Feb 25 2010

Justin Brayton goes HUGE on Press Day

JB is the man. I have a new level of respect for this guy now. Read the article and you will know what I am talking about…

The Story

Feb 25 2010

Economics 101

Times are tough.  It has been like this for quite a while.  And I have always thought that things were starting to look up…at least that’s what the “news” has been telling us.  Now, this is not a political site at all and I don’t want it to be, but some bad news yesterday hit me pretty hard.  As anyone knows, if you own a dirt bike and ride/race consistently, that bike is like your child.  I got a call yesterday telling me that I had to sell my bike (AKA my baby).  This basically is like putting your child up for adoption.  That’s the only thing I can compare it to!

So I thought that since this isn’t a site about the economy, I thought I would give you some tips on training without having to pay for a gym membership or if you don’t have equipment.

  1. Cardio – If you don’t have a $5,000 bicycle to ride on the road, don’t sweat.  There are plenty of options to get your cardio in.  If your state isn’t covered by a foot of snow, you can obviously go running.  It might be a little cold, but you’ll be glad you went and you can get a buddy to push yourself and each other.  Another option is to go to Sports Authority or a similar store and purchase a jump rope.  Boxers use these trim down and get a Michael Phelps level of cardio.  They are cheap and can be used almost anywhere, anytime.
  2. Strength Training – I know that I said you should be concentrating on interval sessions now, but you can use body weight exercises as cardio and strength training….circuit training anyone?  Push ups, squats, lunges, crunches and pull ups.  Yes pull ups.  You can get that “Iron Gym” pull up devise that fits in your doorway.  It works great.  String all of these together with no rest between exercises and you will be sweating like crazy.
  3. I know this really doesn’t have anything to do with training, but supporting the motocross community is really important.  If you can only afford to go to the track every other weekend, you are still contributing.  However, if you are in the market for some parts or need some work done, try the local guys first.  The bigger name companies are doing better than the small “mom and pop” shops.  By contributing to the sport, we will have something to train for!

That’s it in a nutshell.  You don’t have to have fancy equipment right now to be in shape.  If you get your cardio in and do plenty of body weight exercises, you are much better off than complaining about the economy!

Tired of Being Tired?

Feb 23 2010

Moto Sprints

Going with yesterday’s theme of Loretta’s area qualifiers, another important aspect are sprints.  Getting your interval cardio in is important as well, but that is only one part of the puzzle.  Since the area races usually last about 10 minutes, getting up front and staying there is a must.  The races in Hurricane Mills are 20 minutes for big bikes and 15 minutes for mini riders (and C class); that is twice as long to make passes and make up for a bad start.

The first step to sprint training is getting out of the gate as quick as possible.  I have articles on starts and the mental aspect of getting that holeshot, so have a look at those if you need to brush up.  To summarize the basics of starts, you want to find a straight line to the first corner…the shortest line is not always the fastest.  Remember to put all your weight on the bike and get the chain to the point where it is tight.  Looking at the pin holding the gate or looking at the gate itself is a personable preference; whatever has been working for you, keep with it.  Again, don’t dump the clutch.  Let it out easy and roll the throttle on.  I always like to leave both feet down for balance and when I need to shift up, I bring both feet up.

Like I said, that is a basic overview of starts.  I know that they kill you clutch, but doing a few before a sprint type moto will get you in the mindset of riding all out.  Once you have warmed up on the track and have a feel for everything, it is a good idea to do a couple of practice starts.  About 5 should be sufficient and on the 6th start, start your sprints.

You can do one lap where you are at a quick race pace and record the lap time.  This can be your benchmark.  Being that the area qualifiers are so short, your lap times shouldn’t really drop that much.  If they do drop, it should only be off by .5 of a second or less.  Once you have your benchmark, do a start and bust out a moto at your race pace for however long your area race is.  Once you have completed your first moto, take a break and get some fluids in you.  Then, do the same thing; do a start and do a moto at race pace.

This will let you know where you stand as far as fitness and speed.  If you know someone at the track who is going to ride the same class and they are faster, you may want to work on your weaknesses on the track.  If you cannot complete a moto at race pace, keep doing the interval session from yesterday’s post.  Now is the time where you can start doing cardio three days per week and strength training 2 days.  Like I said yesterday, the first qualifiers took place this past weekend.  It is coming up fast, so get prepared A.S.A.P.!

Feb 22 2010

Cardio for the Upcoming Season

For most kids in school, spring break is coming up.  For me, I’ve got about 3 more weeks and I’ve got a week of freedom.  For those who are working, it’s just one step closer to warmer weather.  With warmer weather comes more riding.  Now is the time where you can start getting back into a more shorter, a little more intense cardio session and begin putting the strength training on the back-burners.  You can start preparing your body for the higher intensity races that will be coming up (i.e. Loretta Lynn area qualifiers).  Sure, you may think that those area qualifiers are pretty much like normal races, but you still want to be prepared.

Most of the time, interval training is the best way to get your cardio in.  It combines a higher, more anaerobic range of your max heart rate and a lower, recovery range.  Here’s a little sample to get you prepared for those area qualifiers….some have already started, so get to it!

Warm up – 5 minutes (don’t forget to stretch!)

30 seconds high, 60 seconds low – 2x for a total of 3 minutes

45 seconds high, 45 seconds low – 2x for a total of 3 minutes

1 minute high, 1 minute low – 2x for a total of 4 minutes

45 seconds high, 45 seconds low – 2x for a total of 3 minutes

30 seconds high, 60 seconds low – 2x for a total of 3 minutes

Cool Down – 5 minutes

That gives you 26 minutes of some good cardio.  Again, if you choose to run, great; if you prefer to spin on a stationary bike, that works too.  It’s up to you.  However, rowing is probably your best bet for more of a motocross style workout.  Like I said, the lists of Loretta’s qualifiers are up and some of them have taken place this past weekend.  If you plan on attending these, you need to get start preparing now.

Tired of Being Tired?

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Feb 18 2010

Wall of Death

Two years ago was the first the first time I had see any kind of obstacle like this.  The steep mound of dirt at the Atlanta Supercross in 2008 was dubbed the “Wall of Death” and when Josh Grant Collided with Ryan Villopoto on the said wall, its name stuck.  Until last week, riders have not seen the wall for a while.  I guess out of sight, out of mind?  After getting a question about tackling this kind of obstacle, I decided to watch some video and figure out how this can be done.

Now, the average jump on a supercross track is pretty steep.  Much steeper than the jumps you hit on the weekends at your track.  But after looking at pictures of the wall, it literally looks vertical at the top.  But after watching the video of the pros hitting it at speed, it doesn’t look that bad.  However, everything they do looks easy…so don’t take what you see on TV for granted.

The first thing I noticed when riders would the wall is that when the front started coming up, they were standing and had their head over the bars.  The further the front end came up, the further forward they leaned.  This is a pretty simple idea; keep your weight forward to you don’t loop out when on the gas.  As the front wheel reached the end of the lip, the riders began to shift their weight back.  As the rear wheel gets closer to the top, gravity/forward momentum pulls the front wheel down and forward.   Riders would “row” back so their butts were over the fenders.

Most amateur tracks are not going to have this incorporated in the design.  It disrupts the flow of the course and ruts up very easily.  I have ridden something similar a few years ago, but it wasn’t quite as steep.  But I remember that some of the faster riders were approaching it with speed and scrubbing it a little.  This kind of obstacle isn’t something you will probably run into, but if you do, try to approach it straight.  Then if you feel like you can soak it up a bit, try it.  Every situation is different and once things get rutted up, it is a different ball game.  Take it slow and watch the local fast guys hit it to get an idea of a safe and quick way over it.

Skip through until the :35 mark.

Tired of Being Tired?

Feb 16 2010

Seat Bouncing

Now that Anaheim III is just a memory, the Supercross show heads to the East Coast(ish).  Hopefully, after bills and food, my next paycheck will be enough to cover a ticket for Daytona.  Regardless, the man made tracks of Supercross and more natural National tracks are obviously very different.  The bike set up, riding style and way of training are 2 different animals.  However, there is one particular thing that can be used in both; that happens to be seat bouncing.  Although seat bouncing isn’t used that often in National style tracks, having it in your bag of tricks can make things a lot easier on your body and lap times.

As with most jumping techniques, seat bouncing is not for beginners.  However, if you are comfortable with getting some air time, then start small when learning this.

Okay, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get to this.  One of the most important parts of this is to find a balance between speed and seat position.  If you are coming out of a tight, inside corner, you can sit farther back on the seat.  However, if you are sitting in the same spot, but going twice as fast, things aren’t going to end up well.  Your shock is speed and weight sensitive.  If you are traveling at a high rate of speed and sit on the back of your seat, the shock is going to have a big load on it.  When you hit a jump, all of the speed and weight are going to compress the shock further down than if you were sitting on the gas cap.  When it rebounds, the bigger load will send more momentum forward…possibly enough to send you over the bars.

Enough physics.  You have found your ratio between speed and seat position, now what?  Well, as with any jump, you want to approach it straight and steady throttle.  Blipping the throttle while trying to seat bounce is bad…believe me.  As you get to the face, you want to be in your seat, positioned properly and maintaining a smooth and linear throttle.  The farther up the face you go, slowly apply more gas.  This keeps the power to the ground and the rear wheel spinning, which helps the front end stay up.  As the front wheel leaves the lip, you want to pull the bars and lean back.  Each jump is different, so finding a balance between leaning, pulling and applying throttle will take some time to get used to.  All of these combined put extra load on the shock and enable you to jump higher than normal.

For some people, standing up as soon as they are air born is right.  For others, they wait until they are at the peak of their height to stand.  You will know when you have to stand up and get ready for the landing.  Again, don’t try this on a huge double if this is your first time seat bouncing.  Start small on a table top and work your way up.  The more you do this, the better is feels.  Take it slow and you’ll get it sooner than you think.