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Any tips for a short practice?

Discussion in 'Riding Tips' started by LuckyStar64, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. LuckyStar64

    LuckyStar64 PR Addict

    I don't know if I'm the only one here who has problems dialing in a track in the 4 or 5 practice laps you get when you go to a race at a temporary (like a fair race), or an unfamiliar track. I generally need about a half hour or so of riding on a track to get it down. I rarely if ever get it. My results tend to suffer because of it.

    I ordinarily will walk the track to determine what jumps I can get over, and what I shouldn't try. Then once I hit the track for my practice-- I'll try and map out what gears I'll be using, and get the jumps dialed.

    If there are any trickily timed rythm sections-- I usually don't have the time to work on them, especially if traction is limited by mud in practice.

    Anybody else have this problem? Any ideas? IMO-- I think this is why "practice" tracks are so pupular these days. Alot more riding time. --L*64
  2. nitrofish

    nitrofish PR Addict

    You are just getting old! Try some Ginkgo Biloba, helps in Alzheimer's patients. The kid can remember a big track by the 3rd lap, young mind. I would say you learn more by watching faster guys in practices and or races before you. Walking the track never worked for me, unless I was going to be in a track walking race. :)
  3. Notorious t.o.d.

    Notorious t.o.d. PR Member

    What is your experience level / riding level?
  4. TCracing

    TCracing PR Addict

    Bring two bikes and sign up for separate races (I.E. open class and 250 class or 4 strk and 2 strk ). Then you will be allowed at least a second practice session on the two bike classes?
  5. TPMX #8

    TPMX #8 PR Addict

    Racing Number:
    It usually take me 5 or 6 laps to memorize the track for the most part.
    Takes me a few more laps to iron out the jumps and maybe a couple more to try a trickier jump and to decide if its a jump I am comfortable with or not.
    Then I like to try to figure out a line around the track that works best for me, then it takes several laps to be able to be in that line when and where I need it.
    So yes a fair race isnt enough time for me to get comfortable on the track.
    Bad part is a fair race is over as soon as it starts so why worry about it?
    Before you know it your on your way home after more Ginkgo Biloba anyways.
    But then again I am old too so that must be the answer.
    Most of us Alzheimer's patients are home before we know it and cant remember we even raced that day anyways.
  6. barrington314

    barrington314 PR Elite

    massillon, oh
    Racing Number:
    walk the track backwards. you can better get an idea of what to do after each obstacle or section. and better plan your "next move". i think gracyk once told me this.
    ive also found it hard to say "oh ill jump this but not this" by walking the track. everything seems much different once on the bike. i think i walked the track primarily to know what came after each jump or corner.
    hope that makes sense to you. i know it doesnt really help your problem but you mentioned track walking, so thought id share what a pro shared with me.
  7. MXracn746

    MXracn746 PR Addict

    Obetz, Ohio
    Racing Number:
    Definately walk the track. It can be hard to get there early enough to do that sometimes in todays hustle and bustle world, (Can't believe I just sauid that!) but try to. I say that, but never do either. I also have the same problem and usually try a sight lap, which the young kids like barrington will go three laps to my one, then try to go race speed on the next as much as I can. But by that time he's done 5 laps and the practice is over. Fair races are usually all almost similar, and I can get there early enough to walk it. If not, go out with the girls on the last practice, Dwight will usually let you if your nice.
  8. John250

    John250 PR Founding Father

    Xenia, Ohio
    Racing Number:
    Usually know whats within my ability.......sometimes the best time to jump things are at race speed in the moto.
  9. MXracn746

    MXracn746 PR Addict

    Obetz, Ohio
    Racing Number:
    Yeh, that sometimes when I make my decision too. If I have a good run and I'm near the front, it's on.
  10. BriarcliffMx

    BriarcliffMx PR Founding Father

    I try not to walk the track, too easy to pysch yourself out. Things look way bigger than when riding. I do watch other practice seesions though to gauge what is do-able.
  11. cmoist

    cmoist PR Member

    Miamisburg, OH
    Racing Number:
    I walk the track to try to memorize it - not so much to look at jumps. I'm surprised no one has mentioned using video. I often take a laptop and watch my gopro vids after practice to see where I suck (everywhere) and where I'm making time (nowhere). After practice, I'll close my eyes and run through the track in my mind. If I'm foggy on a section, watch the video again until it's all clear.

    I definitely watch other practices to see what others are doing. A good example is the triple at Chillitown. When I got to the track, I honestly thought the third jump must be on a different straight - there was no way anyone would jump a jump that size. After watching others jump it, it looked feasible. I went out and hit it on the second lap. That's another thing - I've heard pros like Brayton say if they're going to jump something - they go out and hit it early, otherwise they risk psyching themselves out and never doing it.

    In the end though - it's best to be safe. I try to avoid doing stuff for the first time in the moto unless it's within my comfort zone.
  12. LuckyStar64

    LuckyStar64 PR Addict

    I'm past 40, and I tend to be conservative about what I call "consequential" jumps. (meaning jumps that would have consequences should you come up short on them). I agree that if I don't try it on the first or second lap-- then I won't do it that day.

    I can have a track memorized in a lap or two, but memorized and dialed are two seperate things. Especially when the track was muddy in practice, then it dries up by the time your race is on.--L*64
  13. Notorious t.o.d.

    Notorious t.o.d. PR Member

    Find someone that is close to your speed and perhaps a bit better and follow them closely and try to keep their pace and do what they do. I have often seen 65 and 85 riders learn to do some new jump by going with other riders to show them the pace, etc to o the jump.

    One thing we did fairly early on off the start to get better starts was to find the guy we thought would get the hole shot. Then on the gate we would try to get next to him on the inside, for example if the first turn was a right turn then his inside was to the right side on the line. If you couldn't get right next to him get as close as you can. Most fast riders tend to line up near each other on the line we found. Now you are positioned to try to do two things on the start, first you try to beat him to the first turn. But that probably won't happen right away because he is a better starter than you. What you really are going to do is get right on his rear wheel and stay there through the first turn or two, or three. He sort of becomes the blocking back leading you through the field to use a football analogy. Keep in mind that a good start is key, especially in short 3 or 4 lap local races. It is probably 80 percent of the race getting a top 4 or 5 place start. Once you get better starts you can work on going faster, clearing obsticles, and trying to get to the front. If you can get ahead of the pack you will have a clearer track and better chance to improve and do well.

    We did this mainly in C class, staying on Donnie Utz's rear wheel many motos at Malvern, but it applies to any class. My son also did the same thing at Field of Dreams LL Qualifier lining up next to Mike Allessi and getting third on the hole shot behind Mike and his brother Jeff. It works, give it a try and one day they smart guys will be trying to get on your rear wheel!
  14. loneranger171

    loneranger171 PR Addict

    Good advice! Remember and apply to Battle of Ohio...

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