Jump to content

Please Critique My Riding! Getting Ready For My 1st Enduro

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone!  I've been riding dirt for 26 years, but have never had actual "professional" instruction.  Going to turn 39 this fall and getting ready to do my first enduro, hare scramble format.  It will be at my local track I frequent often.  Yesterday, I was there ripping around trying to pickup speed and ride faster.  Here's me doing my best around the single track. 

 

Where can I improve?  I know my biggest downfall is not carrying speed thru my corners.  What am I doing wrong?  Thanks for the replies in advance!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Monk said:

Well, I would probably advise you to avoid hills... Lol

Hahaha!  I actually go back and forth between rolling and hopping that hill.  Just whatever my mood is at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The GoPro always makes stuff look slower, flatter, smoother and easier than it really is.  It doesn't help that there are some very experienced, very fast and very talented guys riding really tough terrain making videos that sets the bar for how fast we think people ride.

I'm not a fast trail rider, so don't take this the wrong way.  You look a little bit slow.  That's not a problem, but just make sure you are entering the beginner or C class and don't get frustrated if you are getting passed a lot.  I think some people have that personality, confidence and high expectations that if they don't win or aren't competitive their first time doing something they quit.  Some people like me aren't naturals.  Everytime I start doing something new I'm not great at it but a I learn and get better with time and eventually catch up with those guys who were just naturals.

If you really want an honest gauge of how you are doing, ride 5 miles of that course and time yourself each time.  Figure out your average MPH.  I've not done a hare scramble here but from what I've seen, on a course like that the average speed in the beginner class would probably be at least 15 - 18 MPH if not faster.  Guessing from the video I'd say you are riding a 10-11 MPH average speed but I could be wrong.  Ride within your limits, practice and focus on slowly creeping your average MPH up.

To be honest the biggest hurdle you need to focus on it just doing your first race and completing it regardless of where you finish.  Just talking yourself into doing it is a big hurdle.  Showing up on time, with all your equipment and gear in good shape is a hurdle.  Figuring out the process of getting signed up, getting to your start on time, etc is a big hurdle.  Getting over the nerves and butterfly's before the race is a big hurdle.  Riding the course, not crashing, not getting hurt, not getting frustrated and having fun is a big hurdle.  Focus on those elements for your first race and ride within your abilities regardless of where that puts you in the pack.  After you are comfortable with all those elements you can focus on getting faster and more competitive.  The first time you compete it will be overwhelming and hard.  Don't give up!  Each time you do it after that it'll get easier until it's no big deal at all.

I sometimes help beginners at competitions in our trials clubs.  So I've seen it quite a bit and I give them that same speech.  They invested in a bike, they spent the summer practicing on their own, they got the courage up to commit to doing their first competition and they don't always do well because it's all very new and overwhelming.  Many can't finish their first event due to fatigue.  They underestimate the endurance involved.  I try to keep them focused on having fun and learning the ropes.  They keep coming back and after 2 - 3 competitions they are settled in and it's old-hat for them.  Once they are comfortable they can then focus on getting better and being competitive.

I need to take some of my own advice.  I've raced MX and compete in trials competitions but have been wanting to do my first enduro.  I just need to nut up, sign up and show up.

Sorry for the long winded response.  Good luck!  Let us know how it goes.

Doc

Edited by Doc_d
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice!  Honestly, I'm not intimidated by the competition at all.  I used to sing in a metal band and also did amateur kickboxing and pro mma for many years.  So I'm used to excitement and rush.  Also, raced my 1958 Enfield Indian in a hooligans flat track race and took 2nd overall my first time ever racing a bike.  

 

So, for me, honestly it's just getting myself back in shape and actually finishing.  I'll be racing in the C2 open class, 90 minute moto.  I have no expectations to even place in the top 20.  I just want to race and finish, and do my best.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just watched another of your videos where you were on an MX track.  Strangely you looked significantly faster and more confident on the MX track than you did in this video.  Maybe the video is deceiving or you just need more confidence on the single track.  Either way, as long as you focus on having fun, riding within your abilities and doing your best you'll have a blast.

Doc

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very confident in the intermediate track, and have no problem ripping hard there.  It's just been a long time since I've ridden single track.  Grew up on dirt bikes and have been riding for 26 years.  But I've been riding mostly street for the last 8 years.  Also, my 1st 4 stroke dirt bike, so still getting used to it.  Always been a 2 stroker.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to gauge terrain in vids. From what I saw though, it looked like there was no need to stick a foot out in those corners. Sticking the foot out accomplishes two things, first it is so your inside foot doesn't dig in to a rutted corner. The next thing is obviously balance, but you only get this benefit with good form. Your single track doesn't look particularly hazardous, but for woods racing I'd prefer to keep my feet on the pegs if possible to reduce the chance of injury.

Some pointers on your form

- if you hang the leg out, get your leg way up front and keep it close to your bike. Your foot should be near the front axle, knee almost straight but not locked obviously. Keep your toes pointed straight or slightly toward the bike to reduce risk of injury. This will feel weird at first but when you get used to it your corner speed will improve a bunch

- It may help to get your outside ass cheek off the seat slightly during the corner, sort of using your body to counter weight

- Where to look: before entry, look at the apex of the corner and judge entry speed. When you enter the corner, look ahead through the corner. If you find yourself blowing through the corner you're probably not looking ahead enough

- peg weighting: use your footpegs to steer. Steering left, weight all into your left peg etc. However, transfer weight to your outside peg when in the corner and getting on the gas. For example, weight the right peg to lean into your right corner, but as you get on the gas weight your left peg. This will give you significantly more traction and drive out of the corner, and for flat track turns is pretty much essential to keep speed without low siding. 

- body position. Can't see that much on camera, but for very sand or loose terrain I usually keep a fairly central to forward seat position thru corners. If traction is good and your front end doesn't want to wash out, get as far forward on the tank as possible.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is another lap around the same single track.  Still a little sloppy, but looks like I shaved 13 seconds off the last video.  Of course, I broke my sternum and rib about 5 nights after this.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/12/2017 at 1:31 PM, High On Octane said:

Here is another lap around the same single track.  Still a little sloppy, but looks like I shaved 13 seconds off the last video.  Of course, I broke my sternum and rib about 5 nights after this.

 

Dude, what did you do? Breaking a sternum isn't easy..

Edit: I think your biggest thing is not looking ahead enough through the corners. I have a bad habit about this myself that I'm trying to break, especially through endurocross type obstacles.. I focus hard on the obstacle in front of my and tend to look at the ground once I clear it, or get target fixated on another obstacle as I go through a corner.

Edited by jacob429
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jacob429 said:

Dude, what did you do? Breaking a sternum isn't easy..

Edit: I think your biggest thing is not looking ahead enough through the corners. I have a bad habit about this myself that I'm trying to break, especially through endurocross type obstacles.. I focus hard on the obstacle in front of my and tend to look at the ground once I clear it, or get target fixated on another obstacle as I go through a corner.

I cased a big table top, bounced wrong and took the end of my handlebars right to the middle of my chest.

 

And yes, maybe I am not looking far enough ahead.  Thanks for pointing that out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The halfway raised leg in a corner cannot avoid a fall, they are raised almost below the handle bar if you want to raise your leg, to get them out of the way i.e. I agree that you should raise your eyes . Raing your eyes makes it easier to speed up which helps in sand. I would stand in sand or at higher speeds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know I am just like you. I am extremely comfortable and confidence level very high on an MX track, I thought I knew how to ride single track and off road well until I found a new place to ride. I am very fortunate I get to practice on A LOT of terrain that is very much like Erzberg in many ways. Ha, you should have seen me first time out there on a 4 speed 05 RMZ 450, which was a great bike by the way but all the gearing in the world couldn't compensate for that 4 speed. Make sure you suspension is set up properly for you even if you cannot afford a revalve, use your clickers, I am pretty good with suspension I got to learn from a Race Tech fork technician feel free to ask any questions. Anyway now I am on a 2017 KTM 450 Sxf and am VERY comfortable with 13/50 gearing...anyway it is hard to gauge with a Go Pro video as stated before but you do not look very aggressive and if you can try and find some WAY more technical terrain to practice on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×