How to Get Fast

Kade075

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Hello my name is Kade. I am 16 years old and I have just recently completed my first desert race, the parker 250. In this race I was about 30 minutes behind my dad. This is understandable as he has iron maned the Baja 1000, Vegas to Reno and many more races. I'm hoping that next race I will be able to beat him to the finish line. I seem to struggle on the whoops and gravel turns. Any Suggestions? I also ride a 2019 KTM 250 XC-F.
 

Charlietuna

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Seat time, seat time, seat time and more seat time....

and work on your own personal conditioning. You can be fast through one section, but then fatigue sets in and you change your riding style to accommodate that and it slows you down in the next section.

You could also look at shorter, local events to get more real "race" conditions, ie; more seat time. Don't know where you're based out of, but D37 and D38 offer shorter, bike/atv only races on the monthly (or more often) in the deserts of SoCal
Good luck.
 

jon coleman

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watch fast old skool guys like JN, you gotta ride off the back end of bike using the throttle to turn& trim the bike at speed in sand& gravel, not ' turning the bike with handlebars, but your turning bike with the Gas!, , took me Years to get off the front wheel and hang off the back, , same with whoops, get off the front& and keep front up& Off/ out of the holes, ,^ yup, practice practice practice, ride!
 

Bricoop

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Seat time. When your not riding, get on the mountain bike.
Train your body and get stronger. Only being 16 you will gain a lot of strength over the next 10 years. How many more hours does your dad have in his life on a bike than you do? He ironmanned a 1000? Clearly he's got loads of experience. Good on you to get into the sport so young. Keep being safe and don't expect to win. Work on technique and your speed will come.
 

JDDurfey

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I had the pleasure of hanging out with Bob Hurricane Hannah at the Reno Air races in 2003. Of course I had to bring up that I raced bikes and I made a comment about how fast he was "back in the day"

His wife was sitting next to him and began to smile. I am sure she had heard his response a million times. Bob, nonchalantly, held up his right fist and made the throttle twisting motion and said "It is all in the wrist, if you want to go faster just simply work your wrist and hold on"

While we all know there is way more to it than that, he was right at the same time. I know for me there were plenty of times that I was surprised how much faster I could go through a section of race course if I simply twisted the throttle.

Bike set up and confidence in your equipment is a factor I haven't seen mentioned in this thread. I can also attest to the fact that when I threw my leg over an XR with Precision Concepts suspension that was dialed in correctly I was able to ride much faster. The confidence I had in my bike allowed me to attack the race course with out fear of getting bucked off the bike. I was then able to concentrate on other aspects of the race course instead of how rough or deep the whoops were. When I saw a rough or rocky section coming I kept the throttle on and blasted through it instead of slowing and hanging on for dear life hoping that I would not crash. Good suspension also conserves energy for the rider.

Seat time is probably the biggest thing you need. During my racing days I was in the desert riding hard at least twice a week unless I had a race that weekend. For a while I lived where I could ride out of my garage and I was probably on my bike 5 to 6 evenings a week for a minimum of an hour. I saw a lot of improvement from my seat time because I became more confident and set my bike up perfectly.

Edit: One mistake I made a lot when I was first starting to race was to not look far enough ahead. Looking as far ahead as possible will make you faster because you will have more time to react to terrain changes. Always keep looking forward and "attacking" the next obstacle. You will make the bike go where your eyes lead you. If you concentrate on "that big rock ahead" chances are you will hit the rock or struggle to avoid it. Don't concentrate on "where you don't want to go" but rather concentrate/focus on "where you do want to go"
 
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Kade075

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Seat time, seat time, seat time and more seat time....

and work on your own personal conditioning. You can be fast through one section, but then fatigue sets in and you change your riding style to accommodate that and it slows you down in the next section.

You could also look at shorter, local events to get more real "race" conditions, ie; more seat time. Don't know where you're based out of, but D37 and D38 offer shorter, bike/atv only races on the monthly (or more often) in the deserts of SoCal
Good luck.
Train your body and get stronger. Only being 16 you will gain a lot of strength over the next 10 years. How many more hours does your dad have in his life on a bike than you do? He ironmanned a 1000? Clearly he's got loads of experience. Good on you to get into the sport so young. Keep being safe and don't expect to win. Work on technique and your speed will come.
Thank you sir.
 

paranoid56

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I had the pleasure of hanging out with Bob Hurricane Hannah at the Reno Air races in 2003. Of course I had to bring up that I raced bikes and I made a comment about how fast he was "back in the day"

His wife was sitting next to him and began to smile. I am sure she had heard his response a million times. Bob, nonchalantly, held up his right fist and made the throttle twisting motion and said "It is all in the wrist, if you want to go faster just simply work your wrist and hold on"

While we all know there is way more to it than that, he was right at the same time. I know for me there were plenty of times that I was surprised how much faster I could go through a section of race course if I simply twisted the throttle.

Bike set up and confidence in your equipment is a factor I haven't seen mentioned in this thread. I can also attest to the fact that when I threw my leg over an XR with Precision Concepts suspension that was dialed in correctly I was able to ride much faster. The confidence I had in my bike allowed me to attack the race course with out fear of getting bucked off the bike. I was then able to concentrate on other aspects of the race course instead of how rough or deep the whoops were. When I saw a rough or rocky section coming I kept the throttle on and blasted through it instead of slowing and hanging on for dear life hoping that I would not crash. Good suspension also conserves energy for the rider.

Seat time is probably the biggest thing you need. During my racing days I was in the desert riding hard at least twice a week unless I had a race that weekend. For a while I lived where I could ride out of my garage and I was probably on my bike 5 to 6 evenings a week for a minimum of an hour. I saw a lot of improvement from my seat time because I became more confident and set my bike up perfectly.

Edit: One mistake I made a lot when I was first starting to race was to not look far enough ahead. Looking as far ahead as possible will make you faster because you will have more time to react to terrain changes. Always keep looking forward and "attacking" the next obstacle. You will make the bike go where your eyes lead you. If you concentrate on "that big rock ahead" chances are you will hit the rock or struggle to avoid it. Don't concentrate on "where you don't want to go" but rather concentrate/focus on "where you do want to go"
ug, target fixation. I so have this issue. at 42 i shouldnt, but god damn it, i do it ever time lol.

To the OP, take a look at local races, I only started riding a few years ago and find racing the local district 38 races to be fun and challenging.
 

jon coleman

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also , at your age , watch out for burn out, ie ' distractions', at 16-18 i was very focused........baAAAAAha jajaja, no, really, no drugs or alcohol!!-, biggest thing that will ruin you, its recked many a talented rider, ball player , surfer, ect .stay in school& associate with positive people who are optimistic, theres too many haters that will not want You to succeed, because They failed
 

mig29

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I had the pleasure of hanging out with Bob Hurricane Hannah at the Reno Air races in 2003. Of course I had to bring up that I raced bikes and I made a comment about how fast he was "back in the day"

His wife was sitting next to him and began to smile. I am sure she had heard his response a million times. Bob, nonchalantly, held up his right fist and made the throttle twisting motion and said "It is all in the wrist, if you want to go faster just simply work your wrist and hold on"

While we all know there is way more to it than that, he was right at the same time. I know for me there were plenty of times that I was surprised how much faster I could go through a section of race course if I simply twisted the throttle.

Bike set up and confidence in your equipment is a factor I haven't seen mentioned in this thread. I can also attest to the fact that when I threw my leg over an XR with Precision Concepts suspension that was dialed in correctly I was able to ride much faster. The confidence I had in my bike allowed me to attack the race course with out fear of getting bucked off the bike. I was then able to concentrate on other aspects of the race course instead of how rough or deep the whoops were. When I saw a rough or rocky section coming I kept the throttle on and blasted through it instead of slowing and hanging on for dear life hoping that I would not crash. Good suspension also conserves energy for the rider.

Seat time is probably the biggest thing you need. During my racing days I was in the desert riding hard at least twice a week unless I had a race that weekend. For a while I lived where I could ride out of my garage and I was probably on my bike 5 to 6 evenings a week for a minimum of an hour. I saw a lot of improvement from my seat time because I became more confident and set my bike up perfectly.

Edit: One mistake I made a lot when I was first starting to race was to not look far enough ahead. Looking as far ahead as possible will make you faster because you will have more time to react to terrain changes. Always keep looking forward and "attacking" the next obstacle. You will make the bike go where your eyes lead you. If you concentrate on "that big rock ahead" chances are you will hit the rock or struggle to avoid it. Don't concentrate on "where you don't want to go" but rather concentrate/focus on "where you do want to go"
Brennan's Rule of Racecraft

3. Always look thru the corner. Your race car will follow your eyes

see attached pic.

^^^ a consequence of a more generalized outlook

"That which you manifest is before you"
-- Gabriel Flouret, French racing driver

See below link, incl comments section. Reference to book "The Art of Racing in the Rain"


To Achieve Anything In This Game You Must Be Prepared to Dabble in the Boundary of Disaster
Thank you, Sir Stirling Moss, for so eloquently reminding us that nothing ventured is, indeed, nothing gained. Managing risk is the most important skill in the modern world. Everyone who's anyone in the world of quotes has said something about risk. T.S. Eliot said "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." Chuck Yeager said "No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done." DJ William Greenough Thayer Shedd dropped the mic after blasting his Presbyterian congregation in the face with this knowledge: "A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."

It Is Not Always Possible To Be The Best, But It Is Always Possible To Improve Your Own Performance
Oh, Sir Jackie Stewart, you sensible bastard. Of course acceptance of one's limitations, and setting on a course of improvement within those parameters, is the key to happiness. Don't be ridiculous!


Straight Roads Are For Fast Cars, Turns Are For Fast Drivers
The internet attributes this quote to the late WRC champion Colin "If In Doubt, Flat Out" McRae. Perhaps inadvertently, McRae teaches us the importance of staying nimble and learning how to capitalize on your opportunities. If straight-line speed represents what's possible, and turns represent adversity, McRae's advice can apply to what one's ability to handle bad times says about their character and talent. It's like the old seaman's saying, "a smooth sea never made a skillful mariner." In the end, we'll all be judged by how we handled the rough bits.


Comments section:

If you're in control, you're not going fast enough.Parnelli Jones

As far as cheating goes, they'll never stop it. The only way it can be done successfully, only one person can know about it.Smokey Yunick

You can't fix stupid - Larry Morgan
 

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JDDurfey

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ug, target fixation. I so have this issue. at 42 i shouldnt, but god damn it, i do it ever time lol.

To the OP, take a look at local races, I only started riding a few years ago and find racing the local district 38 races to be fun and challenging.
I thought about using the term "target fixation" but I decided against it. It happens all the time, and I have been a victim numerous times myself. Obviously you have to notice and see the rock on the course, but you don't want that to be your focal point. Look past and look where you want to go, and you will go there or crash trying. How many videos have we seen of a kid running into the only pole in a field or the only parked car on the street when they first start riding their bicycle.

My improvement in my riding made me a much safer driver on the street also.

I also used to time myself around my desert loop when I lived in Rosamond CA. I would leave the house and I worked hard to improve my speed, not just by twisting the throttle harder, but learn how to be smoother over the same obstacle. I made a bit of a game out of it and celebrated my improved times. It was just me against the clock and the desert and I had fun with it. If you are not having fun, then there is no point in doing it. And if you suck through a turn or over some whoops, turn around and hit it again and again until you are comfortable and then you can smile and give yourself an "Attaboy".
 

mxben

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Ride a lot. All the time. Every day.

How you get fast is practice and riding with better people than you. Get a riding coach 4-5 times then use what you learned in your own practice. But really its going to take years of practice.
 

Kade075

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also , at your age , watch out for burn out, ie ' distractions', at 16-18 i was very focused........baAAAAAha jajaja, no, really, no drugs or alcohol!!-, biggest thing that will ruin you, its recked many a talented rider, ball player , surfer, ect .stay in school& associate with positive people who are optimistic, theres too many haters that will not want You to succeed, because They failed
I went to one party last week and i don't think ill go to another one anytime soon. I agree with you no alcohol or drugs i feel like it will ruin me so i tend to try and just focus on school and racing!
 

Rslhc

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Seat time is definitely the way. Also personally love the method of setting up your own 'course' to test time on. I have a couple loops I hit and I track time with Strava on my phone or watch, and being able to see the progress of time is encouraging.

Also, where are you located? I noticed you said Parker was your first race. You in the Parker / Havasu area?
 

Kade075

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I
Seat time is definitely the way. Also personally love the method of setting up your own 'course' to test time on. I have a couple loops I hit and I track time with Strava on my phone or watch, and being able to see the progress of time is encouraging.

Also, where are you located? I noticed you said Parker was your first race. You in the Parker / Havasu area?
I wish, I'm located in Northern British Columbia, Canada.
 
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