Mud Riding

Don't end up like Chad because you have to pay for your bike...he doesn't.After seeing pictures from Budds Creek, I thought it would be a perfect time to give out some mud riding tips. I have never been in a pro national where the ruts are swallowing bikes and the water is coming up to the engine cases, but I have raced in the mud. In Florida, it can rain a lot in the summer. The soil is soft enough as it is and it just turns into slop. Riding in the mud is not as bad as you might think; you don’t have to change your whole riding style for the wet stuff. If you remember the fundamentals of racing, you will be fine.

First of all, line selection is big. If you are using the main line, stop. This rut is going to get trenched out deep every lap. Stick to the sides of the track where weird lines aren’t taken that much so you don’t get stuck in the deep stuff. As any with any corner, keep your legs up; don’t drag them. You need as much momentum driving you through the slop and dragging your boot adds resistance. If there is water accumulating on the track, find the shallowest puddle. If you don’t believe me, just watch the 2008 Daytona Supercross.

Look ahead, far ahead. This ties in with line selection; if you look at where you are going, you are less likely to make mistakes and get cross-rutted. This is very important on jump faces. The softer soil and load from the suspension will eat the faces of jumps quick. Speaking of jumps, try your best to hit them. Any time you are out of the mud, the better. It gives you and your bike a break from the extra load. Plus, it helps you maintain momentum.

As I said before, don’t change your riding style. What I mean by this, is don’t bomb into a turn, lock your brakes up, pivot and dump the clutch. This is wrong in almost any turn. Arc through it with speed and drive because mud is like sand; let off the gas and you are going to get sucked down like you are braking.

Most importantly, have fun! If you look forward to getting drenched in mud and just having a blast on your bike, you won’t be as miserable and you will probably finish better. This is what makes our sport so awesome! If you look forward to wet weather, you will be more optimistic and you won’t fight everything, you’ll just flow. And that’s crucial to successful mud riding…flow.

Ricky Carmichael said it best, “Don’t complain about the track conditions and bitch and moan…everyone has to ride the same track.”

Posted on Aug 26 2009, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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