How to Improve your Riding during COVID-19
For some riders (those in the north hemisphere), the track season had barely started, and we’re now forced to take a break due to COVID-19. Track days and races are canceled. So how can we improve our riding during these times?
Contrary to the common free advice given by people who say "seat time, seat time, seat time", there are other things we can do.
So here you go, to name a few (in no particular order).
Review Some Footage of Yours
There’s a good number of things you can use video footage for, depending on where the camera was mounted:
- Analyzing your lines around the track;
- Seeing your upper body position;
- Seeing your footwork;
- Seeing riders behind you:
- What their body position looks like?
- How are they passing you (or not)?
- Where are you stronger/weaker?
If you your footage shot from another bike (such as from another bike either following you or who you were following), there’s also many things you can learn from it. Explore the possibilities!
For more tips on how to use action cameras, check out this video of a BTT meeting where we went over that!
Review Track Photos
Besides showing off how awesome we look on the bike, photos can also help us identify areas of improvement. Grab photos of you and other riders at the same corner and see if there’s anything you might want to consider working on the next time you’re out on the track.
You can also use photos of yourself to document your progress over time. Take notes of the areas you improved on, try to remember how you got to that improvement (tip from a coach, self-realization, seeing yourself in photos or videos) and what actions you’ve taken on changes you’ve made. Do you remember how it felt, or how you know the change made you better?
Check Your Track Day Debriefs
If you write down your track day debriefs, go through them and see if there are things you might have forgotten. Maybe you wrote down something like "entered panic-mode going into that one corner", or whatever it is. Your notes might lead you to items that are your areas of improvement for next time.
Here’s a video that shows how debriefs are entered and used on the BTT website (it comes from writing it down on paper during two full track day seasons).
Play Some Racing Video-games
Experiment with playing racing games on the video-game (car or bikes). Turn off aids such as traction control and ABS. Run semi-automatic transmission. These things will force you to be way more cautions with the throttle and breaks, gear selection, etc.
Yes, it’s just a game, but instead of going with the "squeeze the throttle and steer" approach, we need to deal with loss of traction and such. Also, it becomes important to go wide open throttle (WOT) only when we actually have a good line to exit a corner, otherwise we end up running wide, stalling on the gas, or breaking mid corner, losing a lot of speed. Does that sound similar to what we’re doing on the actual track?
Work on Bike Maintenance
Do you regular bike maintenance.
Do those mods you’ve been thinking about doing.
Maybe those are necessary because you haven’t done it yet. Or maybe you’re just the type of person who likes doing that kind of stuff.
Here are some BTT videos on that subject for your enjoyment and inspiration!
This is a physically-demanding sport. The better we are physically, the better chance we have to get better at riding.
Find a workout routine that works for you. Make a habit out of it.
The Track Academy at Life at Lean now has a module about riding fitness, which I’ll personally start digging into during this time.
And when you’re back at the track...
Your body and mind will be ready to roll!!
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