Walking the Track

If you have ever been to a supercross race, you have no doubt seen the riders walking the track.  They are looking for lines, possible passing spots and just getting to know the track.  This simple step can be a big help come race time, especially if you are unfamiliar with the track.  Even if you know the track, it is a good idea to walk it with a friend.  All of these things could add up and be the difference between a mid pack finish or podium.

Usually, the pros are walking the track because they haven’t really gotten to know the track.  In supercross, the tracks are different each week. So, when walking the rhythm sections/whoops, the riders get to examine everything in a slow, controlled pace.  As mentioned before, it is always helpful to get another person’s view.  Whenever I would walk a track, I would have my friend and our dads walk the track.  That way, we had 4 opinions and could figure out the best line for a section.  This helps when things get rough, as well.  Maybe you and your friend chose the main line when it was smooth, but you also found another, smoother line when things get rough when walking the track.

This is a good time to think about possible passing options, too.  At local races, there is one line in most sections that gets used and used until it is almost impossible to ride through.  If you know a lot of people in your class use this line, take advantage of it.  If everyone is squaring the inside up, shoot around the outside.  Use your imagination and get creative.  Come race time, you have to make decisions very quickly.  So, having an alternate line for passing people is something you need to have.  When everyone is bunched together at the beginning of the race, you might even want to try that passing line.  You could get lucky and make a bunch of passes at once.

If you don’t have the opportunity to walk the track, watch the practices before and after you.  Watching from the stands, it gives you an opportunity to see what the fast guys are doing, how to jump something or maybe it’s just to avoid an over watered part of the track.  Unless you are a sandbagger, most people cannot show up to an unfamiliar track and win.  Sure, people do it at nationals, but they have the time to walk the track, ride a practice session and observe.  That’s the key.  Observe and learn from the mistakes of others.  You will save yourself some trouble.

Posted on Oct 23 2009, under Riding Techniques, Training | No Comments »

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