 SS bolts in all.  I have 5 hours on them and I highly recommend them.  Sure, we have some friends that are too big a wussy to ride in the cold. Like a foreman told me once when I was an ironworker, "If it was easy we would have women and children out here doing it!".



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