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 Post subject: Safe Riding #12- Choosing the Best Line
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 4:42 pm 
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GOR Assisted Living
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Location: Morgan County Georgia
The best way to find lines is to arrive early and walk the track. Sometimes walking it backwards reveals overlooked lines. When I was a kid, EVERYONE always walked the track. It is just as valuable now as it was back then.

Videotape the track. Helmet-cam it in first gear if possible. Then review later. Look for the smooth lines. Memorize obstacles so you can anticipate.

Granted, woods riders don't have this advantage, but they can still benefit greatly from good line choice, especially in turns and in muddy or rocky areas.

Look closely for the lines that link each obstacle together smoothly. Look at the whole track, not just each obstacle. Find your braking points and apexes. Seek late, wide corner entries, sweeping inside to make a smooth, fast arc and pass the berm riders. As always, LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, not where you don't.

Woods riders, DO NOT fixate on the trees, unless you want to end up hurt on the ground... Use your peripheral vision, especially when running in 32" tree sections. :) Run 30" bars and barkbusters for woods riding. You will be amazed how much this improves your line selction options.

Late turn-ins lengthen the straightaway into the turn. You carry more speed and brake later. You avoid the worst braking bumps. Use the whole track or trail to open up tight corners and keep momentum. Visualize the proper gear for each obstacle. Consider running a gear high, and using the clutch, especially on a 2 stroke.

Keep up your momentum. Connect several corners with smooth lines to shave seconds. Find small berms to rail you around tough corners, especially off-cambers.

Find where you’ll be able to get good traction. Exit the turn and get the bike straight up and accelerating. Drag race hard and fast from one corner to the next. Don't coast. Avoid extreme hard-pack surfaces, or slick mud.

You may need to pick unusual lines to get the best run at an obstacle. As the track or trail gets rough, the shortest line may be a poor choice. Plan backup lines.

Pick a line that puts you on the correct side of the track or trail for the next obstacle. Be creative. If a jump face is less rutted on the left but the next corner requires entry on the right, angle up the jump to turn in the air. Make sure you don't cut anyone off as you change lines up the jump face.

Avoid a line out of a corner if it steers you toward a muddy spot or kicker or rut in a jump. Jumps right out of turns tend to develop kickers as the day goes on, due to hard acceleration up the jump face.

Experiment with riding the edge of the track, which is not yet packed down, and has better traction and a faster line. When I was a kid we used to ride a track that included a "pit" that slowed you down whether you jumped or rolled it. Some top A riders started riding the very edge of the pit, up top, so they could stay on the gas instead of losing drive through the air. It was still in bounds, so technically legal.

All these principles apply to woods riders too. An 8' wide hare scramble course offers ample opportunities for straightening S turn sections and widening arcs of turns to keep up momentum.

You also can choose the muddy rut everyone has been taking in the middle, or skirt the mudhole on the outside. In the recent Cherokee Enduro I saved some time using this technique. I use it all the time on B loop at Town Creek. It also makes cleaning the bike later much easier. :)

Line selection is a critical skill. It will keep you safer and make you much more competitive.

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'03 KX250/310 #95
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:57 pm 
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Curly
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Location: Marietta,ga
You forgot to stick this one. By the way good reading very informing!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 7:34 am 
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GOR Assisted Living
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Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:24 pm
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Location: Morgan County Georgia
Blame Troy- he is the sticker! :D

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'03 KX250/310 #95
'01 KX500 #10


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