Originally Posted by KZJohn
If you are serious about becoming a better rider/racer the best thing you can do is take lessons from a pro. They can see all the bad habits you have developed and give you drills and advice to correct them. I took lessons from Jim Gibson several years ago and it made a huge difference i my riding, (as long as I practiced what he taught me). One day he had me doing nothing but braking drills in the parking lot, didn't even look at the track all day. Listen to what the pro says and practice it until you can do it in your sleep, then practice it again.
This here is why I was ecstatic when I saw there was going to be a Dirtwise school nearby. I briefly mentioned that I went to school down at the Trials Training Center. This was an incredible experience. The little things I picked up on, improved my riding immensely. The confidence in hitting various terrain took time to build, but it was built on a solid foundation that I really think helps today. So yeah, by the end of last year, I knew if I was serious about this I NEEDED to get to a school. There are plenty of MX schools around, but I knew I needed to be focused on off-road specific. I understand a lot of things will carry over from one to the other, but you won't find an MX guy showing you how to dodge trees.
I've luckily got next to our shop about a 1 acre area to practice riding. I haven't really been capitalizing on this lately, but will for sure here. I used to keep my trials bike at our shop & after work just hop outside and spend an hour or two just working on figure 8's, off-camber work, wheelies, stoppies, and generally just having fun on the bike. This was how I got good at skateboarding. I could sit there and work on a trick over, and over, and over, and over until I would have it perfected. Amazingly enough I can still do most of the tricks I did a few years ago.....just not quite down the big drops\stairs anymore.
I'll work on picking my feet up more. I suppose 2 times in 18 months isn't so bad. I've really been focusing lately on not even placing my feet down while woods riding at all. I tend to stand 90%+ of the time (once again, thanks to trials for that), and really the only time I've been finding my feet going down, is if I for some reason lose my balance and do a quick dab to right myself. I'll just chock this one up to "Crap Happens". It's racing.
I'm gonna have to bust out the Dirtwise DVD & give that another watch this week. See which little drills I can do after work to improve myself. April 28th seems forever away.