For the New Racers

Frank Rant

New racers. I get a few emails from riders both young and old who want to get into racing. I’ve been asked a lot of different questions about racing and I thought I would share some tips to riders interested in becoming racers. Number one, when you come to the races put numbers on your bike, all 3 plates should have the same number (I know that sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many show up without that simple job done in advance). And make sure you have white numbers on a black background or black numbers on a white background. They must contrast, stand back 50’ and see if you could read them, if you can’t neither can the scorers. Don’t put sponsor stickers on your number plates, save that for the freestyle guys. Run your visor up as high as you can. If it is in the low position you cannot see beyond your front fender. Have you ever seen a pro running his visor in the low position? You have to look down the track, not down at your front wheel. Buy the best protection you can afford. Don’t be cheap when it comes to things like helmets, boots, knee braces, and neck protection. Those are the items that will be between you and the ground. Walk the track, it makes a difference. Bring your own food, drinks, and toilet paper. It pays to be prepared, the snack bar may not be open, the toilet may not have any paper. Prepare your bike before you get to the races, clean your filter, change your oil, wash your bike, tighten all the nuts and bolts, don’t wait until you get there. Blow your nose before you go to the line, really simple, if you can’t breathe you can’t go fast. Another good reason to bring toilet paper with you. Drink lots of water the day before. Once you get a setup that works leave it alone. Fiddling with your bike setup is for practice days. Don’t try to make a bunch of changes on race day. You don’t want to find out in the middle of the first turn that the adjustment you made between motos didn’t work. Bring an ipod, bring a book, relax between motos, you need to rest your body and your mind. After you come in from your moto do your prep work first, before you relax. Clean your number plates, gas up, check your nuts and bolts, spokes, tires. Check your chain tension, then go and relax. Have at least 3 pairs of goggles. One for practice, one for each moto. Prep them in advance, tear offs, lenses, no fog that way you aren’t messing with tear offs in the dirt and dust of the races. Unless you have a medical condition you should avoid pain killers like Advil, Tylenol, Ibuprofen. I have been told by medical experts that if you are injured especially if you were to suffer a brain injury that these pain killers can lead to increased swelling. I am not a doctor but if you take these frequently ask you medical professional about this. Get an EZ Up or like shelter and bring it with you. Even it you don’t use it, it will be there if you need it for sun protection, or rain. If you do have a EZ Up make sure you bring an extra set of tie downs to tie it to something so it doesn’t blow away. Wear black undies, you don’t want to have to explain that brown mud streak to the ladies that do your wash. Buy a can of WD 40and a roll of duct tape and keep them with you always, they are good for just about anything. If you have questions ask another racer most will be really happy to help you. If they don’t you must have beat them in the last moto. And finally have fun, you paid a lot of hard earned money to race, enjoy it. And if for some reason you have a bad day, remember there will be another race just like this one, next week.