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With warmer weather and the riding season around the corner for many of us, I wanted to cover a topic that can either make or break an event. Whether you’re competing in a racing series or traveling to the track or trail, let's talk about event preparedness. More specifically, what spare parts should you keep on hand? Plus, what methods do you use to keep your spares organized?
Honestly, I struggled with organization until I started working on this post. I had no method to my madness. Every time an event came up I’d do the same thing; throw a bunch of stuff in a box or the back of my van and head to the event. The sad part is I now realize this was a weakness of mine for quite some time, but didn’t do anything about it! Maybe you can relate?
I finally said enough is enough. I don’t throw my tools in a cardboard box when I go to a race, leaving what I bring to the fate of my memory. So why would I do that with the spare parts I bring?
I started solving this problem by compiling a spreadsheet detailing what spare parts I keep on hand for ice racing and hare scrambles. I realize that each discipline will differ and may have niche parts that should be kept. The goal here is not to definitively define what spares one should keep on hand, but to have a conversation and provide a resource that can be used to help people get set up based on their own needs.
Once I took inventory of everything I felt I wanted to bring to a race, I went to Menards and went hunting for the perfect organized storage bin/toolbox. Here’s what I ended up with:
Naturally, once I returned with the toolbox, my list grew and I probably need to go back for a bigger one. I intend to store a copy of the spreadsheet in the tote so I can keep tabs on inventory and know exactly what I have available.
Should I get another bike, this system is easily replicable and my plan is to get another organized toolbox that goes with it.
This system is how I went from being an unorganized “throw it in the van at the last minute” rider to a more relaxed well prepared rider. I’d love to hear how you handle event readiness, what you bring, and how you keep track of it. My hope is that by sharing our strategies we’ll save someone the misfortune of having a bad day at the track or trail. Perhaps I'll even end up with more things I need to add to my list.
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The official ride video...Make sure to watch in HD
The day started by waking up in a lavish hotel room at the Aranwa Resort in Urubamba, Peru. I had a couple of hours to eat breakfast, gear up, and drive across the valley to another fine hotel to meet up with Imad.
A month prior, I received an email inquiry about running a one day hard enduro tour. I was available for the dates, so I began discussing the options for the tour. What I found out was that Imad, who lives in Dubai, was vacationing with his wife. He had come up with a brilliant plan to offer a full day at the spa for his wife which in turn allowed him to take advantage of another type of "SPA." Brilliant!
Normally, I begin the tours from our headquarters in Cusco, but in this case, I was able to accommodate by starting at Imad's hotel in Urubamba. This gave me an excuse to bring my entire family to the valley, put them up at a nice hotel complete with all the fixings, and combine it with a one day enduro ride that has kept a smile on my face for days. I hung out with my family when I was at the hotel, then snuck out for a ride with Imad, then returned to spend more time with the family. Perfect!
A couple of happy fellas
I arrived at the Tambo del Inca, one of the finest hotels in Urubamba. I unloaded the bikes, prepped the lunches, warmed everything up, then headed into the lobby to find Imad.
There he was with his happy wife who was about to be pampered for an entire day at the spa. She couldn't have been more happy. Imad was stoked to be able to enjoy Peru on a dirt bike. A win-win in my book!
His wife made sure that I was legitimate. She was a bit concerned about me bringing him back in one piece. She mentioned the fact that there are two young kids who have a special relationship with their dad. I also fit that scenario, so I piped in my story to appease his wife that it was indeed my plan to bring Imad back alive and in good condition.
Within minutes, Imad and I found ourselves mounting up on the two Husqvarna TE 300's. The trail head, just a minute away from the hotel was screaming for us to come try her out.
The trail started out with a daunting strip of tight rock walled single track that resembles a jungle tunnel. It wasn't raining at the time, but it was extremely wet from the rain the night before. Imad pounded out the section with a bit of wonder about whether or not the rest of the day would be similar. I think it scared him a bit. To his pleasant surprise, I explained that it's not all as difficult, but that we would face countless obstacles in the days ride...But not to worry, it would all be worth it.
Just a little rocky section to play around on
We continued to work our way up the canyon with a goal of reaching the lower lake. I figured it would be a worthy goal to reach the lake, have lunch, then work our way back down the valley.
Along the way up, we encountered numerous switchbacks, rock gardens, open meadows, creeks, and many a wet alpaca poop pile. The ride was just what Imad had hoped for.
As a guide, I never know how people will do with the altitude. It can be a butt-kicker for some, and for others, it hardly makes a difference. With Imad, he struggled with it at first, but somehow caught a second wind as we reached the bottom of the last big obstacle before the lake. It was a rocky staircase climb that typically wreaks havoc when its dry, but this time it was soaking wet. We had our work cut out for us.
Like two mules, we worked up a good lather climbing up each of the rock steps. I made sure to tell Imad that the view would be worth it. Within a few minutes, he had the opportunity to agree with me. The view was just what Imad needed. In fact, he was so stoked about the view that he told me he wanted to try to reach the upper lake. We had plenty of time, so why not?
Taking a break!
The stakes go up on the route between the lakes. The terrain we saw below the first lake was only a warm up. Imad confirmed that he was indeed ready to give it a shot. Atta boy!
The coolest part of the section is a waterfall that cascades down the mountain as the trail goes right through it. Check out the video if you want to see what I mean! We worked our way through the water, up a number of tight rocky switchbacks, and finally through a stand of scary red-barked trees where one would expect to find a creepy murderer with an axe. The ride is so fun that you forget the altitude. Just past the forest was the final climb before the upper lake. Imad was feeling his oats at this point. We crested the top to discover a sight to behold; The upper lake.
It's absolute beauty. It was a perfect place to eat our lunch, take a million pictures and get ready to ride around the side of the lake to an untouched area where a dirt bike has never been. That is always a special treat that I can do for my customers. There are hundreds of places like that which can be explored on my tours.
The upper lake never disappoints...well worth the effort!
A bit of food and drink, then we mounted up and began a fun trials type of terrain complete with granite rock slabs, bright green grass, tons of mud, and views that continued to blow us away. We played around for a good hour until it was time to begin our descent to the bottom of the valley.
Although it is the same trail, it seems like a different valley and route altogether. The downhill is sketchy. It's fast and rhythmic, but there are so many places to find yourself on your face. We experienced a couple of crashes, but coming down provides such a thrill...in fact, it's that type of thrill that keeps me riding. Pure smiles all the way down.
A little ride through a waterfall
We made it back to the hotel with nothing left in our tanks. No gas, nor energy. Completely smoked, but so satisfied! Another typical ride in the Andes of Peru! Make sure to check out the ride video to see what I am talking about. I can't wait to share another one next time around. Stay tuned and make sure to follow the blog so you can see the next post when it comes out.
Until the next one,
Check out more of our hard enduro videos on our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.
TIME TO REST - Pay attention to these 10 body indicators to gauge when to work out and when to back off!
If you don’t take time to rest and recovery, your body wont adapt to the stress of training and racing – and as a result you won’t get stronger or faster. If you neglect recovery for too long, you will start to lose strength and speed.
Here are some symptoms to look for:
- First your sleep patterns will be off (tired and you can’t sleep, restless sleep, etc.).
- Second your energy levels will be negatively affected.
- Third, you will begin to get sick more frequently (and take longer to heal from the virus).
- Fourth, your appetite will become suppressed.
Remember, over training is not applicable only to elite athletes and professionals, recreational athletes have to balance, personal, professional, bills, children, inadequate sleep, etc. which is what makes recovering from your workouts and racing even more difficult.
See if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Symptom #1-Body Mass
A 2% drop in weight from day to day indicates a body-fluid fluctuation. More than likely, you didn’t hydrate enough to offset heat, humidity, intensity and duration. Dehydration negatively impacts both physical and mental performance and could compromise the quality of your next workout or race.
Symptom 2-Elevated Resting Heart
An elevated resting heart rate is a significant indicator of stress within the body. An elevated HR indicates that your nervous system is in that “fight or flight” mode which results in elevated hormone levels to provide more oxygen to the muscles and brain. Your body doesn’t know the difference between and physical and psychological stress. A hard day at work and/or a hard workout or race both require additional recovery protocols.
Symptom 3-Sleep Quality: you wake up and don’t feel fresh.
Quality sleep: falling asleep quickly, deeply and staying there for a long period of time will allow your body to release the much needed growth hormone (hGH) necessary for rebuilding muscle and burning body fat. Several low quality nights of sleep will decrease your reaction time, immune system, can cognitive functions – not a good scenario when it comes to quality workout or high end performance on race day.
Symptom 4-Hydration: your urine is dark yellow
Unless you are taking B vitamins, a dark colored urine can be an indicator of dehydration. Your urine is an easy indicator of your water levels throughout your body.
Symptom5-Energy Levels are Low
Honesty is the key here. You know the difference between being tired and having low energy. Being tired is about recovering from yesterday’s workload. Being low on energy is a at a completely different level. Athletes think they can block out signs of fatigue and push to the next level of fitness, performance just doesn’t develop in this environment.
Symptom 6-Mood State: your moody (and even cranky).
When your body is overwhelmed by stress (training, racing, work, family, etc.), it produces the stress hormone cortisol that can cause irritability and/or anxiety. Stress also halts chemicals like dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that has a big bummer effect on mood when depleted. Crankiness means not enough recovery.
Any illness or even a woman’s menstrual cycle, will increase your need for energy to refuel your immune system, which is having to work overtime. This translates into fewer resources available for recovery from training.
Symptom 8-Pain: your excessively sore or have a nabbing injury.
Whether you are sore from over worked muscles or have an injury that continues to linger is an indicator that your body needs more energy to put towards the repair, which extends your total recovery time.
Symptom 9-Performance is sub-par.
This is a subjective measure of workout quality, not quantity nor intensity. If you perform well on a particular workout, you would rate that workout as “good”. If you have a sub-par performance or feel like you are struggling to complete that same workout, you would rate that workout as “poor”. Trending workout quality – multiple poor workouts in a row – is one of the easiest ways to identify the need for more recovery.
Symptom 10-Oxygen Saturation: low oxygen levels.
The amount of oxygen in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells can be measured and is thought to be an accurate assessment of recovery because of the association of high oxygen saturation levels and higher energy levels.
Evaluation Time: count how many of the above symptoms you have experienced over the last week and then compare this against the following:
0-1: Green Light: you are recovering adequately and can maintain your normal volume and intensity
2-4: Caution: You can complete your hard workouts; however, cut the workout short if you are struggling to complete the first couple of intervals after a long warm up
5-6: Warning: This is the zone where you are close to tipping the scales and becoming over-worked, sick and injury prone. You need to add a second rest day to your week
7-10: Danger: You are IN the danger zone and need to take one week completely off (no sport specific training); increase your high quality food intake and take 2 hour naps each day.
If you want me an my staff to review if you should take a break from training and racing, please feel free to contact us at Contact@CoachRobb.com.
Sure, it's fun to put some laps in on a motocross track. But, you'll fall short of your potential if you're not using this key practice law of practicing important techniques separately. This is true for motocross cornering skills as well as motocross jumping skills. Did you know that riding really well requires mastering as many as 55 separate techniques, all laced seamlessly together?
If you'd like more of my riding tips, browse my blog here on ThumperTalk or my website. If you'd like to be notified when I post new riding tips, subscribe by clicking the "follow" button (upper right).
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We are the UNLV Rebel MX Club! We're a new student organization at the University of Nevada Las Vegas established in late Fall of 2016. We started as a small group of students that share a strong passion for riding dirt bikes and wanted to share that passion with others and create a way to get people out and riding.
Getting the club started has been quite a process, BUT it has been worth it and we are thrilled to see it grow!
Our main purpose for creating this club is to unite the dirt bike and motocross community in the valley, starting with the students at our university as well as members of the surrounding Las Vegas area. Not only do we want to connect current riders, but we also want to get those who have an interest in riding and learning about dirt bikes out there and exposed to this community. How do we plan on achieving these ideas? Great question! We plan on hosting many "Learn to Ride Days" where we will take a few brand new riders out at a time and teach them the basics on the bikes. We have been fortunate enough to pick up some sponsors and funding to buy a club learner bike, bringing our vision closer. Planning camping trips and super-cross parties is also in Rebel Mx's near future, we are so excited to see what the future holds!
We want to know who would be interested in joining clubs like these on their campuses and in their community. Let us know!
And stay tuned for more info and updates and our hurdles and achievements!!! \m/
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