Training tips for trail racing

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#1
i'm lookin to start trail racing next year so that i can get some training. i was wondering if anyone could give me some tips on what i should be doing to prepare myself for trail racing and any kind of training exercises i need to do. even a couple of pointers for setting up my bike would be awsome.
 
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#2
I like doing slow speed drills to work on balance, coordination, and clutch control. One of my favorites is to ride the bike in circles with the handle bars at full lock while standing. This seems to hit all of the major points. Practice locking up the back tire and sliding the bike around really tight turns, this helps keep your momentum going when you're negotiating trees. Popping the front wheel up predictably at low speed is a helpful skill. You don't need to ride wheelies, just pop it up a foot or so in the air. Normally, this is really easy, but when you have to do it at a specific time before you hit an obstacle, it gets really tricky.
 
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#4
Momentum. They hit the bottom with a lot of speed and just launch up the face. I don't suggest this one for the amature. It's hard on equipment and hard on bodies. The best I've been able to do on a vertical wall is launch the bike up it while I stay at the bottom.
 
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#5
Practice riding slow, really slow. Stand up and balance yourself so that you can ride slowing than a slow walk. Good balance is key. Like GMC said, practice popping up the front tire some so that when the time comes to hop a log you can get the front tire up and over.

The cliffs are hard, I've only attempted one before and it was because there was no other way around (we were stuck in a ditch). The wall we had to climb was about 12' feet high with the first 8' quite steep and the last 4 feet vertical. I almost shat myself. :D
 

High Lord Gomer

Poked with Sticks
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#10
As far as helpful tips...

I assume you have bark busters? If not, get them!

Geta drinking system and do enough riding with it to figure out how to mount it to make sure it is comfortable and usable for a long ride (4-6 hour enduro). Play with loading it with ice to see how long it will take to melt and figure out how much ice / water / Gatoraide to put in it. I used to put as much ice as possible then fill the rest with a 50/50 mix of Gatoraide and water.

Most woods races allow you x number of feet to the right and left of the marked trail. Get in the habit of looking far enough ahead for alternate lines when you come to turns. Frequently the designated line will have developed ruts and braking/acceleraton bumps and an alternate line will be less tiring. It is also a good place to pass people if they won't get out of the way.

In gneral, I think it is good practice to work on using all of the trail. Too many novice riders try to always take the inside line in turns. Taking the inside often limits how far you can lean the bike. Don't be afraid to ride that outside berm or even use roots/trees as berms.
 
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#12
Here's another training tip. Ride a lot of motocross. It's very good training for offroad as it's more intense and usually faster. Talk to any pro offroader and they'll say the same thing.
 
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#13
a buddy of mine does mx, i'm goin to be riding with him when i can. thanks for extra tip, any tips are a great help.
 
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#14
SpeedyManiac said:
Here's another training tip. Ride a lot of motocross. It's very good training for offroad as it's more intense and usually faster. Talk to any pro offroader and they'll say the same thing.
Hehe, not always. We took an A class MXer out riding on his first ST ride. He was talking so much smack about how good he was (granted he was really good on a track) so we thought he would do fine on some really gnarly trail. I made it through to the top and we sat there for a long time and he never showed up. We ended up going back and finding him and I kid you not, he was crying! He wasn't used to the beating he was receiving and it wiped him out.

I'm not saying that MX won't help you on the trails because it will but they are different and can't really be compared. Listen to Pastrana talk about the Erzberg Rodeo, he doesn't finish it at first and ends up falling asleep in the next one he was so tired. :laugh:
 
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#15
The MX track is great practice for running the fast fire roads, but there is no substitute for slow speed, trials style drills for the single track goat trails. Why do you think David Knight is so good? He started out as a trials rider.

Almost forgot the most important rule: Eyes forward while you're in the ruts.