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Hey guys, I'm going riding in difficult terrain that I've never rode with really experienced riders. How should I approach this?

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Stay loose, and don't waste your energy going around stuff, look past it, keep your front end light and hit it. You'll surprise yourself with what you are capable of. If it's hills your worried about just remember to stay centered with enough weight over the rear tire to keep traction. You'll do fine, hope you have a good ride.

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Hey guys, I'm going riding in difficult terrain that I've never rode with really experienced riders. How should I approach this?

Be honest about your skill level. A lot of experienced riders are willing to teach and/or help a less experienced rider. Others would rather you stayed home. If you know & trust the other rider(s) in the group...go for it.
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Stay loose, and don't waste your energy going around stuff, look past it, keep your front end light and hit it. You'll surprise yourself with what you are capable of. If it's hills your worried about just remember to stay centered with enough weight over the rear tire to keep traction. You'll do fine, hope you have a good ride.

 

 

Be honest about your skill level. A lot of experienced riders are willing to teach and/or help a less experienced rider. Others would rather you stayed home. If you know & trust the other rider(s) in the group...go for it.

 

The only thing I would add to those two very good posts is to make sure whomever is leading knows your skill level. Better yet, make sure everyone in the group knows. They'll ease you in and not take you into stuff you simply can't handle. They will challenge you though. They've been at your level before and know what was too much too soon for them or what was easier than it first looked like. It is amazing how well you will do when following a much better rider. Just try and focus on them, monkey see, monkey do and try to resist the urge to be surprised at how well you are riding on some terrain you'd probably have not tackled if it was up to you. Stay in the moment. There is plenty of time to talk all about it later. When you do get out of the moment and crash, just get the hell back up and don't do it again. When you do it again and crash again...just get back up.

 

If you come across a really rocky section I STRONGLY recommend you REALLY focus on looking where you want to go and not down.

 

If you come across a momentum section, hill climbs, I STRONGLY recommend focusing on carrying momentum to the next top. 

 

If you come to a narrow section, again, look where you wanna go, ALWAYS but, especially when it's a drop on both sides.

 

If you come to a suddenly really sandy section at a bottom and it's a real sharp turn directly into a steep uphill, just go ahead and wash the front, go over the bars, crash and get back up.  LOL

 

If you come to a long sandy section, just go ahead and crash and get it over with. And get back up. You'll get the hang of it if you go for it and you won't if you try and hold on too tight.

 

I think Pittbulls comment may be the single best; LOOK PAST. Look where you wanna go and not down at the sand or rocks or fall off or whatever.

 

Enjoy!

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The three previous post each have some excellent advice to ponder and practice. If you want more of the same in a wonderfully organized and coherently written book, I recommend The Art of Trailriding by Paul Clipper. It's an Amazon Kindle book that you can read on your phone, tablet or computer wherever you are. Paul covers everything you need to know, starting with the importance of and the technique of creating a good bike setup, and moving on to chapters covering master techniques for all kinds of terrain. 

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Pick a line and stick with it, get your weight BACK when going down steep terrain, when in doubt throttle out!

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Whatever you do don't grumble about the trail or basicly if it starts to go downhill and you are hating life don't bitch. Everyone has a different breaking point and this is only when you have a bad day and you are struggling bad... don't lash out..  easy to say now but don't if you are of that type of personality that can do that at times. Like someone said before the vet guys have been there so they know how it is but if you start grumbling  is a they are going to roll their eyes and go.. ok here's another one.  This whole thing really depends  on the guys leading and on how nice or not that nice they want to be with taking breaks and choosing the right trail etc..  Have fun!! and enjoy the new and harder trails.. when you are done it feels great!

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I did my first endurance race last weekend and one thing I really took from it was these: stand up as much as possible, it is easier than sitting and you wont get tired as fast, and take a few seconds after a really hard spot to catch your breath. You may not be the fastest, but if you constantly work through the hard stuff, and only take short breathers, you wont be very far behind anyone

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hawaiidirtrider makes a great point...NEVER, EVER complain. I was very fortunate in that a few local A class "woods" racers allowed me to tag along on some of their trail ventures. They coached me through terrain, I'd not ever attempt on my own. As time went by, they started enviting me out for their rides. I learned later, the the reason they tolerated my "slowness"...I never bitched or complained. All the beatings I took...I grinned the whole time. A side benefit, I progressed from a novice(scared to ride faster than a 2nd gear idle), to a B class "woods" racer(in only 18ish months) Enjoy it. Better riders, will help make you a better rider.

Edited by bowhunter007
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I can't give you many pointers, but just like they said above, attitude goes a long way.  I was in your situation at the beginning of this season. A buddy met some guys that rode trails and invited me out, they've been riding for years. They asked me if I'd ridden much and I say "yea I used to ride when I was a kid". Mistake 1. I'm 38 now and I had a little 50 when I was a kid but they didn't know that. 

So we get out into some gnarly technical stuff and I'm flopping all over the place like an idiot. Falling over, crashing, stalling, sitting down the whole time. Pretty much everything that you could do wrong is what I did.

 

But I didn't bitch or moan. I did finally hit the breaking point after 20 min trying to get up a hill as they waited for me. I leaned my bike against a tree, dropped my helmet on the ground and fell over. Half laughing I said "I'm done boys, call medivac whenever you guys get done."

 

They laughed and when we finally got back to the trucks the truth came out. I didn't know what the &%$#@! I was doing. They looked over my bike (04 RM250), gave me some pointers, etc. They told my buddy I was welcome to come ride anytime. I think probably because I wasn't complaining the whole time. 

 

I'm still learning how to shift while standing up and the whole throttle/feathering the clutch thing....

 

Good luck, once it gets it's hooks in you, you won't want to ride street anymore.

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Get a really good night's sleep beforehand. Hydrate before, during and after. Eat a lot, get your energy levels up. It makes a huge difference.

 

Good advice about attitude above. Keep in mind that you may be limiting these guy's ride to easy terrain and cutting their ride short if they are waiting for you a bunch. Looking forward to riding all week and then getting stuck with a newbie over his head can really be a buzzkill. Respect the fact that these guys are letting you tag along to their detriment.

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Get a really good night's sleep beforehand. Hydrate before, during and after. Eat a lot, get your energy levels up. It makes a huge difference.

 

Good advice about attitude above. Keep in mind that you may be limiting these guy's ride to easy terrain and cutting their ride short if they are waiting for you a bunch. Looking forward to riding all week and then getting stuck with a newbie over his head can really be a buzzkill. Respect the fact that these guys are letting you tag along to their detriment.

Yeah I agree. Pin it and hang on. :lol:

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