How to get into racing when you're older


76 replies to this topic
  • beezer

Posted January 27, 2014 - 09:44 AM

#21

practicing in the western deserts will bring a world of humbleness in the eastern woods.

 

Very true.



  • cynicryder

Posted January 27, 2014 - 10:34 AM

#22

I have nearly 4 decades on you and I hope/expect to be riding fast for another decade.

 

One thing you might consider is vintage racing. The local vintage racing organization in this part of the country has classes not only by machine and level of expertise -- they include your age for riders over 40. We have guys well into their 70s riding vintage MX and Hare Scrambles. 

 

Can you get hurt more easily than a 20-year-old? Yes, I broke my foot last year on a bad landing coming off a double jump at a local MX track (still hurts). But riding against people your own age helps to keep the competition from being too overwhelming.

vintage racing can be cool. we have a "blue plate vintage", which is 84 and newer. I think other districts call it "post vintage". our vintage class has some really good racers in it, that also win the overall race. I would be dead last in that class, no matter how hard I tried. and yes, many of the vintage racers are vintage themselves...lol



  • RockerYZWR

Posted January 27, 2014 - 08:01 PM

#23

practicing in the western deserts will bring a world of humbleness in the eastern woods.

I don't doubt that getting started in racing will present many humbling opportunities. But again, I'm in it to finish and not be last. I'll learn woods riding without riding beyond my abilities in the process. I'm sure sand, rocks, and tractionless hard pack is not an ideal transition to wet, muddy, rocky, rooted tight technical riding, but it's a skill set all its own and it's all I've got for now.

  • SurfaceToAir

Posted January 27, 2014 - 10:00 PM

#24

Your'e young. Lots of years ahead of you. I thing the posts above are spot on and great advise.  Get in there and do it!

 

I've not raced in 20 years, and my goal for this year is to do at least one race and just not finish last or break myself along the way. I'll be 42 next month, and I bet your'e in better shape than me.  I'm going to do it anyway.  Where I live ( near San Francisco )- it'll probably be MX since hair scrambles and enduros are a little far away and I'd like to be somewhat familiar with the terrain before racing it. 

 

I personally do very little track riding these days, and prefer trails- but one good thing about a track is there is a set pattern you can follow and count on.  You can take the same berm, whoops, jumps all day long and dial them in.  So there's that :)

 

As the old saying goes- you have to go slow to go fast.  Don't get too caught up in other peoples race the first couple of times out there.

 

good luck!
Dustin



  • RockerYZWR

Posted January 28, 2014 - 05:41 AM

#25

As the old saying goes- you have to go slow to go fast. Don't get too caught up in other peoples race the first couple of times out there.

Great advice! Thanks a lot.

With the whole almost 36 and feeling old thing, I'm in a job where there are a lot of younger dudes in the same unit, and at this age, there are many times now that I'm the oldest in the group. The two guys I ride the most with are both several years younger and both grew up racing (although one is new to offroad), and both are faster than I am right now. And they're both on ATVs which makes being behind them all the time really suck. The three of us will be at the same location next together and we've talked a lot about racing GNCC. And to close the loop, our wives are completely on board!

But the point is, that is my context. I know 36 isn't old by world standards. It just feels like it sometimes when you're in my shoes and seems especially relevant at times to getting into racing.

  • beezer

Posted January 28, 2014 - 06:12 AM

#26

You get beaten by guys on quads?



  • RockerYZWR

Posted January 28, 2014 - 07:29 AM

#27

No, of course not.



  • cynicryder

Posted January 28, 2014 - 08:57 AM

#28

of course, we all dream of being fast and beating all the young kids on the track, etc... however, realistically, the older we get, the smarter rather than faster we ride. one of the reasons I like Enduro over Motorcross and Hare Scramble, is because in Enduro, you're really racing your own race against yourself and it's more about conserving energy and strategy, than being the fastest. also, even if you're not the fastest, showing up to all the races in the season will often time rank you higher, than the faster guys who only show up to a couple of races. I'd rather have a season trophy than a single race trophy. many of the younger guys are surprised how tough enduros and cross country can be. I do enjoy messing with the kids by out maneuvering/lasting them, especially in the technical/physically demanding races.



  • grayracer513

Posted January 28, 2014 - 09:23 AM

#29

You get beaten by guys on quads?

 

I do, and if you come out here and race with us, you will, too.  In fact, I have $50 that says we have a tall, good looking 20 something woman on a quad who can beat you and most other people at one of our races.  She consistently finishes in the top 20 overall in a field of 100-120, in spite of the fact that the expert/amateur quads start 5-6 minutes after the Ex/Am bikes do.

 

To Rocker, your goal should be, regardless of the race format, to finish the entire event, nothing more. People will be passing you left and right all day long, but if you finish, you will accomplish what you came for, and you'll beat everyone who didn't finish, if no one else.  Like the guy said, don't get caught up with chasing anybody else.

 

As far as the transition from desert to woods, yes, the terrain is different, but the basic skills are the same, and if you enter a couple of desert races, or hare & hound, or WORCS events, you'll find yourself being challenged to ride places in a hurry that you wouldn't choose to on a fun ride (unless you're some kind of twisted masochist).  The image of SoCal desert being all wide open flat stuff is completely wrong.  We had one of our regulars bring a friend out from Kentucky who was a veteran woods guy.  He was surprised at how tough some of the rocky canyons were.  Just 'cause there's no water and no trees, don't make 'em easy.



  • beezer

Posted January 28, 2014 - 10:35 AM

#30

I dunno.  The average quad rider here is a drunk on a utility quad who's too stupid to figure out a twist throttle.  Our trails are too narrow for them to fit by design.

 

Having never ridden the desert I have no idea what it's like but I have ridden with desert rats

who came out here to ride.

 

They didn't have much fun.  They had trouble with the lack of traction.

 

That being said I'm sure I would be a big suck in the desert.



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  • grayracer513

Posted January 28, 2014 - 11:02 AM

#31

of course, we all dream of being fast and beating all the young kids on the track, etc... however, realistically, the older we get, the smarter rather than faster we ride. one of the reasons I like Enduro over Motorcross and Hare Scramble, is because in Enduro, you're really racing your own race against yourself and it's more about conserving energy and strategy, than being the fastest. also, even if you're not the fastest, showing up to all the races in the season will often time rank you higher, than the faster guys who only show up to a couple of races. I'd rather have a season trophy than a single race trophy. many of the younger guys are surprised how tough enduros and cross country can be. I do enjoy messing with the kids by out maneuvering/lasting them, especially in the technical/physically demanding races.

 

At last weekend's race, 2 of the top ten finishers were over 30, 2 were over 40, and one was over 50.  The 50+ guy is nearly always in the top 5.



  • RockerYZWR

Posted January 28, 2014 - 11:26 AM

#32

These guys are on racing quads and they're pretty good.  I don't care what anybody says, I think riding quads is easier overall.  I have an obvious power advantage over them and do well through the deep sand whoops (until the arm pump hits), but they get me in the turns - especially flat turns - and most importantly, don't tire out as quickly. 



  • Slackkinhard

Posted January 28, 2014 - 11:36 AM

#33

I'm suspecting that grayracer's track is somewhat catered for quads...long straights, flat corners, table top jumps

 

Ya just can't convince me that the quads could outrun a bike in anything technically challenging.



  • Slackkinhard

Posted January 28, 2014 - 11:51 AM

#34

I dunno.  The average quad rider here is a drunk on a utility quad who's too stupid to figure out a twist throttle.  Our trails are too narrow for them to fit by design.

 

Having never ridden the desert I have no idea what it's like but I have ridden with desert rats

who came out here to ride.

 

They didn't have much fun.  They had trouble with the lack of traction.

 

That being said I'm sure I would be a big suck in the desert.

 

You're on target. I've raced expert class since I was a kid in Socal.  Moved up here to the Seattle area and figured I could hold my own out in the woods...I was on the ground all day. 

 

5 mins in, the guy I went with took off, I chased after him through a huge puddle....about 1/2 way across I hit a slimy log and went down.  I remember skidding through the puddle on my side and could see the line on my goggle where the muddy water met the air.  I got up, completely soaked, dumped a quart of water out of my helmet, got my bike started and went looking for my 'buddy'.  I had never been there, and there was a couple intersections, I got good and lost.  Rode around for hours out there until I stumbled back into the staging area completely by accident. Socal riders have no idea what a slime covered root buried under forest loam, or mud puddle can do to you.  It took about a year to really find my 'way' through the rainforest.

 

Nowadays, I go down to Socal to ride the deserts and the speeds, soft sandy corners, deep sand, etc take at least an hour or two to adjust.  I've even found there is a big adjustment between E. Washington riding and W. Washington riding.  Seems when I go east, I have to get used to embedded rocks at speed...usually whack some things, flat a tire, etc.  Then I come back west and I have to get my precision front tire placement groove back.  Otherwise it's a jostling experience...lots of trail flotsam at lower speeds is a different balance.


Edited by Slackkinhard, January 28, 2014 - 11:53 AM.


  • grayracer513

Posted January 28, 2014 - 02:08 PM

#35

I'm suspecting that grayracer's track is somewhat catered for quads...long straights, flat corners, table top jumps

 

Ya just can't convince me that the quads could outrun a bike in anything technically challenging.

 

 

Track? What track? I'm talking desert racing here.  If you don't believe, come on down and get your butt handed to you.  A Quad finished 5th overall last week, even with the 5 minute handicap.



  • Slackkinhard

Posted January 28, 2014 - 02:34 PM

#36

Track? What track? I'm talking desert racing here.  If you don't believe, come on down and get your butt handed to you.  A Quad finished 5th overall last week, even with the 5 minute handicap.

 

Racing around on the flats became boring by the time I was done with 3 wheelers...It's always been a standing offer to any of the quad riders around, if I can still hear your motor after 10mins, I'll give ya $20......then I beeline it for something they can only throw their hands in the air

 

http://www.youtube.c...hhfUD1T9hkg#t=0

 

still waiting for a quad to go somewhere I can't follow.  My old ATC 90 3 wheeler would cross a lake, so I suppose it would win hands down :)

 

I suppose in snow and ice they have some advantages....but trelleborgs solve that problem.

 

 

BTW, how far ahead was the winning bike rider?


Edited by Slackkinhard, January 28, 2014 - 02:39 PM.


  • grayracer513

Posted January 28, 2014 - 04:03 PM

#37

In the first place, the races generally don't stay down on the "flats" as you call them, and this one certainly didn't.    The winner's time in hours/min/sec was 2.15.54.441.  The first quad was 10 minutes back at 2.25.22.961.  Remember that he had to sit there on the line for a good 5 minutes while the dust cleared before they started him.  Josh Row, one of our local guys who rides for Yamaha now, has finished second overall before, and it was a lot closer than 10 minutes, too.  At one of the recent GP races we held at Pala Raceway, using the "Amateur" track (includes a couple of doubles) and running up into the surrounding hills, he posted the fastest lap of the day by over a minute.  

 

These guys hear this crap all the time, but not from the guys they race with.  I know several of them who would be more than happy to learn you a l'il respect. 

 

kodjrow500.jpg

 

Now, let's return to the original topic, if no one objects.



  • Slackkinhard

Posted January 28, 2014 - 04:14 PM

#38

ok, but it seems the first quad lost 5 more minutes in that race...I have nothing against quads, I have a built one, and an ATC250R...love them both, but they have their limits.

 

back to tips for racing....get your water situation figured out long before racetime.  Lots of combinations(straight or adulterated water, etc).  Get the mouthpiece setup so you can access it while riding fast over rough terrain. 



  • grayracer513

Posted January 28, 2014 - 04:33 PM

#39

ok, but it seems the first quad lost 5 more minutes in that race...

 

 

 

To the leader, yes, but if not for the 5 minute handicap, he would have finished third, in front of over 75 motorcycles.



  • Slackkinhard

Posted January 28, 2014 - 04:41 PM

#40

To the leader, yes, but if not for the 5 minute handicap, he would have finished third, in front of over 75 motorcycles.

 

he'd have prolly won if he was riding a bike :)

 

another race tip...clip a master link or two to your clutch cable. :thumbsup:


Edited by Slackkinhard, January 28, 2014 - 04:43 PM.





 
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