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My first MX open practice

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Just an old guy doing an open practice for the first time. There's only two classes, Pro and Novice. I probably would have picked a beginner class if they had one since I was constantly getting passed.

 

I had a good time though!

 

Edited by Force10
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Looks like fun.  Thanks for sharing!  You kept it upright, so you're well on your way.  

It's been close to 30 years since I've been on an MX track.  I'd like to go back out and do an open practice.  I sucked at MX when I was a kid.  But in my defense I got thrown into the fire by a buddy that was a complete natural and he'd been racing for years.  He talked me into entering a couple races with zero experience.  Of course I did terribly being a 15 year old kid with zero experience.  I just thought I sucked and gave up on it.  Being older now I realize that most people would have done badly under those circumstances.  So I think it would be fun to revisit it as an old guy on a track without a lot of guys on it during a low pressure open practice.

 

If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?

Doc

Edited by Doc_d

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Wow man nice job first time out:thumbsup: track looks fun and safe. Some nice ruts in corners =nice:ride:

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5 hours ago, Doc_d said:

If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?

Doc

 

I will be 50 in Feb. Rode street bikes since I was a teenager but just started getting into dirt two years ago. Totally different animal.

I'm a decent trail rider but riding a prepped muddy track with rutted corners and traffic is new to me.

 

Thanks for the kudos guys!

 

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On 7/2/2017 at 10:58 PM, Force10 said:

Just an old guy doing an open practice for the first time. There's only two classes, Pro and Novice. I probably would have picked a beginner class if they had one since I was constantly getting passed.

 

I had a good time though!

 

Not far away from Metcalf is MX408. The first session is "all big bikes" and then afterwards they always split 20/20/20 Minis/Intermediates-Pros/Beginner-Vet. Riding the beginner-vet session is a lot less stressful. 

Edited by GoneDirtBikeN

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50 minutes ago, Rage232 said:

That's awesome great job!!   

Thanks!

There's another open practice this weekend so I'm going to give it another shot. The first time I was just trying to stay out of everyone's way and not wreck anybody. I'm going to work on getting my speed up and maybe not get passed as much...lol

They are also doing a race on Sunday after the open practice Saturday, I'm thinking about entering it to be my first race if they have a beginner/C class. The Novices at open practice are pretty darn fast so I wouldn't want to enter if they only have Novice and Pro.

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Just stick with it.  Seat time is the biggest factor,. Every time it'll get easier and you'll get a little faster even without trying.  Dom't push too hard before your body has developed the muscle memory.  Just keep riding and pushing yourself just slightly faster each session. Literally maybe shoot for 1 second faster each session, no more.  Riding above what your mind and body are ready for will get you hurt.   Nothing will slow your progress like sitting around for  3 - 4 months with a broken bone.  

The difference between you and a pro is what maybe 30 - 90 seconds per lap?  So shaving 1 second per lap each day out is a good goal.  Trying to get 20 seconds faster your next time out is a good way to get hurt.

Doc

P.S. You are already probably faster than I am on an MX course, but I've competed in competitive disciplines quite a bit and when someone new comes in they discount the fact that everyone else has been doing this since they were 5.  Getting your brain to develop the neuro-pathways to ride fast well takes time.  Don't push too hard, have fun and let it develop.

Edited by Doc_d
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44 minutes ago, Doc_d said:

Just stick with it.  Seat time is the biggest factor,. Every time it'll get easier and you'll get a little faster even without trying.  Dom't push too hard before your body has developed the muscle memory.  Just keep riding and pushing yourself just slightly faster each session. Literally maybe shoot for 1 second faster each session, no more.  Riding above what your mind and body are ready for will get you hurt.   Nothing will slow your progress like sitting around for  3 - 4 months with a broken bone.  

The difference between you and a pro is what maybe 30 - 90 seconds per lap?  So shaving 1 second per lap each day out is a good goal.  Trying to get 20 seconds faster your next time out is a good way to get hurt.

Doc

P.S. You are already probably faster than I am on an MX course, but I've competed in competitive disciplines quite a bit and when someone new comes in they discount the fact that everyone else has been doing this since they were 5.  Getting your brain to develop the neuro-pathways to ride fast well takes time.  Don't push too hard, have fun and let it develop.

Thanks for the excellent advice Doc! It's good to be reminded of the points you stated. I'm only able to ride once every two or three weeks so the learning curve is slower for sure. Where I live I can't just hop on my bike on my property and ride. It's a good 45mins to an hour drive to the closest place I can legally ride here in CA.

It takes a good 15-20mins for me to re-connect with the bike and starting to feel the flow. There was a pic here on TT where someone else was in their first race and taped a note to himself on his bar pad that said "Have Fun". That's really what it's about. If I leave the track in the same shape as I got on then it's a good day regardlless of how well I ride.

 

Thanks again!

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You handled yourself just fine out there and had a good time. A win by any measure. Happy for you! (Great screename by the way, love that movie)

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On 8/10/2017 at 2:00 PM, Force10 said:

Thanks!

There's another open practice this weekend so I'm going to give it another shot. The first time I was just trying to stay out of everyone's way and not wreck anybody. I'm going to work on getting my speed up and maybe not get passed as much...lol

They are also doing a race on Sunday after the open practice Saturday, I'm thinking about entering it to be my first race if they have a beginner/C class. The Novices at open practice are pretty darn fast so I wouldn't want to enter if they only have Novice and Pro.

Looks like you may be in the NorCal area: If you want to get into racing but want a relatively safe format for us older guys look into Over The Hill Gang - http://www.bayothg.com/. True beginners and novice classes with age groups.

 

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40 minutes ago, GoneDirtBikeN said:

Looks like you may be in the NorCal area: If you want to get into racing but want a relatively safe format for us older guys look into Over The Hill Gang - http://www.bayothg.com/. True beginners and novice classes with age groups.

 

Ha! It's funny you mentioned it...I just joined yesterday!

 

I will run my first evaluation race this weekend at Hollister's GP track. Seems like a good group and I'm looking forward to being out there with folks my age.

 

Thanks!

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1 minute ago, Force10 said:

Ha! It's funny you mentioned it...I just joined yesterday!

 

I will run my first evaluation race this weekend at Hollister's GP track. Seems like a good group and I'm looking forward to being out there with folks my age.

 

Thanks!

Awesome! I was thinking of going to the Hollister Warm-up but that is a good distance from me so I was considering skipping it. I've only been doing the OTHG/racing for less than a year and have been sticking to the tracks I'm familiar with (ClubMoto, Argyll, MX408). I'm in Novice 52+, number 27b. The last race was a night race at clubmoto and was well attended.

You're going to have a great time! Get to the OTHG events early, like at "gate opens" time as parking fills up quickly.

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8 minutes ago, GoneDirtBikeN said:

Awesome! I was thinking of going to the Hollister Warm-up but that is a good distance from me so I was considering skipping it. I've only been doing the OTHG/racing for less than a year and have been sticking to the tracks I'm familiar with (ClubMoto, Argyll, MX408). I'm in Novice 52+, number 27b. The last race was a night race at clubmoto and was well attended.

You're going to have a great time! Get to the OTHG events early, like at "gate opens" time as parking fills up quickly.

Thanks for the advice...much appreciated! A couple of questions if you don't mind.

What other fees do you pay on race day? Just the gate fee for wherever you're racing?

Do you think I will be able to get 2 evaluation races in before the end of the year?

 

I was looking at the schedule and after this weekend it looks like only Nationals and a 2 stroke only race are the only ones left. I don't think they allow evals in Nationals. I was hoping to get  my 2 evals in this year so I can be classed and have time to get number plates and transponder in time for the start of 2018 season. It's funny that it's only August but my second eval race might have to wait until next year.:rant:

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Just now, Force10 said:

Thanks for the advice...much appreciated! A couple of questions if you don't mind.

What other fees do you pay on race day? Just the gate fee for wherever you're racing?

Do you think I will be able to get 2 evaluation races in before the end of the year?

 

I was looking at the schedule and after this weekend it looks like only Nationals and a 2 stroke only race are the only ones left. I don't think they allow evals in Nationals. I was hoping to get  my 2 evals in this year so I can be classed and have time to get number plates and transponder in time for the start of 2018 season. It's funny that it's only August but my second eval race might have to wait until next year.:rant:

Not sure about the "2 stroke" race at Riverfront. I can't imagine that there are enough guys with 2-strokes to make that an "only". So I was wondering the details on that too. I'd post on the forum to ask that question or ask while you are at Hollister.

There is MX408 Oct 14-15th so you can get your second set of evals in there. Don't know if you can eval at the "cancer relay" race. Your are correct, you can't ride at a National until your evals are complete.

Fees: Yearly dues. Race day there is a gate fee (typically $10) and then a race fee (typically $40 this past year). Practice day tends to be just the normal fee the track would charge for their open practice. They say you can pay another race fee if you do a second event but I have no idea on what second event you are permitted to do.

After your evals, you are timed and need a timer. You can rent one for $10 each race day or go to mylaps.com (https://speedhiveshop.mylaps.com/mx.html) and purchase a timer with a subscription. No big hurry to have one ass you can rent and your evals will not be done for a while. I ended up buying one for the convenience. If Bay runs out, it is my understanding that you can go the to Sierra group and rent one there. It is kind of cool to have your own as you can go online and look at your lap times, make charts against other riders, etc - not exactly cost justified. $10 rental is the least expensive option.

You get a $10 race gas card (RMATV) for every event you attend. So when you attend a practice day make sure you find the sign-up sheet. No sign-up sheet for race day as your attendance is recorded via your race entry. I thing you get one just for joining too. They take some time to process the race cards so they just arrive in the mail some time later.

If you have a camper, a lot of people stay overnight between practice and race day. Sometimes free, sometimes a fee.

f you have some younger friends, under 30, they can race too in the support class. Also, you can be a member "The year in which you turn 30". I talked 3 friends (2 x 30-somethings and a 20-something) into racing in OTHG this year.

Get a user account setup on an OTHG web site or both Sierra and Bay. You can have an user accounts in both bay or sierra even though you are a member of one or the other. You can go an look at some of the posts under the forums to see what that charged for the different races. Bay and Sierra run most of their events jointly although a couple are separate.

Some places offer discounts to OTHG members. DecalWorks (https://www.decalmx.com/) does and I got my graphics from them the last couple times. If you call them they will setup your account so that the discount is automatically applied.

>>> "It's funny that it's only August but my second eval race might have to wait until next year." - yea, I see you've been bit by the MX racing bug... :ride: Evals are fun too. You get to be the wildcard in the race. You are not timed nor placed, but no one likes being beat by an eval rider.

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12 minutes ago, GoneDirtBikeN said:

...[lots of good stuff]

Thanks a ton for all the info!

I don't see the 408MX in Oct. race on the schedule here:http://www.bayothg.com/index.php?pageid=calendar  but it would be awesome if I could get my second eval race done there.

If you don't go to practice on Saturdays...do they have any warm up on race day where you can spin the track a lap or two before the race?

If you're there on Sunday I will look for ya and say hi. I will be number 292b after evals and probably in the 45+ beginner. I've watched a bunch of OTHG vids and the Novice guys seem pretty fast so I don't think I will be classed as a Novice.

 

Thanks again!

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9 minutes ago, Force10 said:

Thanks a ton for all the info!

I don't see the 408MX in Oct. race on the schedule here:http://www.bayothg.com/index.php?pageid=calendar  but it would be awesome if I could get my second eval race done there.

If you don't go to practice on Saturdays...do they have any warm up on race day where you can spin the track a lap or two before the race?

If you're there on Sunday I will look for ya and say hi. I will be number 292b after evals and probably in the 45+ beginner. I've watched a bunch of OTHG vids and the Novice guys seem pretty fast so I don't think I will be classed as a Novice.

 

Thanks again!

I had an calendar printed and hung on the refrigerator. Looking on-line they appear to have removed it from the calendar. There is a post in the forum asking about a month back but no response.

Race day and practice day are pretty much the same schedule but practice you don't have a start, not timed. Pretty much like any other open practice day at a track. So schedule goes -

  • 15 minutes open practice - basically break in track. Go out if your comfortable being on the track with some fast guys. Be sure to be able to hold your line.
  • practice laps by groups
  • 1st moto races
  • 2nd moto races

Order of races/practices determined the day of the race so you don't know until you get there. So yes, you will get to practice some before race.

As an eval, 52+ beginner, 1st practice day I decided I would intentionally hang back not having any idea what to expect. I never watched a race let alone been in one. Went through first turn to a short not very steep down hill leading to the second turn (Clubmoto and I ride there a lot it being 15 minutes from where I live), there's a bunch of guys hung up in the rut - great how do I get through that mess. Second practice race I changed my strategy, I let half go first figuring they would be the more skilled of the group but went in front of the 2nd half figuring they were the guys stuck in the first rutted turn. Went through 1st turn, got a look a the second, "awesome" no gaggle of stuck riders to work through! LoL Beginner group can be interesting.

Attached is a pic of the order on one of the recent races. "Easiest way to loose a race - miss the start" by John Dowd.

race-day.jpg

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