Mid-Life, or Life Long Crisis Racing

Discussion in 'Racing' started by novaboy, May 6, 2012.

  1. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Hey Folks,

    I started this thread after my previous one http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=777357 about myself questioning what bike would be good for a newb, new to dirt bike riding should start with. Because of this, more guys started posted that were getting into racing at the ripe ol' age of 40+ like myself, or were already underway.

    Yesterday was my second real day on the bike (2003 XR250R, my wife would approve a bigger budget and it was a local well looked after bike). I went out to one of the local sandpits/tracks to practice for an hour. I felt fairly comfortable on the bike, and it's a good thing I keep myself in good shape, because it is a hell of workout, my helmet, jersey, and gloves were soaked with sweat afterwards.

    http://youtu.be/sDysFv1ixVY

    The other big news is..........I signed up for my first enduro. It's a fund raiser for breast cancer, which hits home here. My mother-in-law passed away from it 15 years ago, before I had met my wife, Kim. So getting her blessing to do the race was easy. It's a 75km/46.6 mile course. I entered in the Sportsman class which is one loop of 75km. I spoke to the organizer and they said it should be doable for someone of my experience level.

    So now I have just under two months to train and prepare. I plan to get in a lot of riding, and so far my work schedule is looking good for that. I'll continue to cross train by running 3-5 days a week, however now I will incorporate more anaerobic, sprint interval work. Stand up paddle boarding is a great total body workout, which really helps with the core, and I'll squeeze in some more push ups and pull ups.

    Look forward to hearing from the rest of the guys and how all the new racers are doing.
    #1
  2. mavbike

    mavbike Adventurer

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    I'm 42 now. Been riding on the street since 19. Never rode "off road" till I was in my late 20's. Had a bike for a few months then everything went during the divorce. Late 30's started riding again. Finaly got to try a few races. It's adictive!!

    I found that as far as skill,,,, going somewhere and riding all day on a Saturday or Sunday helped way more than just an hour here and there. I was having to think about things that others (who had ridden non-stop since kids) could do automaticaly. By riding for longer at a time, it helped build muscle memory.

    I have now raced both flattrack and some cross country races. I found that in the cross country races, I could often beat faster riders just by riding smart and holding a steady pace. When you ride over your head, you make mistakes that cost time and energy. Back it down just a notch to a steady pace you can hold, ride smooth, focus on not making mistakes. You may do way better than you think.

    Good luck:freaky
    #2
  3. brent tex

    brent tex Been here awhile

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    Hey Novaboy,
    Looks like you doing an awful lot of exercise for this enduro, good on ya, being in good shape is going to pay huge dividends, hell I didnt do as much exercise for the Tuareg rallye as what youre doing for an enduro. Go kick some butt, and a worthy cause too.
    #3
  4. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Hey Brent tex, I'm not really exercising a whole lot more than normal, I love to run, and paddle board, so just a little bit of extra stuff.

    Mavbike, thanks for the tips, I'm gonna try and get out once week for an all morning or afternoon ride. Steady is what usually wins most long races. I've done marathons and a lot of triathlons including an Ironman, and I have learned that lesson the hard way.....many times. I'm slowing down a little in my older years so I'm hoping what little smarts I have learned will carry me through now. LOL
    #4
  5. M.A.G.

    M.A.G. I heart Penalties

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    Awesome soundtrack!
    #5
  6. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Thanks, nothing better than a bit of Maiden.

    One of the guys on the local forum invited me out to his harescramble track next week for some woods riding practise. Really looking forward to that, it will help a lot for the enduro since it is in the same area and similiar terrain.
    #6
  7. Silver

    Silver Dirtnewb

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    Long post of tips and stuff from the other thread. Just general racing I found that was good for newer racers or those looking to get into it. Click on the thread in the OP if you're wondering what type of bike to get for it, lots of discussion on that, but this is more about racing than what type of bike so just posting those tidbits.

    There ya have it. :D
    #7
  8. Silver

    Silver Dirtnewb

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    Double post, now for my introduction haha. 39, just got my second dirtbike ever a 2004 KTM200EXC. Has a rekluse clutch, steering damper and has been redone with heavier springs. So far I love it. My previous bike was an XR80 that I had when I was 13. So I'm super new to this. Basically I went from

    I went from this
    [​IMG]

    To this
    [​IMG]

    I still have the streetbike but here lately all I've been doing is riding dirt. My learning curve has included punching trees. No I don't wear the ring anymore while riding. Safety issues.
    [​IMG]

    To taking dives into the mud
    [​IMG]

    Also I've fallen over, smacked stumps, had a tree limb yank me right off the bike, among other things. But I've also had a great time learning it all. Need to definitely step it up and get into shape though. I had planned on doing a benefit race but that didn't work out due to issues. I'm going to probably pick up and do some races when the fall season kicks into gear.

    So that's my plan currently. I'll leave you with some video, first one is my conquering the hill that we call the newb getter at my friends land. It's the one that made me punch the tree. I think this was my second time out riding ever.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/bW8Y-IhUHbM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Also we have my mud faceplant too. Not the faceplant actually but me picking myself up out of it.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/d4XvYHn_b3M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Lastly one from this weekend. Bob ended up taking me on "I think this is one of the easy portions of the red trail" it wasn't. Caution, some foul language in this vid. Just so you know.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/audzEjBPcsY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Cheers!
    #8
  9. Rider_WV

    Rider_WV Long timer

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    A little bit of my history with bikes...

    I LIVED on a bmx bike well into my late teens. Raced BMX occasionally, then moved on to Mountain bikes, raced them a little but mostly just trail rides. Due to an accident my dad had before i was even born I wasnt allowed on dirtbikes.

    In 03 I decided to by a dirtbike at the ripe old age of 25. I had played on friends bikes as a kid, but never really had any seat time. I tried riding with quads and had ZERO help, guidance or experience. Rocky creeks, ledges waterfalls, etc..it was a miserable experience. I never even wore out the stock tires. It was a love-hate relationship. Traded the yz250f for a suzuki samurai, in early 05, barely ridden.

    April 08 I bought a sv650 and started riding on the road. Put 12k miles on it in 6 months, picked up a DL650 in August, traded the SV for a pimped out 06crf250r in November 08. I rode the hell out of it and the dirt itch really stuck. I found new riding buds and in Late jan early feb 09 met up with some guys to ride singletrack. I was in WAY over my head. These guys were all A and VET racers. They completely kicked my ass, I saw the err of my ways and ditched the thumper in march. Picked up my 08 YZ250. I slapped a fly wheel weight on it, new rubber, took it for a trail ride and two weeks later lined up for my first harescramble. I did 15+ races the first year, ended up 3rd in points in my class, and had several 2nd and 3rds, never did grab a win though. Since then I have spent all my spare time riding and racing. Hell 3-4 evenings a week I am in the yard practicing anything I can with the space permitted.

    So Im now 34, really slow, have bad wrists, major carpul tunnel, no budget and I am completely addicted to singletrack riding and racing harescrambles. I plan to start enduro racing next year. Most of the Ohio Enduro series require a plated bike, so I need to find a plated gasgas300 or ktm300, and money to buy one.

    I really wish I could have been one of those guys that started on dirtbikes at 4 or 5 years old. Some of the guys I ride with have been in the dirt longer than I have been alive, almost all others started as a kid. Its very obvious who started when, it can make it very frustrating at times.

    ride safe and roost it up!

    pic of the blinged out honda,
    [​IMG]

    some gopro footage on the YZ
    http://youtu.be/B8XfyIkjOnk?hd=1
    #9
  10. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Hey Rider_WV,

    Welcome, glad you posted. You and are a little similiar with past experiences, I rode BMX starting at a very young age until I was 19, then road mountain bike for awhile. Unfortunately I never got into dirt bikes until last month. A big part of me wishes I had started into this when I was a kid, but alas my folks would have none of it.

    Nice CRF, and well done with the racing.
    #10
  11. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    This was posted by inmate Barnyard over on the other thread, so hopefully he doesn't mind me reposting it. Barnyard has been a wealth of knowledge to us newbie rider/racers.

    Last weekend, we had our 1st district hare scramble of the year. We had had close to 4 inches of rain the week before so the course was wet. The soil was predominantly sand, so not so much standing water as there was better traction in some areas, looser in others. Plus the mud was not as heavy and it shook off easier than the super sticky clay mud.

    Anyways, the fastest guys stayed on the pegs and attacked the wet sections aggressively. The slower guys, slowed down and tried to pick their way through. They ended up getting stuck and a couple buried their bikes to the point of needed long branches to pry their bikes up high enough to lift them out.


    For the 2 hour A/B race, the fastest guys did 6 laps (9ish mile course), the bulk of the pack did 4 laps.


    Someone above said that 'racing is the best way to get in shape.' That is some bad advice right there.


    If a person rides a desk all week and then gets on a bike on weekends, their fitness level will not be good enough to finish a 1 hour race, let alone a 2 hour. Do some cardio during the week, ride a bicycle, stand and pedal on all the uphills, work up a good sweat. The guys that do that do not look like they are on death's door at the end of a race. They also crash less.


    I never put anything in my camelback but water. Anything else will promote mold growth during the week (much harder to clean.) I do have gatorade or the equivalent in my pits so I can slug some down during gas stops.


    As one gets more interested in doing better, you start watching what you eat and drink all week. For me, that means no pop or coffee during race season. I drink lots of water during the week to stay hydrated for my job, so adding during the week is hard. The morning of a race, I drink a quart of OJ. I usually will drink a 100 oz camelback during a race (if it is an enduro, I fill it at gas, so I will drink 2, I will also drink a quart of gatorade at gas, eat a sandwich and a banana. )


    If you get cramps on the drive home or that night when you go to bed, you did not drink enough that day or you drink pop and ended up pissing away everything you drank.


    The day after a race, I drink a bunch and I also do a good yoga routine and a long bike ride. I am really stiff and sore the next day and a good stretch and light bike ride really, really help with recovery.


    Watch your hands for blisters. If you ride a desk during the week, you will have a problem with blisters. Get some glove liners and switch to dry gloves when you can. My hands are/were calloused very well and blisters have never been a problem for me. They were for my daughter, so she carried extra gloves in her fanny pack. She usually wears 2-3 pair per race.


    The best advice I got when I started was, "when in doubt, twist the grip."

    __________________
    all around good guy
    #11
  12. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

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    and I have a lot to learn. I am a B (probably closer to C) rider. Most all of the lessons that I have learned either allowed me to ride faster or easier. Some sections a rider will burn far less calories by going faster, than by slowing down and getting stuck or dog paddling.

    I would venture a guess that in the average enduro, an A or AA rider burns less calories than a C rider.
    #12
  13. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Well Barnyard you have more experience than us Newbies and its good to hear your tips, info and stories, whether your an A, B or C rider.

    Tip for keeping your Camelback bladder from getting funky, I throw mine in the freezer when I'm not using it.

    Gatorade is my friend, I sweat a lot, and after an hour plus run on a warm day will have salt deposits on my face, so I need more than water to replace the nutrients lost. You can drink too much water and dilute yourself, overhydration, it has happened at marathons, and now they space out the water stops from every mile to every 1.5 miles. Hydration and keeping your caloric intake up is a fine balance.

    Practice what you can tolerate drinking and eating during your trail rides and training, so there are no surprises come race day, I know this, not from racing a bike, because I haven't raced yet, but from numerous running races and triathlons, and even an Ironman, where I learned the importance of what happens when you don't eat enough after 10 hours of competition, and your forced to walk/shuffle/death march the last 13 miles.

    Enough of this, I'm going riding.
    #13
  14. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    I'm not a triathlete, not even a singleathlete but there is too much sugar in gatorade for me. Even the hand mixed stuff tastes too sweet. Have you tried the Nuun tablets? If you need calories you can control those separately.
    #14
  15. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    I'm just saying Gatorade works for me, I've used it for so long without any issues that I haven't really tried anything else, other than Endurox, which worked well too, especially as a recovery drink. There's a lot of that stuff out there.

    I might go checkout the Nuun tablets. Thanks
    #15
  16. Rider_WV

    Rider_WV Long timer

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    I also keep my hydration bladders in the freezer. Just a FYI the expensive camelback cleaning tablets are pretty much the same as denture cleaning tablet. A box of efferdent/polident is way cheaper and works awesome to clean a bladder. Hot water a couple of tablets 10-15 minutes rinse it and throw it in the freezer.
    #16
  17. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Well, I have one month until my first race. It's a 75km enduro in the mighty Atlantic Canadian muddy, root, and rock filled northeast woods:eek1

    Training is going OK, not getting as much time in as I want, because of course, anytime I plan something it gets super busy at work and I spend more time in the cockpit of plane than I do riding my bike.

    I have been getting out at least once or twice week, and I have 2 weeks off before the race to sharpen my skills:lol3

    At least when I'm away at work I can keep up my running and strength training, plus I have been working in our yard doing renos, and carrying wheelbarrow loads of soil and gravel, and lifting slabs of flagstone is great cross training.

    I have noticed that I am getting more comfortable on my XR250R. Yesterday I was riding the course at the local area faster than ever, because I was able to do it one gear higher in certain areas.

    The bike is running well, did an oil and filter change, swapped out the air filter for a new one, and will be putting some new tires and tubes on shortly. Its a great little bike, has a tall first gear and can really get through tight spaces in the woods.

    Next week I am hoping to hit the areas harescramble track which is an hour away for some serious woods riding practise. The owner gave me an open invitation to ride. I'll get some pics and video of that.
    #17
  18. Silver

    Silver Dirtnewb

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    Bump for anyone getting into racing this year. Also Nova did you do your first Enduro? How'd it go?

    Cheers!
    #18
  19. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Happy New Year to everyone.

    Silver, here is the race report I did for our local riding forum. The race was great, doing it again this year, 2013. I'm thinking of doing 2-3 harescrambles as well. If they go well, I may upgrade the XR to something new like a KTM 200XCW, or a Husaberg TE250.


    Its 0530 in the morning, I'm having my morning fruit smoothie, and a gallon of coffee before I head out the door, load my bike on the truck and head off for my first enduro race......ever.

    I got back into dirt biking this spring, after a small 33 year hiatus. I've been riding BMX, mountain bikes and street bikes since, so I don't feel completely foreign on the back of my new to me 2003 XR250R.

    Within days of getting the bike, I foolishly signed up for the Breast Cancer Extreme Enduro. I was told it wasn't that extreme, and asked if it was doable for a 43 year old newb on a 9 year old bike. My answer was.....well there is a 16 year old girl entered on a KX85. Great that helps, she's probably been riding since she was 5, and we all know what teenagers are capable of. It's for a good cause....boobies, so what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. Seriously, my wife lost her mother to breast cancer and she was only 54 years old, so this rider is for her.

    I have always been in pretty good shape, raced triathlons, half marathons and marathons, and did an Ironman once, however since the beginning of May on top of my usual running routine I added some strength training and ab work to get ready for this event.

    So I head out into the early morning fog for the one hour drive to Anagance, located between Saint John and Moncton, New Brunswick. Race meeting starts at 0830 so I get there around an hour early. I don't really know anyone, but quickly my mint XR250R draws quite a crowd of one, another rider on a XR400. I recognize a RM125 from the site and go over and introduce myself to Addy. We traded a few pm's and he let me use his track last week for some practice. That woods riding practice saved my arse today on this course. Thanks again Addy. Brooksie came over and introduced himself, nice fella, nice Husaberg.

    Also met a couple of guys from Moncton, Brent on the XR400, and Jordan on a KTM 400.

    [​IMG]




    Race meeting starts a little late, the organizer is still checking the race markers in certain areas, and altered the course a little bit. Before long we are getting the do's and don'ts of the race and we head to the bikes.



    There's 60 riders in the race, and I'm in the novice category, so one 58km loop for me following the green arrows. Before I know it my line is called to the start and away we go. No worries of being passed I'm in the back row.



    The beginning is a straight dirt road, and I am pulling up the rear as everyone tears off in a mad rush. My plan is take it easy on the dirt and ATV roads and save my strength for the single track. I passed my first rider at the second turn, and we start the climb into the woods. On the tight single track I catch up to a couple of more guys, and I'm feeling good. My downfall is my old XR, or at least my inability to get the old girl started when it's hot. At the checkpoints we are supposed to shut the bike off, and my wasted time getting the bike started has me lose some time.

    The course continues to climb and descend alternating between fire road, ATV trail, single track and tight woods riding. The woods are wet, making the roots and rocks slick. I am having a hoot, the most fun I've had in a longtime, however at the 35km mark I can feel the fatigue starting to set in.

    The real surprise comes in the last 5km, tight, bumpy woods trail, that is at best a trail. I take a couple of close calls with some trees, and before long I'm upside down with my bike on top of me. I try lifting the bike off myself but somehow the footpeg has lodged itself in the top of my boot, and I feel like a turtle caught upside down on its shell. Before long I'm upright with a flooded bike trying like the dickens to get it started, following all the hot start, flooded procedures I know. I am exhausted, finally I ditch my helmet and have a breather. The GPS is showing 48km, 10 more to go. In the meantime I'm passed by another 3 riders. All of which check to see if I was OK. I finally get the XR going and a guy on another KTM passes me, I follow him, both of us struggling through this section taking turns dropping and picking up our bikes. Finally after another 10mins we emerge from the woods. Surprisingly the finish line comes into view with only 52km on the GPS. It took me 2hrs and 8mins.

    Turns out it was Oldcow that I shared the pleasure of riding, falling, duck walking our bikes through the last section with. We had a nice chat at the finish, super nice fella.

    I was pretty knackered when I was done, between the last section in the woods and all the kicking to get the bike going I was wiped. On top of it all, my lack of riding skill used up a lot of energy. I probably could have done another lap like the intermediates, but I would have seriously ran the risk of hurting myself, and since I've only been on the bike 9 times since I got it, I'm as novice as you can get.

    Overall, it was a great race, a big thank you to all the great volunteers, sponsors and organizers. I can't wait for the next one.

    Now I need to save up some money for one of those fancy orange bikes with a magic button.

    If Jordan is on this site......thanks so much for the beer, that was the best tasting beer I've had in a longtime.

    My hats off to you guys who did 2 and 3 laps in that heat, my car was showing 30C.
    #19
  20. Silver

    Silver Dirtnewb

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    Sounds like an awesome time! :clap
    #20