It’s a virtual wind tunnel in SoCal today, with gusts of 25 to 35 mph. When you’re a professional motocross racer, however, the show must go on and the Lake Elsinore Supercross track was abuzz with activity, in spite of the howling winds. On the cusp of yesterday’s RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team announcement, we sat down with returning racer Broc Tickle for some tips on navigating the track at speed in the wind.
“It was pretty bad today, but I have definitely ridden in worse. Fortunately, the jumps at the Elsinore Supercross track aren’t that big, except maybe the triple. Before I ride, I like to make a mental note of which way the wind is blowing, and how it will hit you on every lane of the track. You’ll need to remember that if it’s left to right on one lane, it will be right to left when you’re going the other way. Obviously, side to side wind is worse than a tailwind or headwind, because that’s when it will catch your front wheel and blow you sideways.
“I feel like you have to ride extra loose in windy conditions. Obviously, riding super stiff in any circumstance will usually result in a crash, windy or not. You have to let the bike move beneath you. On jumps, I lean my body into the wind, so that if it really blows me, it will just straighten me out, not blow me off the track. You also have to compensate for the wind when you jump, by choosing a line that’s not going to throw you off the track if you get blown.
“In corners, you have to really weight the front end of the bike to keep it from being blown out from under you if there’s a gust, especially when you are accelerating hard and the front end is light, anyway. Riding in the wind can be intimidating at first, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you will become and that will help you ride looser and in more control.”