While it may seem ironic learning how to save energy from a guy who rides for a major energy drink, you can’t deny the fact that Destry Abbott knows his stuff. The five-time AMA National Hare & Hound Champion is an animal wherever he rides, and his finely tuned off-road and motocross skills are the product of decades of experience and an incredibly successful racing career. A master of endurance, Abbott is extremely adept at saving energy while maintaining speed and was more than willing to share several of his top tips for going fast without wiping yourself out. Whether you ride in the desert, in the woods or on a motocross track, this tip will make you a better rider!
“There are a lot of ways to save energy while riding, and some of them are things that you wouldn’t typically think about doing. For one, scrubbing little mounds and single jumps is actually a great way to go fast without a lot of effort. On a lot of little jumps, I’ll carve up the face and actually make a rut that goes up it sideways rather than straight. As soon as I go off the lip I allow the bike to slide underneath me so that I stay low. This is scary for most people because it feels like crashing but you just need to practice the feeling of letting it go and kind of catching it with your feet and hands in order to bring it back in. Doing this requires less effort versus going straight off a jump, landing flat and then losing time getting back on the gas. You’re getting to the ground quicker this way and setting up for the next obstacle without using much energy.
“Looking for good lines is another way that you can save energy on the bike. It seems like most of the time, the main line on a course will start getting braking bumps, but it’s totally smooth two feet or even a foot off the line. In this case, you should go wide to stay out of the bumps. You’re spending time setting up a little by doing this but it’s still going to be faster in the long run and easier on your body throughout a 30- or 20-minute moto. You’ll be better off, the bike’s going to accelerate more quickly and you can get to your brakes more easily when there are no bumps.”If you want to save energy, it also helps to carry your speed in the turns. I see guys in desert or in WORCS racing who just ride the middle line all the time in corners, whereas pros are always riding the edges. It’s kind of European style, but you need to set up wide like a road racer and focus on being smoother around the corners, all the while carrying speed and cutting in over the main line. You can go out wide in a turn where normally you’d go inside, and because it’s rough inside you may realize it’s actually faster in the long run to go wide. If you do lap times on stopwatches like I do, you will know that being smooth is actually faster than wasting a lot of energy.”Click on www.destryabbott.com to learn more about Destry’s race program.