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Old 05-17-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
SenorPeligro OP
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School me about AMA District 36

I've recently started to have weird thoughts about training to start competing on the dirt. I blame my Husky... it's convinced we should be racing. Anyway, I'd like to check out some D36 races, like Cross Country and the Enduro stuff. Are these events spectator friendly? Can I just show up and get a ticket?

What's a good minimum ability level for entering something like a family enduro?

Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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Spectator friendly, yes. You probably have to pay $5 to get in and park in the pits. But then the riders start and ride off into the woods and you probably wait 45 min or an hour to see them race through again for about 2 minutes.

At the X/C, hare scrambles type events there's not a whole lot to see.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #3
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Senor,
How cool is it that you are interested in racing dist 36!

1) Given a healthy dose of common sense and basic dirt riding skills I say go for it.
2) The best training for racing is riding a lot...first,..... then, racing a lot. Being physically fit is a big benefit as well.
3) You wont spend much time as a spectator...kinda boring....Their is nothing to see at an enduro except 4 riders taking off on the minute heading off on a 50-100 mile loop. Hare scrambles offer a bit more action to view.....depending on the venue.
4) Sure you can just show and go....I would suggest pre-registering to avoid the slim chance of a sell-out and much more importantly: 'tis way better to arrive ready to race. Every little chore, bike/camelbak/gear prep, sign-up etc ideally will be done prior to the morning of the enduro leaving you with plenty of "clear head space".
5) Family enduros are the easiest kind of racing offered. The trail difficulty is at most intermediate, and the distance(50-60miles) is shorter than regular enduro(70-100 miles).
6) Whats a good minimum ability level..........If you can ride the blacks at Hollister you will be able to handle a family enduro no problem.
7) I checked your profile, all I see are big bikes....at dist36 races you will see a lot of 200-300cc two strokes and mostly 450cc and smaller 4 strokes. Fo sho run what you brung(the Husky) then make life easy and get a smaller dirt bike. Nothing special, just something in the 200-300cc range. Assuming you are a novice racer???a smaller bike will be way more fun to race and wont wear you out so quickly.



Bottom line get out their, go for it, and have fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorPeligro View Post
I've recently started to have weird thoughts about training to start competing on the dirt. I blame my Husky... it's convinced we should be racing. Anyway, I'd like to check out some D36 races, like Cross Country and the Enduro stuff. Are these events spectator friendly? Can I just show up and get a ticket?

What's a good minimum ability level for entering something like a family enduro?

Thanks.
(Clueless but enthusiastic)
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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You really shouldn't be on a 630 if you're going to race.
The bike will hammer itself (and you) to death,
There are plenty of reasonably priced used bikes for sale that will be more suitable.
I prefer a 250cc two stroke. Light, fast and fun but won't break the bank for a rebuild.

Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:19 AM   #5
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I have just a bit of racing history but my best trail riding buddy is a vet expert D37 in Grand Prix. So we've been to a few of those just to camp out with them, watch, and bench race. Some of the other members will pipe in here and talk about hare and hounds, and scrambles. Desert racing is a whole 'nother type of racing.

The GP's are really fun and really fast. All riders are incredibly fast, from the kids on up to the old timers. The course is generally about eight or ten miles with an MX section and they'll run it three or four times for a race. It is definitely a whole seperate world of motorcycling, quite distanced from adventure riding. The guys are really into it and they love having an organized ride and course where they're not going to head-on with someone on the trail. Did I mention they are fast?

The neat thing about ama racing is you are put in a bike class and age group that suits you. So you're racing with guys similar in age range, experience, and bike size. There is a 'light' class - under 250cc, and open class - over 250cc. The open class riders are all on 450 or up four strokes with just a smattering of other types. There are just a few 2-strokes in the 250 class, almost all are 250 4-strokes. I will say the open class is way over my head, these guys rip. If I were to race D37 GP it would be in the light class, novice to intermediate, with a new or late model 250XC. If I went to the events a lot I would probably offer to sweep.

As Johngil says, you want a race bike, and bigger is not better here. Generally, but not always, the smaller riders are on light bikes and the big guys are on open class. If you haven't ridden trails with this class of bike with your 630 you probably aren't clear of the differences. The 630 is definitely not a race bike, not even close.

For me, the biggest issue with GP, or any racing, is risk of injury. Since it is a race and it is fast, there is risk of collision and get-offs. Everybody is armored up and almost all wear a neck brace. Seems to me the braces are required on many mx tracks now. If you like balls to the walls, full WOT riding, racing is for you!

The enduros and fun rides are more mellow but still fast paced. Might be a place to start. And of course AMA does have some organized dualsport rides that are reported to be a good time. My intention of getting a dualsport was to try some of these. From what I understand they can be as easy or challenging as you wish to make them.

Racing is a lot of fun and it's exciting. Come back and let us know what you find out there.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:47 AM   #6
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What part of NorCal are you in?
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:08 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for all the advice everyone. I'm pretty sure that I'm not ready yet to compete but I'd like to develop my skills in that direction and I was looking for a read on how far off I am. I'm working my through the blue trails at Carnegie on my TE630... that bike feels like a gazelle compared to my "adventure bike". I don't have a dirt bike background so I'm probably coming at this from the "wrong end". My plan is to practice as much as I can on the 630 until I can pickup a dirt bike.

I'm in the East Bay. I haven't been to Hollister for a while.. probably time to get out there too.

So the best way to train is to ride lots huh? This is not going to suck
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorPeligro View Post
I've recently started to have weird thoughts about training to start competing on the dirt... Are these events spectator friendly? Can I just show up and get a ticket? What's a good minimum ability level for entering something like a family enduro?...
Some good comments already. Spectator friendly? Sorta. The races aren't a show like SX, so there isn't really a ticket to buy. Most of the time there's an entrance fee to pay for the cost of the portapotties and facility use, but racers and non-racers alike have to pay, and it's per vehicle not per person. But definitely pick one and show up just to get a feel for the way it works. The people at these events are generally some of the friendliest peoply you'll meet and if you just walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself you'll most likely have a new friend At the same time, most racers at these events are pretty serious about their racing... If you're slower than someone else prepared to be used for traction--in the friendliest way possible

The district has a useful website at http://ama-d36.org/ where you can find upcoming events. The next FE won't be until fall, and as far as spectating, the Hare Scrambles at Metcalf in October would be a good one because it's such a small place you'll be able to see a lot of the action. You may have to park a mile away, but the walk will be good training too.

The biggest difference between the enduros and everything else is that (classic) enduros require the ability to ride at various prescribed speeds where everything else is pretty much ride as fast as you can until you fall off. I find timekeeping skills enjoyable so that's what I do.

As far as minimum ability for a FE--yeah, if you can ride black diamonds at Hollister and Carnegie you'll be fine, but the skill level required varies quite a bit from event to event. Some have "easier" courses but more challenging timekeeping, and vice versa. And the dynamic of competing puts everything in a very different light...add in varying weather conditions...mud, snow, dust etc. Bottom line is, they are designed with beginners in mind, but probably half the field in a FE are A and B riders.

My first FE with my 11 year old son was a blast, we were both very inexperienced (e.g., had never even tried a black diamond trail at Carnegie) finished the course, and felt like we'd just completed the Dakar rally. A HUGE high, and we were hooked. It happened to be a fairly easy course, luckily.

We were on "race bikes" though, and you'd probably have a lot more fun with a lightweight off-road bike. I do see a few dualsports on the FEs, and if you're not trying to be competitive you could have fun as well on a 630.

Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:28 AM   #9
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Good luck!
Thanks for all the info!

Heading out the door to get to the Sheetiron 300.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:12 PM   #10
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Spectator friendly... not really. You'd see the start/finish and if it's an enduro they leave and then they come back at the end. Not very fun to watch.

Now dirt track racing... that's a fun show!

As far as getting started in a family enduro goes... GO FOR IT! You'll never know until you try. I was bitten by the bug my first time out at a family enduro. Remember, family enduros are made to be challenging, yes, but also so that 8 to 10 year-olds can make it all the way on their small little bikes too.

There is a GREAT writeup and discussion about enduro racing (the rules, equipment, strategy, etc.) here... http://www.southbayriders.com/forums...d.php?t=118722 Remember that at the very least, a family enduro is a really fun way to spend the day riding on a marked course (50 to 60 miles) that someone put a great deal of thought and care into planning out and many times they include "event-only" trail sections that are not open to the public.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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Well, I got "schooled" pretty good on my first hard split on the Sheetiron 300. Got my first dose of intermediate rated single track which was mostly fine, except for the steep winding "chute" downhills and getting stuck on an uphill section. Now I know why enduro bikes are less than 330lbs! My Husky was getting pretty heavy after the 5th drop. That stuff is exhausting. Hell but in a fun way. I'm going to keep working my way up to being able to handle that kind of stuff with skill rather than gravity and panic.

Thanks for that great link!
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:53 PM   #12
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there is LOTS of videos posted by my friend Ehsan

he has been posting videos from the entire season... watch some video and practise ALOT

you can look up his past posts on south bay or youtube and find his videos.

he has 159 videos posted so there you go..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=walAvlzU4xw

http://www.southbayriders.com/forums...d.php?t=121238


endurance is the key to racing... the races are LONG !

you should be able to ride everything at Hollister and Stonyford and ride for 1 hour straight without stopping in Tight terrain hard stuff
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:56 PM   #13
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you should be able to ride everything at Hollister and Stonyford and ride for 1 hour straight without stopping in Tight terrain hard stuff
Nice! This is my new goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Paul

he has 159 videos posted so there you go..
Starting at 1 of 159...
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:15 AM   #14
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Cool vid. Embedded for ya. Nice trails to ride on. I find myself trying to use body english in my chair while watching that vid.


A couple of things that really bug me about racing, and mostly why I have always preferred trail riding and exploring instead...but not to disuade OP or anyone else!

1. DUST - I don't like breathing it, and won't ride where I can't see. It's a recipe for disaster and injury. So I'm a wuss, that pretty much takes me out of the picture.

2. Idiot riders that just have to pass you and then stall their bike or get stuck. They see a spot for a quick pass and then you get stuck behind them. Or they run you off the trail trying to pass you. Or crash in the middle of the trail and then won't get out of the way so the other riders can keep going. They try to hold their place in line. F'ing bozos.

Notice riding technique - these guys on their butts with their feet out. OMG. Learn how to blast corners standing on the pegs. Although it's tiring you are WAY faster on the pegs, not on your butt. Some guys just never figure this out. They must come from a mx track background so are used to those cornering techniques. Ever wonder why trials bikes don't even have a seat?

Speaking of which, if there's any way to put some time in doing observed trials, jump at the opportunity. Nothing will do more for learning tire placement, weighting the bike, and picking a line through obstacles. Your offroading ability will be greatly enhanced.

I'm sure you've all seen it but here it is again, the Glen Helen pile up due to dust. The mayhem starts about 1:05:

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:43 AM   #15
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Go for it!

Hopefully you get your feet wet & enjoy yourself in district racing, some of the most memoriable times of my life. My racing days are over, but i can say it was a time in my life it meant everything to me. GREAT people, GREAT times & GREAT memories. Main reasons i no longer do, #1 Im self employed, #2 I have a family, #3 The trophy girls are sad unless your racing PRO AMA events, #4 I have nothing to prove anymore #5 Its not cheap & as far as the dust goes, it does suck so you better GOOD, REAL GOOD.

Good luck & RIDE ON!
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