Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby LeeroySilk » 09 Nov 2014, 09:57

EDBANGER wrote:Also, with the first jump from the start hill at Birmingham I've also tried pulling up. This usually results in me going all squirly and not getting any lift at all. In contrast I've also hit it after pedalling down the hill and remaining firmly rigid and got more air. Still not enough to clear the gap though. What's the secret to that one?


There's probably a couple of things going on here. The squirly feeling might be result of pulling up too late, but without watching you ride it's difficult to say for sure. I imagine you've started to compress as you approach the lip and maybe compressed too late causing you to soak up some of the take off, then popping (pulling up) a touch late. Soaking up the takeoff will cause you to lose speed, pulling up too late or still pulling whilst you're in the air are all causes of the dreaded 'dead sailor' or squirly feeling.
The reason why you jumped further when you were rigid is caused by two factors. Firstly, you'd pedalled down the start hill so were probably carrying more speed. Secondly, by remaing rigid you didn't soak up any of the take off and was simply launched out of the jump! I wouldn't recommend doing this too often as you've little to no control.

Just to be clear when your talking of jumping the first jump are you talking about jumping onto the top or clearing all 27ft? If you're just jumping onto the top the ding board is your friend :) Hit it at a speed you're comfortable with, start to compress a good couple of feet before the takeoff then as you're transitioning up the takeoff start pulling up, it doesn't need to be a violent yank, but certainly enough force to bunny hop if you was on flat ground. The biggest factor to consider is the mental aspect, be confident in your own mind what you want to achieve; you're going to do a jump about 10ft long, 2ft up and land nicely on top. It sounds cliche but being mentally prepared is the biggest secret.
Without waffling on for too much longer, someone I know struggles with confidence when it comes to jumping, I'll hear him saying constantly over and over "I know I can do it, I know I can do it". But it'll take him hours to even attempt a jump well within his abilities. One day after hearing 'I know I can do it" one too many times I stopped him talking and quite brutally said "you're biggest problem is you can't do it! It's one thing telling yourself you can do it is a world away from believing you can". No idea if that pep talk helped...

I'm at Perry Barr usually Wed night and some Friday's feel free to come over and introduce yourself, I ride a red S&M speed wagon with all black parts and usually trying to hang onto the back of Mick Gough.
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby EDBANGER » 09 Nov 2014, 19:22

Nice one. I'll keep an eye out for you if I'm down there on Wednesday. I'm very much a fair weather guy though so if it's raining it ain't happening :D

Ok, so a lot of what you've said does make sense. I'd imagine I'm pulling up perhaps a little bit too late. Would I be better off pulling up just a bit too early instead? This could perhaps explain what happened when I took flight off the first jump on the third straight when I was giving it the beans. I'd have pulled up slightly early in an effort to pump it but due to the speed that then equated to me taking off instead? Could have been awesome if I didn't then try to pump down the backside of that take off :D

I think I might start out either on the step up to the table stop on the second straight or on the first table top on the fourth straight.
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby fasy » 09 Nov 2014, 21:02

Pumping around a track is a good way to build speed. Maybe try pedaling to the end of the start hill and see if you can keep your speed.
Its good that you are setting yourself goals too.
Maybe practice jumping a table top at different speeds if you have any at your local track.
Also if you can maybe get someone to video you whilst your riding which you can look back at after a session. Might give you an idea of what you look like jumping, manueling and it might help you to see where you could be better.
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby myles » 09 Nov 2014, 21:56

We were doing pump laps at Merton this afternoon, with the kids.
At 90kg I can manage to decelerate at a rate of knots if I miss time my pumping :oops:

The juniors were tough to keep up with !!
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby pkripper1969 » 10 Nov 2014, 14:52

Great discussion. Might be a daft question but do you think it might be easier to jump if you lose some weight? Im guessing yes!
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby myles » 13 Nov 2014, 09:36

Not really, its all about speed and technique.
Anyone that's seen big Mike, from Peckham, racing will witnessed him defying physics :lol:
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby EDBANGER » 14 Nov 2014, 18:38

I went and had some tuition from Mark Sleigh today. Top bloke and well worth the money.

Just tweaked a few things with body position and timing and really improved my speed. I made it through to the fourth straight this time all be it only once. He had me keeping the inside foot down round the corners. This felt a little odd and did take some concentration if I'm honest. Something I'll need to keep working at to make it feel natural. Also did a brief introduction to jumping the first step up and my very first gate start.

I feel like I've got some direction to go with my practicing now so hopefully I'll be seeing some improvement. I've put a bottle of Duvel Triple Hop in the fridge and I'll be celebrating when I manage the first full pump lap. I hope that's soon.
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby oldskoolg60 » 14 Nov 2014, 19:17

Im in the same boat here so I will be taking on board all the advice given. Myles, glad to see youve got the bug, much more fun than cars! :D
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby JOHNNY MAC » 14 Nov 2014, 22:15

Hey edbanger, sounds good but I don't know why he has you with your inside foot down on corners 80's style? You should be on the pedals with the inside foot at the top of the cranks around berms
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby LeeroySilk » 14 Nov 2014, 22:30

I'm with Jonny Mac on this one, inside foot down!?!
I'm not going to contradict Mark without knowing the reasons for keeping your inside foot down but I can see a boat load of factors why I wouldnt. The most obvious being ground clearance and the risk of catching a pedal on the ground.
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby EDBANGER » 14 Nov 2014, 22:57

My mistake :D

It was inside foot up so that the outside foot is weighted and adding more traction to the tyres.

I told you that I was finding it difficult to get my head around :lol:
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby LeeroySilk » 16 Nov 2014, 09:36

EDBANGER wrote:My mistake :D

It was inside foot up so that the outside foot is weighted and adding more traction to the tyres.

I told you that I was finding it difficult to get my head around :lol:


Yep, that sounds more like it :D
Eventually everything you're learning will become second nature, almost instinctive. What may seem complicated now will all fall into place some time soon.
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby myles » 16 Nov 2014, 16:12

This thread is proving a valuable resource.
My pump laps have been flying this weekend :twisted:

Heavy on the down side, light on the upside is working amazingly well.
Using my body to pick up speed and actually getting air as a result lol
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby EDBANGER » 16 Nov 2014, 20:21

myles wrote:
Heavy on the down side, light on the upside is working amazingly well.
Using my body to pick up speed and actually getting air as a result lol


Exactly how Mark was describing the motion. He also said think about leading with your nose on the downside, get your weight and nose forward over the bars. On the opposite think light fluffy thoughts on the way up. Also try to pre-lift (I think that's what he called it). Compress early and lift the front early so you almost lift the front wheel over the front of the roller but drive it hard down the backside. Kind of like bunny hopping it without actually bunny hopping it.
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby Pootsmanuva » 17 Nov 2014, 16:08

EDBANGER wrote:
myles wrote:
Heavy on the down side, light on the upside is working amazingly well.
Using my body to pick up speed and actually getting air as a result lol


8) I like this very simple analogy/easy to grasp, and the motion again much like being on a swing!

EDBANGER wrote: Kind of like bunny hopping it without actually bunny hopping it.


Heh - was also just about to ask if the sort of quickly switching your weight back and forwards like you'd do with a bunny hop is the same sort approach to pumping. Got me a bike sorted now (thanks to this forum) so am hoping techniques will come with practise if I'm on the same bike all the time!
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby AdamYates859 » 18 Nov 2014, 12:38

Congratulations on your progress to date, I started at the spritely age of 47 last October and have progressed through the novice racing at club level last year, moving up to expert (in name only) in the last couple of months. Coming to BMX as a complete novice, not having ridden a BMX or on track before and with very limited MTB experience it has been a hard year learning but have had the benefit of some great coaching at club level and encouragement and tips from the rest of the BMX community.

I will never be the fastest veteran on the block, but have set myself some realistic targets for next year and vowed to make sure that no matter what to have fun.

Lessons learnt for me have been that track time is essential, pumping laps is great for buidling up speed, stamina and strength (can manage pump laps at Manchester, Bruntwood and Heywood) and that it is harder and slower trying to keep the wheels on the floor than it is letting them lift off, I am not jumping in the true sense of the word but there is air and I am a hell of a lot quicker than 12 months ago.

Keep on working and maybe we will end up in a moto or two at some point!

Good luck and safe and fast racing
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby LeeroySilk » 19 Nov 2014, 22:41

AdamYates859 wrote:vowed to make sure that no matter what to have fun.


During times of frustration, always refer back to this quote. :)
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby EDBANGER » 20 Nov 2014, 15:45

Will be heading to perry Barr soon to practice what was shown. Looking forward to it. :D
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby EDBANGER » 21 Nov 2014, 13:17

Did just under two hours at the track last night. Concentrating on getting that full, no pedaling pump lap in. I made it a quarter of the way down the 4th straight and half way down the third a few times so some improvement there. Advice was to be looser which I tried to take on board. It's the second straight that totally kills me though. I just can't get through it whilst keeping any speed.

The one huge lesson I did learn came right at the end though as I was literally about to leave. Someone pointed out the fact that my tyres looked a little flat. I then put enough air in to make them solid and the increase in rolling speed was massive. Total noob mistake. I had one last go after but still only made it half way down the third but I blame fatigue. Maybe I'd have finished a total lap if they were pumped from the begining.
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Re: Started, now would like to progress. Mid life noob.

Postby myles » 21 Nov 2014, 13:33

For sure you would have made it 8)

As old people we concentrate so much on the technical side we forget the basics.
I checked all the kids bikes were safe before they started riding.

Half way through the session my lad suggested I check my tyres, as they looked soft :oops:
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