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Starting to race need some advice

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I've decided to start racing IXCR like my cousin and friends. I'm not really sure what I should practice for and things I need to buy. I have an 05 Wr250f but it's tuned pretty good so I don't see any engine or drive problems. I ordered bark busters and a new sprocket and chain. The carb is already rejetted. I'm not sure how to do dead engine starts though. I have a very tight tough single track with all types of terrain and narrow quad tracks that are hard packed which should I be practicing and is there any other things I need to build for practice. The dead engine starts have me freaked out because my bike is hard to start in gear but fine in neutral. I need advice on how I should take the race. Go as hard as I can or ride my slow pace or my fast pace by that I mean ride hard, take it easy, or balls to the walls let's win this. Any other advice is aprecited. I don't have a camelback but there is a space behind my front plate that holds a bottle of water perfectly I've never had one fall out and I always ride with one. Should I just use my bottle system or get a camel back.

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If you want something cheap you can buy one of the bladders in a camel back that holds like 80 oz. of fluid and you can buy one of those for 20$ and stick that in a normal backpack, but for starting to ride I would say get really good and downshifting and practice sharp turns and outside turns and be able to hit whoops really well.

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You definitely want to pace yourself, especially for your first race. Go a pace that you absolutely know that you can ride all day long. If you ride right at the brink of what you can maintain, one little mistake can exhaust your energy for the rest of the race. You can make a lot of passes at the end of the race if you still have the energy to.

As for starting, try to practice your dead engine starts before your next ride. You don't typically get to ride your bike very far to warm it up, so practice that way. Mine starts better when mildly warm and does not like to fire up twice in a row, so I don't do a practice start right before my line goes. Find the way your bikes likes it. Also, if you don't feel confident in starting in gear, you will be better off starting in neutral on the first kick and grabbing a gear after the fact. 5 to 10 kicks takes a REALLY long time. One other thing, practice starting in second gear and see how that goes. Less shifting equals more speed and riding the clutch more will help you maintain better traction.

Don't go in with high expectations. Go in looking to have fun. Winning will come with time and experience. Let us know how it goes.

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Camel back is a brand that supports groups that seek to get areas closed to ORV use so don't support them. You should invest in a hydration pack though. 

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I just did my first race ever this past Saturday. I can tell you this; pacing yourself is great advice. Don't get caught up in race mode, just ride your own pace and try to finish. This is a lot harder than you might expect. Get a hydration pack! I drained mine. One thing(of many) I learned; no gizmo, or gadget is going to help you more than skill and fitness, both of which I need more of(2nd. thing I learned). I've never been so tired in my life. Good luck. 

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While any riding practice is great it's always good to get out and ride new trails. During an XC race, a lot of stuff gets thrown at you that you have probably never seen on the trail you have by home. Find some buddies and do some exploring if you can. One thing I've been trying to do is figuring out what I need to work on; logs, downhills, rock sections, fast rooty sections, even the dead engine starts. Find these obstacles to practice and perfect.

At the end of the day though the fact you're getting out there and having fun is all that really matters, always push and don't give up!

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Don't stress the dead engine start. You will make many mistakes throughout the race that will cost you more than a bad start. Sometimes it's better to have a bad start.. When you get a holeshot it is VERY easy to ride balls out since you're in lead and its early, you kill yourself for the rest of the race. I have a 1.5 mile practice woods track, its good for mastering certain skills but its not replacement for getting variety. Fitness will be your number one issue. One thing I do with my practice track, don't just do it for a few laps and break. Ride it hard for a race duration. If your race is 2 hours, ride it hard for 2 hours and don't stop for breaks. This is the best conditioning you can do. Trail riding with buds you take so many breaks that don't happen in a race. It will take a while to build up your fitness and conditioning.

Don't worry about your placing. Just focus on having fun at first, seriously.

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Thanks for all the advice guys I'm up to 1 and half hours before I take a break I've been doing that a lot I'll get to adding some more variety to the track i have some of all the terrain you could ask for. I'll invest in a hydration pack that's not camelback screw them.

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