Rev Up: The Whip Effect

Rev Up The Whip Effect

December 5, 2013 2:30pm

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. As I look up at the calendar I see there are only four more Thursdays left in 2013, including today. This past week has been rocked by tragedy in and away from motocross and of course the news in our sport involves more injuries from Trey Canard and Davi Millsaps. As the news hit my eyes, I couldn’t do much but shake my head, especially in the wake of writing about those two in particular last week in Rev Up. Both have/had so much promise coming into the 2014 season, yet it appears they won’t even make it to the opener. Preseason supercross injuries have always been a part of the sport, and this week I found myself thinking about it.

Maybe the guys (and teams) should consider leaving the last weeks of February and the first weeks of December off the program. I heard a lot of interviews last week at the Mini Olympics and one of the smartest things I heard was when a racer was asked what he was going to do to prepare for 2014. He answered, “I’m going to take a few weeks off the bike.” When do the pro guys really get off of their bike and do nothing for a while? How long have they been testing for supercross already? That said, Anaheim 1 will be here in four weeks and it is crunch time. Comparing amateur racers isn’t fair because they have until March when the Texas nationals roll around. It’s a tough game to play and all debate aside it is most unfortunate the #41 and maybe the #18 will not make the gate.

Davi Millsaps is expected to miss the start of supercross with a knee injury.
Simon Cudby photo

Injuries aside, what about the mental aspect of preparing for a supercross season? I was bench racing with Jason Weigandt about it and he mentioned that Broc Tickle told him it's key to time everything just right. Tickle told Weege that if he was fully ready to go by Thanksgiving, there was too much time until the start of the season. I personally find a lot of validity to that. I tried to qualify for Loretta Lynn’s three years ago and rode every single day up until my regional. I had spent weeks turning my fastest lap times at the practice track and raced every weekend. When my regional came around, something was just missing. I was so flat and over sensitized to riding that I pretty much sucked. I had no charge at all. If I try to qualify again I plan to take a lot of time off the bike, then ride back into shape and come into the qualifiers while still on a progressive stoke. Again, comparing that to pro supercross is impossible, but I think Tickle has a savvy approach to his season. After all, he was one of the only guys to make every main and moto in 2013.

More to that end, this time of year is called the holidays for a reason. Not just for religious connotations, but the natural order of a year being a person. I don’t buy into New Year’s resolutions, it just seems like it is the natural time to reset and charge again after a break. If you’re a hobby runner like me, maybe you’ve noticed that letting yourself get a little out of shape makes the return feel that much better. I always feel a whip effect of wanting to charge for weeks on end to feel that peak, then afterwards it snaps back. I’ve noticed some racers' seasons going like that where they put up great finishes for a while, then taper off, then snap back to the front. When is the right time to crack the whip on the supercross season opener? Is there a time when you’ve been on the bike and racetrack too much? It is a long 17-race charge to the championship once it begins and it’s interesting to think about how the different strategies for preparation are going. I wish they would all stop riding right now so we don’t lose any more guys to off-season attrition. But, that’s not going to happen. In some spectrums, guys will be riding their guts out for the next four weeks. In others, maybe Broc Tickle’s plan of attack, trying to time it all for Anaheim, is being put to use?

Broc Tickle is taking a different approach to the start of the season.
Simon Cudby photo

For me, I just hope a lot of you guys are using the month of December to wind down a bit and let the chaos of winter, shopping and holiday madness slide by as smoothly as it can. After all, only four more weeks until the entire process begins again. Beginning with Anaheim 1.