Colorado Powersports Day in the Dirt

Monday the folks at Colorado Powersports hosted a superfun day at the Thunder Valley MX track in Lakewood, CO. For $10 we customers got clinics, lunch and track time. Such a deal — and it’s gotta be good for business.

Fireman Jeff and I were the only riders with license plates and rear view mirrors. I’ve been afraid of motocross tracks: the jumps are huge, and there are too many badgers — last time I rode at Lakewood, I got ran into, then I got landed on. That day I popped my thumb back into socket and kept riding, but I haven’t been back since.

Teachers: The team riders were out in force, running four stations on the track. There was no ego; it was all about the love of the ride. The guys and gals were stoked and gracious. Very pro.

Feast: Sandwiches, chips, cookies and caffeinated beverages. Do the Dew!

Fold out your mirror: Jeff thought he clipped a cone, and he looked back to check. I cajoled team rider Kelly Spring to tell Jeff, “Fold out your mirror so you can see the cones behind you.”

Highlights: Seeing Jeff butter the 60-foot table. Hanging out with a bunch of people who love to ride. Improving my cornering. Buttering the 60-foot table (with a license plate and rear view mirror!).

There was almost one coach per rider. That’s me in the red helmet saying, “I suck. Please help me.”

Under the Colorado Powersports tent we found sandwiches aplenty. Colorado Powersports = food = happiness. Genius.

Check out that dirt. All watered and perfect.

Kelly Spring was ripping while she wasn’t teaching.

Jason Labonte would give some mellow advice, then rip the hell out of the track.

Fireman Jeff is unimpressed with Chad Ruggles’ puny little hose, but he made great use of Chad’s pointers.

At one point Ryan Rozinski waved me over. “Your buddy just got the table. Time to step up!”

What’s with the kickstand? Me, clenching over the Tricky Step-Up Following A Rutted Turn.

Stuff I learned

And stuff I knew but forgot, and stuff I forget when I get scared:

Attack position
– Balls of feet on the pegs.
– Knees above the pegs, at the narrow spot on the bike. Whoa, I never noticed that!
– Head forward over the bar.
– Butt back.
– Look where you want to go!

– Braking forces come from:
80% front brake
15% transmission
5% rear brake
– As you roll off the throttle, ease on the brake. Your index finger always hovers on the lever.
– Downshift. No clutch.
– No rear brake!
– Stay in attack position. Just move back.
– Look where you want to go!

– Look WAY ahead. Two turns.
– Weight the outside peg.
– Elbows up.
– Balls of feet — not your arches — on the pegs.
– Use the rear brake to set up the turn.
– Lean the bike. Extend your inside arm.
– Look where you want to go!

Jason Labonte. Look how relaxed he is.

– Look where you want to go: all the way to the next jump.
– Don’t just plop onto the seat at the apex. As you approach the turn, eeeaaase forward …
– … lean the bike and …
– … roll the throttle.
– The sooner you roll on the power, the better.
– Line up very wide and enter the rut straight-on. Don’t just slam into it.
– Look where you want to go!

Tricky step-up following a rutted turn
– See Cornering
– As soon as you enter the turn, look at the takeoff.
– Apply power all the way to the face.
– Downshift in the air.
– Stay loose!
– Land inside to rip the next turn.
– Look where you want to go!

60-foot tabletop
– See Attack Position
– See Cornering
– As soon as you exit the turn, look at your takeoff spot.
– Look for a good lip without holes.
– Throttle wide open.
– Upshift — tick tick — without the clutch.
– Hold the throttle open all the way up the face and off the lip.
– Wheeee …
– Stay in attack position.
– Stay loose.
– … eeeee!!!
– Land on the throttle.
– Look where you want to go!

I did it over and over. Rip the turn, pin it to the lip, flyyyyyyyyyyy, land smooth, brake hard, pin it back to the turn. Repeat. The whole routine became smoother and smoother, and that little voice stopped saying “MX is for tough guys; you should give up.” As I landed the sixth perfect backside, another voice kicked in: “Dude, you can do this!” Yes. Stoked!!!

Colorado Powersports put on a class event. But giving me that peak experience — well, that’s really good for business.

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