Under The Helmet With Toby Stay Part II

Posted: February 25, 2014 in Photography

Under The Helmet wanted to go deeper into what it’s like to get on top of a two wheel machine that wants to buck the rider off when ever they relax for a second.

Flat Track Rider Toby Stay and I went a few extra laps to help you fans understand what it is like to run down the back stretch at Springfield going over a 115 MPH.

I ask Toby to explain what it is like to run on the mile. This is how he explained it.

“Running the mile is hard to explain because it can only be fully understood by doing it. But I will try. When you see the track and can barely see from turn to turn it’s mind blowing. You put gearing on your bike that is just so far different from what we run at our local track short track. Off the start the gearing is so drastic you have to have your bike wide open and drag the clutch all the way to turn one. Once you make it through the first turn, that seems to go on and on, you reach a straight away that looks like a airport runway. The draft is intense. You could have the same exact bike as your competitors (horsepower wise), You pull in line behind a bike that’s 10, 15 or even 20 feet in front of you. Then draft kicks in and it’s like your riding a 750 compared to your competitors 450. You pull in so fast it’s like you have Nos on your bike that slings shots you past at about 120mph. When your passing someone that fast, inches away it is a feeling like no other. The rush you get is indescribable. If you don’t time your pass just right in the draft, it could be catastrophic. You could find yourself getting sucked right into the rear wheel of the bike in front of you. Unlike Nascar that have bumpers, bump drafting with bikes is not a good idea lol”

If that doesn’t raise the hairs on the back of your neck I don’t know what will.
Next time you go to watch these guys and gals get it done in the dirt, remember how much courage it takes to throw a leg over the seat and put on a show for the fans.

Growing up Toby has raced against the top names in the sport. Corey Texter finished second to Stay on the mile in Springfield. He also raced with now national riders Matt Weidman, Brad Baker, and Brandon Robinson.

So can you explain to the fans what goes on during the week before a race with maintenance on your bike and what kind of training is needed to run up front in this sport? Do you get to ride as part of your training or is most of it done in the gym?

For me the week before a race can get pretty hectic at times. Between work, family and everyday life things can get pretty busy making it hard to sneak out to the race shop every night of the week. Luckily for me I married a very understanding racer chick. Bike prep varies depending on the race and race track. But it tends to consist of cleaning the bike, the filters, changing oil and tires if need be, washing the riding gear and cleaning out the race van. Hopefully nothing got banged up from the weekends race if so, that stuff has to be addressed first. Just in case you have to order any parts to get here by next weekend! Every few races I like to check the valves to make sure everything is still in tune. Ideally a fresh piston and rings get changed half way through the season. I know this is far from the case for the National guys as their doing complete rebuilds every other race if not every one.
As far as training goes I’m at the gym a lot, 4-5 times a week most times twice a day. Unfortunately riding isn’t an option for me at the moment due to lack of a practice bike. In my opinion there is NO better training then riding a motorcycle. The more you’re on a bike the more comfortable and faster you’ll get. Just like any other sport, practice makes perfect, and in doing so putting you further up front. You can use every machine in a gym and never touch half the muscles you use while racing a motorcycle. But, you do what you can with what you have.

How big a part does nutrition play in your training program?

I would say nutrition has become one of the biggest parts in my training program. Over the off season I really stepped it up with the help of my advisor and Advocare. It’s helped me better understand what my body needs. I’ve noticed a lot of positive changes in my training and I look forward to using that to better myself this season.

What are some of the things that go on during your season that the average fan might not know?

What people don’t see are the hours spent at the gym, the hours riding day after day until you have blisters on your hands, or even the hours spent driving all night to get to the next track. Just this winter I’ve seen numerous posts and pictures from Kenny Coolbeth riding motocross this day, traveling and ice riding the next day. Brad Baker raced over in Europe and has been racing almost every weekend from what I can see on his social feeds. These guys eat, sleep and breathe this sport. It’s what they live for, it’s their job and their damn good at it. If you train like a champion, you will be a champion. Kenny Coolbeth and Brad Baker obviously know what it takes.

Find a local dirt track in your area and go check out these local “Dare Devils”.


You can find a bunch of flat track pictures from Square Deal Riders at John Zachary Photography

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