The last time I had coached Harry Hart at Patetonga was in my earliest days of coaching. Back then he hopped off his KLX110 for a go on my CR85, now his machine is a tricked out RMZ450. Our goal this time was to rid him of arm pump problems, something he probably didn’t know existed way back then. One thing remained the same though; his belief in my ability to help him overcome that next challenge.
Simply Don’t Squeeze
Arm pump is usually caused from gripping the handlebars too hard. In Harry’s case the tissue surrounding his forearm muscles may be restrictive similar to his calf muscles that had recently been operated on, however that doesn’t change the principle.
Relaxing that grip is only made possible with some crucial body movements, which are always well worth the effort.
Starting with his chest almost touching the bars for hard powering and then sitting forward for braking so he could lean well back was first up. The movements are challenging enough, being able to relax his grip at the same time were another story all together.
Next we needed to get his bum back when braking while standing up, pointing his toes for rear brake and changing down gears. This was only possible when rolling his pelvis right forward, but also meant he could grip the seat with his knees. He nailed this one quickly, so there was just one more position to get into; hard powering while standing.
I have found that landing jumps is a great place to teach this one. It also came in handy on the excellent roller section at Patetonga where he could let the front of his bike come up to him in between bumps. Having your head past the handlebars while standing so low to the bike can be a scary thing, but goes a long way in taking the weight off your arms when powering hard like that.
Harry will be away from riding for a while but gauging from the skills he showed in that session it will be some National MX events he will be gunning for if he gets the training time done on his return where we can hopefully fulfill his faith in my coaching.