• 06-21-2009
    Question for the guys that race....
    I am racing my first season of Super D and am racing in two different series at the same time. So I will be doing a total of 8 races from June through September.

    I have raced cars, done many supermoto track days and compete at a high level in brazilian jiu jistu but never anything like mountain bikes. Competition is not new to me really, but this type of event is.

    My question is, what do you racers feel helped take you from beginner to the next level? Fitness? Bike control skills? Ability to 'see' better? Understanding the physics of a bike at speed? Better tires? Bike set up? What.......?

    Thank you.
  • 06-21-2009
    thats a pretty open ended question...there a lot of variables to make you a better racer.

    do your first race, see how you do, then come back and ask. you'll get an idea where you're at and what you need to do to after you see what it's actually like during a race.
  • 06-21-2009
    I did my first super d race on june 13th. originally i was credited with 4th but a scoring error was made and i was actually 3rd in my class.

    i was running second (actually leading now) but made an error reading the course direction and was passed by the two guys behind me when i basically came to a stand still trying to figure out the direction.

    what could i have improved in that race? obviously, remembering the course better. i had a question during my last practice run and i should have gotten it answered to my own satisfaction.

    secondly, poor race craft in slowing down so much for something that was mental.

    things i did right:
    got progressively faster with each practice run. noticing where i could use the brakes less or not at all.
    looking farther ahead
    proper hydration
    no bike mechanical issues at all
    gettign the holeshot for my class into the first turn (it was a mass start)

    so as i progress through a full season running a couple series's i want to know what to focus on in my development. thanks! to be better overall. to make the jump from beginner to the next level.

    not to just totally only try and think about things after they happen. be proactive.
  • 06-21-2009
    the next level? im still tryin to figure out how to not suck.

    its a combo of a zillion things man. i too was a driver back when i was young and good lookin and that experience has helped a ton. understandin chassis dynamics, apex's, brake bias, thinkin/lookin forward a few turns and stayin relaxed to name a few. just prep the bike well and dont forget yer smile. its all supposed to be fun. good luck!
  • 06-21-2009
    for me the answer to all this is simply just more riding. the ability to "see" better, better understanding of the bikes physics at higher speeds, bike control skills, all this is achieved through more seat time. out of all the instruction i have received here and at the trails from other riders the thing that helps/helped me the most is just more riding. i think it would all come naturally from that. i dont know if anyone else feels the same way but in my opinion i think watching videos, everything from NWD to instructional videos, helps alot. i think that seeing the pros ride helps because you see what they do on their bike, for example body position, and when you ride your own bike its only natural to attempt and mimic their actions. thats my 2 cents, hope it was somewhat helpful
  • 06-21-2009
    the mistakes ya make, the fear ya feel... its all part of learnin and only experience will help. yer doin just fine, short of over-anal-izin it all.
  • 06-21-2009
    Fitness and basic skills. Approach biking like a "real" sport if you want to win. Think of riding like training. Work on specific skills. Think about form/technique, practice those. If DH is a serious part of the super races, get comfortable at speed. Work at technical riding. Drill certain sections of the course. Being able to turn well, not braking over rough sections, etc. With time you'll just get in a better state of mind. It takes a while to go from "oh that section looks scary" to "Hmm, how can I take that line even faster". You just have to ride and progress to more and more challenging trails.
  • 06-24-2009
    alright, my 2nd race is this weekend. then another 4th of july. of the two series i've decided to race i will have done 8 super D races by middle of september.

    let you guys know how i did......
  • 06-25-2009
    getting my bike set up right helped me, I ran a triple front with a hiem 3-guide and a front tire I could trust (wtb mutano raptor). I found that pacing myself BUT making sure i was working to maintain/regain speed the whole course allowed me to make time without taking chances.
  • 06-26-2009
    I don't know what Super-D is i'm afraid, we don't have it in the UK! (Do we?):confused:

    But for DH the main thing that made me faster was remembering the course. Nothign worse than having to anchor up, and then relaise you didn't need to go that slow, or actually you need to be in a much higher gear to get round that etc. And also don't use the brakes so much. BUt at the end of the day, you'll have the most fun if you keep in casual, and often do better to!!! Its all about fun, and i'v been fastest when i've not been to anxious about winning. (Especially as i never win anyway!!)

    Good luck bro, and most of all enjoy the ride!
  • 06-26-2009
    for this season I'd say fitness as due to injuries I'm weak as a fly and though I can be faster on short parts of the track than other guys I get tired before the middle of every race and can put a decent run.
    Tires are also very important.
    You will learn the basics by riding with other ppl. You can always buy fluidride video or lopes book if you want to know it faster. Helps a bit.
  • 06-26-2009
    Another thing you can try for some DH practice, which is actually quite fun (depending on the trail) is to take off your chain and ride. I did this recently (not on purpose, snapped my chain) and it was really fun, and in that 1 run I noticed how I was going faster. You have to think more about braking and pumping, etc so you can keep your speed.