Wednesday, 07 December 2011 11:50

How To: Get Ready for the Upcoming Season

Posted by  Jeff Morgan
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Jake Stapleton

Planning for the upcoming season takes more than just getting your bike ready. Taking the time to get everything in place prior to the season kick-off will keep you on track all year and may end up contributing to better results, less expense and more satisfaction. Use this simple step-by-step approach and you’ll be on your way to a great year of racing!

Step 1

Decide what series you are going to ride and budget. To make this decision, you will have to weigh up the costs for the season. Make a budget of what you think it will cost and be realistic. You need to take into account the costs for parts, tires, fuel, gear, entry fees, travel, accommodations, food, wear-and-tear on your vehicle and anything else you think is specific to your racing. When you are deciding which series to ride, keep in mind that the Canadian Enduro Championship has been made relatively cost-efficient and is a whole load of fun.

If your budget is looking costly, don’t give up; instead, look for ways to cut down on the price. The biggest money saver in our sport is letting go of the bling. I’m not saying to turn up looking like someone who’s been lost in the bush for months, just don’t get into buying those shiny white boots or the anodized rims you saw on your buddy’s bike. I think you get the picture. It might not be pretty, but at least you’ll be riding.

Most people who know me through racing know that I stick to a tight budget. As a rookie enduro kid I drove all over Australia in an old beasty van that I picked up for a couple of grand. It was one way I cut the cost of my racing, and that was the first year I won a national title. For one of my years racing in Europe, I lived in a van; not an RV, or even a camper van, but a van. Life in Europe is unbelievably expensive and I needed to save, so it was a simple choice – definitely not a luxurious lifestyle!  

Knowing how much money you have for the year racing season makes those decisions prior to race day a lot easier. You might be thinking a new rear tire would be nice but even if the budget is getting tight, stick to it. If you can stay on budget and achieve your racing goals for the year, you’ll have more satisfaction at the end of the season.

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Step 2

Now that you know the series you’re racing and how much cash you’ll need in your bank account, it’s time to start thinking about your goals for the year. Again, be realistic; however, this is racing we’re talking about, so aim on the higher side of realistic. Whether you plan on winning a Canadian Championship, or simply plan on finishing each race you attend, make a definite plan and start thinking about what you have to do to make it happen.

Step 3

Get fit.

It’s just that simple. There are no short cuts or special formulas. Just do whatever sort of physical activity you enjoy and work hard at it.

Step 4

Start riding

Ease back into it

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The Canadian winter has its up-sides and down-sides for an off-roader. On the positive side of things, you can certainly build your motivation for riding while you’re staring out the window at eight feet of snow. All those months of looking at your bike in the garage and imagining what you could do on it are over and now it’s time to get out there and make it happen.

Okay, let’s face it. Canada is a hard place to make progress with your riding. While the winter can build your motivation, it can also kill your confidence on the bike and that’s something you really need to take into account when you go out for your first few rides. Take it easy, go for a couple of nice trail rides and just mess around. Try wheelies, nose wheelies, hop over some logs, rocks, do some jumps and just generally have some fun with it. Once you start to feel good on the bike again, then it’s time to get your speed on.

Step 5

Get your head into it!

As the first race starts to approach, you need to think of how you want the race and the season to go down. Picture your ideal race, leading start to finish. Then picture a tough race, where you might get off to a bad start and have to make up time all day. Visualization of both sides can help you to be better prepared for whatever comes your way. Whether you’re picturing the ideal or the not so ideal, the key is to make sure that in your mind your always pushing on to be better, faster and get further ahead.

The motto of Enduro is to “never give up”, so plaster it into your mind. You’re going to need it (as we all do)!

Step 6

Get out there and do it

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‘Till next time …

Stay safe and keep riding

Jake

Last modified on Thursday, 29 December 2011 02:46
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