In a perfect Enduro, where every rider is able to ride the posted speed average, every rider would be on time and there would be no reason to pass.
In most Enduro's, however, there is at least one section where the hosting club attempts to separate the slow riders from the faster riders by "taking points". This means asking the riders to ride a mile per hour speed average that even the fastest riders cannot maintain on the course so everyone will "drop some points".
On the trail, slower riders can expect to be passed during the day at some point. All of us will be passed, except for one or two guys. Even slower riders will improve riding skills and someday pass other riders on the trail. It's a real motivator and helps you go faster in the woods if done right.
If you are riding as fast as you can and another rider has caught you, let them pass, there is a lot to be learned from following a faster rider.
Here are some tips for both faster and slower riders to remember when passing or being passed.
- Slow Riders: Enduro trails are often narrow which makes it necessary for slower riders to pull over for faster riders. Do not try to race when someone is passing you. If possible, indicate which side the faster rider should pass.
- Faster Riders: When approaching a slower rider, make sure your presence is known so they may pull over. Do not expect the slower rider to automatically know you are there and want to pass.
Some Do's and Don'ts about BEING PASSED
- DO look behind you if you hear a faster rider coming up on you. The faster rider might catch you quicker than you think so you need to start looking for a place to pull over if the trail is real tight.
- DO Nod to acknowledge when someone catches up and is ready to pass if it's really tight.
- DO try to maintain your speed without panicking. Faster riders do not want to make you crash or slow you down.
- DO get out of the way as SOON as you can. Every second counts especially when in special test sections for A and AA riders. If you are already so late that riders on later numbers are catching you, there is not much point in slowing them down, even if they are IN YOUR CLASS, as they already have less points than you simply by the fact they caught you.
- DO look back after letting someone go by to make sure there isn't a group of riders approaching.
- DO HOLD YOUR LINE when getting passed!
- DON'T drop back on the trail after you have picked a line to the side to allow a faster rider to pass. You will risk forcing both of you to crash.
- DON'T ride off the course and slam into a tree, or risk crashing to let someone by. You will expend more energy and clog up the course getting back up again.
- DON'T just stop on the trail. The faster rider might crash into you and neither of you want that.
- DON'T stop in a turn.
- DON'T stop and lean the bike over. Most riders would rather go around rather than drive OVER your motorcycle.
- DON'T try to race faster when someone catches up with you. You will risk riding faster than your ability and crashing, hurting yourself, or getting run over. Remember, the object is finishing the race, and you are not racing the guy behind you, you are racing the clock.
When a faster rider comes up on you from behind, they are already looking down the trail ahead of you to see where they can get by. If the trail is wide enough to crash through a little bit of brush on the left, that is usually where they will go and you can simply ride a tiny bit to the right, without slowing down too much and losing your pace, as they squeeze by. You should use this technique yourself and watch how it's done until you are the rider passing others.
Some Do's and Don'ts about PASSING OTHERS
- Do whistle or yell "Hey, Hey, Hey", or race your engine a few times to let the slower rider know you have caught him and are ready to pass.
- DO look down the trail to see if the slower rider has some place he CAN pull over to let you by. Stay close enough so when the opportunity comes up you can take it without causing the slower rider to fall, stop or completely pull off the trail.
- DO say "Thank You!" as you go by. Even if the slower rider has crashed, they still deserve the acknowledgement of their effort and you may have to get by them again after the next reset.
- DON'T scream obscenities at slower riders. The slower rider paid their entry fee just like you and does not deserve to be treated with disrespect no matter how much time you need to make up from YOUR crash or missed turn.
- DON'T bump the slower riders back wheel. After you get by, they will get a good look at you, and it's a small world...