Friday, December 15, 2017 — Another year of incredible hard enduro racing is in the books, and what a year it has been for Graham Jarvis. The popular Yorkshireman won Romaniacs again, added a fifth career victory in Hells Gate to his tally and topped the podium at Sea to Sky, the Ales Trem Extreme Enduro, Hixpania Hard enduro, Extreme Ravines and Minas Riders in Brazil. We couldn’t think of anyone better than Jarvis to give us a quick introduction before our very first hard enduro next year! To match his incredible Romaniacs record the Shot Race Gear icon gave us six tips.

1. Learn how to wheelie
Graham Jarvis: “We’re not talking about popping a fast street wheelie here, I mean doing a slow wheelie. A controlled and slow wheelie is the key to so many things in extreme enduro. It’s about throttle control, clutch control and of course the balance with the front wheel in the air. That kind of finesse in your control will really help you a lot to tackle many obstacles with much more confidence.”

2. Approach the race in your best possible shape
Jarvis: “One week before a brutal multi-day extreme enduro there’s nothing more that you can do. Just make sure that you’re ready to perform at your best level: rest up, get hydrated, eat well and make sure you’re full of enthusiasm for the challenge. Try not to think about what’s ahead and how hard it’s going to be!”

3. Be quick but don’t hurry
Jarvis: “I see many riders coming into the sport giving too much gas, motocross style. In general it’s better to take your time on the difficult bits. Pick a line; watch what other riders are doing. Often it’s better to go slower so you can be more precise. Think the obstacles through before rather than going straight in and making a mistake that will cost you much longer.”

Pic: Future7media

4. To finish is your own victory
Jarvis: “Believe it or not but even for the established riders like myself making the finish is still the good part about these hard enduro races. When you cannot win that’s the buzz really. Because reaching the finish line is a great achievement in itself. More than just a competition it’s about that feeling of adventure and achievement.”

5. Don’t be a jerk, you’ll need your fellow competitors
Jarvis: “In the longer races you can end up on your own of course. But you with GPS stuff you’ll end up bunched up together at some point. That’s when you will have to help each other and navigate together sometimes. So you want to stay friendly with the other guys. Even when the competition is bloody serious the camaraderie makes it nicer to hang out with the other guys and have a bit of a laugh. In my case this is my job an the competition is tough but it’s got to be enjoyable too.”

6. The biggest secret of all
Jarvis: “I’ll have to disappoint you, there are no real secrets! You just never, ever give up. You always got to keep going. That’s it and not to get overwhelmed by the complete course or any particular section. Just take it step by step and work your way through the course. You have to keep grinding and keep your head in the game. Admittedly everyone struggles during an extreme enduro but also remember to enjoy the nice bits when you’re riding on great terrain or discover great flowing tracks.”

Words: Tom Jacobs

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