Annual Loretta Lynn's Preparation Thread

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6/26/2012 11:14 AM

Hi Motodrive!!

Each year, about this time, I post a few tips from things I have learned and it would be good if a few others with experience in going to LL's pass along their wisdom....THIS IS A COMPILATION OF SEVERAL YEARS OF ADVICE FROM MANY MEMBERS HERE....LOTS OF WISDOM AND GOOD ADVICE HERE, DO NOT IGNORE ANY OF IT

With the loss of Josh Lichtle, I remembered this thread and this first post...please take my advice
1. START POUNDING WATER. Start increasing your intake of water now, and more than you may already drink. It takes time for the body to store water and you need to start acclimating your body to storing more water and maintaining it.

2. Start acclimating to heat. Stop driving around with the A/C on and running into A/C places. It gets hot and humid as hell at LL's and you better be used to it some.

3. LL's is a BIG PLACE, make arrangements for either a pit bike or a golf cart. MAKE SURE YOU REGISTER IT when you arrive and keep the kids from driving them or risk losing them for the week. Waaaayyy too much mischief with kids and golf carts.

4. While the creek is nice and cool, the rocks are sharp. It's a slate type of rock. Buy some water shoes for everyone.

5. It can be stupid dusty or stupid muddy...there is no in between. Be prepared for both, not only with the bikes but also with your clothing and living arrangements. Have plastic sheeting for the floor of your camper, for example.

6. There are lots of companies there to help you and not all are there to gouge you, but still be as prepared as you can with spares of everything, as much as possible.

7. Keep your rider relaxed, but also focused. It's a delicate balance. You want your rider to have fun and not spend the week stressed out, but at the same time you need to have him or her remember you're there for a purpose.

8. Keep fuels sealed and out of the sun and/or heat. It breaks it down. Keep it all in a cool place out of the sun and maybe covered with a towel or sheet.

9. While it's rare, sabotage (or mischief) can happen. Store your bikes, fluids, materials, etc...appropriately

10. Don't leave your cooler of beer out all night, it then becomes the kid's beer. Secure your beer and liquor every night.

11. No matter what, keep calm. The parents who freak out don't get better treatment and the Coombs' as well as Tim Cotter have seen and heard it all before, remain calm and you'll get help or results. Also, the OEM's and sponsors are there and see or know about everything.

12. If you like your sponsors, makes sure you stop by and say hello. Don't ask for anything (you can do that later), just a handshake and hello goes a long way for future sponsorship. Also stop by throughout the week to let them know how your week is going. Same goes for sponsors you may want to pick up.

13. The schedule will list the motos by a start time, THESE ARE FIRM AND WILL BE YOUR START TIME...don't blow it. They're only changed or late in EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES...they stay on schedule, almost to the minute

14. Lastly, sponsors and podium speeches..."And anyone else I forgot" doesn't mean shit. List your sponsors on an index card and put it under the bar pad cover...maybe even laminate it. Yes, we do listen to hear our company from our sponsored riders. It means a lot to your sponsors and LL's is the biggest audience to hear it in amateur mx.


The motels closest to the ranch are few and usually expensive for the quality (think 1-2 star for 3-4 star pricing) and your biggest problem is food, as there are few places to eat so they're packed (DO NOT EAT AT LORETTA LYNN'S KITCHEN NEAR I-40)

Getting a reservation would be tough if not impossible at those hotels

Next up is what I do, which is stay in Dickson, about 30 minutes east of the exit the ranch is on...about a 40-45 min drive each way daily.

Far more hotels and far more food choices that aren't packed.

The hotels are a bit less as well.

I have done both and much prefer Dickson, I can deal with the drive, no biggie.

So calculate your fuel cost to drag a camper and all the other stuff vs getting a hotel and the amenities that come with it.

There is a Wal-Mart in the town of Waverly, the closest town to the track, about 6-7 miles north. There are also other small stores and even l laundry-mart.

There is also a Wal-mart in Dickson

At the exit (exit 143) for the LL's ranch there is a Pilot truck stop (and a couple other small gas stations) for you to fuel up your camper on gas or diesel.

There is a General Store on Stagecoach Hill and across the street (by the entrance) from the ranch property for basic needs and you can also get ice there

LL's is kind of in a valley, cellular reception is sketchy to non-existent.
AT&T typically performs best there for some reason
You can also sometimes get cellular reception up near stagecoach hill (the highest points on the property), but trackside or in the camping area (unless on stagecoach), forget it.

Racers who arrive late usually have to pit in the back by the old horse barns, while pitting ,look for high ground " any " low ground becomes swamp back there.

From the experienced Vet, TEGGERS
$$$$ Practice starting in big long deep ruts. The gate is not prepped in front for the whole week. By the end of the week, it is about 15 feet long and about 8 inches deep. If it rains, it will be waaaaay worser. Think 50' long.

The start at LL's is the most amount of passing most riders will do. It is easy positions that take very little energy.... In my opinion, the most important 10 seconds of the race. By the 3rd turn the leaders will have 30 seconds on 20th place. That's a lot of time to make up. Make as much time up on the first lap - if at all possible. It's insane, but do it fast.

On the flip side, pushing the limit and wadding in the first turn does no one any good either. Pay attention. Especially the VET riders. For some strange reason, their dicks get real big at LL's and some of the most massive crashes are the VETs.

$$$$$$ If you finish top 10, you will have to stop at impound for approx 10 minutes. It is INSANELY hot (under the tents) after running 26 minutes. Be ready to have your crew pour some water on your head to cool down your brain. It helps if you have someone there to keep track of the stuff you strip off as well.

$$$$$$ The last 2 laps, a rider can make up a ton of positions. In the VET classes, I have made up 6 spots on the last lap....easy pickins at the 20 minute mark for those in great shape. I have also given up a few positions on the last lap as well! DOH!

$$$$$ LL's track is the wierdest kind of - un rhythmee type of track alive. It does not flow like your local track. If you can do 26 minutes at your local track, you'll do 12 minutes at the Ranch and be sucking wind and wishing for it to end. Be ready for it. Don't practice the "easy" lines when you train. Always run the rutted turns - never bowl turns - there are none of them at LL's. Always train when your track is insanely rough - and at 1 PM when the sun is hottest. For me, the 10 commandments was the toughest part. By the end of the week, it will be run down pretty easy, but still it takes some strength to get through clean and quick. Most VETS go about 10 MPH though them, but it takes the most energy of any obstacle on the track.

$$$$$$ The beer tent only has draft beer. (((shhhhhshshhh))))Bring your beer coolers and your own brand (of whatever) and park in the parking lot outside the tent. The beers sold at the tent tend to get warm quickly. Hundreds last year in that lot....everyone shows up to bench race! Some of your best memories will be in at the tent - even non drinkers.

$$$$$ No matter how bad you do - or think you did, you are still in elite company because you are racing at LL's. It's a pretty good feeling pulling out on your first lap of practice knowing you're in the show. Enjoy every minute - you may not make it back. Good Luck.

Oh yeah, Loretta Lynn's Kitchen was a one time mistake and seems I am not alone, don't do it


From MX Trainer, Alan Gerkey
Great post Dave. Excellent advice.
I would like to add a couple of things.
1. The heat acclimation is one of the most important things you can do. I have my athletes cycling from 12 to 3 in the middle of the day here in Ca. Also, using a stationary bike in a sauna will help with the humidity. Use it if you have the chance.
Note: make sure to stay hydrated during your training program. Use water and an electrolyte supplement.
2. As Dave said, never use air conditioning in your truck and only have your house cool enough to sleep. A fan is much better than air conditioning.
3. I have special dirt brought in for starts prior to going back east. You want to practice starts as much as possible with a tacky dirt. If you race the mod class you can use the hole shot device, but in the stock class you will have to get used to the front end kicking up.
4. Dave is correct on the dirt and tracks. Hard pack will not cut it, you must get on a track with loose dirt to use the cushion. Over watering will help with your ability to deal with the mud in case of rain. Last year it poured and many riders had trouble.
5. For the parents: PLEASE, do not make this race the end of a riders career. Placing too much pressure on your rider will only make him tense and not able to ride to his potential. If you have prepared properly, your athlete is in shape and is a solid rider just
LET HIM DO HIS JOB. The best thing you can do is encourage him and allow him to stand on his own two feet.
Have fun and allow the process to work.
Alan Gerkey

IMO, fluids intake is the biggest mistake during the week.
Riders do not start storing water in their body soon enough and not enough in quantity.
Remember, by the time that you are thirsty, it's too late
Then as the week goes on, their intake gets slowly reduced to the point of bonking the final moto(s)
Stay on top of fluid intake, and I mean water or proven electrolyte drinks

Take Mud goggles/Roll offs to the line with you, rain just shows up there sometimes...

Switch goggles after your parade lap...

Take a whole parts bike if you have a spare, loosen all the motor mounts ahead of time, it saves time when you blow a engine between practices...

Check your transponder, don't loose or break it you won't get scored...

If you destroy your bib, go to the moto tees trailer, something like $5 for a new one...

Stay out of the air conditioning, we just leave ours off except to sleep...

Buy a Motion Pro Folding T- handle, comes with 8,10,12,13 mm sockets... I switched the 13, No kawasakis here, for a phillips head. Fits in your pocket, great for last min adjustments on the line for your rider or in the event of a fall...


Wear a respirator at night if you're outside, golfcart dust at night is uber thick...

GPS COORDINATES - 35o 58'26.00 N 87o 46'06.67 W

Once they start lining you up on the gate start to focus and stay focused. Get ready for your site lap. It's hot but get your goggles on. Once they start letting everyone out for the site lap you don't have time to get them on and adjust them. If your not ready, you don't get to go.

As soon as you leave the gate for your site lap tell yourself to breathe. Take a deep breath of air and as your looking at the track, that whole site lap keep telling yourself to breath. When you get back around to your gate take another deep breath and then focus on the gate. That breathing exercise you do on your site lap can help your brain engage in a normal breathing rhythm for those first couple of laps when everything is crazy and you can tend to hold your breath or just not breath properly. If you have someone flashing you a pit board tell then to remind you to breath periodically during the moto.

For your sight lap, Be the last one out and the last one back.
Also avoid stopping.
As we all know, four strokes get hot and they hate to idle, because no air is moving across the radiator. Keep moving and moving at a good pace so air is moving across the radiator.
IMO, people do the sight lap as more of a pent up energy release than really look at the track. I think a rider would be better off to not do the hot lap, keep the engine off and start it only once everyone returns, your engine will be at a lower overall temperature and maximum HP for that holeshot. Remember, it takes nothing, a minute or so, to warm up these four strokes.
But I know no one will do that.
So be the last to leave and be the last back, let everyone else overheat.
Also, in the event of any delays, turn the engine off.

The track will rut up like a comb all the way around. On long timing sections you'll take off and land in ruts all the way down the straight. Practice hitting your line and being fluid and loose on landings. Just stay in the run you land in.

The track will start out great most days and as the day progresses get rougher like most tracks. The best lines will be what you'd normally choose early in the day. As the day goes on the best lines work out towards the banners. Then, if the ruts progress far enough, the best lines will move back toward the center again.

Watch the start gate a while 5 or 6 motos before yours. Watch the lines of the leaders as well. See how the track is developing. Don't expect to be able to survey the whole track on the sight lap.

Soft/Intermediate tire selection. Suspension is normal for most east coasters. The track will get fairly rough and the dirt is soft.

PS - I went as an alternate and arrived late at night. The alternate list was locked up inside and no one had the key. Registered racers were let in but we had to go sleep in the church parking lot until the promoter got there the next morning (Saturday).

Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Drink on it often. You need to have to go pee about every hour or two. If your pee isn't clear you're not hydrated (unless your on antibiotics). Get plenty of rest.

If you've never been to LL's, you're going to be surprised.
Your kid may be the king of his local track, and be a C rider, but when you get to LL's, all bets are off.
You better be humble with you or your child's talents, because you might very well be surprised at how fast others are.
This goes for all classes.
Come ready for war, come ready to win, but be prepared to fight, no matter how fast you think you are

They built an entirely new roof at the start gate, so the moto on the gate, the moto in staging, and the moto in pre-staging are mostly in the shade. It has fans on each end. It is the closest thing to HEAVEN at LL's. Go sit - I mean SIT - in front of the fans while waiting. They'll be about 20 people in front of each. Drink your water. Do not go to the gate 4 motos ahead of schedule. That will mean you sit for over an hour (and as long a 1:30) with all your gear on. Go up in time to get a gate pick - that is 21-30 minutes before your gate goes off. Go watch for a while to get the hang of your timing to get there.

You have no choice when you go on the track for your site lap. You MUST leave when the ref instructs you to leave. (Aside: You do not get to practice starts off the gate during the week EXCEPT on your sight lap. You only get one practice start - do not waste it. Absolutely important. PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU ARE HOOKING UP! You must learn in it ONE TRY.) That is when they walk by your bike from the doghouse to the outside. You DO, however, have a choice when you come back. DO NOT come back in the top 20. There will ALWAYS be stragglers and you will BAKE in your helmet while waiting. Sometimes, it's as much as 2 minutes. Then if there is a delay, you will wait another 2 minutes. Be the last 10 to get back to the gate. Minimize your heat. Drink some more water after sight goggles too.

Traction off the gate is 100 perfect. There is no wheelspin to speak of. Kiss your front fender and don't forget to set your holeshot device. I have NEVER not wheelied.... I never figured out that gate.

Make sure you (EVERYONE) reads all the rules and information on the MXSports website as well as make sure you CLEARLY convey this information to your friends, family and crew who will be attending

Eddie Casillas wrote: Please Read as some the information posted above is outdated.

Yes training in heat is advisable to an extent but should not be done to the extreme as posted above. Drinking water alone or with some electrolytes is not enough for proper recovery. If you train in the heat it takes at least 24hrs to recover from the exertion if you experience any heat related issues ie. cramping, excessive salt on jersey or around mouth the recovery time increases to 48hrs plus.
So if you are training everyday plus not using A/C or other cooling mechanisms you are putting yourself at risk.
Research shows us that training 1hr a day for a minimum of 5 days in similar conditions to race is enough. Also the acclimating should take place no more then 10 days out from competition.
Research also states the intensity of ones training can have just as mush of an effect on acclimatization as training in heat.

Recovery plays a much bigger part in how you perform at LL's then anything else.

Want an advantage while at the event? Look into pre-cooling. Own a gameready cooling machine? Ask me about the pre-cooling protocol.

I have seen more heat related injuries because if mis-information and poor advice in my 15 plus years working in this industry.
I have covered LL's Mini O's and for the past 10 years have been to every AMA Outdoor National.

Caffeine Research
Armstrong's Study Shows Caffeine Does Not Increase Dehydration

National Academy of Sports Medicine
The most recent scientific data demonstrate that caffeine containing beverages do not have a diuretic effect and therefore do not dehydrate you as was once believed. For habitual consumers of caffeine, there is no dehydrating effect at all. For those who never drink caffeine, there may be a very mild effect.

Training in Heat Research


Engine Ice KFC Chickenfest
During the scheduled racing lunch break (about noon)
at the Engine Ice/ProClean1000 Hospitality area
located next to the pool on the main road

This and the Engine Ice hospitality area in general also serves as the official VitalMX Meet/Greet and hangout place during the week.

Plenty of shade, chairs, beverages and bullshit to go around

If anyone else has stuff to share, please do....lot of experience on here.

Thank you


David A. Kimmey, President
CycleLogic Products, Inc


This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - FDR

"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

6/26/2012 11:28 AM

Don't jump off the bridge, they'll get your ass.


"dis sho am good"

6/26/2012 11:42 AM

this is one of the best threads ever. alot of good info


6/26/2012 12:06 PM

Dave`s here!


6/26/2012 12:06 PM

Reading this thread every year brings back so many memories. The part about staying focused and breathing on the line honestly gives me goosebumps remembering what it was like. I really gotta get back there now that I'm Vet age even if it is against RC and Reynard.

The one thing I remembered always having to do is cover the inside mouth piece of your helmet with tape. You eat so much roost in practice because they run 2 classes together and at the start of the week that dirt is so fine. You can easily swallow what seemed like gallons of it.


6/26/2012 3:32 PM

The Days inn in dickson is kinda crappy but cheap. I paid $300 bucks for a week but it smelled like pee.


6/26/2012 5:13 PM

kongols wrote:

Dave`s here!

Dave's often here.


6/28/2012 2:00 PM

If anyone is Interested in coming to TN a week or two or even a month ahead to get ready for LL, give me a shout.

The track you will be training on is called Fast Farms MX. For the past few years we have had people from all over coming to train for LL at Fast Farms MX park.Last year we had riders Just Hill, Clinton Duff, Daniel Baker, and many other top riders. The owner, Phillip Myers, who has also made it to LL for the past couple years, and this year will be training. So, again, if anyone is interested, please give me a shout. My name is Ian Hendry, you can email me at or call or text me at 615-427-5082. Thanks, and we hope to see you.


6/29/2012 5:42 AM

Great info for us first timers to the Ranch. Looking forward to my first experience this year. Thanks!!!


6/30/2012 2:50 PM

kongols wrote:

Dave`s here!

GuyB wrote:

Dave's often here.

He may be here, but he's not all there. wink


"The public sucks. Fuck hope." ~ George Carlin

6/30/2012 6:53 PM

Don't know who this Flarider dude is, but this post is the BEST info for a first time LL attendee to follow.

Print it, study it, bring it along.


7/1/2012 5:27 PM

if you are planning on going, I would suggest booking a room now (if you have not). Expedia has no inventory avail for the Hampton Inn, Days Inn, Best Western, EconoLodge, and Comfort Inn. I checked direct booking (on line) and the Hampton Inn is unavailable with limited quantities of rooms at the Choice Hotels group (Econo, Quality, and Comfort). Holiday Inn Express is avail at over $100 a night. I was checking Mon-Sat stay, Individual nights may be available at different prices.
Prices also seem to be higher than previous years.



7/1/2012 6:29 PM

You missed one major thing. And this is something used to prepare your bike for the extreme heat....



7/2/2012 8:26 AM

Ride as loose as possible, you will die if you ride tight.


7/2/2012 12:23 PM

Great information here. Never been to the Ranch and glad this support thread is here.. I see a ton of things I did not plan for that will make the week less stressfull for me. It's going to be hard since I'm the planner, packer, and racer but this will def help.


"Did you know that “Kamikaze” literally translates to “Not a single fuck given”? True story, look it up." - Eazy, BROtocross

7/7/2012 2:31 PM

Renner153 wrote:

You missed one major thing. And this is something used to prepare your bike for the extreme heat....


Proud customer of Engine Ice. The only coolant I run in the Mojave Desert



7/11/2012 5:53 AM

Just a reminder, only a couple weeks away, you need to really start increasing your water intake TODAY. It takes time for your body to absorb and adapt to the additional fluids stored....almost going for some "water weight gain" here.

It's been the hottest year on record so far, we didn't really even have a winter, so I think it is save to say it will likely be hotter than blazes at The Ranch this year.

Don't be stupid and unprepared.

Start increasing your fluid intake NOW, also start acclimating to the heat....A/C off in car, spend more time outside, away from A/C and train at different times of day, because your moto could be any time of day, from humid but cooler morning to high heat of midday to a late afternoon mud slog or sticky humid air.

By the way, the fluid intake warning goes for parents and family members as're not in the shape of the riders and you can also dehydrate if you don't watch out, so you need to also start drinking more fluids and getting used to the heat

See you in a few weeks at The Ranch


This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - FDR

"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

7/11/2012 12:14 PM

Really excited to be heading back to Loretta's for the first time in a few years.

The Race Tech crew will be on hand all week providing free bike setups. If you are racing the event, stop by and say hey and let us help you with any setup questions, no matter whose stickers are on your forks. Properly setting your sag and clicker adjustments can go a long ways. We will have everything needed on site to rebuild/revalve your suspension as well.


Race Tech Director of Marketing
Proud supporters of VitalMX. Ask me about the VitalMX Discount!

7/16/2012 4:11 PM

With all that water consumption that means I'll have to get up two or three times a night !!!! See ya soon, Dave.


7/18/2012 6:10 PM


This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - FDR

"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

7/18/2012 7:52 PM


This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - FDR

"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

7/19/2012 7:56 AM


Great info for everyone, wish I could have had something like this to go by back in 82...
Sure would have helped a lot that first year!

What day are you showing up at the Ranch?

See you there!

Jim & Family.



Jim G.

Thank you to our Sponsors!
Lucas Oil, MavTV, Engine Ice, Factory Connection, Pro Clean, FLY, FMF, EVS, Oakley, Flow Vision, Ryno Power, Gaerne, Stickman Grapix, MotoHose, Raines Racing,, Ride 365, The PIT Enterprise, JTG Racing.

7/20/2012 11:20 AM

Last weekend in Boekel (NL) we had a mini loretta's with 378 youth riders all over europe,
Watch the aftermovie:

Aftermovie IYW 2012 from Nick Janssen on Vimeo.

You can find the results on:

7/20/2012 3:00 PM

We're getting within the forecast window Hurricane Mills, TN

Right now, says mid-to-high 90's
It will change as we get closer, so check daily


This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - FDR

"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

7/22/2012 8:04 AM

right now ...... weather is not looking as brutal hot as I thought this year was going to be......


7/22/2012 5:20 PM

After seeing two local guys go down hard and/or get injured this week while preparing, it's time to start thinking about saving yourself and your bike for the race. If you aren't ready by now, a couple days of hardcore practice won't change that.

Drink water, get outside out of the air conditioning and get your heart rate up in the middle of the day. Also, with the schedule out, get used to waking up when you will be at Loretta's and get going (ride/excercise/whatever) 8:00am races come early for the east coast guys.


7/25/2012 11:30 AM

Red Arrow rides LL's for first time


This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - FDR

"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

7/25/2012 2:15 PM


This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - FDR

"Grant money is not pork" - Rep Allen West

7/25/2012 2:48 PM


Arriving tomorrow!

See you at the E I Compound when you get in.

Jim & Family



Jim G.

Thank you to our Sponsors!
Lucas Oil, MavTV, Engine Ice, Factory Connection, Pro Clean, FLY, FMF, EVS, Oakley, Flow Vision, Ryno Power, Gaerne, Stickman Grapix, MotoHose, Raines Racing,, Ride 365, The PIT Enterprise, JTG Racing.

7/26/2012 4:41 PM

Just received the new LL graphics courtesy of Chronic MX, Engine Ice stickers and all. See ya this weekend, Dave.