Over the last few months, Southern California has experienced its fair share of rain. In fact, we’ve seen more rain in the last few weeks than we have over the last few years combined, and while we’ve needed the moisture it’s simultaneously wreaked havoc on local motocross tracks leaving them a sloppy, muddy mess. Riding in the mud requires a certain set of skills, but unfortunately many riders – especially So.Cal residents – lack those particular skills because of the minimal amount of time spent in these treacherous conditions.
Recently, Glen Helen Raceway played host to the third annual TWMX Trans Am and in the days leading up to the three day event, So.Cal again experienced more rain leaving the racetrack exactly as it’s pictured above. Many struggled throughout the day, but one of the few riders that looked right at home in the mud was JCR Honda’s young gun Trevor Stewart. Stemming from a background in motocross racing, Stewart made the transition into the off-road side of racing a few years ago and since then he’s acquired a very unique set of skills that have been heavily influenced from both off-road and motocross racing making him a force to be reckoned with anytime he’s on the track.
“T-Stew” caught our full attention as he showcased his skills in the mud at the TWMX Trans Am, so we sat down with the number 75 to pick his brain about the skills required to efficiently ride and race in the mud, and this is what he had to say…
1. Line choice
“Choosing a line that looks the cleanest and safest is key to a solid ride in the mud. You’re not going to win the race laying on the ground!”
2. Take a deep breath
“It might sound dumb, but you’ll thank me later. When you’re riding in the mud, you’re constantly getting sketchy whether it be your front end nearly washing out in a corner or getting thrown sideways off a jump, so it’s important to take a deep breath to gather yourself when that occurs. And don’t get discouraged because this happens to the best of us! When this happens, your heart rate will spike, which can lead to arm pump, so just breathe!”
3. Lug the bike
“Staying in a higher gear and even adding a tooth to two to the rear sprocket can give you a huge advantage over the rest of the field. Personally, I run a 14-50 sprocket combo everywhere I go. This opens up the bike and makes for a lot less wheel spin. The last thing you want to be doing is spinning the rear wheel as you exit the turns, so shift up!”
4. Center balanced
“Staying balanced on the bike is something that everyone needs to take into consideration anytime they’re on the bike. Staying in the center of the bike is important because weight distribution is a big factor in the mud. You don’t want your body weight too far forward because – in this case – the front end will push just about everywhere on the track. If your body weight is too far back on the bike the rear-end is going to be all over the place. Keep a firm posture, and plant your weight right in the middle of the seat!”
“Do everything in your power to keep your goggles on because that can make or break your results, and also for the simple fact that no one likes dirt in their eyes! Try not to do what I had to do in the above picture and take your goggles off unless of course you absolutely can’t see.”
“Thanks for the read guys, and I hope these tips help you have some fun in the mud!”