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How can I get faster? Hare Scrambles?

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I have been riding for about 14 years I have been racing hare scrambles for 2.5 years I won 1st in open Novice last season which was my first full season of racing the entire series. I am now racing 30+ Amateur & have been racing an extra lap now & I am riding good. But I am not up there with the top 3 guys I have finished 4th in both races so far. How do I get faster? What can I do? Do I just need to push the edge? My endurance is not the issue. I  feel like i am riding good just not fast enough to be up with the top guys? I have been about 5 minutes behind 3rd in both races? 

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If you're fitness is good you need to work on your speed, you would be surprised at how much time you can save in corners, brake late, carry good corner speed, if you can make 1 second every corner it adds up, actively practice your corners and it will pay off

Also charge from the start all the way to the finish, dont ease up at all, push hard, if you are not beat at the end of the race you are not pushing hard enough

Bike setup has to be good, small things can make a big difference especially suspension,

I know you say your endurance is good but you should work as hard as you can on strength and fitness and focuss on your core, it will make you faster,

The mental aspect of riding is huge, you win in your head first, then it happens for real, think positive and dont focus on negative or small things, focus on racing hard and most of all enjoying it, and the results will follow

Good luck

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I recommend a Kindle book (you can read it on Macs, PCs and tablets too) by Paul Clipper called The Art of Trairiding. Don't worry about the title, because he covers it all. He begins with several chapters on bike setup, and how much difference that can make in over-the-trail speed. (Think about it: you could be as fast as the other guys, but they might have better setups, allowing them to be 2-3 minutes faster than you over the course of the event.

 

He follows the chapters on setup with many chapters on improving technique in all conditions, with the most important ones being about how to learn to ride free of tension, how to be loose and relaxed when riding balls-to-the-wall, which is not as simple as it might seem. If you're riding fast enough to be within 5 minutes of the podium, it is a bunch of small and subtle things that will make the fractions of seconds back that you are giving away now.

 

That's why I recommend Clipper. He is masterful at explaining what he has learned the long and hard way. He doesn't hold anything back, nor are his tips outdated. I believe his teachings are timeless, because he teaches you how to observe yourself and others as you ride and how to learn from that. And you are your own worst enemy on the trail if your head isn't on straight.

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Want to get faster at offroad? Ride motocross!

Weird but true. I've always been in real good shape and my bike setup was decent but I was struggling to keep up with the fast amateurs. I started riding a track and my results instantly improved. More than anything now I'm finding I need to tune up on everything in order to be somewhat successful at the next level.....my turning isn't where it needs to be, my rock riding needs work, I need to get smoother, and my bike setup needs work. It's a viscous circle :lol:

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If you want to get faster ride with faster guys.

 

It all depends on why you want to be faster. Do you want be faster to take 1st place trophy or just to be a better rider?

 

If you just want to be a better rider, move up a class,you'll be further from the podium but you will be faster. I don't know why this works.

 

I look at competition as a means to improve my abilities and skill, so winning is not so important. In fact out of 64 hare scrambles I've never had a 1st. A few 2nds and 3rds, but never a 1st.

 

If you want 1st place, work harder,and see if you can practice and play ride with upper class riders.

 

I'm going faster through the woods now than I ever wanted to be. Which is not that fast compared to 1st place over all, but I am an old man and can't move like I used to.

 

Improving cornering technique is most important,just like MX the race is won in the corners.Maybe that's why track experience helps. 

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Want to get faster at offroad? Ride motocross!

This is absolutely true. I started riding offroad and was mediocre at best.  I started riding track and my offroad speed picked way up.  And lately I've been riding more offroad again and now my track speed is picking up?!?!  The two different terrain techniques benefit  from the other ones.

And yes, corner and exit speed is everything.

Edited by Dirt Addict
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I would agree with the motocross somewhat. I grew up racing MX and even raced all the big amateur nationals. I gave up racing in 08 because I was burnt smooth out. Anyway this year I started racing again but on the off road side. One thing I have noticed is all the hard core off road riders (other than a few pros) do not take advantage of open sections where you can pin it. Half the guys just kinda Cruz around on the straights or put around corners when they can rail wide open. What I'm getting at is I'm sure there are guys who finish way behind me that ride the same speed I do in the trees. However I make up tons of time in the open sections and by charging corners. All things I learned growing up in MX. Practice your corners and going as fast as you can in the open sections and you will defiantly improve. Also make sure your in shape. That always helps!

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My double A uncle, who mainly raced Enduros, said what made him faster, were harescrambles. I too have notice that after each race, I am quicker.

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I'd love the know the answer too.  i also started late. Got my first dirtbike at 41, im 45 now. Couldnt hardly navigate a trail the first year.

After the first year, 2 guys in our circle helped me out, an ex A-vet enduro/off road guy and an ex Pro Mx'er . The enduro guy

taught me clutch control, metering the clutch to keep traction, riding a gear higher, much more ...the Mx'er taught me the specifics of

cornering; approaching, entering, braking, timing of dropping yer butt into the front of seat and standing cornering techniques.

I practiced all this over and over, applied it and won a C race HS. Early last year i started winning C races by a large margin so

i self advanced in June to B where i got a 3rd . I've trained consistently since then, right thru the winter... Now it's a year later and NO improvement.

i'm still finishing top of B, same lap times on my 7.5 mile HS loop. i just cant seem to keep it on 2 wheels if i push any harder. It's hard to achieve A skill level !

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What helped me get faster was the Pro mx guy kept me in just one corner at a time, over and over , and since it's the same corner every time

you can focus on the specific fundamentals of cornering better...getting in , thru it and out faster and smoother. This is what helped

me go from top C to top B fairly quickly. To the OP, i would suggest find a local Mx guy, one that is or was at the top of his game,

befriend him and try to get a lesson just on cornering. They will see other things you're doing wrong and help you out too.

Lotta good info shared in this thread ! Good luck domdomfielding1

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As dumb as it sounds, if you can find some of those Pros or A class riders in your series to ride with, then do so.  Have them follow you around a loop and they'll be able to tell you what areas are hurting, when to stand or sit, etc.. Usually those guys have the ability to run their speed or slow themselves.  So it's also good to have them lead and show you how attack certain areas and the proper way to position your body. Focus on every detail you can. 

 

And most important, throttle control.  I've seen guys who could stand up and entire race basically and never dab a foot in corners.  I asked how they were able to do that and the answer was a constant leg squeeze to the bike and the body always in the attack position (head over the bar pad, elbows bent, back straight), and an almost unreal feel for your clutch and throttle.

 

I agree with motocross thing but if you go that route, don't get out of your comfort zone or you'll end up like me, 6 concussions later and a nagging shoulder that pops out of the socket daily.  Safe to say I banned myself from MX permanently.

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Motocross helped me.  I just do the corners and straights.  No jumps!!!

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I agree with the guys who say to ride with faster guys. Try to keep up and watch them.

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Ride more moto… after a while you see things on the trail differently and helps find better lines 

Edited by TheNorCalOutlaw

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I've never raced harescrambles but I can hold my own in the woods.  I've found the best way to get faster is to practice with faster guys.  Try and keep up without crashing.  You'll be pushing the limit banging bars off trees and feet flying off your pegs periodically but you will get better and faster.

 

A few guys I've ridden with race B and A class in the local scrambles and alot of time they have problems keeping up with our "local" riding group....

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two things i have learned from faster guys about how to "go faster":

1. go slow less. better lap times are often about going slower less more than they are about going faster more. for me, that means learning to carry more speed through corners (as mentioned above)...not slowing down as much. it also means don't slow down so much for minor rock gardens, mud, etc. those things are actually easier (and use a lot less energy) to ride faster anyway. it is a natural reaction to slow down for them, but that just makes them harder and more tiring to ride through...and, obviously, makes you not as fast. get your weight back, keep the front end light, and accelerate through them. on a related note, jump over crap. got three or four closely spaced rocks/roots/etc. coming up? try to use the first one as a kicker to jump over the rest of them. saves a lot of energy and keeps you moving.

2. generally, don't ride in the middle of the trail. ride on the edges of the trail...bouncing from side to side at times. this usually keeps you out of the thrashed part of the trail. the edges are ridden less and, especially on later laps, are much smoother and faster. also, it sets you up for corners better. on a related note, never follow someone into a rut. if they get stuck, you're stuck, too.

i am by no means "fast", but these two things have definitely helped me get faster--as has chasing faster guys both in races and trail riding (also mentioned above).

Edited by LittleRedToyota
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