PRO SE­CRETS

WITH AN­DREW DE­LONG

Dirt Rider - - Route Sheet - Story And Photos By Shan Moore

Off-road rid­ers have long used turn tracks to prac­tice cor­ners and to warm up for events. How­ever, have you ever re­ally taken the time to think about what you ac­com­plished by prac­tic­ing on a turn track? Dirt Rider re­cently spent three days with An­drew De­long at a photo shoot in New Jersey where we wit­nessed first­hand the Airgroup/enduro Engi­neer­ing Husq­varna Rac­ing-backed rider work­ing out on an im­promptu turn track. Here’s what An­drew had to say about the ben­e­fits of prac­tic­ing on a turn track:

“First of all, one of the most im­por­tant things you learn from a turn track is how to carry your mo­men­tum through one turn and into the

next. That’s a vi­tal part of woods rac­ing, since the turns are so tight and there are very few straight­aways to make up time. It also makes you to­tally com­mit to the turn.”

“An­other im­por­tant con­cept is learn­ing to carry your speed while run­ning a higher gear. That means fewer shifts and more time on the gas.” An­drew also ex­plained that there are a lot of dif­fer­ent ways to prac­tice on a turn track. An­drew says that if you’re a rider who likes to stand in turns, then

prac­tice sit­ting in the turns. Try us­ing dif­fer­ent gears. But most im­por­tantly, don’t for­get the ba­sics. Sit for­ward on the seat, use your in­side leg as a rud­der,

keep your out­side arm up high to help you turn, and use your head and eyes. The bike al­ways goes where you point your head and eyes, so tilt your

head into the turn and look at where you want to go. An­other good tip, ac­cord­ing to An­drew, is to have a buddy shoot video of

you while you’re on the turn track. He told us that some­times he’ll think he’s turn­ing a cer­tain way only to see he’s do­ing some­thing to­tally dif­fer­ent

when he watches the video. Other ideas An­drew told us about are to prac­tice us­ing only the front brake

and then prac­tice us­ing only the rear brake. He also em­pha­sized a smooth tran­si­tion from brak­ing to get­ting on the gas. An­drew even sug­gested set­ting up your turn track through tight trees to sim­u­late a woods course for you

enduro rac­ers. WANT MORE Fol­low An­drew De­long dur­ing the 2017 sea­son on In­sta­gram @ade­long7.

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