MX is everything I remember it being and oh so much more!!

Long story short - this is my first time on big MX track in approx 18 years.  I don't get out to ride anywhere near as much as I want to.  I bought my 2016 yz250x around August last year and only have 19 hours on it, all single track and trail rides.   A friend invited me to go to SwitchBack MX in Butler PA (http://www.switchbackmx.com/)   I was very reluctant at first as I knew I was not ready for any big mx jumps and I'm waaay out of shape!  Anyways, I decided at 7am that morning, screw it, I'm in.  We talked on the way up how a lot people will 'roll over' the jumps and it's not a big deal.  Anyhow, we get to the track and I'm all sorts of a wreck, super nervous and excited at the same time.  I gear up, fire up the X, blip the throttle a bit and it dies... Fouled a plug (jetting issue - she's too rich!)   New plug in and on the track we go.  I do 1 lap in 1st and 2nd gear, rolling everything just trying to see the layout.    What the heck are these huge lines in all the corners!?  OMG Ruts!  some very deep and some corners very muddy.  I haven't seen ruts like this in a very long time!  Cool!   After 1 'lookout' lap, I decide, I can hit some of these smaller jumps, do the double part of this "triple" that is more like a table top with extra humps in them (which is way cooler b/c much safer lol).   1/2 a lap in of 'trying hard' and I can't hang onto the bike any longer.  So pull off, sit for 20mins or so and head back out.   This is the routine - 2 hard laps, can't hang on, don't want to push and hurt myself.... 20 minute break.  Sometimes I'd sit near a section of the track and watch the pro's (I'm assuming A class locals) rip by - wow!  I'm like a little kid on xmas grinning ear to ear rooting them on as they fly by!  nailing the big triples and taking these rutted out corners wide open with ease!  Was soo cool to watch up close and be out there with them.  All I could think was damn, I have A LOT of work to do!  

Anyhow, I could write on for hours about how thrilling and exhilarating of an experience this was for me, but I'll just end it with this --  I found another rider who wasn't much faster than me, I got behind him and we pushed each other and raced for 2 laps - OMG THAT! is exactly what I have been missing!  Soooo much fun!!  

My Wife got a vid of me doing the 'double' part of the 'triple' table top thing and an uphill jump.  The ruts in the corner after the triple are so ridic deep and nasty, myself and all the other 'slower' riders always went around them.  

Some takeaways from my experience after reading some other threads in this MX Section...
1.  Remove kickstand!  (I never gave it second thought.  I've bottomed the suspension out completely and luckily the kickstand never budged, luckily!)
2.  Remove bark busters
3.  Is there a need for my skid plate??

4.  I am not too old to go hit up some MX tracks.  At 34 I felt like I'd be a dinosaur out there with a bunch 20yr olds and younger.
5.  Every part of me (except my balls apparently!) wanted to crack that triple, I just couldn't do it.  I'd let off every time coming up to it.  Pretty sure the only cure here is A LOT more jumping time and practice.  There were some larger doubles that I was hitting on this track, but was scared to be revv'd too high in 3rd and would hit it with lower RPMS, not in the powerband in 4th.  At 16yr old and on a CR125, i could hit big triples 3rd gear cracked all day... I Wonder if my balls will ever come back!!!!

6.  Despite wanting to nail that triple, I feel I rode the track the correct way, not over my head and stopping when I was too tired.  And not trying things I wasn't yet comfortable with...
7.  Finally - get my fat ass into shape!   I was soo dissappointed in myself that I couldn't run 1 full lap hard w/out extreme arm pump, which made me skip jumps b/c I coudln't hang on, use the front brake or clutch... wasn't cool :(  

Hope you all enjoy my story - I sure as hell had a good time even writing this just to re-live it!! 

 

 

 

Edited by Rage232

Awesome :thumbsup: welcome back you did it the right way. 34 isn't to old I'm almost 40 been off for 3 years just getting back out there after 20+ years of hard racing . P.s some of them fast guys were probably over 40 :ride: . Ditch kickstand, bark busters your arm can get stuck in there during craah. Skid plate helps skipping across whoops and if coming up short will help keep tgat

I'm 39 got back into this last year and same for me need to get in shape , I jumped right on a 450 so it took some getting use to. I fear I need to find my balls also , when your young you really have the biggest balls of your life, lol. I'm no expert but you probley could do more laps if I were a betting man I would say your gripping the bars way to tight because of your nerves, relax and hold tight with your knees and save your arms. At 39 it's the most fun I have had in years, I'm hooked and loving every second on the track.

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I hit the mx track for the first time at 41 the other day. All the jumps were tables so I was able to just keep picking up speed until I cleared all of them my last two laps of the day. I'll be going back very soon.

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Welcome back to MX and nicely done.

Skid plate: Protects the case if your track is rocky. Makes it convenient to scrape the mud off the bottom of your bike between motos to get rid of the added weight.

I'm kicking 56. Just took up dirt bikes (mx only) a little over 1.5 years back. I belong to an organization here that is call the Over The Hill Gang which runs organized races. The age to start OTHG is 30 (although there is a support class for youngins) - there are a few members who are 70+ (yes, still racing!), a good bit 60+, many 50+, etc; some pretty fast guys in that group. So at 34 your not quite dead yet! :rolleyes:

Arm pump: Cardio, MX practice laps; lots of both. Breath. Relax, especially the upper body, arms and hands; I find that part hard myself, particularity the hands. Keep doing what you are doing - exit track when you start to fade otherwise your just more prone for injury.

Thanks everyone for all the replies and encouragement!!  Sounds like I'm still on the young side then haha ;)   It's awesome that you guys are all older and getting back into this as well and loving every minute of it!  

Motox367 - Thanks I'll def be keeping the skid!!  I'm sure some of them were.  I couldn't believe how fast they were ripping, blew my mind!  I Thought wow there's no way they are not sponsored!! 

GoneDirtBikeN -- I seen your Video "ThrottleOut" in another thread - Thats how i was hitting everything too - just too short (probably shorter) - couldn't find my balls!!  That seemed like a good size jump!   You and MKcustoms88 are absolutely correct on the arm pump.  Def need more practice - I was gripping very tight, was just so nervous for every jump and some of the extremely rutted corners.   I feel relaxing is a big key to this.  hopefully next time out won't be as bad.    Def not using my knee's - I never really have - I'll have to learn this.  Today is Thursday... Track day was Sunday.  Today is the first day where I am finally not sore!!  All upper body, arms, shoulders and back mostly.  well.. minus the back, thats always bothersome but I just deal with it..  

HeavyRotation - sounds like my kind of track!  There wasn't a single table top on this one, the traditional - face, long body, downside kind anyway.  They all had 'humps' in them that would make coming up short not soo good.  My buddy, who is really fast, came up short on the triple in the vid, panic revv'd like crazy, almost saved it but front end washed in those nasty ruts and up over the bars he went.  Had about 4lbs of mud on the top of his helmet lol.  He wasn't really hurt, just his pride :) haha

Most tracks around me are 2+ hours away so hard to get out there - but def cannot wait to go again!!   I'll be sure to update this thread or start a new when I do!   hopefully the wife will come again and bring a better camera! 

18 minutes ago, Rage232 said:

Thanks everyone for all the replies and encouragement!!  Sounds like I'm still on the young side then haha ;)   It's awesome that you guys are all older and getting back into this as well and loving every minute of it!  

Motox367 - Thanks I'll def be keeping the skid!!  I'm sure some of them were.  I couldn't believe how fast they were ripping, blew my mind!  I Thought wow there's no way they are not sponsored!! 

GoneDirtBikeN -- I seen your Video "ThrottleOut" in another thread - Thats how i was hitting everything too - just too short (probably shorter) - couldn't find my balls!!  That seemed like a good size jump!   You and MKcustoms88 are absolutely correct on the arm pump.  Def need more practice - I was gripping very tight, was just so nervous for every jump and some of the extremely rutted corners.   I feel relaxing is a big key to this.  hopefully next time out won't be as bad.    Def not using my knee's - I never really have - I'll have to learn this.  Today is Thursday... Track day was Sunday.  Today is the first day where I am finally not sore!!  All upper body, arms, shoulders and back mostly.  well.. minus the back, thats always bothersome but I just deal with it..  

HeavyRotation - sounds like my kind of track!  There wasn't a single table top on this one, the traditional - face, long body, downside kind anyway.  They all had 'humps' in them that would make coming up short not soo good.  My buddy, who is really fast, came up short on the triple in the vid, panic revv'd like crazy, almost saved it but front end washed in those nasty ruts and up over the bars he went.  Had about 4lbs of mud on the top of his helmet lol.  He wasn't really hurt, just his pride :) haha

Most tracks around me are 2+ hours away so hard to get out there - but def cannot wait to go again!!   I'll be sure to update this thread or start a new when I do!   hopefully the wife will come again and bring a better camera! 

Legs not sore? Try to stand more next time :thumbsup: and yes even a good B class racer will be hauling ass doing all jumps.  A class riders alitte faster. Pros well they on whole different level lol  was at track yesterday was local pro kids there made me look bad lol and I'm still one of the fastest local riders there even if can only do 4 laps :facepalm: fitness is most important as you get faster. Took this pic yesterday as pulled in

20170809_144719.jpg

Edited by Motox367
27 minutes ago, Motox367 said:

Legs not sore? Try to stand more next time :thumbsup: and yes even a good B class racer will be hauling ass doing all jumps.  A class riders alitte faster. Pros well they on whole different level lol  was at track yesterday was local pro kids there made me look bad lol and I'm still one of the fastest local riders there even if can only do 4 laps :facepalm: fitness is most important as you get faster. Took this pic yesterday as pulled in

Yes I thought they would be sore for sure.  They are def worse after a day in the single track.  I'll have to keep that in mind and stand much more, and figure out the whole gripping with your knees, kinda feels awkward to me since I'm not used to that.   But man I have to get out of all the bad single track habits I picked up!  Def need to get my eyes out in front and stop looking at whats directly in front of me.   That table top looks sweet!    I hate how the pics make the face of a jump look like this little slope... but coming up on one hard on the throttle in 3rd or 4th makes it look like a big brick wall to me!   I get in my head and think 'oh man this things gonna launch me!' and never turns out to be too much lol  

 

 

3 minutes ago, Rage232 said:

Yes I thought they would be sore for sure.  They are def worse after a day in the single track.  I'll have to keep that in mind and stand much more, and figure out the whole gripping with your knees, kinda feels awkward to me since I'm not used to that.   But man I have to get out of all the bad single track habits I picked up!  Def need to get my eyes out in front and stop looking at whats directly in front of me.   That table top looks sweet!    I hate how the pics make the face of a jump look like this little slope... but coming up on one hard on the throttle in 3rd or 4th makes it look like a big brick wall to me!   I get in my head and think 'oh man this things gonna launch me!' and never turns out to be too much lol  

 

 

Ya i didn't even know what single track was till joining here lol. That table isn't that big just a coaster with safe landing.  Some other really fun doubles and step ups but safe track for beginners 

You know you are using your legs to hold/control the bike when about 4-5 hours after riding your relaxing and get hit with massive cramps in your thighs that hurt so bad...

I still can't bring myself to drink vinegar...

A triple. At one time, a while back, I was working on clearing it. I still needed about one more bike length.  That was on my 250. I've got the 450 suspension dialed-in so I need to get back there and work on it some more.

View-from-above.JPG

Edited by GoneDirtBikeN
39 minutes ago, GoneDirtBikeN said:

A triple. At one time, a while back, I was working on clearing it. I still needed about one more bike length.  That was on my 250. I've got the 450 suspension dialed-in so I need to get back there and work on it some more.

That's awesome!  Looks HUUUUGE!    Feel free to share the video lol ;)  I seen your youtube MX Playlist in another post.  I'll be watching all those - even though I can't always hit a track, I'm hoping I can find some legal land to practice cornering with figure 8's and what not.   

Lookin' good Rage232! :thumbsup:

 

Seems a lot of us are getting a late start getting into dirt biking! I'm going to be 50 in a few months and I can't help but wish I started getting into it 20 years ago. The fearless

gene seems to shrink as we get older and are more aware of our aging bones. We still bounce pretty good at this age...it's bouncing back that's a problem.:cripple:

 

I thought a couple decades of street riding would be helpful converting to dirt...it isn't really.

As with anything...keep at it and the "feel" and energy level will get better.

Most importantly...Have Fun!

Part of my reason for taking up MX late in life was to get in shape. Should I be getting in better shape so I can ride faster? Sure, but I'm to lazy for that! Tip for the aches and soreness post ride, get a protein shake and bar in ya within 15 minutes of last ride. I was curious and Googled MX diet and found some other good tips I use the day of and day before riding. I know there are a lot of very fit folks in this sport who probably take dietary advice as a given but it was enlightening to me....an old fat beer drinker

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Just wanted to chime in.

I had terrible arm-pump, 2 laps max before I couldn't feel my arms. 2 months later and I've yet to experience it again. What I did was get rid of my long sleeved thermal shirt, swap the full chest protector with elbow protection to a more lightweight and unobstructive one without arm sleeves, and most importantly find good fitting gloves. I went through 3 pairs in one month until I was satisfied. The Fox Airlines are working wonderfully. Now I'm able to ride harder and longer and when I pull off it's because I'm tired and not for arm pump. Oh and of course suspension, it has to be set up for you. But don't worry either way it will get better with seat time! Good luck!

Awesome man, similar experience when I got back into riding at 34. Kinda felt stupid, like "your too old", "might get hurt again and mis work", blah blah blah. 5 Years later rounding the corner on 40 and I realize there is so much more to be had riding now and into the future. I'm in twice better shape than I was at 34. I've improved my diet and do off the bike training which has been fun to see those life changes improve track performance.

I know my limits and when I stay in them, normally go home safe.

On 8/15/2017 at 5:47 AM, Tommaso Alastra said:

Just wanted to chime in.

I had terrible arm-pump, 2 laps max before I couldn't feel my arms. 2 months later and I've yet to experience it again. What I did was get rid of my long sleeved thermal shirt, swap the full chest protector with elbow protection to a more lightweight and unobstructive one without arm sleeves, and most importantly find good fitting gloves. I went through 3 pairs in one month until I was satisfied. The Fox Airlines are working wonderfully. Now I'm able to ride harder and longer and when I pull off it's because I'm tired and not for arm pump. Oh and of course suspension, it has to be set up for you. But don't worry either way it will get better with seat time! Good luck!

Thanks - I'll def be testing this out.  I was wearing my fox full body armor which has chest, back, shoulders and arm pads -- I'm used to wearing it comfortably from all the single track stuff, but still suffer from arm pump in that as well.  I'll report back next time I'm able to get out on the track... Itching like crazy to get out again!! 

11 hours ago, Marcus Robertson said:

Awesome man, similar experience when I got back into riding at 34. Kinda felt stupid, like "your too old", "might get hurt again and mis work", blah blah blah. 5 Years later rounding the corner on 40 and I realize there is so much more to be had riding now and into the future. I'm in twice better shape than I was at 34. I've improved my diet and do off the bike training which has been fun to see those life changes improve track performance.

I know my limits and when I stay in them, normally go home safe.

That's awesome congrats!  I kind of get the same look from people like, umm you went to a mx track?  Are you trying to get hurt?  Are you gonna grow up?   But obviously these are people that know nothing about the sport and how physically demanding it can be - thus getting you into great shape, better eating habits, etc.   I'm really looking forward to all of that as I am out of shape -- I have been referring to myself as 'the flying beer belly' lol   Time to fix that!!    

 I need to find more time to get on the bike... Working a desk job sitting on my ass all day surely doesn't help either lol but I'll get there

 

Thanks again to everyone for all the kind words, support and shared stories!!!    

14 minutes ago, Rage232 said:

That's awesome congrats!  I kind of get the same look from people like, umm you went to a mx track?  Are you trying to get hurt?  Are you gonna grow up?   But obviously these are people that know nothing about the sport and how physically demanding it can be - thus getting you into great shape, better eating habits, etc.   I'm really looking forward to all of that as I am out of shape -- I have been referring to myself as 'the flying beer belly' lol   Time to fix that!!    

 I need to find more time to get on the bike... Working a desk job sitting on my ass all day surely doesn't help either lol but I'll get there

 

Thanks again to everyone for all the kind words, support and shared stories!!!    

Ive heard that from people my whole life. And guys that are going to smoke me but never raced lol now it's because I've been slowly getting back going  is "Don't you think you're getting to old" you just wanna slap them lol . But ya man time on the bike and fitness is the deal :thumbsup: people don't realize alot of times the +40A can be one of the fastest classes.  Guys like Bruce Stratton and Dag boyeson and many more would be at race's around here all the time. They were the fastest guys there period.  Over 40

Edited by Motox367

Imagine the strange looks I get when I tell people (usually other older guys at the track) that I started at 54 a little more than 1.5 years ago, doing MX and racing in the OTHG (a gentler version of MX racing I will admit). They usually say "ya, but you rode trail right?". Me, "nope, it was the first time I put my leg over a dirt bike; I don't like trail, it scares me. Trees jump out at you. Rocks come out of the ground from nowhere. People riding the wrong direction around blind bends. I'm sticking to track". Them, the odd look I get intensifies a bit and then they ask "what made you decide to do this so late in life" - I just got politely called old! Me, "It looked like fun so I decided to do it".

Also, it was my reward to me for getting back into decent shape. The typical story of gain weight in my later years. In the course of a year I went from being in the "obese" category, to just barely inside the "normal" weight range. I worked my back side off to do that. After that i figured I earned the right to go out and buy a dirt bike. Recently, I put a few pounds back on and need to get them back off.

As a late bloomer in MX, I'm not fast by any stretch of the imagination. But I have put in the work to get my skill level up. The best advice I got some time back from a really good rider at the track I frequent the most - "Your a good rider, stop falling". I took that to heart and MX has been a whole lot more rewarding since. I'm not saying I never go down, but I try my best to push the limits without getting out of control. The days I go home feeling that I made some small improvement but didn't go down at all nor stalled the bike, those are the best. Watch some of the fast younger kids - they never fall - me thinks they are pretty smart kids.

I'm old, so "what was this thread about anyways"... LoL

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