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Old 02-15-2011, 06:37 PM   #46
Eggman
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hey if you make it back to the inyan kara race this year, come hang out at the end of the b riders section I will be running that check again and we will have a cold one for you!

unless you decide go for another 10 miles of hell!!
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:57 PM   #47
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Inyan Kara

I will most definitely make the Inyan Kara race since it is virtually next door. I doubt I will run the A racers extra 10 miles of hell. I barely survived the first 60 miles. I plan on practicing a lot on those trails as soon as the snow clears. Great super tight single track. I am in AZ this week getting some bike time in the desert and trying to get into some sort of riding shape. Pasta has me believing I need to do something other than drink beer...

Doug
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:11 AM   #48
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Looks like it is going to be wet in Pahrump this weekend - and cold (at least for me - I very quickly got used to the southern California weather after moving out here 7 years ago.)
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:13 PM   #49
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Jimmy Lewis Clinic

Thought I better update to keep myself on the hotseat...

Laughlin was crossed of the list after spending $1500 on van repairs on my way home from Pahrump, Nevada and the Jimmy Lewis Riding Clinic. Being broke is nothing new to anyone wanting or actually racing, so my financial issue is just a part of the process.

Jimmy Lewis Riding Clinic:
The JL clinic was highly anticipated as my goals were to "learn to ride" as well as race. If you have followed from the first post, my riding history is varied. More than some, less than others. This class had a variety of all riders and bikes. The first point I realized, riding fundamentals are easy to talk about but harder to implement.
Too keep this post short and hopefully a useful read, I want to focus on just a couple of key points. Standing on the pegs for a long period of time and thru varied terrain has been one of my main weaknesses. "get off my ass" was my objective. Spending day one being humbled as to simple tasks like slow riding (trials slow), stoppies, small wheelies, hard braking with rear, front and both, importance of peg weight and body position are all covered adnausium. In a vast smooth lake bed, the morning session was all about discovering what you thought you knew, but JL puts it into practice, shows you how and why, then you proceed to attempt, over and over.







The second day:
After riding and practicing the basics thoughout day 1, day two was lively to say the least. Snow in Pahrump is not a usual thing. Being from Wyoming and wanting to get out of the snow, it was just like old home week. The riding was slick and snotty. Jimmy had planned out a fairly long day of variety terrain to see if anyone could put the prior days lessons into real, all day riding. Jimmy's wife Heather was just one piece of a team effort to keep the entire weekend moving along. Like many of us, the "better half" is greatly appreciated. The sweep crew and Crazy Nate, made it easier to keep track of the variety of riders.





As the groups separated at times to allow for smaller bikes to do some muddy/snowy double track and we began to start riding harder and harder, it became more apparent why Jimmy was preaching the fundamentals.
During the entire second day, I am guessing the only times my ass touched the seat was for stops and discussions and a few slab transfers miles. Riding the last part of the second day, Jimmy took a couple of us (CramerTV included) along the remnants of the Mint 400 and old Barstow to Vegas routes. Rock strewn creekbeds, washouts and singletrack, all on the pegs.




Quite honestly, I cannot imagine being able to ride it on the seat, as it would wear you out. Riding on into the night with dark goggles and a crappy headlight made "being one with the bike" become so important. I felt relaxed and confident. Being able to brake hard for a cross wash and not endo or slide out, but remain in control.
This is what I paid for and this is what I got! I cannot explain in words how much this clinic meant to change my riding style and confidence. I would add one more item. Any time a rider was achieving the reqested tasks with ease, Jimmy's comments at the beginning of the class came to thought... "I can make this as easy or as hard as you want".

Jimmy can ride and teach.




Thanks Jimmy,

Doug
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:39 PM   #50
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Fun. I thought that class was great when I took it too. Now all you have to do is practice everything he taught.

Hopefully the Shane Watts school is as good. I'll see you there, but my calendar says it's on March 20/21, not 19/20.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:21 AM   #51
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Practice, Practice, Practice

Luke,
Your practice comment is dead on. It is a bit difficult to get motivated to ride and practice at home as the temps have been hovering from 5 to 18 degrees with snow for the past week. No excuses, just not 50-70 like AZ or NV. That said, I am planning on driving back to Grand Junction, CO for this coming weekend to get some TITS. It is supposed to be 60 degrees there all week and I found there are thousands of acres of open riding areas just north of town to work on the basic drills JL prescribed. That and miles of trails to break up the day.
My class is actually March 18th and 19th in Colorado. I am guessing you are taking the California class on the 20th and 21st. If my guess is right, we will be sharing comments online. I enjoyed meeting CramerTV in Pahrump and putting a face to the name is always nice.
The Montana XC race schedule/season is approacing fast and since there is no C class for the main races, I need to get up to speed as best I can.

As Cramer can attest, I am not a fast rider...

Doug
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:00 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyobrew View Post

As Cramer can attest, I am not a fast rider...

Doug

not for long.....

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Old 03-09-2011, 09:33 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyobrew View Post
Luke,
Your practice comment is dead on. It is a bit difficult to get motivated to ride and practice at home as the temps have been hovering from 5 to 18 degrees with snow for the past week. No excuses, just not 50-70 like AZ or NV. That said, I am planning on driving back to Grand Junction, CO for this coming weekend to get some TITS. It is supposed to be 60 degrees there all week and I found there are thousands of acres of open riding areas just north of town to work on the basic drills JL prescribed. That and miles of trails to break up the day.
My class is actually March 18th and 19th in Colorado. I am guessing you are taking the California class on the 20th and 21st. If my guess is right, we will be sharing comments online. I enjoyed meeting CramerTV in Pahrump and putting a face to the name is always nice.
The Montana XC race schedule/season is approacing fast and since there is no C class for the main races, I need to get up to speed as best I can.

As Cramer can attest, I am not a fast rider...

Doug
Ah, I just figured you really liked driving.

I don't know if I'm one to be giving advice, but I've found trail riding to be a distraction from practice. It's too easy to wander off and explore instead of drilling something. If I'm riding with anyone else there's no hope, although it can still be good exercise.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:48 AM   #54
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Trail riding can actually be great practice, but you have to do it right. It doesn't work on a group ride. 2, maybe 3 people tops. You all have to be of similar ability, and you have to ride, not stop and smell the flowers every two miles.

The biggest thing that bites noob riders is the non stop pace of racing. When you ride with a group, you go 5 or 6 miles, stop, regroup, BS etc.

Hard to get a rhythm going like that, or even really exert yourself. Go someplace you know well, and ride with someone you know well, and have a plan, say you're going to go 20 miles without stopping.

In the end, there is no substitute for racing if you want experience, it's all about seat time.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:03 PM   #55
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Trail riding

I agree.
When I say trail riding after practicing drills, I am referring to putting on 40-50 miles non stop at the best pace possible. That or burn close to a tank of gas if I am in tighter single track. I don't ride with anyone because as commented, most riders want to stop and talk every three miles. (that and there are few idiots willing to ride with me ) If I am out riding on my own, I might find a whooped out section or sandy wash that I like to ride repeatedly to get smoother instead of riding to a set destination.

The bad part about riding alone, is I tend to ride faster if a good rider is out front. It can be boring for a good rider to ride slow enough to "let me" keep up, but it is great for me.

My brother in law (Rod) is a solid B racer that rocks in the desert. He keeps me motivated but can blow out the cobs and loose me at any time. I finally got to turn the tables a bit when I got Eric Bailey (top 10 GNCC) to ride with Rod and he got to try and keep up with a fast, fast racer. Always somebody faster out there... Riding with a better and faster rider is very valuable time. Racing as you pointed out Mike is the best way.

Learning to relax and still ride as fast as you are capable of with a mouth full of cotton, and listening for the inevitable 15 year old to blow by me is much more challenging than just trail riding, but either way, time on a bike is better than time behind my desk.

Doug
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:16 PM   #56
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Shane Watts Clinic

Well, so far my methodical approach to learning how to race has been enjoyable and extremely educational. Just riding around for 600 miles in a day on my 950SE or any other bike has not gotten me as much as 25 miles of skill challenges that my two clinics have produced.

After taking the Jimmy Lewis class I had a small idea of what Shane was going to teach. They are both excellent teachers and comparing the two is not necessary. I would take another from each in a heartbeat if I could afford it. Shane's class had about 24 riders, with most of intermediate skills. The willingness of all of the class members to learn to push beyond their personal comfort zone was obvious. The was plenty of carnage... fenders, hand controls, and more than a few bodily bruises.

I didn't take any pictures at this clinic. I hope nobody got any pictures of me going over the bars while crossing the 3' high log , but it wasn't the only time I hit the ground.

Wheelies, 180 wheelies, stoppies, drag race and braking, grinding on logs and dirt ledges, drifting and deep rutted berm turns for two days. All of the skill challenges came into play when pushing the speed up on the track and trails. The comfort level of knowing you have already been in a medium speed drift lets you relax a bet when it happens on the track. Not the shocked "oh shit" moments I would have had prior to either of the classes.

Watching people with much more skill and experience than myself struggle with controlling the bike in a confined test was interesting. From what I could see, they left the clinic even more confident as well and still faster than me.

BTW: I am second from the right in the back row. I am over 6' tall so you can see we had some BIG BOYS playing in the dirt. The biggest guy in the middle absolutely dwarfed his Husaberg 570.



I have finished a 6 mile singletrack practice loop in the backyard of the ranch and am working on an small endurocross style area to practice balance and control on logs and rocks. I will take a video of it soon. I am very lucky to have access to a riding area without having to haul my bike anywhere. Now with the temps up in the 40-50's and a full slate of upcoming races I have nothing more to do but practice, enter and finish what I have started.

Thanks again for all of your support, advice and comments.

Doug
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:05 PM   #57
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Great thread, don't know how I missed this one. I took up racing last year... 2nd year is already bringing a whole new perspective.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:19 PM   #58
lonepeakracer
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Pipestone XC

See you in a couple of weeks. The weather at Pipestone, MT has been in the 50's fairly consistantly lately, so the snow is melting quickly. Should be a great race weekend.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:25 PM   #59
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Spring is coming!!

Pipestone and the entire MontanaXC series is on my list and I am looking forward to race events a bit closer to home. Driving for 17 hours is not as easy as it was in my 20's. A week away is the next NHH at Jericho, UT and with two 45 mile loops, it will be a long race. (yes, even for the C riders)

With 8 inches of snow last week, riding in Wyoming is still a bit limited. I have been working on creating a practice area to allow me work on my riding skills (lack thereof) and get some bike exercise at the same time. I am extremely fortunate to have access to 300 acres in my backyard and I am trying to use it as often as possible. I have flagged out an initial 5 mile loop to ride. It is designed to work on riding off camber hills, rocks, ditches and ravines.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:36 AM   #60
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Did my first HS 3 weeks ago and did'nt even make it a lap,did my 2nd this weekend and made a lap I'am 55 and have had a quad by-pass so I'am taking it one step at a time but one thing is for sure it will get you in shape.
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