Not too old to learn… Not too old to race…
I am not sure what to call it. Mid-life crisis, adventure, wanna be racer, death wish or just trying to keep life from swallowing me up. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
I read the posts like many of you. A nOOb goes racing, Another noob goes racing, Which way to Baja, and Two noobs and a season of racing… they are all excellent. They all capture the spirit of many ADV riders. I am not sure where this will fit in to all the other posts, but I do know I have benefited from others telling their stories, so it is only proper that I try to document mine for others. Learn from my mistakes; most likely. Laugh at my attempts; I hope so, without a little laughter, life would be boring. <o:p></o:p>
Let’s cut to the chase and set up a short summary.<o:p></o:p>
Age: 48, 6’2” 210lbs of not lean, not mean, sometimes beer drinkin’ machine :1drink
Riding experience: about 7500 miles of dirt, and 5000 miles of street over the past 3yrs.
Bikes: KTM 950SE, KTM 450EXC, KTM 250XC<o:p></o:p>
Racing history: Yah, right, first and only race, 2010 RMEC National at Inyan Kara. 60 miles of very tight single track. I was out of shape, sloppy and lacked speed. I wrecked, got up, wrecked, got up and really didn’t do anything but finish. I believe last place except those that DNF'd. Finishing was my goal then and that goal still remains today. <o:p></o:p>
As 2011 unfolds, I have found that I am craving competition as well as trail riding. Why not try more events? A harsh reminder of my need for learning came from riding the LAB2V this past Thanksgiving weekend. All the advice tells you the same thing; you will have more fun on a smaller bike than an Adventure bike. Now being a know-it-all novice, I decided to ignore the comments and ride my 950SE, a fantastic bike for most any 500 mile dirt ride. I truly did enjoy the ride and will do it again next year (on my 450). Riding the 950 in the deep sand was my first reality check however. As often mentioned, anyone can ride fast, but riding fast and not crashing is the key. Riding deep, deep sand fast enough to get the big 950SE to plane on the sand requires a certain degree of confidence and ability. I soon found I lacked both. <o:p></o:p>
Enough of that! I have become committed to “learning” how to ride. I will take classes, enter races and spend time in the saddle to accomplish this task. I am not setting out to ride IM Vegas2Reno, Baja 1000 or Dakar, only learning how to ride better, safer and finish the events I enter. Can a 48 year old beginner/novice learn to stand on the pegs and get off his ass? This might define whether I am too old to learn, too old to race. <o:p></o:p>
Hare & Hound, Desert, Scrambles, Enduros are all on the list. Yes, they are beyond my current ability.<o:p></o:p>
Initial calendar: Hotlinks to each event commentary will be added should I actually get off my ass…and on the pegs!
RMEC National Feb 5-6 Wickenburg, AZ (times a wastin...) DNF, great race however.
Jimmy Lewis riding school Feb 19-20 Great Class! Learned a great deal from Jimmy.
BITD Laughlin Hare Scrambles, NV Mar 4-6 Flat broke and busted, racing cost $$$, I need to budget better.
Shane Watts School Mar 19-20 Another Great Learning experience! These classes really help.
Montana XC Pipestone April 17th B class, 17th out of 23
Montana XC Cascade May 1<SUP>st</SUP> Mechanical breakdown DNS
Montana XC Burnt Timber May 15th Broke 3 ribs, good times, bad luck.
NHHA Jericho, Utah May 21st No racing for 5 weeks
National Enduro RMEC Inyan Kara Jun 19th out for injury
Montana XC Elk Basin June 25th still out for injury
Snowshoe Enduro RMEC Grand Junction Aug 7th DNF
AMA West Hare Scrambles Big Sky XC Aug 27-28th yep, another DNF
More bike than brains...
I am running two bikes for my race events. There is absolutely no way I can blame my equipment for lackluster results.
Both bikes have Rekluse clutches and Christini drives. I may be aging, but not senile; having access to bikes with a Christini drive is the bomb.
(See, I sound younger already) :puke1
I have had the 450EXC for a year and love it, the 250XC is new to me. I have no idea if I will like the 2 stroke or not.
Only 231 lbs with the Christini drive makes it a compelling choice to try. Both bikes have had the suspensions tuned to match the gut and butt.
I will do my best to take some helmet cam of my best/worst moments as well as picture documentary along the way. I have hocked about everything to give this a shot. Might be the shortest racing thread in ADV history.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
Beyond the aforementioned Noob racers, I must give a quick shout out to a few others on ADV. Most of these people I have never met, nor talked to, only read their posts and tried to learn what they have to offer.
Neduro, Frog, Trey650, wrk2surf, azduster, hilslamer, bajaboundmoto, Strongbad, and Chilly, to name just a few. Thanks for sharing information and knowledge online.
I hope to ride with you sometime in the future and I promise not to hold any of you liable for my results or my actions. :deal
There are many more ADV members and others I will add to the list.
Subscribed and good luck... Make it your goal to finish not only the day race no matter what, also your schedule! Prep early cause race days sneak up on ya..
Sweet! Even if you are old and fat, you are riding Christini's so you'll be sexy! :freaky
Go For It!
Do it Brewski!!!
Looks like you got the season planned out, stick with it! Good Luck this Weekend!
Remember: At our age, we don't heal so fast. :lol3
So this leads to a point for you: One of the hardest things to learn is path selection. Get it right, and you will literally expend half the energy of when you get it wrong. If there's one thing you can work on by practice, practice, practice, this is the one I would focus on. If you can consistently take the smooth lines of least resistance, you'll finish better, and less fatigued.
Looking at a rise or descent? Think of mercury on that slope, gravity will help it find the path. This helps a lot. Understanding how to borrow energy to dodge an obstacle (just remember, gotta pay that one back), and making that instinctive, will make a big difference in your day.
Old racer saying: Go slow, to go fast. At our age, we beat the kids because we think our way through, as opposed to gas it and relying upon our youth to recover from the mistakes.
To improve this judgment, is simple. Find a good climb. Sit at the bottom, pick your line. Ride up it, note where and what changed your intended path. Assess. Do the same for the ride back down it. Now read that climb again. Adjust fire. Write the plan, ride the plan. How does reality alter the plan? Adjust. Do it again. Until you've got it figured out.
Then pick a different hill, and do it again. :lol3 And again. This isn't out riding with your buddies, this is training, treat it as such. Hell, pick an area where your truck can be close by, get the SO to come and read a book (safety valve in case you dump it bad), and just practice, practice, practice.
You wanna do it safely, and have doing it, then proper prep is the key. The above will also help you train physically too. I used to beat guys because of having thought my way through, not because I had any talent riding. I'm just of average talent, at best. But I had good teachers.
A respectful nod in your direction...
Give 'em Hell, Wyobrew.
Since we were all little kids, this is what it has been all about. We rode around then on our little bikes, pretending to be racing some epic race. Here you stand now, with that little kid looking at you, and the guts to actually do what many have not, and only talked about.
Much respect, Mr. Wyobrew.
Sounds like you're gonna have loads o' fun. I was a frequent racer in my twenties then strayed away from it. Just started again last year at age 39. Funny thing is....I'm faster now than I ever was before, just don't have the lungs for it. Conditioning is now my main focus.
Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk
Oh and BTW, you're not old!!!! You are only old enough to race the Senior Class!! Jajajajaja!!!! Wait 'till you are old enough to race Magnum then you can be considered old!!!! I'm 57 and the Catalina GP was my last race!
One of the things I've found as I've aged over the years is that many of those bastards that were faster than me when I was 20 something are still faster than me now!!! What's up with that??? Jajajajajaja!
BTW, where in Wyoming are you???
Can't wait to hear how you like the Christini drive at our race, the KLIM Big Sky XC. Have a great summer and make sure to say hi at the Montana races!
Montana XC Series
KLIM Big Sky XC
Time to get going...
Thank guys, I am heading out to Phoenix a bit early as I found out my dad just had a heart attack (lives in Mesa). I will try to keep this updated between events.
The Big Sky XC is very high on the target list. It is going to become bigger every year from what I see.
Thanks for being a Promoter lonepeakracer!
Nothing feels better than surviving an offroad race as an old noob; even finishing at the back of the field is so much better than wondering if you can do it.
2 years ago, like you, after reading about others on here, I returned to cross-country racing after 23 years off. Yes, old bodies break easier and take a bit longer to heal, so managing risk and accepting you'll be passed a lot might be part of it for a while. I usually finish and rarely get injured, but I'm now in better shape and can ride more competently than ever before. I'm loving every second of it.
Good to see you've got riding schools in your schedule. Technique and setup will save you so much energy.
In 2 years when you join the 50+ class you'll have an age advantage again!
ahhh so many noobs! cant keep em all straight....
first off let me say bravo for getting out there and allowing your ass to be kicked!
its amazing that so many people new to racing are getting out there and having at it!!!
ill certainly be watching to see how it goes with all that super fancy-ass bike gear. What the hell is a Christini drive anyways?
also - TWO HUNDRED and THIRTY pound bike?!?
isnt there a law about weighing more than your bike?
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