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Old 05-06-2012, 03:59 AM   #1
novaboy OP
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Mid-Life, or Life Long Crisis Racing

Hey Folks,

I started this thread after my previous one http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=777357 about myself questioning what bike would be good for a newb, new to dirt bike riding should start with. Because of this, more guys started posted that were getting into racing at the ripe ol' age of 40+ like myself, or were already underway.

Yesterday was my second real day on the bike (2003 XR250R, my wife would approve a bigger budget and it was a local well looked after bike). I went out to one of the local sandpits/tracks to practice for an hour. I felt fairly comfortable on the bike, and it's a good thing I keep myself in good shape, because it is a hell of workout, my helmet, jersey, and gloves were soaked with sweat afterwards.

http://youtu.be/sDysFv1ixVY

The other big news is..........I signed up for my first enduro. It's a fund raiser for breast cancer, which hits home here. My mother-in-law passed away from it 15 years ago, before I had met my wife, Kim. So getting her blessing to do the race was easy. It's a 75km/46.6 mile course. I entered in the Sportsman class which is one loop of 75km. I spoke to the organizer and they said it should be doable for someone of my experience level.

So now I have just under two months to train and prepare. I plan to get in a lot of riding, and so far my work schedule is looking good for that. I'll continue to cross train by running 3-5 days a week, however now I will incorporate more anaerobic, sprint interval work. Stand up paddle boarding is a great total body workout, which really helps with the core, and I'll squeeze in some more push ups and pull ups.

Look forward to hearing from the rest of the guys and how all the new racers are doing.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:58 AM   #2
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I'm 42 now. Been riding on the street since 19. Never rode "off road" till I was in my late 20's. Had a bike for a few months then everything went during the divorce. Late 30's started riding again. Finaly got to try a few races. It's adictive!!

I found that as far as skill,,,, going somewhere and riding all day on a Saturday or Sunday helped way more than just an hour here and there. I was having to think about things that others (who had ridden non-stop since kids) could do automaticaly. By riding for longer at a time, it helped build muscle memory.

I have now raced both flattrack and some cross country races. I found that in the cross country races, I could often beat faster riders just by riding smart and holding a steady pace. When you ride over your head, you make mistakes that cost time and energy. Back it down just a notch to a steady pace you can hold, ride smooth, focus on not making mistakes. You may do way better than you think.

Good luck
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:55 AM   #3
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enduro race

Hey Novaboy,
Looks like you doing an awful lot of exercise for this enduro, good on ya, being in good shape is going to pay huge dividends, hell I didnt do as much exercise for the Tuareg rallye as what youre doing for an enduro. Go kick some butt, and a worthy cause too.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:29 AM   #4
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Hey Brent tex, I'm not really exercising a whole lot more than normal, I love to run, and paddle board, so just a little bit of extra stuff.

Mavbike, thanks for the tips, I'm gonna try and get out once week for an all morning or afternoon ride. Steady is what usually wins most long races. I've done marathons and a lot of triathlons including an Ironman, and I have learned that lesson the hard way.....many times. I'm slowing down a little in my older years so I'm hoping what little smarts I have learned will carry me through now. LOL
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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Awesome soundtrack!
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:38 PM   #6
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Thanks, nothing better than a bit of Maiden.

One of the guys on the local forum invited me out to his harescramble track next week for some woods riding practise. Really looking forward to that, it will help a lot for the enduro since it is in the same area and similiar terrain.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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Long post of tips and stuff from the other thread. Just general racing I found that was good for newer racers or those looking to get into it. Click on the thread in the OP if you're wondering what type of bike to get for it, lots of discussion on that, but this is more about racing than what type of bike so just posting those tidbits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbone View Post
Go a local race and see what people are racing and pay attention to what guys in your class are doing well on. Talk to some of them..ask questions. I know I love talking motorcycles, even more so to someone looking to get someone involved in a sport I love.
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnyard View Post
For starting riders, their biggest issue is almost always having enough fitness to finish an event. Once their fitness level improves, they can work on their riding technique.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osnabrock View Post
Be sure that you don't put yourself in a a bad position when pulling off to allow a faster rider past.
You will hear when people are coming up behind you. Everyone is very congenial and let you know by blasting the throttle long before they're right on top of you.
Most folks won't be upset by you taking a few extra yards to find a place to pull off that won't leave you behind a log or tree.
Never put yourself out to appease the person behind you. Any true sportsman will understand your decision.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rider_WV View Post
A couple of tips from a slow guy that enjoys harescrambles.

the top 10 things i recommend----

1:Set a goal to just to finish the race. not be competitive in your class, just to finish. Get one under your belt then go racing.
2:Be patient off the start, you wont win in the first turn, its a 2 hour race.
3:Start hydrating midweek, pounding a ton of water the morning of the race isnt a good method. Start increasing your water intake on wed/thurs.
4:Get out of the way of the faster riders ASAP. Trust me its better to lose a little time slowing/moving to let them pass then having them put you in the weeds getting around you.
5: relax, relax, relax, breath, breath, breath, relax relax relax, breath breath breath, repeat in your helmet for 2 hours, LOL
6: Look as far ahead as you can, watch for the X, XX, watch for banners, markers obstacles. DO NOT look right in front of you. You will blow a turn, miss a corner, etc. Keep your chin up, imagine a tennis ball glued to your chin. Do NOT stare at the riders rear tire in front of you. Look ahead, way ahead, look where you want to go, not where you are at.
7: practice with faster riders
8: Have fun, dont take it too seriously
9: prep your bike meticulously. It sucks to spend the time and money to get to a race and drop out on the first lap because of poor bike prep.
10: Wear your saftey gear, its hot, sometimes uncomfortable but it works.


BREATH, relax, keep a loose grip, do NOT, i repeat do NOT quit. no matter how tired, sore and frustrated you are just dont quit. The most rewarding part of your first race will be seeing the checkered flag.

HAVE FUN!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rider_WV View Post
Food and beverages are a very personal choice. I ride with a camelback and usually use grape propel in it. For me a good breakfast is very important, it's the main fuel for the race. I like a bunch of scrambled eggs for the protein. Banana and some whole wheat toast. Then a couple more bananas before the race and usually mixed nuts and/or a protein bar or Lara bar. I have hand/wrist issues so I always take aleve to help with that.

Take a cooler with cold water and something to eat after the Race, I promise you will be starving.

If you get arm pump stop for a few seconds and shake them out, for me I would rather lose a little time shaking them out then pushing through and piling up Into a tree or taking someone else out. A little time lost here and there does add up but crashing a bunch because you can't feel the levers wastes more time and energy.
Quote:
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no better way to get in shape than racing!!! plus the racing will tell you EXACTLY what areas of fitness you need to work on. get out there, get started, get addicted...you only live once, dont procrastinate, roost it up man!!

The anxiety, nerves, anticipation, uncertainty, adrenaline and excitement is all part of the experience and what makes it fun. PLus you get some great campfire stories
There ya have it.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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Double post, now for my introduction haha. 39, just got my second dirtbike ever a 2004 KTM200EXC. Has a rekluse clutch, steering damper and has been redone with heavier springs. So far I love it. My previous bike was an XR80 that I had when I was 13. So I'm super new to this. Basically I went from

I went from this


To this


I still have the streetbike but here lately all I've been doing is riding dirt. My learning curve has included punching trees. No I don't wear the ring anymore while riding. Safety issues.


To taking dives into the mud


Also I've fallen over, smacked stumps, had a tree limb yank me right off the bike, among other things. But I've also had a great time learning it all. Need to definitely step it up and get into shape though. I had planned on doing a benefit race but that didn't work out due to issues. I'm going to probably pick up and do some races when the fall season kicks into gear.

So that's my plan currently. I'll leave you with some video, first one is my conquering the hill that we call the newb getter at my friends land. It's the one that made me punch the tree. I think this was my second time out riding ever.



Also we have my mud faceplant too. Not the faceplant actually but me picking myself up out of it.



Lastly one from this weekend. Bob ended up taking me on "I think this is one of the easy portions of the red trail" it wasn't. Caution, some foul language in this vid. Just so you know.



Cheers!
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:21 AM   #9
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A little bit of my history with bikes...

I LIVED on a bmx bike well into my late teens. Raced BMX occasionally, then moved on to Mountain bikes, raced them a little but mostly just trail rides. Due to an accident my dad had before i was even born I wasnt allowed on dirtbikes.

In 03 I decided to by a dirtbike at the ripe old age of 25. I had played on friends bikes as a kid, but never really had any seat time. I tried riding with quads and had ZERO help, guidance or experience. Rocky creeks, ledges waterfalls, etc..it was a miserable experience. I never even wore out the stock tires. It was a love-hate relationship. Traded the yz250f for a suzuki samurai, in early 05, barely ridden.

April 08 I bought a sv650 and started riding on the road. Put 12k miles on it in 6 months, picked up a DL650 in August, traded the SV for a pimped out 06crf250r in November 08. I rode the hell out of it and the dirt itch really stuck. I found new riding buds and in Late jan early feb 09 met up with some guys to ride singletrack. I was in WAY over my head. These guys were all A and VET racers. They completely kicked my ass, I saw the err of my ways and ditched the thumper in march. Picked up my 08 YZ250. I slapped a fly wheel weight on it, new rubber, took it for a trail ride and two weeks later lined up for my first harescramble. I did 15+ races the first year, ended up 3rd in points in my class, and had several 2nd and 3rds, never did grab a win though. Since then I have spent all my spare time riding and racing. Hell 3-4 evenings a week I am in the yard practicing anything I can with the space permitted.

So Im now 34, really slow, have bad wrists, major carpul tunnel, no budget and I am completely addicted to singletrack riding and racing harescrambles. I plan to start enduro racing next year. Most of the Ohio Enduro series require a plated bike, so I need to find a plated gasgas300 or ktm300, and money to buy one.

I really wish I could have been one of those guys that started on dirtbikes at 4 or 5 years old. Some of the guys I ride with have been in the dirt longer than I have been alive, almost all others started as a kid. Its very obvious who started when, it can make it very frustrating at times.

ride safe and roost it up!

pic of the blinged out honda,


some gopro footage on the YZ
http://youtu.be/B8XfyIkjOnk?hd=1
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:55 AM   #10
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Hey Rider_WV,

Welcome, glad you posted. You and are a little similiar with past experiences, I rode BMX starting at a very young age until I was 19, then road mountain bike for awhile. Unfortunately I never got into dirt bikes until last month. A big part of me wishes I had started into this when I was a kid, but alas my folks would have none of it.

Nice CRF, and well done with the racing.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:57 AM   #11
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This was posted by inmate Barnyard over on the other thread, so hopefully he doesn't mind me reposting it. Barnyard has been a wealth of knowledge to us newbie rider/racers.

Last weekend, we had our 1st district hare scramble of the year. We had had close to 4 inches of rain the week before so the course was wet. The soil was predominantly sand, so not so much standing water as there was better traction in some areas, looser in others. Plus the mud was not as heavy and it shook off easier than the super sticky clay mud.

Anyways, the fastest guys stayed on the pegs and attacked the wet sections aggressively. The slower guys, slowed down and tried to pick their way through. They ended up getting stuck and a couple buried their bikes to the point of needed long branches to pry their bikes up high enough to lift them out.


For the 2 hour A/B race, the fastest guys did 6 laps (9ish mile course), the bulk of the pack did 4 laps.


Someone above said that 'racing is the best way to get in shape.' That is some bad advice right there.


If a person rides a desk all week and then gets on a bike on weekends, their fitness level will not be good enough to finish a 1 hour race, let alone a 2 hour. Do some cardio during the week, ride a bicycle, stand and pedal on all the uphills, work up a good sweat. The guys that do that do not look like they are on death's door at the end of a race. They also crash less.


I never put anything in my camelback but water. Anything else will promote mold growth during the week (much harder to clean.) I do have gatorade or the equivalent in my pits so I can slug some down during gas stops.


As one gets more interested in doing better, you start watching what you eat and drink all week. For me, that means no pop or coffee during race season. I drink lots of water during the week to stay hydrated for my job, so adding during the week is hard. The morning of a race, I drink a quart of OJ. I usually will drink a 100 oz camelback during a race (if it is an enduro, I fill it at gas, so I will drink 2, I will also drink a quart of gatorade at gas, eat a sandwich and a banana. )


If you get cramps on the drive home or that night when you go to bed, you did not drink enough that day or you drink pop and ended up pissing away everything you drank.


The day after a race, I drink a bunch and I also do a good yoga routine and a long bike ride. I am really stiff and sore the next day and a good stretch and light bike ride really, really help with recovery.


Watch your hands for blisters. If you ride a desk during the week, you will have a problem with blisters. Get some glove liners and switch to dry gloves when you can. My hands are/were calloused very well and blisters have never been a problem for me. They were for my daughter, so she carried extra gloves in her fanny pack. She usually wears 2-3 pair per race.


The best advice I got when I started was, "when in doubt, twist the grip."

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Old 05-11-2012, 01:13 PM   #12
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and I have a lot to learn. I am a B (probably closer to C) rider. Most all of the lessons that I have learned either allowed me to ride faster or easier. Some sections a rider will burn far less calories by going faster, than by slowing down and getting stuck or dog paddling.

I would venture a guess that in the average enduro, an A or AA rider burns less calories than a C rider.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:38 AM   #13
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Well Barnyard you have more experience than us Newbies and its good to hear your tips, info and stories, whether your an A, B or C rider.

Tip for keeping your Camelback bladder from getting funky, I throw mine in the freezer when I'm not using it.

Gatorade is my friend, I sweat a lot, and after an hour plus run on a warm day will have salt deposits on my face, so I need more than water to replace the nutrients lost. You can drink too much water and dilute yourself, overhydration, it has happened at marathons, and now they space out the water stops from every mile to every 1.5 miles. Hydration and keeping your caloric intake up is a fine balance.

Practice what you can tolerate drinking and eating during your trail rides and training, so there are no surprises come race day, I know this, not from racing a bike, because I haven't raced yet, but from numerous running races and triathlons, and even an Ironman, where I learned the importance of what happens when you don't eat enough after 10 hours of competition, and your forced to walk/shuffle/death march the last 13 miles.

Enough of this, I'm going riding.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by novaboy View Post
Gatorade is my friend, I sweat a lot, and after an hour plus run on a warm day will have salt deposits on my face, so I need more than water to replace the nutrients lost.
I'm not a triathlete, not even a singleathlete but there is too much sugar in gatorade for me. Even the hand mixed stuff tastes too sweet. Have you tried the Nuun tablets? If you need calories you can control those separately.
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:27 PM   #15
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I'm just saying Gatorade works for me, I've used it for so long without any issues that I haven't really tried anything else, other than Endurox, which worked well too, especially as a recovery drink. There's a lot of that stuff out there.

I might go checkout the Nuun tablets. Thanks
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