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I could use some help... I'm rather new to the race scene and have an upcoming race which is my biggest race yet. How do you control your race nerves? I am worried about being calm and cool headed enough to get a good, smooth, fast start (in a big crowd!), keeping my wide view in a tight pack of riders, and being able to fight the urge to turn in early, something that I find happens when the adrenaline kicks in.

 

Any ideas/advice on how to stay calm and sensible, when the green flag drops?

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I'm looking forward to the replies as I suffer the same problems.

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Good question Hotfoot! One of the great things about racing is you can't help but learn something about yourself from simply being on the grid.

 

I guess dealing with nerves is a personal thing, and I don't know that there is any one way that would work for 2 people.

 

I have found that the mind just goes crazy with thoughts in the lead up to a race, and it becomes pretty distracting. Do you find something similar? Or maybe the thoughts get you so fired up that the adrenaline just takes over and it's like you're just a passenger on some red misted rollercoaster?

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As Adam said, I don't think there is the uniform answer to the problem here. Yeah, you're going to be nervous, but I always found taking deep breaths on the grid works. Trying to put my attention onto my starting revs, making sure I'm thinking of the flag/lights clutch position etc, seems to help take my fultering nerves away a little. My heart still races terribly, but thats just adrenalin letting me know I'm still alive, and that can't be a bad thing can it...? :P

 

Bullet

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As Adam said, I don't think there is the uniform answer to the problem here. Yeah, you're going to be nervous, but I always found taking deep breaths on the grid works. Trying to put my attention onto my starting revs, making sure I'm thinking of the flag/lights clutch position etc, seems to help take my fultering nerves away a little. My heart still races terribly, but thats just adrenalin letting me know I'm still alive, and that can't be a bad thing can it...? :P

 

Bullet

 

I think I just identified a problem with how I asked my question. I asked for advice on how to stay "calm and sensible when the green flag drops". It occurs to me that if I was calm and sensible to begin with, I wouldn't even be DOING this crazy ****!!! :P

 

Seriously, though, looking at the replies above helped me to realize I just need to embrace the nervousness as part of the experience, and just enjoy the rush of excitement that comes from doing something so new and thrilling and scary.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was wondering why you would want to be calm and sensible when the green flag drops? You are definitely not sensible! Adam and Bullet hit on a point that from a physiological stand point does work, more in some than in others but it does work, Deep Breathing in through the nose fill the diaphragm and then out though the mouth, slows the heart rate down.

I am a type "A" so I enjoy the rush. Hotfoot hit on something about embracing it and I think this is a good thing to do. Live in the moment, take it all in, don't try to ignore your feelings or fight it but understand where these feelings come from. Ok, your excited! Just don't let it control you.

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I was wondering why you would want to be calm and sensible when the green flag drops? You are definitely not sensible! Adam and Bullet hit on a point that from a physiological stand point does work, more in some than in others but it does work, Deep Breathing in through the nose fill the diaphragm and then out though the mouth, slows the heart rate down.

I am a type "A" so I enjoy the rush. Hotfoot hit on something about embracing it and I think this is a good thing to do. Live in the moment, take it all in, don't try to ignore your feelings or fight it but understand where these feelings come from. Ok, your excited! Just don't let it control you.

 

 

Well, I did it, yesterday, first WERA race! I was definitely nervous but the idea of embracing it as a thrill helped me a lot. I made sure I was very, very prepared, and organized, and early with everything, which made things a lot calmer. I kept it together well through practice, warmup, and the start of the first race, but it was a crowded grid and the scramble through the first three turns definitely got my heart rate up. After that, I started driving so hard out of the turns that I hit my rev limiter in a couple of different places, since my normal shift points were suddenly too far down the road! I lost some time with that, but was able to get refocused and run a good race. I ended up with a third place (I got a TROPHY!! YAY!!!) and I was thrilled with that.

 

I did a second race (went up a class), and wow, what a difference in my riding. I knew what to expect, rode a much calmer first lap, then got into a groove and ran laps that were 3 seconds faster than the first race, and much, much smoother. AND I beat the person that got second place in my first race. Hot damn.

 

We had a blast. There were three of us together that were all racing for the first time (a nice example of the blind leading the blind!) and one pattern that I noticed - we ALL made shifting errors in our first race. Either missed shifts or poor timing. I wonder if that is typical? I know I saw some other Novices having some shifting issues. Anyway, we all stayed upright, placed reasonably well and had a great time.

 

I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with WERA. Everything was organized, on time, well-run, well-communicated, safe, and friendly.

 

Thanks to all of you for your comments on this thread, ya helped me a lot!!

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I can't comment on motorcycle racing specifically but I have many, many bicycle race starts. I used to get nervous until one day I realized that ANYTHING I could have done to improve my race in any way had already been either done or neglected by the time I was lining up. After that I stopped worrying about things and I am usually very steady at the start of races now. The realization helped me sleep the night before too... I used to stay up with my mind racing until I realized that nothing could help me now except maybe a good nights sleep, LOL.

 

I don't know how I'll react to a motorcycle race though...

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Brilliant result there Hotfoot you must be so, so pleased. We're really proud of you! ;)

 

A new hobby begins..! Hope your ready for the addiction that is!

 

Bullet

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Hotfoot,

That is a great result! I am very happy for you and hope to race against you some day, if you don't mind coming in second!

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Hotfoot,

That is a great result! I am very happy for you and hope to race against you some day, if you don't mind coming in second!

 

Who you kidding, she'll kick yer arse man! :lol:

 

Bullet

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I'll get in her head Bullet! I'll start talking some trash about her tire pressure, her warmers are to hot, her rear peg set up doesn't look right, the track looks a little slippery today......Are those forks bent? You always ride with that chain so tight? It will be all over but the crying.

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I'll get in her head Bullet! I'll start talking some trash about her tire pressure, her warmers are to hot, her rear peg set up doesn't look right, the track looks a little slippery today......Are those forks bent? You always ride with that chain so tight? It will be all over but the crying.

 

Harsh.. how will you sleep at night? Shallow victory that will be! :lol:

 

Bullet

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I don't mind her being out front...I'm sure I would enjoy the view. ;)

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