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Feet and Pegs!

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I just started racing last season after being away from bikes for 15 + years. I am a B level rider that will finish top five most races.

When watching fast and expierenced riders in races, one of the things that I notice is the riders feet rarely come off the pegs. In corners, mud, logs, slippery rocks or whatever, the fast guys can stay on the bike with out dropping a foot. I know that the smoothier you are the faster you go.

Heres my question...What excerise can help me keep my feet on the pegs? I would think anything balance related. I tired the wii fit and that is pretty cool and good. I have seen that ball and board for wakeboarders. I am to old for that, I will break my ARSS! I would like to hear some suggestions of what others do!

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Slackline. It will improve your balance to the point where you can run across the top of a fence. But you will definitely break your ass the first 50 times you try to walk across it.

The balance board would actually be an esier place to start. You can get ones with the roller being about the size of a beer can (close to the gound) and the skate-deck has a rail with stoppers on both ends (no flying off). Start close to a wall using the wall with your hands to stabilize yourself.

But for the ultimate balance training do the slackline. I've been using one for years and it has improved my balance and reaction times 10fold.

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I just scream at myself "keep yer frickin feet on the pegs", if I catch my foot coming off I stick it right back. Standing helps too because it's super hard to ride standing with one foot on and the other flailing(maybe old german enduro guys can do it?). You probably know by now what stuff you like to dab, just focus on keeping your feet up through it--it's just beating a new habit into your brain.

There was a resent thread in health and fitness about improving balance.

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ahhhh, what is slackline. I never heard of it before. I am thinking it is a tight rope? Just a clarification on the term. Thanks

I stand alot when riding. That helps to keep the feet on the pegs.

Thanks for the advice!

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Lock to lock figure 8s at just off idle. Start on a smooth surface and get progressively rougher as you get better at it. The bike is most unstable at low speeds because as you go faster, the gyroscope effect from the wheels keeps you upright. Once you can balance the bike standing over rough ground going really slowly, it will only get easier as your speed increases.

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ahhhh, what is slackline. I never heard of it before. I am thinking it is a tight rope? Just a clarification on the term. Thanks

I stand alot when riding. That helps to keep the feet on the pegs.

Thanks for the advice!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slacklining

A slackline is similar to a tight rope except that one uses a 1.5" to 2" webbing (flat nylon). It's somwhere between a tightrope and and a giant rubberband, it's tied between to fixed objects (2 trees, your tow hitch and a tree, etc) typically about waist height (it bends an flexes considerably, so when you finally walk to the middle you will only be about 3" off the ground). A good starting distance would be about 20 feet long. Start at one of the fixed ends, it is most unstable in the center. NEVER dismount with the slackline between your legs!!! always hop off one side or the other. I find it easiest barefoot, but others prefer shoes. There is some crazy rockclimbing subculture that actually uses slacklines to walk between 2 cliffs hundreds of feet high and sometimes 100ft+ long... crazy.

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Lock to lock figure 8s at just off idle. Start on a smooth surface and get progressively rougher as you get better at it. The bike is most unstable at low speeds because as you go faster, the gyroscope effect from the wheels keeps you upright. Once you can balance the bike standing over rough ground going really slowly, it will only get easier as your speed increases.

I agree! 👍:worthy:

Some things I'd add are stop and go slow speed drills where you attempt to stop and go as slow as possible in a straight line never dabbing a foot.

Practice riding where your entire goal is to keep your feet on the pegs at all times. Eventually you'll figure out where you have to take a foot off the pegs.

Balance comes with time.

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ahhhh, what is slackline. I never heard of it before. I am thinking it is a tight rope? Just a clarification on the term. Thanks

I stand alot when riding. That helps to keep the feet on the pegs.

Thanks for the advice!

I had too google it but it is a rope secured between two object, but is not tight....require more balance and control than tightrope.

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BTW Evel Knievel says to ride/jump on the balls of your feet 👍 (I'm watching Absolute Evel on the HIstory channel)

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I agree! 👍:worthy:

Some things I'd add are stop and go slow speed drills where you attempt to stop and go as slow as possible in a straight line never dabbing a foot.

Practice riding where your entire goal is to keep your feet on the pegs at all times. Eventually you'll figure out where you have to take a foot off the pegs.

Balance comes with time.

I agree too and would add doing the figure 8's on a hillside.

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I think another thing you need to learn really well is how well your tires are gonna bite in different situations. You may be perfectly ballance but when the back (or front) tire slides out it all changes. :excuseme;

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Ride a mountain bike with clip in pedals on tight single track. You'll be amazed at how you can ride technical sections without putting your feet down. Be aware though, the first few times you ride with your feet clipped in, you'll probably fall trying to unclip your feet when you stop. I know I went through a steep learning curve until I got use to kicking my heals out.

The other cool technique you can transfer to dirt biking is "pumping". That's where you unweight the bike before a bump or rise, then push down on the back side of the bump or rise. This give you more momentum. I know you don't need momentum on a motor bike, but the unweight before a bump really helps you flow through rough stuff. You can also pump corners, where you come in standing up and then push down on at the apex of the corner to get good bite, again helping with your momentum.

Lastly, the other techinique that mountain bike tought me is braking. Trail breaking into a corner or rought stuff really settles the suspension. It also keeps your front end from washing out because your rear tire will wash out first when you trail break.

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Hhhmm I just stand up when I ride and let the bike float underneath me. I used to ride sitting down and take me feet off for everything like turns, rocks, roots, ruts, etc...It's all practice. Now I can rail berms in 3rd gear standing up but I lean the bike all the way over into the berm. So I would guess just force yourself to stand and the balance will come eventually.

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The best and most specific exercise to begin with to help keep your feet on the footpegs (which pretty much means having really good balance) is to do the "slow ride" on your motorcycle. As the name suggests you ride as slow as possible in a straight line, working up to the point where you can remaining stationary without moving forward for a long period of time, for example 10 seconds. The more the specific the exercise the more beneficial it will be to you learning. I may be able to balance for 10 seconds on a motorcycle which could be deemed as having "good Ballance" but when I get on a skateboard (which requires good balance to ride) I immediately go ass up. Practicing to improve your balance on a skateboard is not going to be as beneficial for your balance on a motorcycle than if you were practicing to improve it by doing the "slow ride".

Apart from a very small number of exceptions in advanced situations on the trail you should ALWAYS ride with the footpegs in the arch of your foot, and NOT on the balls of your feet. There are major reasons of safety and control for this.

Shane Watts

Dirt Wise Academy of Offroad Riding schools

www.shanewatts.com

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I tired the wii fit and that is pretty cool and good.

I am in the market for a Wii Fit for this exact reason. I tried one at a friends house and it really works on your balance. Can't find the darn thing anywhere!

There was a resent thread in health and fitness about improving balance.

I had something similar here: https://thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=681716

The best and most specific exercise to begin with to help keep your feet on the footpegs (which pretty much means having really good balance) is to do the "slow ride" on your motorcycle.

Another great post by Shane Watts (glad to see these are popping up on posts in this forum). I also like the slow ride technique. Having a 'local' spot near my house with many obstacles, I have the luxury of practicing this on a regular basis (though free time is hard to come by at times). I have been practicing figure 8's and slow rides and telling myself over and over to keep them on the pegs. It helps because you focus on it so much, you remember to focus on it when actually riding. I do the figure 8's as fast as I can while holding my feet on the pegs.

Sometimes you learn or read things that are easily forgotten when you get into a real life situation. That is why you practice, practice, practice. It's why firemen and rescue workers are always doing simulation drills. You have to beat it into your mind so it becomes natural instinct when the situation arises (a fast ride).

Read a recent thread of mine about keeping the feet on your pegs in the corners. There are some great suggestions. https://thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=656485

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