Author Topic: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker  (Read 2156 times)

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Offline Paul K

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Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« on: November 22, 2018, 08:20:19 am »
The Observers are probably in the best position to foretell who is going to clean a section and who is not.  Youve watched countless competitors go up the sections with a variety of ability, techniques, tyre pressures, etc.  What are the determining factors ???.

As a competitor, its not always clear and I, for one, am getting cheesed off at falling off, or dabbing :-[.  Id just like to get one Gold :).  A Triple is probably beyond my ability, but just one Gold.  All advice is gratefully received.

Offline Stephen Bailey

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2018, 01:31:30 pm »
Looking steady and in control is always a good sign.   :)

Offline Mark Gregg

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2018, 01:46:28 pm »
you have to be comfortable with the bike.. one old timer told me that to clean sections riding your bike should be as easy as laying on your bed, so that come the trial you concentrate on riding the section and not the bike.. if that makes sense..

Offline Tony Bishop

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2018, 05:01:22 pm »
Try lowering your initial expectation.
I have found that taking a lesser mental approach whilst waiting for the start marshal to give the nod helps.
What I mean by that is I try to think " Oh well, this is just a bit of fun, next week's salary doesn't rely on my result so lets just see how it goes".
I find that approach better than " OMG, this is a real b*****d and I have failed it several times so I don't think this is going to end well".

Loosen up on the bars and let the bike do the work.

Good luck on the Exeter.

Offline Paul Wheatley (Wheaters)

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2018, 06:49:56 pm »
I've done more observing than trialling but I've done a fair amount of off -roading in my time (I learned to ride a bike in about 1971 by riding my pal's converted BSA Bantam on a muddy farm) and still take my RE 350 Bullet down unmade tracks whenever I come across one.

I've noticed that the relaxed riders do very well on the MCC events. Steady, confident, definitely nothing spectacular needed. My favourite riders to watch pottering up are the old British singles such as Matchless or AJS (or to a lesser extent, the Royal Enfields) with "one bang every lampost"). Hardly ever seen a failure. 

Cheers, PW.

Offline Adam Walter

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2018, 08:57:28 pm »
I find most dabs are due to losing traction and therefore speed. Steady forward movement, even if you're weaving side to side, is key. So if grip is an issue I'll lean back to get as much weight over the back wheel as possible. I find this increases traction by a surprising amount.
Upper body strength is also a big help. When rocks and ruts are knocking the front wheel all over the place it's essential to hang on and wrestle the handlebars back to roughly where you want to aim. Riding lots of rough hills is probably the best way to improve on this!
Finally, for the sticky, clay sections - speed! Wind that throttle open and go for it!

Good luck :)

Offline Celia Walton

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2018, 12:54:40 pm »
Main thing is to concentrate on where the front wheel is going, bearing in mind that the back will inevitably follow and that may mean you lose balance.  Very important to bear in mind that an observer has nothing to do but to watch what you do, so if your foot goes to the ground that's your error and not the observer's.  Find out what your bike (once with sidecar in my case) is happiest doing, and cooperate with it.  Revving if you're stuck generally won't help.

Offline Stephen Bailey

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2018, 02:56:07 pm »
On one Exeter hill. I had a Marshal run along side me shining a torch on my right foot for about twenty yards, in case I dabbed.
It was very off putting, and yes I dabbed, but if the marshal had not done that, I might not have.

Possibly I should have put in a protest.


Offline David (tufty) White

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2018, 04:38:34 pm »
On one Exeter hill. I had a Marshal run along side me shining a torch on my right foot for about twenty yards, in case I dabbed.
It was very off putting, and yes I dabbed, but if the marshal had not done that, I might not have.

Possibly I should have put in a protest.

Should have dabbed with your left!!

Offline Alastair Queen

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2018, 09:14:49 am »
On one Exeter hill. I had a Marshal run along side me shining a torch on my right foot for about twenty yards, in case I dabbed.
It was very off putting, and yes I dabbed, but if the marshal had not done that, I might not have.

Possibly I should have put in a protest.
This occurrence hilites the severe shortages of  Observers on sections, especially at night.  Should have put in a protest, simply to hilite the issue of why an Observer felt they needed to do that?  Too thin on the ground?  Or a lack of Guidance from the Chief Official?  Of course, this weighs well in the favour of competitors , especially at night.

Offline John Kenny

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2018, 11:37:34 am »
The Observers are probably in the best position to foretell who is going to clean a section and who is not.  Youve watched countless competitors go up the sections with a variety of ability, techniques, tyre pressures, etc.  What are the determining factors ???.

As a competitor, its not always clear and I, for one, am getting cheesed off at falling off, or dabbing :-[.  Id just like to get one Gold :).  A Triple is probably beyond my ability, but just one Gold.  All advice is gratefully received.

Hi Paul,

Out of interest; what tyres, pressures and bike?


Offline Stephen Bailey

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2018, 02:22:00 pm »
There were no shortages of marshals on that trial. (2005) ( Bulverton Steep). In fact there were two on the start and the one with the torch and his mate that followed me. Then more marshals further up.

The shortage of marshals seems to be sometimes an acute thing on certain hills now.

It was on my Beta 350.... 15 Psi front. 12 Psi rear.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2018, 06:31:23 pm »
Thanks for all the good advice everyone :).  I'm certainly going to look for a copy of 'Observed Trials' by Bernie Schreiber and Len Weed.

As regards all the other steps I could take.  I've taken a lesser mental approach whilst waiting for the start marshal to give the nod. I've tried to be a relaxed rider, being steady, confident and trying to do definitely nothing spectacular. I've concentrated on where the front wheel is going, hoping that the back will inevitably follow.  I'm very comfortable with the bike (I think) and try to concentrate on riding the section and not the bike.  But, I still manage to foot or stop on about four or five sections :-[.

To be honest, I don't think the bike is the problem.  I've won bronze and silver awards; even won class B some years back.  But in recent years, zippo :-[.  Id like to think it's lack of practice.  Theres a lack of steep, rocky climbs in my area (Hertfordshire) and I do spend the majority of my riding time on a road bike.  Theres also the dreaded anno domini as witnessed by a new Beta Alp 4.0 with electric start as opposed to my brilliant, but kick-start XR400. 

So definitely going to go for lower tyre pressures and more trips to the gym :(

Offline Paul Wheatley (Wheaters)

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2018, 10:44:53 pm »
Speaking as an observer it's also better if you ride with your tongue sticking out or sing at the top of your voice.

It won't help you clear the section but it gives us something to giggle about.
Cheers, PW.

Offline Paul K

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Re: Cleaning the Sections Help a Biker
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 07:34:37 am »
Speaking as an observer it's also better if you ride with your tongue sticking out or sing at the top of your voice.
You wouldn't want to listen to my singing :-[.  And as for sticking out my tongue, you wouldn't want to see that after the night ride :-X.  Mouth, camel and a***'ole spring to mind.