As of late I’ve been thinking about why some people (including myself) ride dirt bikes, and more specifically motocross (MX) tracks. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but I don’t enjoy trail riding. My brother and I rode lots of trails in our youth. In fact I’m not even sure I knew MX tracks existed, let alone where the nearest one was located… So to that point, I’ve ridden and crashed on all the trails I care to. For me it’s MX tracks or bust.
Now to the nitty gritty, Why do you ride MX tracks or actually I want to know more specifically what keeps you coming back to the track and what causes you to consider a day at the track a success? I’ve narrowed it down to a few different reason’s that it might be, and more than likely it’s a combination of a few of these. Here’s the list I compiled for the possible reason “you” might ride MX tracks, and keep coming back — this list is not a complete list as I’m sure there are other reasons, these are just the ones I thought of while typing this…
1) You’re competitive so you like all things racing — even when it’s just practice. Riding and Racing with your buddies is what it’s all about. You feel invigorated by racing everyone in front of you and feel great pride by taking home the proverbial “checkered flag.” The day at the track is less than fulfilling if you didn’t get into some back and forth racing. Otherwise, you would prefer to just stay home and run on the treadmill looking at the wall than spin mindless laps without someone to race. Win at all costs.
2) You’re a socialite. A day at the track is more about spending time with friends, bench racing, and just relaxing with people that share a common interest. Track days are more about the time spent in the pits than actual riding or at least as important.
3) You enjoy the challenge, want to learn, and subscribe to the idea that you sometimes have to go slower to go faster. In the end you believe proper technique is going to make you faster. Every corner, rut, jump, or misc. obstacle is a chance to practice and get better. You enjoy reading about or watching videos on riding technique, then spending a day at the track practicing/honing these techniques. You get your butt kicked by a specific corner, maybe because the ruts are deep and long, so you cut the track to hit this obstacle over and over again so you can get better at it. You go slower because you are paying more attention to your technique. Getting around the track isn’t important, it’s how you get around the track. You make sure your elbows are up, weight the outside peg in corners, look ahead, grip the bike with your knees, try to never use your arms to hold yourself up, and try to maintain your center of gravity. A good day at the track is seeing your attention to technique pay off by turning faster lap times and hitting maybe one corner like Ricky Carmichael, Kevin Windham, or Ryan Dungey would have.
4) You love to tinker. Messing with settings (suspension, jetting, tire selection, etc) on your dirt bike to make your ride easier is something you enjoy. Others often ask you for advise on settings and you enjoy telling them what you think. You study this stuff and like helping others with their dirt bikes.
So of that list which are you?
If you can think of one I didn’t mention, please post a reply and let me know what it is. I know this list is not exhaustive by any means.
I’m not a #1. I am however a combination of #’s 2, 3, & 4, with #3 being the dominant reason I keep going back. I find that if I skip doing #’s 2 and 3, I have a harder time getting excited to go riding again the next time. #2, makes my day at the track a lot longer, but also makes it a lot more enjoyable. #3 is the real reason I like going. I almost always have a technique goal. I don’t always do it, but having a goal gives me a purpose, which in turn makes it easier to go riding.
Just something to think about while you are laying in bed…
Until next time…