Posts Tagged ‘2008’
Motocross is a fair weather sport, and unfortunately, this limits it to a little more than half the year for us northerners. Most riders take the off-season off, but I strongly believe that the offseason is a great time to improve your performance for the upcoming year. I've posted before on what I plan to do this winter, but this is meant to be a guide more specific improving your motocross performance over the off-season.
Train, Train, and Train Some More
-Photo by mrflip on Flickr.
Fitness is extremely important to your performance in motocross. Both strength and aerobic training off the track can be the difference between a stellar and a subpar season on the track. Contrary to popular belief, the off-season is not a good time to make huge gains in your physical fitness. Rather, the off-season is your chance to lay down a solid physical base for which you can build upon during pre-season training. During race season, most riders focus on riding and recovering based on motocross, forcing them to neglect their training. this is one of the reasons why off-season training is so important. Unfortunately, according to Aldon Baker, most riders underestimate the benefits of off-season training.
Unfortunately, many MX athletes short change their off-season training by jumping ahead and making it sort of a mini-Pre Season period by doing anaerobic intervals and generally race-type workouts. What a shame.
I totally agree with Aldon on this subject. The off-season is an incredibly crucial time of the season, and training correctly during this time period can have huge benefits come race time.
A lot of riders prefer not to not wear hard plastic chest protectors because they are bulkier than foam under-protectors. However, I believe that the added roost and crash protection provided by the hard plastic shell of a traditional chest protector is worth its added bulkiness. For 2008, I choose to wear a Troy Lee Designs Body Guard 2.
The build quality on the TLD Body Guard 2 (BG2) is absolutely stellar. Like a lot of the TLD products I have owned, the fit and finish of the BG2 was excellent. Almost every aspect of the BG2 has been refined to near perfection. For example, the shoulder cups are removable, but even the flexible pieces underneath the hard plastic shoulder cups are refined and finished with a carbon fiber esque look to them. In addition, all of the foam pads are removable resulting in very easy cleaning. Another really nice touch is that the side buckles are large and always easy to remove. As opposed to my old Fox Airframe, the large buckles are much easier to undo and almost never get clogged with mud. Overall, everything about the BG2 is very high quality, the brace feels very solid both on your body and in your hand.
Note: This post is the first in a series following me as I prepare for 2009. Check back often or subscribe to the RSS Feed so you don't miss any of the following posts in the series.
-Photo by Swisscan.
The 2008 motocross season is over, as is summer, and it is time to start planning for 2009 as winter sets in.
Why Cross Train?
The winter off season provides the perfect time to cross train for motocross. A lot of riders ignore cross training as part of their motocross program, and I believe this is a mistake. Nothing can replace riding motocross in order to perfect your skills, however, being in good physical shape can do wonders for your riding. The winter off season is the perfect time to get this done because of the break from racing. The winter break gives riders time to take a needed mental break from riding in order to improve their physical condition. Come springtime, it is much easier to get back into the swing of motocross if you are in top physical condition as opposed to a lazy, out of shape lump after doing nothing all winter. This winter will be one of my first where I stick to a rigorous training schedule, and I am hoping that I will definitely notice a difference come February when I begin riding again.
For years, the most advanced neck protection available was foam neck donuts with little to no scientific credence. In the past few years, however, as neck injuries have risen, so has the level of neck protection available. The Leatt Brace essentially created the advanced neck brace market, and has been followed by many “copies” including one from Alpinestars and EVS. However, the Leatt Moto-GPX Club is by far the most popular, and one of the most affordable braces on the market, and this is why I choose it as my neck protection for 2008.
Overall, the build quality of the Club is pretty good. The brace feels very solid in the hand, and does not feel cheaply made at all. The higher end model, the Sport features carbon fiber segments of the brace which save about 70 grams (according to the Leatt-Brace website), but the added price is not worth the minimal savings, in my opinion. Another nice feature of the Leatt is the removable pads. This makes cleaning a snap after mud races. The pads can be thrown in the wash and the hard plastic sections washed with hot soapy water. However, I did find a problem with this method. When using water, the glue holding the velcro sections onto the hard plastic parts of the brace seemed to disintegrate. I have not heard of other reports of this problem, but it definitely makes me leery of cleaning the brace regularly. I hope that in the future the Leatt company will upgrade to higher quality glue in order to prevent this from happening in the future.
The 2008 motocross season is over, and it was a huge learning experience for me.
2008 was my first year on big bikes, and it was a lot of fun. I took the spring season completely off from racing and almost entirely off from riding. This gave both my father and I a needed mental and financial break from motocross. In addition, it allowed to get in better shape, so I would be ready for the bigger bikes, and it gave my dad time to find me a bike. After a few weeks of searching, my dad and X-Pro put together a 2006 RMZ250f for me. Although it is a few years old, X-Pro completely went through the entire bike, getting in back into excellent shape. The suspension was sent to Factory Connection and it worked awesome all season long. It may not have been the newest bike on the track, but it definitely was sufficient for my needs, and allowed me to adjust to the full sized four-stroke motocross bikes.
NESC Fall Series
After spending the Spring Series getting my bike together, I finally began racing in the fall in the NESC Fall Series. I had to miss the first race at MX207 because of mechanical issues with our box truck, so this meant that my first race of the year would be at CCC in Central Village, CT. This race was humbling to say the least, I hadn't ridden in weeks, and it was my first time ever riding my new bike. After a few weeks of racing, however, I finally started to get the hang of the bigger bike. I even managed to win a race in the 125 Youth C class at Jolly Rogers. A few weeks into the season, and I had already earned enough points to move up to the 125 Youth B class. This class was a lot faster than the C, but it felt good to know that I had moved out of the Youth C class after years of racing that class on my underpowered (compared to the 250fs) KX100. My first few races were really tough in the newer class, but, eventually I got the hang of the new pace, and began to improve my results. My best finish of the year in the Youth B class was a 5th at Jolly Rogers.