YT Mob Log: Entry #4.18
Words by Neko Mulally | MTB Photos Isac Paddock
Column Sponsored by Fox
This past winter I took a unique approach with my off-season training. I packed up and headed to the Millsaps Training Facility in South Georgia, a motocross training facility. If you’re a moto fan you may have heard the name Davi Millsaps. MTF is where some of the top Motocross and Supercross riders in the world train year round. I wanted to get a solid block of training in, get away from any distractions, and most of all see how some of the best athletes in another sport prepare to race. When it comes to dirt bikes, I’m a very average motocross rider. I’m capable on the bike, but I realized pretty quickly that I was in over my head at MTF!
I started off riding on the track with a group of MX GP pro’s from Europe that were incredibly fast. The outdoor track there wasn’t anything too crazy, but they did want it to simulate their racing, so they let it get pretty rough and rutted. We would often work short sections of the track, one rider at a time, to analyze as a group and watching the way these guys would ride compared to me would probably look like what taking them to Val di Sole for downhill practice would look like. The hardest thing we did was starts. The other riders found it funny when I raised my hand to say that I never did a start before. “We are at a pro motocross camp and you have never done a start before?” These guys probably have had 10,000 gate drops or more! I settled in pretty quickly and had a ton of fun riding on the track the rest of my time there. The coaches helped me with my technique and the other guys really welcomed me into the group. I got in some solid gym work with the riders training for the 250 East Coast Supercross series.
I noticed that everyone was very disciplined and regimented. We would be in the gym at 7:30 each morning for a warm up and stretching, then ride until lunch time and then hit the gym in the afternoon. All the riders were on time and got their work done. The thing that was most exciting to see was how the Supercross guys approached dropping their lap times around the track. They worked short sections of the track over and over, did a lot of drills to practice skill work and technique, and ran it all against the stop watch. They would look for tenths of a second all around the track, then put that together into a lap, then put that together into a moto. It was very interesting to see how they would break everything down, figure it out, then put it all together.
That was a big take away for me that I’ve tried to apply to my downhill training pre-season and practice sessions at the races. I’m sure other sports as big as motocross have similar approaches to preparing for their competitive season, and after this experience I would find it interesting to see what I could learn from each one. It would be hard to beat ripping laps around a prepped motocross track though!