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March Mudness+Rutted Jump Approach=Sore Rider

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Hey All !!!

I wanna try to learn from my mistakes, & hopefully the knowledge base from here can help. Admittedly, asking someone to diagnose a riding flaw over the internet is a tall order, but there have been more than a few times stuff written here for someone else has helped me out. Maybe my mistakes & your answers can help someone else out (and me!)....

Had a Vintage motocross mud race yesterday in Riverdale, WA. Track was muddy, but not as bad as it could've been. There was a series of tabletops along a straight way closest to the pits, sign up shack, etc.. To get up a little more steam to clear one of these tables, I would upshift about 10 yards or so before the ramp, & give my old XR500 some throttle. This worked well during practice, & my first 2 motos. I rode 2 classes yesterday; rider fatigue was probably somewhat of a factor.

It began to sprinkle a little before my next 2 motos. The up ramp to these jumps all seemed to be more rutted up, & to me, considerably slicker. I stayed with my "upshift-to-get-speed-to-clear-the-jump" strategy, and on about my 2nd lap, got crossways going up the jump's ramp. Continued going more crossways in the air, & landed more or less sideways on the jump's down ramp. I highsided/augered off my bike, in a fairly spectacular & painful manner. :applause: I guess it was basically an unwanted & uncontrolled "whip", sorta, only uglier..... I think I've exhausted the city of Sandy, Oregon's supply of "Aleve", and have an new racing stripe in my shorts not caused by yesterday's mud.....

Now, to me, it's one thing to do somethnig stupid. But it's another thing if you can't learn from it, which is why I'm here. Would a better possible strategy been for me to have left the bike in the lower gear, revving it a little higher, and then used the "unweight-the-bike-as-it-rebounds" technique?

Looking back at it now, with my sore legs stuffed under this computer, I probably would've been better off to simply have not concerned myself about clearing the table I bought it on, & kept my self up on 2 wheels. I get nervous about that, in case there's another rider behind me that's kinda counting on my clearing a jump ahead of him.....

What do y'all think? Should I take up knitting instead?

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Getting cross rutted happens it has nothing to do with what gear you were in. Your wheels just weren't lined up in the same rut. when it is slick being in the higher gear would have helpped with that because you wouldn't have been spinning your tire as much.

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I agree, it sounds like a classic cross rut/ugly whip/high side. I've been there. The only cure is to make sure you are lined up (both wheels) with the rut before you enter it. Short shifting and very little clutch is the best when things get slippery because wheel spin is your enemy and has claimed many victims. The only other tip here is to avoid looking down at the rut while you are in it. Always focus on the end of it and beyond to the next obstacle.

The other thing to consider for us older guys is the "is this really necessary" test. When the track gets sketchy, I get tired or some combination of the two, I always take the ITRN test. 99% of the time the fact that I'm asking the question means the answer is no. I'm doing this for the adrenal rush and the constant personal challenges MX riding and racing offer. At the end of the day, my job is to come home intact no matter where I finish in the race.

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I'll take a scarf and a sweater :applause: . Just kidding. Uhmm I've had the ruts throw me on my tooshy a few times also, and the worst thing i think i was doing was looking down at them. Focus on where you are going, and you'll probably get there, I did that and had my back wheel fall right into the rut, and i was thankfully fine, or I'd be having a taste sample of the table top. Front wheel seems to be the biggy, and yes i still do worry about those darned muddy ruts when i go up to them.

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lol were you clearin that triple woop thing after those 2 tables i dont even do that on a 250f im a little girl haha

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Thanks, Guys!!!

YamaHonda, Your "Is-This-Really-Worth-It?" test sounds like a really good idea, especially for this "less than skilled/old carp rider". I like the idea of a good reality check. Could keep me outta the hospital....

ImpulsePainter, just lemme know what size ya wear, & what colors you'd like for the scarf & sweater, hee hee.....

Both of you guys hit on something I guess I've only been able to do selectively recently. When I was younger, the "focus on where you wanna end up at, not what you're going through now" worked really good. It was basically second nature. I think ZAO was right; I was cross rutted, regardless of the gear I was in, but maybe the bigger issue was my focusing on those ruts, rather than looking past them....

As a side note, this was basicallythe same advice, given to me by a faster rider this weekend on Saturday's practice session at Washougal MX park in SW Washington. He said to focus on the dry land beyond those ruts, & stay loose as you barrel through the muddy ruts. When I applied it, that advice got me through the ruts much quicker & in control. No "tensing up" just before I hit the ruts....

Thanks, Fellas. I truly appreciate your help & advice!

P.S. JoshB, were you racin' that weekend? I think the track owner "tones it down" a bit for the vintage & post vintage guys... I've been there on a regular practice weekend, with the modern bikes like yours, & it was a little harder to clear.... :applause:

Best Fishes, Jimmie

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