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How Relaxed?


faffi
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It seems sensible to be as relaxed as possible when riding a motorcycle. It conserves energy, it makes you looser and you inflict less forces into the bike.

 

So why is it that racers get blistered hands, complain about fatigue (Abraham said he lacked grip strength over the final quarter of the race, for instance), suffer from carpal syndrome and arm pump, wear out boot soles every race weekend and lack power in arms/shoulders when braking hard etc.? That doesn't sound very relaxed to me. And you hardly ever hear them complain about legs being tired, it's virtually always muscles above the waist that gets mentioned. So what gives? Do you reach a level where you cannot relax, or are the moments avialable for relaxation too short compared to the amount of time spent controlling the bike?

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Ya know Eirik, the first thing that comes to mind is Occam's razor, the simplest answer is most often the correct one. That in combination with how often I see professional athletes with their amazing skills and amazing athleticism don't do the 'simple' things they trained to do for years and in turn creating results that aren't as good as they could have been. I see this A LOT in professional football (soccer) when players don't see the pitch, make best use of the primary elements (time, space, the ball) and then attempt acts of heroics that often don't work, take a shot not being over the ball and sailing the shot over the goal or worse kicking it into a crowd of players it most certainly won't get through, in so many words 'simple soccer'!

 

I have no doubt what so ever this 'not applying the fundamentals' is something that happens to riders. For whatever reasons, they begin to develop bad riding habits, forget about optimizing every action and in turn cause themselves large amounts of fatigue and are likely not nearly as fast as they could be.

 

Well, that's my take on it.

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i think we must also consider the speeds involved here and the forces that are required to turn very fast motorbikes at speed. whilst they have the very best of everything, racing a motorbike is hugely hard work even for the 6-8 laps I do, doing 25 laps is very tough and these bikes are the toughest, meanest things in the world to ride, and probably do require you to hang on a little more than your pootle on a mountain road on a sunday morning. It's also easy to observe that the riders don't on the whole, use their lower bodies enough, and use their upper bodies, though I guess when you're that good, you can't be told much. ;)

 

 

Bullet

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Thanks Bullet...I know this is going to sound counter intuitive but being relaxed racing a motorcycle is hard work. :) We just finished endurance racing last weekend on a track I have never been to before. It is very fast. We were doing over 150 mph down the front straight on a 600cc bike. Now think about it from this perspective. You are going 150 mph into a fast right hander. You have to identify the turn in point, downshift, brake and turn in the matter of a second. You then have to identify your exit, be on the gas and set up for the next turn and so on and so on and so on all in a matter of one minute and eighteen seconds (recent race). There are braking forces, turning forces, execelerating forces. All these forces are transmitted through your hands and arms. Everything about racing burns energy even when you are sitting in a chair waiting to ride. Relaxed is a relative term.

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The intimidating part is that somebody like Spies would probably do a similar lap time just cruising home after setting a hot qualifying lap, pulling wheelies and looking around to make sure he didn't get into anybody's way. I'm always amazed how slow and non-focused top rank riders look when lapping 5 seconds off pace. Or put another way; how hard it is to find them final 5 seconds.

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Eirik, I think you're on to something: Finding those last 5 seconds is very demanding. The unpredictable nature of high level competition is a huge stressor. So is riding 150 mph down the front straight and into turn 1. Just the rush of riding those speeds is bound to increase muscle tension. Also, I think there are certain times when you need to be more relaxed than other times.

 


  •  
  • Turning in? Very relaxed. Vision very wide.
  • Mid-corner? Easy on the throttle. Eyes up.
  • Down the straight? Legs tight, but hands relaxed. Vision will tunnel in.
  • Braking? Supposed to be legs gripping tank, but often ends up arms locked with lots of upper body tension and very spotty vision.

 

I also think hanging off Too Much creates extra unnecessary muscle tension. I see guys hanging off like spiders in corners where they just aren't leaned over that much. Why? Have a seat, buddy. Have a sip of Coke and turn on the radio--this is gonna be a looong race.

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Eirik, I think you're on to something: Finding those last 5 seconds is very demanding. The unpredictable nature of high level competition is a huge stressor. So is riding 150 mph down the front straight and into turn 1. Just the rush of riding those speeds is bound to increase muscle tension. Also, I think there are certain times when you need to be more relaxed than other times.

 


  •  
  • Turning in? Very relaxed. Vision very wide.
  • Mid-corner? Easy on the throttle. Eyes up.
  • Down the straight? Legs tight, but hands relaxed. Vision will tunnel in.
  • Braking? Supposed to be legs gripping tank, but often ends up arms locked with lots of upper body tension and very spotty vision.

 

I also think hanging off Too Much creates extra unnecessary muscle tension. I see guys hanging off like spiders in corners where they just aren't leaned over that much. Why? Have a seat, buddy. Have a sip of Coke and turn on the radio--this is gonna be a looong race.

 

I had the opportunity to watch Garret Gerloff set a lap record 1:10.8 at Roebling. You can see the write up in Roadrace world. I watched him lap after lap after lap going through turn three like a machine. He had his knee down almost touching the paving with his elbow and was spot on his mark every lap. It was a thing of beauty. It is very intimidating to reach expert status and see these guys riding around you. It is like sitting in a chair in the middle of a performance of Cirque du Soleil.

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It is very intimidating to reach expert status and see these guys riding around you. It is like sitting in a chair in the middle of a performance of Cirque du Soleil.

 

Speaking of going off topic you have any plans on doing any races as far North as Summit Point? I'll be doing some corner work there this year.

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It is very intimidating to reach expert status and see these guys riding around you. It is like sitting in a chair in the middle of a performance of Cirque du Soleil.

 

Speaking of going off topic you have any plans on doing any races as far North as Summit Point? I'll be doing some corner work there this year.

 

VIR and Cycle Jam is as for North as I will be going. The Summit event is two weeks away from another event and so I just won't be able to do both. If you are at Cycle Jam, look me up.

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VIR and Cycle Jam is as for North as I will be going. The Summit event is two weeks away from another event and so I just won't be able to do both. If you are at Cycle Jam, look me up.

 

 

Yeah, I suspected as much just thought I'd ask. If someone was there I would want to support, figured I'd ask so I know to bring a can of oil or maybe a fuzzy bunny to toss out on carousel round t6 to slow the other guys up a bit. :lol:

 

I've always considered going off topic as a natural development of a conversation :D

 

Eirik, couldn't agree more! :D

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