The BIGGEST mistake a rider can make…

28 Mar

As I was having my tires changed on my Ducati SuperSport, my buddy and I got into a discussion about the amount of effort it takes to ride a Ducati fast. He too is a Ducatisti. He had owned a 1098 but sold it for something a bit more “practical” – a Ural.

We got into talking about why it is a Ducati just feels so heavy to turn. Eventually the bike gets into the turn, and once it’s there it sticks well. But man do they feel heavy.

This got me thinking about how much better riding would be if it took less effort. So aside from switching to a different bike, how can we become a better rider and make ANY bike want to turn easier?

First thing is knowledge. You have to understand the dynamics of how a bike works. If you’ve ever watched somebody try to turn the handlebars the direction they want to go, it’s usually a battle for the bike to be turned if it turns at all!

Technical instruction is a crucial part to being a better rider.

The second thing is instruction.

Having somebody teach you how to ride a motorcycle is an invaluable experience. The MSF safety course is great for urban riding skill and slow speed maneuvering for beginners. However, a high speed riding school such as CLASS, is amazing. Even with a heavy steering bike, after a day there I headed up on my favorite back road ride and I was amazed at how much easier it was to ride the bike.

But thirdly, rider fitness plays a role. And THIS is the BIGGEST mistake a rider can make: ignoring their own fitness or pretending it doesn’t matter.

How might front squats benefit the weekend rider?
Leg strength and endurance as well as core and postural endurance!

Denying that rider fitness plays a role is akin to saying that fitness does not play a role in golf (or any other sport for that matter). We’ve seen what the new breed of golfers is doing to the older generation that just played multiple rounds a day and tried to improve that way.

So two riders with the same experience and same bike will be separated by what? Fitness. Most of us aren’t riding in 5-10 minute clips and then heading back into the garage for suspension adjustments. No, we’re trackday riders, out there for 20-minutes at a time and doing it for 8-hours a day. Or we’re back road riders, heading out for a 1-2 hour jaunt that throws a lot of unpredictability your way.

And the rider who can stay focused and minimize fatigue is going to be the safer rider.

So although fitness is not a highly sought after quality of most riders, it can definitely be an asset to every rider of every type. Any type of exercise will benefit a rider, but a plan like Grand Prix Fitness is geared toward building total body strength, core strength, and a challenging finisher that will make your legs scream like nothing else.

Keep an eye out for Grand Prix Fitness in the coming weeks! Subscribe to this blog to get updates when new posts are put up as well as when Grand Prix Fitness is released!!


2 Responses to “The BIGGEST mistake a rider can make…”

  1. Chad Vance June 7, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    Fitness is a huge factor in staying focused and maintaining stamina during a race or trackday, but a few other things that play a large role are nutrition and hydration. A couple simple rules I follow, One I take a multivitamin, two I eat pasta the night before or some other form of a complex carbohydrate, Third I have a complex carb for lunch during my trackday (usually a light spighetti sandwich) and I snack on potatoe chips throughout the day (this replenishes salt that has been lost through sweating).
    To stay hydrated a good rule of thumb is, “if your not urinating at liest once an hour” your not consuming enough water. Water alone isn’t enough though, Salt, Potassium, and a few other vitamins and minerals are needed to bind the water to our bodies cells.
    Great article, Great blog, and keep the good information coming.


    • grandprixfitness June 7, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback! Hydration and nutrition are huge components. Unfortunately, there is a delayed gratification that comes from changing nutrition habits. Eating more carbs in the evening before a race/trackday won’t immediately make you feel great about your riding ability. However, if a person were to guinea pig themselves and eat poorly the day before a track day one day and then a week later eat appropriately, they’d notice a huge difference.

      Hydration is also VERY important during riding. We lose so much fluids and electrolytes while riding that many riders can hit the wall during afternoon sessions. Water in the morning, electrolyte replacement drink in the afternoons is an excellent rule of thumb. I think your strategy of hydrating to urinating once an hour is a good rule to follow. It sounds like you’ve got experience with it too! So you know it works! Thanks for the note and encouragement!!


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