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Race ahead not behind

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Looking for some advice here....

I'm a C class HS racer. One of my major problems is focusing too much on what is behind me i.e. other riders and not focusing enough on the trail ahead. I think some of this comes from being a beginner rider and always being concerned about holding people up on the trail.

I'm a better rider now and if trail riding I know if I need to let someone by who is faster. As per racing I don't need to let anyone who is in my class by, that's for sure!! lol.

So anyone got some tips on focusing more on the trail ahead while racing and not thinking about the guys behind me. And not looking over my shoulder and getting myself into trouble?

Perhaps just admitting I have a problem is half the battle??? lol.

Thanks...

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Just look ahead a ride.... Better be careful about not letting much faster guys pass you... You might hit a corner and become additional traction for them after they knock you down..... Anyway if someone is behind you and is much faster, they are going to scream and holler to distract you, maybe that is something effecting your racing

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Thanks for the reply.

Yeah there really shouldn't be riders that are a lot faster behind me. Should be all C class riders.

I've been in races where AA and A riders are coming through and lapping and they are great about passing. They are usually so fast they are past you before you know it. And I do know when to pull over and get out of the way of faster riders. Hence I think that's where my problems are sometimes. I'm thinking everyone is faster than me. Which in my current race class should not be the case. : )

Your advice is good and is what I should be doing. Look ahead and ride.

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I think the best key to avoiding this problem is something I had to learn by doing and training my brain/eyes to do it consistently. Especially when I get tired I start to ride by looking just off my front wheel. Your focus should be where you are going rather than where you are at. I look at it this way: No use at looking at the corner you are in as you are already there...look at the next couple steering manuevers. I find that if I am looking far enough ahead that my body, arms, hands, etc will do what they are supposed to and it doesn't become a concious effort to place the motorcycle somewhere in particular (it happens automatically).

Another way to try and explain this is look at the corner ahead of where you are at, whether it is 15 yards in front or 100 yards in front. Your peripheral vision will allow you to see the terrain and makes adjustments automatically.

Do you ever notice that if you fixate on something that concerns you (i.e. a rut, tree, rock) you always hit it or have to avoid it at the last moment? That is because your brain, eyes, and body automatically make adjustments to go where your concentration is.

Use this training exercise (it will get harder as you get more knackered/tired).

When on a trail/track...look as far ahead as you can physically see visually. If you are in a 180 degree corner your head should be twisted looking up the next straight stretch, if you are in a 90 degree corner your head should be 90 degrees to your body, etc. If you are at the base of a straight hill climb...you should be looking at the highest elevation point you can see, etc.

It takes some work, but you will start to see the benefits...you will become much smoother and you will notice that you hit less trail garbage, bad ruts , etc.

Hope this helps.

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I just happened to stumble upon this thread and now im interested. You say that you know to let guys buy who are fast and behind you. Thats a problem right there. Dont focus on them just focous on yourself. Race your own race. If people that are better and are more experienced are behind you, ignore them, theyll pass you if they want, just focus ahead. I have adhd lol, so i cant really focous on anything for too long, but i usually start singing to myself, and just pump myself up and dont worry whos behind you, worry about whos in front and follow there lines and work on passing them.

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I've had this problem for a long time when riding with others, and i'm just now starting to get over it. With enough experience you'll get over your self (my problem) and just start to for only your self. Of course, during a race, you do need to be concious of the REALLY fast guys trying to pass you, but don't think that you should just let everyone by becuase they're coming up hard :cry: . I'd suggest almost riding like you're the only one on the track. Being entirely closed minded will get you in trouble, but focus on hitting YOUR lines, hitting YOUR corners, and getting YOUR bike wot all the time. If they're good enough, they will pass you on their own (like you mentioned about the A/AA riders), and if not then they'll have to earn it.

mcdrz' object fixation cure is definatly a good one to study. I've gone down a half dozen times from fixating on something.. and i'm still trying to master this one. I now practice it while driving my car, walking, riding my bike ect so hopefuly i'll soon have it mastered. My method is to identify the obsticle and IMMEDIATLY and conciously look at where i want to go.

Dark, if i'm singing while riding (i do it too) i'm not going fast enough :cry: Mabye i don't wanna go balls out all the time.. but if i lose focus of what is in front of me and start to think about what i just went over (big jump coming out of nowhere, or a crash recovery) i have to refocus my self or stop riding. I've made some pretty awesome saves in the desert becuase of instinct and focus only to ball the bike up 5 mins later on something dumb becuase i lost that focus

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Thanks for the reply.

Hence I think that's where my problems are sometimes. I'm thinking everyone is faster than me.

come ride with me once and you'll never feel slow again :cry::cry::cry:

sorry, no thread hijack intended..

couldn't resist.

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Looking for some advice here....

I'm a C class HS racer. One of my major problems is focusing too much on what is behind me i.e. other riders and not focusing enough on the trail ahead. I think some of this comes from being a beginner rider and always being concerned about holding people up on the trail.

I'm a better rider now and if trail riding I know if I need to let someone by who is faster. As per racing I don't need to let anyone who is in my class by, that's for sure!! lol.

So anyone got some tips on focusing more on the trail ahead while racing and not thinking about the guys behind me. And not looking over my shoulder and getting myself into trouble?

Perhaps just admitting I have a problem is half the battle??? lol.

Thanks...

Everyone has their little tricks. Here's a few I use:

1. I quickly scan from up close to as far down the trail as I can cover in the next 10 seconds. The faster I'm moving, the more time I spend looking far down the trail. Scanning takes some practice, but once you get the habit, it's the best way.

2. When looking right ahead of the front wheel, I only look where I want the tire to go. Also takes a little practice and discipline. It's commonly called target fixation. After 33 years, I still occasionally catch myself looking at the rock instead of the fast line. This is usually only necessary in tight and technical terrain.

3. I practice always taking the smooth, fast line instead of the whooped out or rocky one. It forces me to concentrate on what's coming. While riding really fast, I go where I need to go to maintain speed, sometimes it's over the rocks instead of around them. So it's mostly a practice thing.

4. When I'm really serious about speed, I tilt my head forward a little and look out the top of my goggles. For some reason, this is my trigger for total concentration. I'm not in the condition I used to be years ago, so this only works until I'm turning purple from overexertion and lack of oxygen. Then my concentration goes away.

5. I usually take the first 5-10 minutes of the day taking a very slow, easy warm-up ride. I don't know why, but this seems to bring it all together. I just find it easier to get into a rhythm after that. If I don't do this, I feel like a squid all day, can't seem to do anything right.

These have all helped me focus ahead and never behind. The faster you ride the less often anyone can catch you, LOL!

Hope one or more of these works for you.

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I would be one of those A riders that will be catching you and you know what I want you to do:

I want you to hold a reasonable line.

What I mean is that I don't want you to worry about me. If there is a line around you, I'll be past you before you know I'm there and if there isn't a clear line to pass, I'm not going to bump you off the trail( I don't know anyone that will) , I'll take the first line to pass and I'll be gone.

Don't get nervous and don't worry about me. If you are too big of an obstacle for too long you'll know it.

Heck I get passed by AA riders and probably feel just like you. I just take a reasonable line and I don't slow down or move over.

If there are that good (and they are), all they will see is a blur as they shift and swerve past you. :cry:

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I guess I must think of it differently. I agree with this:

"Heck, the way I figure it, I'm going as fast as I can. If another rider can CATCH me, he can PASS me. He's not going to slow me down by being in front of me. If I can keep from stopping or falling and not slow him down I can learn from chasing him a little after he's gone by...."

from http://sera.dirtrider.net/SERAhmFr1.html

I race for fun and worrying about a guy behind me isn't fun, and neither is being stuck behind a slow guy that won't let you pass. I've only raced twice (HS) and the first one I was stuck in a creek washout most of the time with a bunch of other people. The second race was what I would call single track and theres pretty much no way for anyone to pass without you letting them. The fast guys are easy to let by and only takes a second, most of the time there were fast guys passing enough that if you had a slightly faster guy behind you, they could just jump in behind the fast guys and pass you then. If anyone started yelling, I would just start looking for a reasonable spot to pull over and let them pass. Its easier to follow a slightly faster guy than it is to look for all the turns and hazards yourself, so you might actually go faster by letting them by.

The start was really screwed up in my last harescramble and my first lap was 10 minutes slower than all the rest because I was stuck behind a train of people behind a couple slow guys at about idle in first that wouldn't move. If they are faster than you, then if they ever get past you, they will be gone, and you can either follow them and try to keep up, or just relax since no ones behind you.

I wound up getting second, 7 seconds behind 1st (in beginner) and that was with my kick stand spring missing for half the race and stopping to try and tie it up.

Your racing for fun, right? Why do you want to have more to worry about and possibly ruin the other guys fun?

Just my 2 cents,

Joel

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come ride with me once and you'll never feel slow again :p:D:D

sorry, no thread hijack intended..

couldn't resist.

That makes me wanna cry!!! :)

Just kidding

:)

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Never race those behind you. If you are paying attention to them you can't focus forward. Race those ahead of you. You catch them and pass them as cleanly as possible. If they block you . Then you can force the issue. You should never block a truely faster rider. Just don't let an equal or slower rider take advantage of any of your mistakes. If they do pass you , pass them back as quickly as possible to show your dominance. Focus ahead. Race your own race not someone elses. If you race their race you will lose. If you are worrying about the rider behind you you are racing their race. Once you make a pass, focus forward and make time without making mistakes.

Cher'o,

Dwight

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Hey buddy I used to have a similar problem when I first started to get over it I focused on the trail ahead to look for little wide sections to slightly move over for the person coming up. (Don't move unless there very fast and basically rubbing your back tire) :)

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