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"Blind Jump" Questions

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Hey, All!!

I'm an old rider with an old bike. I've updated the bike a little, & now seem to need to work on "upgrading" the rider, I guess. I dunno. Maybe I need to spend some time on a Shrink's couch...... :busted:

I recently went to a practice session at the Washougal, WA track. Having taken a 20 year break from MX, & fairly recently gotten back into racing, I found some "inadequacies" in my riding. I could go on all day about different places where I'm slow, but for now, wanna concentrate on what I call "Blind Jumps". The ones where you aren't able to see where you will land.

Washougal has their "Ski Jump". When done by the fast Intermediates & the Pros, is really a neat thing to watch. Their "flight" kinda parallels the angle of the hill, & it looks like it's actually a fairly soft landing, considering their amount of flight time, & how far they go in the air. :ride:

For me, the approach to this jump allows me no clue of what's on the other side of the drop off, until the front wheel is rolling over. :lol: Not much flight time for the Goober here. I have a sort of irrational fear of these types of jumps/landings. I was actually sorta thankful there were minor crashes in the turn at the bottom of the hill. This made the yellow flag come out, & our practice class was forced to go slow over that jump...... But when the yellow flag wasn't out, I still went over the jump & down the hill at the speed of a sloth !!! (I hang my head in shame.... :smirk: )

Is this just something that takes repetition to beat? It's really a hard thing to admit that you've lost some "balls" after being off a bike so long, after turning 50, & etc.. I've always thought a person shouldn't limit theirself, & should still be able to do this sorta thing. Is it a "Just start small, & work up to bigger" sorta deal? I don't recall (and sometimes memory is "selective".... :banana: ) this being such a big deal when I was younger, but the tracks were much different 20+ years ago, also....

Please help! I'm not even wanting to take up golf or shuffleboard....

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First, There's nothing wrong with shuffleboard. Second, it sounds like you are describing a step up. The flight pattern resembles the hill, soft landing, blind landing, are all clues.

Not sure how much you've upgraded your bike, but i would try putting heavier fork oil in or stiffen up the suspension especially if you're riding an XR5. This seems to slow down all the hard jittery feelings in the bike. You'll feel more comfortable, IMO. Maybe you should start out small, and work up.

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Yeah, it's just one of those "have to start small and work up tp it" things. On the other hand...maybe you shouldn't even worry about it. I know a few guys who are seriously considering retiring for good because they were fast in thier younger days and they came back and tried to ride fast again & now they are home recovering from a lengthy hospital stay. Maybe it's best to just be content with going slower/enjoying the ride/staying healthy. I say this as another "older" rider/racer who does not want to make any un-necessary trips to the emergency room either.

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For me, the approach to this jump allows me no clue of what's on the other side of the drop off

I still went over the jump & down the hill

Sounds like a step-down to me.

Either way, don't be embarrased about going slow & going home healthy.

If all the guys in your class are jumping this, maybe you should drop down to a class that isn't jumping it. Probably be alot more fun riding/racing with guys your own speed/abilities (speaking from experience).

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It's a huge.... blind ... downhill with the take-off about 25 feet before the crest and, if I'm not mistaken there's a small mound about 20 or so feet down the face of the landing which runs downhill at pretty close to 45deg for about 110 feet. I could certainly see being intimidated by this jump, watching the pros, I'd say thier doin 50+ by the time they land.... some 70 feet or so down the hill and layin hard on the brakes for the turn at the bottom. It's great to watch, but would scare the bung right out of me.

My question is, How do you do with the jump at the top coming back up the hill?

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i think downhill jumps were the hardest for me to get my confidence up in......once i actually did one, it seemed easier to do than most jumps, but you are going a hell of a lot faster especially with gravity pulling you into the landing

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Thanks for all your help & responses, Guys!!! It's truly appreciated!

I dunno. From my perspective, it seems like it should pretty much be a "mental thing". Similar to how I learned to jump a motorcycle, wheelie, or whatever, in the first place. And I'm afraid that having gained some age, I've lost some of the "No Fear" mentality I had when I used to heal faster.... :busted: Probably gonna be a repetition thing, for me. I just don't wanna endanger any fellow riders, or myself, while doing the learning. And that's why I really like practices; for the learning. But I have seen some of the worst accidents out here during the paid practices at my local track (Mt. View, in Sandy, OR), & I'd desperately like to avoid that, or causing that....

Thumperwrestler, my old XR500 probably weighs quite a bit more than the newer bikes most folks ride. I've put beefier 43mm (conventional; not upside down) forks on the bike, with 11" of travel. On the rear, I've moved the shocks forward, upper & lower mounts. With the shocks I currently have (& don't really like), I get 11.5" or so of rear wheel movement. I think I'm giving away an inch or better at either end, compared to newer bikes. I do defintely need stronger springs at either end; my ankle & knee joints were "talking" to me much more than they did on the easier/smoother vintage tracks. Time, & money, will slowly improve my bike's suspension.... I need to do my part.....

Q247, thanks for your advice! I did indeed go home in one (fairly beat up) piece last Wed., while someone else had an ambulance ride, after I left, my buddy told me.... :smirk: I do have to sorta look back at the Vintage races I rode at Woodland this year. There was a certain jump I was content to not clear any air over during one race. Next time out, I got a little air a few times. The last race, my wife got a good photo of me with some decent air, for that particular jump, anyway. That's why I think, for me, it's simply gonna "be do it over & over again/start small & work up thing"...

DRZ400Squid, it sounds like you've been there! :ride: And to me, that "blind" jump going up to the top of Horsepower Hill is every bit as spooky. That one is treated just like a corner: Haul it up to the crest of the jump, then brake until I can see the other side, then back on the gas. This ain't the way to make any time on any of these types of jumps; that's just the way this here nutless chicken handles them, for now. & maybe forever..... :banana:

Jermy01, I can only hope the same thing happens for me. Thanks, a lot, for weighing in here!

Again, thanks for your help fellas! I think I'll either practice my "visualization techniques", or open a beer & go watch Professional Championship Hopscotch on TV.......

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DRZ400Squid, it sounds like you've been there! :ride: And to me, that "blind" jump going up to the top of Horsepower Hill is every bit as spooky. That one is treated just like a corner: Haul it up to the crest of the jump, then brake until I can see the other side, then back on the gas. This ain't the way to make any time on any of these types of jumps; that's just the way this here nutless chicken handles them, for now. & maybe forever..... :banana:

I've been to watch the big boys a few times, but have yet to ride the track. I tend to spend most of my time watching from either of those places on the track, 1)cuz it's a good spot to see a lot and 2)cuz it's shady there.

It looks like a blast to ride, but I too am just getting back to the dirt, after about 13 years off so it'll probably be a while before I build up the sack to tackle a track like Washougal.

If you yearn to do some racing. Have you thought about Supermoto? We have a pretty solid series running in the northwest and a lot of our races and racers are in the Portland area. You do have to ride on some asphault, but it's good fun and the jumps tend to be a little more on the sane side.

If you want some info goto http://www.supermotousa.net

Keep up the good fight and have fun.....

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