The fastest riders have a way of making a really rough and technical racecourse look smooth and easy. National Enduro pro racer Evan Smith has a silky-smooth style, and he’s one of the best at ironing out a bumpy course. Just before the recent Alligator National Enduro, Smith gave us one of his tips on how to be smooth when the going gets rough.
“On a course with a lot of ruts and holes, if you are able to miss the ruts, or ‘skirt’ them, you can go faster and carry more momentum,” Smith said. “The smoother you are, the more you can plan ahead for what’s coming. If you’re hitting bumps and flying all over the place, it’s really hard to read the trail in front of you.
“Riding the edges of the ruts, or just getting out of the rough stuff, is crucial to faster lap times, especially in GNCC racing where the holes get deep and there are roots and rocks and stuff,” he continued. “Whenever you hit a bump, it unsettles the bike, and it burns a lot of your energy. It just feels like pandemonium. The key to faster lap times is to get up on the edge of the holes and ruts. Even if there’s a tree at the base of the line you want, you can go to the base of the tree. It may drop two or three inches, but it’s a lot better than dropping a foot or two. If you can just ride the edges of every bump, you will save a lot of energy.”