Saving Energy on the Track

With heart rates constantly through the roof, moto is no doubt one of most physically demanding sports on the face of the planet.  Your heart is pumping just from the adrenaline, but throw in a rough track, huge jumps and some whoops, you will definitely work every energy system in your body.  Although it is still hot as hell down here in the Deep South (not hell, just Florida), things seem to be cooling down for the rest of the country.  However, just because it is not as hot, fatigue will creep up on you before you know.  Save yourself some pain and read on!

One of the most important things to remember is to stand up.  I know this is probably a no brainer, but some people will still ride as though the track is still smooth.  Most of the time, you will have to stand up later into corners and then get up sooner when exiting.  For rougher corners, it is even a good idea to stand up through the whole turn and look to the edges of the track for smoother lines.  Many European riders will do this because the course gets so brutal, if you sit down; your back will take all of the impact.  This is not the best idea because your back could tense up and result in some serious pain.

This next tip goes hand and hand with standing up: gripping with your legs.  I have said many times before that you will save yourself from arm pump and getting tired quickly if you squeeze the tank.  The quadriceps are large enough to take the impact from a rough course and they can handle this stress much better than your forearms and biceps/triceps.  You almost want to think of your arms as hinges to your core.  Relaxing your grip on jumps will also keep your “hinges” from cramping and pumping up too much.  To help get through extra tricky sections; you can even apply pressure to one side of the tank with your leg to help steer the bike.

If you watched the 250’s, then you saw Barcia killing it everywhere.  Other than his crazy style, he was doing something that caught my eye more than a few times during the second moto.  If you notice, he was riding on his back wheel, a lot.  The deep holes and moguls were not as bad when he could get the front wheel up.  The back wheel would just roll over the bump and the rear shock absorbs the tire’s vertical travel.  If you go through a rough section with both wheels down, it just rocks you back and forth.  I am not saying to do a full blown wheelie here, but just getting your front tire to skim or get over the rough stuff will make life much easier.  Remember that riding in a high gear will help the suspension work properly in the chop and provide you with more traction to get the front tire up.

One final tip is to just relax!  If you know that the track is rough, just accept it and ride.  When you tense up, any bump and hole you hit is sent throughout your entire body.  If your breathing is deep and even, you should be able to roll your shoulders back and ride smoother.  By your rolling them back, you can keep that attack position much easier and you open up the diaphragm for this more efficient breathing.  Like I said earlier, this is not hard stuff.  Keep it simple and remember the basics!

Posted on Sep 23 2011, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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