Riding sand & rough whooped out sections

Elo all

Yesterday i went to a local sand track which was rougher than normal. I struggled!

I never really gave this much though and just got on with it but.....sometimes I don't get how your supposed to ride sand and/or rough as hell sections. Your supposed to keep the front light and all that right? But sometimes when i try to do so i resort to a beginners type stance!??...elbows drop...death grip ensures and i can't get full throttle without dropping my right arm even more for some reason making the whole thing pitiful!

Was this a case of just not going fast enough with confidence to begin with and it all just snowballed from there?

Funny i rode the same track two days before and seemed to do so much better. I'll see if i can get some pics up in a mo.

Edited by maximous35

Actually looking though some photo's from the past few months it seems that my standing position/technique is wanting. My elbows just drop & kinda feels like I'm being dragged about the place sometimes and not being pushed? What do you think?

Sitting:

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Standing:

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massive thanks in advance!

Edited by maximous35

Everything looks pretty good in your pics as far as form. Your elbows are a little low but I typically throw form out the window when I ride deep sand (which should not be taken as advice). It really helps me stay loose and keeps me flowing! The only advice I can give is that it is imperative not to ride tight when in the sand, even more so than in "normal dirt". Stay loose and "light" and let the bike do the work under you. I find that keeping the weight off the front of the bike by keeping my weight back it really helps steady the front end by not allowing it to dig into the sand and it appears to me that your in a neutral position on the bike. Try moving back just a little. It should really help.

In any really rough sections, being over the back of the bike will help keep the rear planted and the front light which will allow you to push a little harder while keeping the rear from kicking out which is what slows most people (including myself) down in the sand and chopped out stuff. Riding a gear higher than you normally would will help you carry speed and stay smooth as well. Use them legs man... its very hard to do but try not to use your arms.

Thanks a lot for the reply mate. Just seems like I've picked up some bad habits along the way somehow. Also not over gripping as much as i should isn't help matters either. Think this was a natural thing I've somehow subconsciously dropped while combating really rough stuff?

How do you lean back, deal with rough as hell sht, acceleration forces and overgrip while not holding on tight with your hands? I've read a few pages about anticipating the acceleration forces and getting over the front....but what if its gnarly? Should i develop my core more? Already quite fit off the bike being a trainer

Want to be looking more like this guy i reckon:

maxi-1.jpg

Or better yet Townley in the sand:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKwMpXG53gQ

Thanks again man!

You said it your self, it "feels like I'm being dragged about the place sometimes and not being pushed". Your riding 'behind' the bike. Your keeping your front end too light and riding the rear wheel. It's one thing to lean back and keep the front wheel light if you need the extra traction to pull the front end up for something, but on smooth/flat like that you should be further forward with the bike pinned trying to keep the front wheel down. You look uncomfortable with your front end in the sand while standing, sitting you look better because you are forward up toward the tank on the seat.

Get forward, get lower, get your weight 'in front' of the bike. When you get on the gas, instead of having the bike want to pull out from under you (which is probably wearing you out and beating you up in the rough stuff), you want to take all those accelerating forces through the pegs. It's a balancing act that can be thought of as trying to stand up in a car that is constantly changing speed. If you want to stay standing in a car as it takes off, your going to lean forward to balance the forward acceleration. If the car had to start braking you would lean backward to keep you balance.

You want to do the same thing on the dirtbike, balance the acceleration and braking through the pegs. The key is to always be ahead of what you are about to make the bike do. You shouldn't be using the bars to prevent you from falling off the back of the bike, you primary connection point with the bikes has to be you feet/legs. Focus on this, it should be automatic, before you even get on the gas you should be in a position to be propelled by the bike through the pegs, not pulled behind it by the bars.

Edited by Die_trying

^ great post dietrying. The lean back and pin it advice is really far off base IMO. Even still, it's hard for me not to end up in the back seat when things are really deep and cupped out. When I do nail it, it feels great, but often I'm getting worked!

Thanks a lot for the reply mate. Just seems like I've picked up some bad habits along the way somehow. Also not over gripping as much as i should isn't help matters either. Think this was a natural thing I've somehow subconsciously dropped while combating really rough stuff?

How do you lean back, deal with rough as hell sht, acceleration forces and overgrip while not holding on tight with your hands? I've read a few pages about anticipating the acceleration forces and getting over the front....but what if its gnarly? Should i develop my core more? Already quite fit off the bike being a trainer

Want to be looking more like this guy i reckon:

maxi-1.jpg

Or better yet Townley in the sand:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKwMpXG53gQ

Thanks again man!

See how far forward he is leaning?

He is shifting his weight back while still keeping the bike balanced by leaning forward. Sort of like the attack position when approaching a jump or similar obstacle. The reason he is leaning so far back is to keep himself from pulling with his arms. This allows you stay loose on the bike, and weight the rear at the same time. By keeping yourself balanced on the bike, you can let the bike work while still having full range of your arms, and wrist.

Watch Eli Tomac ride... he rides in this position all the time. If you watch any MX racer with a mountain bike background, you will notice that this style is very popular. This is a good example of how you want to ride sand and extremely rough sections.

It sounds to me like you have your legs extended, and have your arms extended the whole way. This leaves you with no range of motion, you are off balance, out of control of the bike, and lets the bike to pull you around and beat the shit out of you. I'm honestly not in the greatest shape I have ever been in by a long shot, but I have no problem doing long motos 20+ mins, and ride deep whooped out sand tracks without getting winded or beat up. Its all about finding that comfort zone and being loose on the bike.

Dietryings post is spot on.

I have heard about riding the bike like a jockey does a horse. Seems to work.

jockey.jpg I would make sure the bike setup is correct because it should be flat and effortless when your in this riding position. If your getting beat up check the bike setup and ask others too watch because its hard going fast if you cant trust your bike.

Upper body strength my friend.. faster u go the easier it is. Ride on ur rear wheel. Its all easier said than done. But let the engine do the work. Every whoop u hit, gas and lean back so your not swallowed by the next one. Get into habit on doubling them and riding the peaks.

These whoops are about three feet deep sand. And this is with heavy bike in 4th. Any slower and it wear me out.

https://vimeo.com/m/65533049

Thanks for the great posts guys. Really easy to follow, read and understand. Excellent stuff!

Seems I've gotten it into my head to excessively hang off the back while in sand or rough stuff, massively compromising everything? Sounds and feels about right.

So I should be neutral (balanced) on the bike (leaning further forward than i have been), anticipating the acceleration, head over or near the bars the whole time, body lower (like that little jockey fellow) while trying to bias the weight to the rear though the pegs to keep the front light?

I will be heading back out this weekend (hopefully Friday and Sunday) + hopefully back to that rough bugger of a track too so i can closely compare to see what's what. I'll print out and take with me this thread for reference + see if i can't find someone to take a few snaps.

Also looking at it, seems as though my shoulders are mostly inline or behind my knees which also isn't right. Right?

See these from a couple of years ago on another mixed/sand track from the uk....seems a lot better so why the regression i wonder?

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Thanks so much guys!

Edited by maximous35

Thanks for the great posts guys. Really easy to follow, read and understand. Excellent stuff!

Seems I've gotten it into my head to excessively hang off the back while in sand or rough stuff, massively compromising everything? Sounds and feels about right.

So I should be neutral (balanced) on the bike (leaning further forward than i have been), anticipating the acceleration, head over or near the bars the whole time, body lower (like that little jockey fellow) while trying to bias the weight to the rear though the pegs to keep the front light?

I will be heading back out this weekend (hopefully Friday and Sunday) hopefully back to that rough bugger of a track too so i can closely compare to see what's what. I'll print out and take with me this thread for reference + see if i can't find someone to take a few snaps then i will.

Also looking at it, seems as though my shoulders are mostly inline or behind my knees which also isn't right. Right?

See these from a couple of years ago on another mixed/sand track from the uk....seems a lot better so why the regression i wonder?

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Thanks so much guys!

Exactly, weight the back of the bike with your butt rather than your whole body. I'm not a pro rider, but in my experience your shoulders should not move. They should remain towards the bars in an attack position, and use your lower body to put the weight where you want it.

Glad you are one of the ones willing to take tips and advice for what they are. They may not all work for you, but if you have to ask, its worth a shot. Seems like lately, people ask, then get all pissy when someone tries to help them. So thank you for being such a good sport. These threads are exactly why I joined the site :thumbsup:

Keep us posted on how the testing goes!

Arrr thanks for the kind words but it is me that should be thanking you.

Work is getting a little hectic so riding may be postponed to saturday/sunday. Either way i'll post back with my rough deep sand session progressions.

Thanks again guys

well i don't have any photos yet but there certainly were some light bulb moments this weekend.

Went out every session with a slow warm up lap, get used to the shifting sands and all that, before putting in some relatively fast laps with the more forward "jocky" type stance then what i have been riding sand with. At first i was all over the front, too much, like i was back on hardpack perhaps and the front end caught a few times. Tried accelerating that bit harder, now at the stops by time I'm a couple of feet through the apex and holding it there though to my breaking points. Felt better again, but still exaggerating the movements and still a little too much over the front. Then tried putting it together. Anticipating the accel, just not throwing myself so far forward. Head just behind/on top of bar pad. Arms up as much as i could with the ever bigger handfuls of over grip when coming into the corners = magic moments!

Now i may have this wrong but on the sand you really gotta be "stiff" though the legs, transmitting as much accel load though the pegs (not the knees) to weight the rear & leave the front a touch lighter? Did i make sense? Is that right?

Need to practice and perfect this somewhat, but it did feel better. My end of session hot laps were hotter than before and the gnarly straits weren't so gnarly. Thanks a lot people!

There is a "deep" rough as *%$# sand track a couple of hours away that hasn't been graded in a month. Think i may head down and see what's what.

Edited by maximous35

Sounds like your getting closer. It will be different for everyone but it sounds like you are figuring out what will work for you. Keep at it until you get it, you have a good start from the sounds of things. Now its all about getting comfortable riding like that.

Id say it depends on the section of the track regarding leg stiffness, if you on a straight that is really whooped out and rutted yes try and transfer the energy to the bike, but be prepared to save it when it gets outa line, going into a corner the bike will rock back and forth so maintian momentum as much as possible. like the video shows keep on the gas and try not to loose momentum.. I also remember when in the sand precision is out the door like on a hardpack track.. the bike is going to go where it wants to let it and allow your body to follow and correct, the key in sand is to if possible ride a gear high and in my opinion stay centered on the bike. hard on the gas easy on the brakes.

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