The Fix Bikes Blog

Gravity Mountain Biking Nerds – Downhill, Freeride, Trail and Dirt Jumping

Winter Moto Madness

Posted by thefixbikes on February 9, 2010

The winter can be a rough time of year for mountain bikers and downhillers in Colorado, the weather can bestow upon us weeks at a time of beautiful conditions, only to bury everything in snow just as it’s getting going.  This winter has been one of those years, with rideable conditions coming and going.  Still, it beats those seasons when we have ended up completely frozen in for months at a time.  Most of the mountain bike trails are up a little higher and have not been in respectable shape, which leaves mountain bikers looking for alternate means of entertainment and training.  So what can you do out in the flatland?  Well, for those of us that need to keep pedaling, it’s time to swallow our pride, don the spandex and head out on the road bike for some burning lungs, sore butts, and frozen snot.  If that doesn’t sound great to you, I would recommend what most of us here at the shop end up doing with our winter months, which is fire up the motocross bikes and hit the tracks.

Most of Colorado’s tracks are here on the front range and bit away from the slope, which lets them receive maximum sunlight and generally be the first areas to be fit for riding.  All of us here started as cyclists, whether it be in bmx, xc, or road, which makes us serious latecomers to the game of motocross where it’s not uncommon to see grade schoolers out on the track shredding.  Still, being a relative beginner at something can actually be a lot of fun when you are used to riding and competing at high level in your primary discipline.  Instead of improving in tiny increments and training hard for that extra second, you get to watch yourself improve by leaps and bounds, making every ride a new experience.  On top of that, it can make a huge difference in your mountain biking.  First of all, motocross bikes are fast… really fast.  Once you get used to the warp speed involved in moto, mountain biking just doesn’t seem that scary by comparison.  Also, motocross bikes let you get away with murder.  The mantra is “when in doubt, throttle out”, which basically means any time you get out of control or you’re not sure if you can land, avoid, or otherwise navigate something, you just mash the throttle and most of the time the bikes suspension and power will take care of it for you.  This applies over to mountain bikes pretty well, frequently riders who get themselves into a sticky situation on the trail make matters worse by panicking, grabbing the brakes, and tensing up.  Staying loose and charging through is a concept everyone can use.  Maybe most of all, motocross is awesome physical training.  You might think the motor does all the work, but I have never done any kind of cycling that provides as much overall physical punishment as moto.  After a good hard day, your legs, arms, hands, and back will all be aching with that sweet soreness that tells you you’re getting stronger.  Of course there is a level of danger involved, so it’s important to have a decent teacher to tell you what not to do, and to head out with the proper equipment right off the bat.  So if you haven’t tried it out and you’re willing to take some risks,  try getting out there and try twisting throttle.  One warning though, you may find it seriously addicting.   Until next week, enjoy a few pics of your friendly Fix staff out putting in some race laps in the Colorado winter. -PW

Yours truly on the 530, racing in a crowd.

The indoor option- #132 Mike Kreger keeping it low and loose at last weekend's kicker arenacross

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