Slick and Muddy Conditions

High point was pretty crazy this past weekend.  Both classes are shaping up to be epic classics and the conditions are ensuring this.  The previous round at Freestone was absolutely brutal with scorching temperatures and now Mount Morris provided us with a slick, muddy track.  As a Florida boy, I dread slippery conditions.  The main lines were slick and as the rain fell, the course deteriorated.  However, racing in these conditions aren’t as bad as you think.

One quote, that is truly an oxymoron, can be applied to these circumstances says to go slow to go fast.  That couldn’t be any truer.  Bombing into corners and sliding in does not work.  If you do that in every corner, you need to look through this site on cornering techniques immediately.  When lines get beat down and harden up, traction is scarce.  Therefore, controlled braking between both the front and rear brakes is essential to ensure a smooth entrance to any corner.  Chattering your rear brake helps conserve your forward drive and doesn’t lock it up.  In both slick and muddy conditions, you want your corners to smooth arcs with steady throttle application.  And if you are still having trouble, you can drag your rear brake when exiting corners.  This will help weigh down the rear and force the wheel into the ground.

Getting on the gas is just as important as the braking.  Avoid stabbing the clutch when you are leaned over or anything like that.  The excessive wheel spin will spin you out and potentially send you to the dirt.  So, a steady right hand in any situation will keep you upright.  Another aspect that plays a role in smooth drive is your gearing.  Not so much sprocket rations but the gear you are actually in makes a difference in traction.  If you are too high a gear, the rear does not hook up as well.  So, making sure you in a higher gear will help you get a solid, chug out of your bike will help avoid any wheel spin issues.

One important thing is stay loose.  Riding tight only leads to arm pump and mistakes.  When you are loosened up, you will be able to react and flow through everything rather than fight the track.  Working against the course in the conditions like High Point will not work.  And most important, keep it fun!

Posted on Jun 16 2010, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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