Why Do You Ride Motocross Tracks?

 

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…

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3 Responses to Why Do You Ride Motocross Tracks?

  1. Tim Goodman says:

    I would say all of the above, but also like you I rode trails and only raced at bmx tracks at age of 15/16. Now in my 30s It was always a dream as a kid to ride supercross but never new how easy it was to go to a track and just pay and practice.
    Also note the thrill of jumping and feeling that you have wings and can fly….then the next jump and you can fly again. I LOVE THIS SPORT and it sure is easier to twist a throttle then to pedal your a@@ off to clear a jump!

  2. MXGuy says:

    So true Tim. Jumping is a lot of fun — though admittedly I am scared of heights, but I still really enjoy it. Great points and thanks for reading my blog.

  3. Wes Jackson says:

    Great site! I found the link on Thumpertalk and I’m glad I did. I would guess I mirror your reasons, with 3 being dominant but 2 finishing just a hair behind. I ride Over The Hill Gang vet racing here in Central Cal and the friendships I have made in the last year are fantastic. A common love for the sport brought us together, but the fun and friendship keep bringing us back.

    Since I spent most of my riding years doing trails and desert, with only a couple of trips to the track as a kid( I can honestly say I did laps at Indian Dunes on a Bultaco!) with a period of 30 years where I didn’t ride at all, racing is a new thing to me. Last year was my first ever MX race and I finished well back, but had an absolute blast. I have. My third race ever was the Glen Helen National track, and while intimidating at first, by the end of the weekend I was launching down Mt. Saint Helens. I ran as high as 3rd for a few laps but crashes as I got tired placed me back in 9th overall. Results are not as important as improvement, and I measure that not by lap times necessarily, but by sections and turns. If I hit the whoops just right , or accelerate through a corner rather than coast and then accelerate, man it’s been a good day.

    I still desert and trail ride, simply because some of my friends won’t touch a track and I still enjoy riding with them. So there you have it.

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