How to get into racing when you're older


76 replies to this topic
  • beezer

Posted January 29, 2014 - 06:19 AM

#41

The OP said he is moving to Florida.  They don't have deserts in Florida.

 

He is asking about racing a WR450 not a quad.

 

The OP should find an enduro oriented dirt bike club when he gets to Florida. and join it.

 

They'll hook you up with all kind of places to ride.



  • YamaLink

Posted January 29, 2014 - 07:42 AM

#42

Your two main goals are realistic and objective, and you understand being in shape is different than "being in shape." As others have stated you will also find out, even in the beginner class, that being in shape riding is different than being in control during the stress of a race when you're not breathing or have that death grip. Too easy turning brain off and throttle on.



  • RockerYZWR

Posted January 29, 2014 - 10:29 AM

#43

Nothing but ice water running through these veins.

Thanks a lot for all the advice, guys.

  • beezer

Posted January 29, 2014 - 11:48 AM

#44

Nothing but ice water running through these veins.

Thanks a lot for all the advice, guys.

 

LOL  I think you're going to be fine.



  • RockerYZWR

Posted May 21, 2014 - 06:59 PM

#45

Just following up here - I entered my first race last month and ran again this past weekend. This is with the New Mexico Desert Racing hare scramble series and I entered open novice. These courses are pretty tough and my goals have been to 1) finish; 2) not come in last; and 3) not break my bike or myself. So far I've accomplished those goals and it's been a lot of fun (mostly after I finish my last lap...).

Anyway, thanks to all for the inputs here. I plan to get to as many races as I can this season and hopefully get better.

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  • RockerYZWR

Posted May 21, 2014 - 07:43 PM

#46

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).


BTW, you said it. There are times out there when I'm genuinely not enjoying it - I'm exhausted just after the pre-run the day prior. And when I'm hitting mile 20 of the whoops with miles still to go, I can't comprehend right now how the expert level guys do an additional two laps and stay so fast out there. The whoops and rocks are pretty punishing.

  • cynicryder

Posted May 22, 2014 - 01:09 PM

#47

BTW, you said it. There are times out there when I'm genuinely not enjoying it - I'm exhausted just after the pre-run the day prior. And when I'm hitting mile 20 of the whoops with miles still to go, I can't comprehend right now how the expert level guys do an additional two laps and stay so fast out there. The whoops and rocks are pretty punishing.

yes, same here. I feel the same way when doing that 36mph test sections in our enduro trying not to hour out, with 40 miles to go, after I droping the bike about 5 times in the last 1/4 mile, while trying to kickstart the flooded bike back to life... not enjoying it at the time.. but feeling pretty good about it at the end :-) our experts will clear one of those section and only loose like 3mins.



  • MaxPower

Posted May 23, 2014 - 07:51 PM

#48

You will see a lot of not teen age faces at a off road racing event. Many /most are 30+ .Get in the best shape you can be. Not to be the fastest in the second hour of racing, but to make your body less likely to be injured.
Your days of a getting a factory ride had past most likely . So there is no reason to take this so serious and get nervous to the point of ruining the fun. I enjoy the bit of nervousness I get right before the start. I never get that feeling from anything else.
I'm not going to tell you to get another bike. To me wide open terrain in New Mexico is better suited to a wr450 than sand whoops and roots of Florida. My experience is I didn't like racing my Wr450 in New Jersey/PA hare scrambles as I did my YZ and Cr125. That's me. You will have others tell you I'm wrong the WR is perfect for tight woods racing. It may be. It wasn't for me. it was just too heavy.
There are many guys that race today and didn't when they were 20. You will find too many riders to treat you as you have been racing for 20 years in the pits. Just dont hold them up if they are not in your class and come up on you. Don't go to races alone. Have medical insurance. If you have he desire and I feel you do because you made this thread, I think you should go racing.

  • RockerYZWR

Posted July 27, 2014 - 07:33 PM

#49

Following up again. Raced the Route 66 Desert Challenge this morning out in Gallup, NM. The weather was perfect and I got out mostly unscathed.

Highlights of the day:

- Got the holeshot! Race started on a track, then went 23 miles into the desert. It was very strange starting a race not eating dust and trying to avoid crashes.
- A few miles to go on lap 1, came upon a giant tangled mess of barbed wire sitting right in the middle of the course, couldn't steer around it in time, tried to go through it thinking it was a bush at first, instead it locked my front wheel and sent me over the bars. Was down for a couple minutes, but I was more pissed than anything.
- Sprained ankle on a sharp G-out in lap 1.
- Beginning of lap 2, back on the track after pit, decided to go for the triple...why not...ended up about 6 feet short and cased it bad! Unfortunately, no film evidence, but I saved it somehow and it felt really great on the ankle. And bones/organs/bike.
- 3 miles into lap 2 I hit a really sharp rock ledge and flatted my front tire - later found a 1" gash right through it. Rode the remaining 20 miles on a flat front, which sucked, but if it hadn't been for Tubliss (or a bib mousse) I probably wouldn't have finished. Still slowed me down a lot, though and definitely cost me. I am a Tubliss believer.
- Finished my class 23/45. That's fine with me - this is my fourth race ever and I'm having a blast.

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  • MANIAC998

Posted July 30, 2014 - 02:29 AM

#50

10505288_10152451283875753_5081387441182554860_n Thornwood MX.jpg

 

49 years young here, and the WR can do anything you want.

Is it the best at MX, nope. But you can still have fun on it!!!



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  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted July 30, 2014 - 08:52 AM

#51

Awesome thread, minus the ATV/bike argument !   I'm 47.  Not ready to race (yet ?) but absolutely amazed at how many older men are in this sport and how great it is.  I should have been doing this 10 years ago.


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, July 30, 2014 - 08:53 AM.


  • RockerYZWR

Posted August 07, 2014 - 03:38 PM

#52

Awesome thread, minus the ATV/bike argument !   I'm 47.  Not ready to race (yet ?) but absolutely amazed at how many older men are in this sport and how great it is.  I should have been doing this 10 years ago.

I will just say that you may not ever think you're ready to start racing, but the sooner you start, the better rider you'll become, sooner.  I honestly had no plans to start racing, but did this year finally at the encouragement of a couple of my buddies.  I'm only in my first season, obviously, but my riding has come a long way even just since my first race in April.  And similar to you, I hadn't ridden a dirtbike in several years, really since about 1996 until I bought the WR in May '13 (except for one day in '08 visiting family in SoCal, spent an entire afternoon trail ride on a CRF450X).  I rode a decent bit last summer, was out of the country for a few months last fall/winter, and since early January, I've been riding as much as possible every week.  But offroad racing just makes you focus more and naturally become faster and deal with obstacles and sketchy areas much better.  I'm a mid-pack C rider, not fast by really anyone's standards, but it's really cool to recognize progress and improvements on a regular basis (as well as continually pursue a better bike set-up).  

 

Anyway, that's my take on it - you may have family stuff or other constraints - but if you're not sure if you're ready because of skills or where you think you'll stack up against everybody else in your class, I say go for it ASAP!  And you're right, there are a lot of older dudes out there - old, gray-haired codgers who are faster than I'll probably ever be!  But everyone, in our series at least, is extremely friendly and always willing to help out (whether that's with advice, letting me keep my bike with them over night while we stay at a hotel in town, unloading or lifting stuff, working on the bike...whatever, people are just helpful and cool).

 

Oh, and also - if you haven't seen it already, look on Netflix (or buy the DVD on eBay for $6) and watch "Dust to Glory."  It is awesome, and that's both part of my inspiration for desert racing and something I think of when I think I have it rough or get tired during a measly 50 mile race.

 

Here are a couple more pictures I found on the series website from my last race.  If you can't be fast, at least look fast!  That's what I always say.

 

 

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  • BrapCity

Posted August 07, 2014 - 04:19 PM

#53

I'm 31 my first time riding in 5 years at the local motocross track I was forced to race because once a month they have private races (no association, non sanctioned). I didn't drive to the track not to ride. So I got my ass kicked by everyone. Now I've been there 2 times since and am.able to clear 1/3 the jumps. Going to join the race next month and try again. Everyday is open practice. Next season I'll pay for a yearly pass.

  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 08, 2014 - 08:15 AM

#54

And similar to you, I hadn't ridden a dirtbike in several years, really since about 1996 until I bought the WR in May '13 (except for one day in '08 visiting family in SoCal, spent an entire afternoon trail ride on a CRF450X).

 

The last time I did much trail riding was the summer of 1988 on a borrowed KDX250 and XR350R on ATV trails.  I think I did 3 afternoon rides that summer.  The last time I personally owned a dirt bike was 1985 !  My friend got me out for an evening ride on a KDX200 in 2008 and kept bugging me to buy a bike.

 

After watching him have fun on a dirt bike all these years, I bought my WR450F one year ago this week.  I've been on about 15 rides in the last year.  My skills are improving rapidly, mainly because all the guys I ride with are racing.  I get a lot of "feedback" on the trail.  


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 08, 2014 - 08:16 AM.


  • JVP

Posted August 08, 2014 - 08:57 AM

#55

All I got to say is don't let your ego get a head of you when you are older.  Things tend to break a little easier.  Look at my Avatar.  I did that racing at Perris CA when I was 44.  I decided to race in a open class because I was getting board in the 40+ class.  The younger guys don't back off as you may expect.   Anyway, no more MX racing.  That was 13 years ago. I still do District 37/38 stuff on occasion, but I look at the photo to remind me to just have fun......



  • MidlifeCrisisGuy

Posted August 08, 2014 - 09:03 AM

#56

All I got to say is don't let your ego get a head of you when you are older.  Things tend to break a little easier.  Look at my Avatar.  I did that racing at Perris CA when I was 44.  I decided to race in a open class because I was getting board in the 40+ class.  The younger guys don't back off as you may expect.   Anyway, no more MX racing.  That was 13 years ago. I still do District 37/38 stuff on occasion, but I look at the photo to remind me to just have fun......

 

I so agree.  We ride with a guy 73 years old, still reasonably fast and still loving it.   His favorite saying is that most fast racing guys are fast because their bodies have amassed a bunch of "aftermarket titanium parts", ie screws and pins.  I can live without racing.  I can see why its fun, but I'm having fun just riding.  No need for me to race.

 

I'm proud to say that I had no significant crashes in my first year back riding.  I bruised some ribs after a bad landing going too fast over a log, but that is about it.  No injuries + lots of fun = success in my books, especially given the brutal nature of some of the terrain we ride ! 

 

My saving grace was many years spent riding spooky, ill handling 2 strokes in the 80s.  These new bikes are pussycats compared to them !


Edited by MidlifeCrisisGuy, August 08, 2014 - 09:07 AM.


  • RockerYZWR

Posted August 08, 2014 - 09:53 AM

#57

I so agree. We ride with a guy 73 years old, still reasonably fast and still loving it. His favorite saying is that most fast racing guys are fast because their bodies have amassed a bunch of "aftermarket titanium parts", ie screws and pins. I can live without racing. I can see why its fun, but I'm having fun just riding. No need for me to race.

I'm proud to say that I had no significant crashes in my first year back riding. I bruised some ribs after a bad landing going too fast over a log, but that is about it. No injuries + lots of fun = success in my books, especially given the brutal nature of some of the terrain we ride !

My saving grace was many years spent riding spooky, ill handling 2 strokes in the 80s. These new bikes are pussycats compared to them !

Fun is what it's all about, whatever form of riding that takes. I've got a decent bit of titanium and SS in my body from a streetbike (Rocker v. Chevy 1/2 ton pickup, 1998) and have had various minor to moderate injuries over the years from other activities, but I'd like to not break any more bones or have any more soft tissue injuries if possible. I ride pretty conservatively, especially in a race, where me doing something stupid could more easily get someone else hurt. It's fun to push myself and compete, but it's smart to be realistic about the whole thing. There is a balance.

"A man has got to know his limitations."

  • MANIAC998

Posted August 10, 2014 - 02:57 AM

#58

I've got some younger friends that try to talk me into doing some of their crazier jumps, and I just tell them it doesn't work out in my equation calculation. They then ask me about that.

 

I tell them, "If I make that big double, I can save 2 seconds per lap."  "If I don't make that big double, it's going to cost me two month's in a cast. I'd rather be riding for the next two months!!!"

 

I'm good at simple math!!! :ride:



  • RockerYZWR

Posted August 10, 2014 - 12:59 PM

#59

I usually ask what gear they're hitting it in...

  • cynicryder

Posted August 14, 2014 - 09:18 PM

#60

so, I just had a humbling (but awesome) experience this weekend. I'm a C level 50+ enduro/harescrambler who got back into racing a few years ago and have been noodling around in our district series races, which are a mix of terrain from technical rocky mountain, tight single track and even desert. I struggle and managed to get something like 4th in my class for the season DNF'ing about half the enduros.

 

I'm always  in awe when I get passed by some of our A/Expert riders who make it look easy and make me feel old. last weekend, I rode in a  national enduro in colorado. some of our district riders were there (it's not a district series) and our #1 guy made 13th O/A. anyway, what was awesome, was watching some of the pro riders. in this event, all the classes are mixed up and even if you're A-C, you could be on a row with one of the Pros. also they had different splits for the Pro/A/B and Cs, Anyway, I got passed by some of them including Cody Webb in a transfer section. holly crap !!! I used to think our expert level riders were good. however, the pros ride like Gods, it's like they float by and get infinite traction, and somehow flow around the trees... it as almost surreal. 

 

just to give you an idea here is a video of the last two  tests from the helmet cam of the #22 O/A rider. notice that even he got passed by at least two guys that I noticed. he was row 20, so the 1st place winner from the last round would have started on row 21 (Jesse Groemm) and the 2nd place winner on row 22 (Steward Baylor), etc... they rode those sections in about 2/3 of the time.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=prqMp6i6jNA


Edited by cynicryder, August 14, 2014 - 09:25 PM.





 
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