As you know I recently got back into riding Motocross after a 1 year layoff. It’s taken a few rides to even feel comfortable riding at the speeds I used to, and even now, I’m not going very fast. Certainly not as fast as I used to be. Now, I’m not a fast rider, I don’t take big risks, and I almost never crash. But as I’ve been considering ways to get my speed back up and get the old riding techniques re-honed, I’ve considered that maybe I don’t take enough risks… Could that be true?
After thinking about this for a while, my better senses caught up with me. I’m too old with too many responsibilities to take any more risk than I already do when I throw a leg over my MX bike. This sport is dangerous, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Besides, I’m a firm believer that before you can go faster, you have to go slower. I’m still waiting on the faster part though. 🙂 But that doesn’t mean I can’t still get faster and still maintain a cushion of safety.
I have now realized that half (probably more like 80%) the reason I’m not very fast is related directly to fitness. It’s not that I don’t have the skills to go faster, though admittedly, I am a bit rusty, but my fitness level just won’t allow me to push any harder or go any faster. I could also use the excuse that my bike isn’t quite setup correctly for me, which it’s not. I’m pretty heavy, so I know I need to get some stiffer springs to help the bike take the hits better, and dial in my suspension, but in the end, even if my bike setup was perfect, I could still only run as fast as my fitness would allow.
To that end, I’ve started working out again. A few years ago, I worked on my fitness for about 2 months (I know only 2 month 🙁 ) and I could NOT believe the strides I made on the track. I want from being a 2 lap wonder to running 8-10 laps without much problem. A little effort goes a long way — It’s amazing to be honest. Not only were the 8-10 laps 400%-500% more than I was previously doing, but I was also markedly faster on all of them.
So if you’re like me and want to go faster, and have come to realize your fitness is the weak link, this is your call for motivation to get off the couch and do some exercise. It doesn’t take much (3 times a week for 20-30 min) and you’ll be amazed at how much it pays off on the track.