Tag: City Coast Motorcycles

Robb Beams: Coaching for Every Body

Coach Robb Beams is the United States’ No.1 “go-to” for nutrition and performance training for MX and off-road racing. With 35 years experience, he is returning to Australia in July for a special event at City Coast Motorcycles and MotoE Performance Camps at Wollongong Motorcycle Club. He candidly has shared his story in this exclusive Q&A.

Coach Robb Beams & Ryan Dungey
Coach Robb working with Ryan Dungey – image courtesy of CBS.

When did you start riding dirt bikes?

I got my first Suzuki RM 80 in 1978 for Christmas. I have been in and around dirt bikes ever since.

What do you ride now?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a bike right now due to things surrounding a divorce. However, me and both my boys would like to resume riding now that it is over. Being at the track on a regular basis helps me keep up to date with the various changes to the bikes: suspension, chassis, tyres, gearing, fuel, etc. I factor all these variables into my riding clinics and camps.

How did Complete Racing Solutions and MotoE come to be?

I started my performance company when a friend who happened to be a professional tennis player wanted a performance program: speed/agility; nutrition, hydration, mental development and soft tissue maintenance. I never wanted to get involved with the business side of motocross and supercross because I wanted to keep my love of moto outside my business world. However, I had been coaching for about 10 years when I was approached by Toyota to manage the human performance side of their Amateur Development Program, “Moving Forward”. I worked with all their riders throughout the season and word of mouth spread. By the end of the season, I was approached by riders who are also great people: Adam Cianciarulo (Factory Kawasaki), Alex and Jeremy Martin, Ian Trettel (Factory Suzuki) and Ashley Fiolek (Factory Honda) to mention a few. Our name was passed over to other motorsports like NASCAR and Formula One and eventually the motorsport side of the business became big enough, so I created a separate business segment to complement our other divisions: Speed & Agility; Endurance and Weight Loss. The motorsport division is still our smallest; however, it is my personal passion and I enjoy it more each day.

Coach Robb mountain biking
Coach Robb Beams

You’re a former professional BMX racer and top-level triathlete: How do these skills cross over into coaching MX?

When I was developing as BMX racer, I was always looking for resources on how to eat, drink, train, cross train, improve flexibility and get mentally stronger and found very few resources. So, for the first two years I asked anyone that I could talk to on how they trained. Fortunately for me, our local track was stacked with nationally ranked racers and they allowed me to ride and train with them – I soaked up as much as I could and formulated my own process and system that worked. In one year, I went from not being nationally ranked to 15th and from 10th in the state of Florida to 2nd (behind the Nationally ranked #1 rider). The next year I went to national #8 and state #1 and continued to fine tune and tweak my program ask as many questions as possible. I then turned pro in 1987 and finished ranked 8th in the world at the IBMXF World Championships.

After the IBMXF World Championships, my dad told me it was time to go to college. My dad was a military guy and didn’t play around – he meant what he said, and you did what he said. So, I went to college and got undergraduate degrees in computer science and human resource management. I then went back to school for sports performance massage therapy and then my master’s degree in exercise physiology. While at university, my roommate was training for triathlons and I started doing what he was doing. Within a year I was the Central Florida Triathlon Champion, Birthplace of Speed Series Champion and the Track Shack Triathlon Sprint Champion. I eventually was invited to test at the Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs specific to triathlon. Unfortunately, I got hit by a car and blew my knee out and was no longer eligible for the elite team.

Between the school degrees, personal race experiences and the knowledge I garnered from the Olympic Training Centre (along with constantly researching) I created a complete process and system now popularly known as the Complete Training Solutions program. With all my sport specific programs, I take the sport specific demands/frustrations and help athletes and racers identify and systematically address until the frustrations/limiters become strengths. All of my programs include training protocols to improve sprint speed, eliminate late race fatigue, drop body fat and improve lean muscle mass, complete nutrition and hydration strategies along with a complete mental development element that equips the rider to handle the pressures of racing both from the front and from the back of the pack.

Robb Beams on his BMX
Back in the day: Coach Robb is a former pro BMX racer

You have worked with a lot of big names in sport, but you offer your services to everyone. Do the same rules apply to all?

Absolutely! Ironically, non-professionals benefit the most from our performance programs because they are spread so thin with professional, school, social, financial, family/relationships, bike prep, travel to and from, clean up and THEN athletic (how hard should I train, how often, how hard, what should I do, etc.). Professionals have all day to get better. They have people doing everything for them. They can take naps and get massages during the day. They can afford to have someone cook and clean for them. Think about what Chad Reed said about moving from Florida to JGR’s program. He simply shows up, gets geared up, rides/test, leaves and goes home to his family. Someone is taking care of the track, his bike, etc. so he can focus on himself and his family obligations. He has a lot less on his plate than a racer who works and has a family.

You put a lot of emphasis on sports psychology, what has been your biggest personal hurdle so far?

I have two that have changed my career – personally and professionally:

First, at the IBMXF World Championships; I had a big contract on the line to ride for one of the sports largest teams. Unfortunately, I went early on the gate and nearly flipped over, and I didn’t finish in the top three (a contract stipulation). As a result, the deal was pulled and as stated earlier, my dad told me it was time to move into the world of education. I felt like I had blown four years of hard work, I had let my parents down, I lost the team opportunity and as a result I had to pick myself up and move on. I never understood what the saying “It is lonely at the top” meant until that day. When you are on top, everyone is your friend. When you are not, you find out who your true friends are. Either way it is a lonely place to be.

Second, getting hit by a car and blowing my knee out and as a result not being considered for the elite team was a tough pill to swallow. To have something taken away that I worked so hard for by someone else was hard to wrap my head around.

Ironically, I have had to lean on both “life experiences” to handle both personal and business-related matters over the last ten years that put me in the exact situation again. This is where I coined the concept of “Athletic Maturity”. Until you endure something, like a broken bone, you don’t know what to expect and you must “learn” to fix and how to improve after the situation. After you have endured something, you are better equipped with both resources and mental focus.

Coach Robb Beams Triiathlon
Coach Robb competing in a triathlon

What is a typical workday like for you?

Monday and Tuesday’s, I am in the office from 7am until 10:00pm hosting client calls from around the world. For example, first thing in the morning I am doing Skype calls with clients in Thailand and Greece. Through the early mornings, I am on east coast calls, then as the day transpires, I move to the west coast and then into Netherlands, New Zealand and finally Australia. It is imperative that I speak to clients early in the week to discuss the weekend and make any changes to their training schedules for the upcoming week. Micaela and I take a couple of breaks to work out and eat, but these two days are busy on the phone.

Wednesday is when I do my research and writing. I write for several online magazines, our monthly newsletter, articles for our websites and membership areas as well as our social media messages. The day starts at 7:00am and I am finished around 5:00pm.

Thursday is video production and new business development. MotoE is about to launch a membership area where riders can find complete training and nutrition programs. In addition to the training programs, we will have hundreds of short videos explaining various topics: how to proper hydrate, what causes cramping, how to drop body fat, how to manage heat and humidity, etc. The membership area will have new videos and articles uploaded every week indefinitely. We also have numerous educational bundles, digital products and coaching specific resources that are also incorporated into our video production as well. Needless to say, Thursday is all about video production and editing!

Friday is dedicated to writing my client’s schedules based on the data that was collected during the week: Resting heart rate, hours of sleep, food logs, training intensity and duration, performance results and a few other elements. There is a fine line between over training and under training and our analytics side of our process keeps us right in the middle to ensure that the individual is always improving. My rule is to have my clients improving by 1% every day by focusing on both sweating and non-sweating elements of their program. All schedules are emailed out by close of business on Friday so that they have the weekend to review the schedule and compare against their personal schedules. If we need to make an adjustment, I can get this done over the weekend. During our Monday or Tuesday call, we make the final adjustments to the schedule as needed. My goal is that my client simply opens the schedule and simply follows the duration, intensity and nutritional protocols. This allows them more time to focus on the other important elements of life: work, school, family, financial, etc.

Coach Robb training
Coach Robb training

You have ridden tracks and coached the world over but are returning to Wollongong Motorcycle Club this July. What draws you to the south-east coast of Australia?

Thanks to the help of Beau Franklin and Shannon Ninness we came over in January to a warm welcome by the Wollongong Motorcycle Club and its riders. We hosted our Level One classes and was impressed with how quickly the riders embraced the integration of human physiology and motorcycle physics. The result was improved body position, consistent execution of skills and as a result, significantly faster lap times.

In July, in addition to offering our Level One class, we are offering up our Level Two class to elevate the ability level of the riders who attended Level One in January. There are so many important elements to riding and racing; however, I feel that most riding programs tend to focus on things that don’t really matter. There are many more important elements that precedes some of the requested skills currently being asked of the rider that results in slower lap times and high levels of frustrations. For example, a rider being told to “drive the bike deeper into the turn” isn’t helpful until the rider understands why the bike is unstable coming into the turn. As stated earlier, to improve a rider correctly you must incorporate human physiology WITH motorcycle physics. Until this happens, a rider will never reach the full potential of speed and endurance to become a champion.

Join Coach Robb for a special “Meet the Coach” evening hosted by City Coast Motorcycles
Thursday July 4 from 6-8pm.

RSVP HERE

 

Coach Robb working with Ryan Dungey – CBS Special – Supercross Behind the Dream Episode 1

Black Knight® Z3 GPS Tracker: Wire it. Hide It.

z3 gps trackerProtect your investment. Defend your dream with Black Knight® GPS tracking. The Z3 can be attached and hidden away in just about anything. Perfect for motorcycles!

The high-performance Z3 GPS tracker from Black Knight® is designed to be wired and hidden in almost any vehicle; a car, van, truck, motorcycle or caravan. The Z3 is directly wired to the battery terminal for an uninterrupted power supply. So long as it has a permanent power source, it can be tracked. It’s power usage is minimal and will not drain your battery, as the Z3 is designed to enter sleep mode when your vehicle’s engine is shut off.

Pair your Z3 tracker with the Black Knight® app to track your vehicle remotely in real time from your phone or tablet. You will receive alerts if it moves or becomes disconnected, and there is playback for up to 12 months of travel history. With the Z3, you’re always in control . Alternatively, you can visit the Black Knight website to track your vehicle from your personal computer.

Functions and specifications:

  • Light weight and small at just 38g and measuring 69 x 35 x 12mm
  • 15-second position updates
  • 12 months travel history playback
  • Simple installation to battery terminal (12-30V) via dual-pin hardwire cable
  • Geofence Alerts – receive notifications when your vehicle or asset leaves a set area.
  • Power Disconnect Alerts – receive notifications when your tracker is disconnected.
  • Speed Limit Alerts – receive notifications when your vehicle or asset goes over a speed limit.
  • Travel Distance Alerts – receive notifications when your vehicle travels over 2,000km, 5,000km or 10,000km

Packaged with your tracker:

  • Heavy-duty dual-pin power cable
  • Theft warranty certificate – for when your vehicle or asset is stolen
  • Unique Identification card with your tracker ID inscribed
  • User manual

Available in store at City Coast Motorcycles,  262 Keira St, Wollongong.
Or alternatively purchase from our online store:

PURCHASE ONLINE

The Incredible Freedom Machines

On the release of The Incredible Freedom Machines, Litas Wollongong co-founder and motorcycle enthusiast Kirli Saunders shares her story…

“In this sumptuous story of exploration and breaking boundaries, a young girl uncovers her very own freedom machine vehicle that carries her to all kinds of wondrous places.”

How old were you when you started riding?

My first ride was probably on a postie or dirt bike on the farm up in the Highlands where we were raised. We were always around bikes as kids, one of my earliest memories is sitting on top of Dad’s BSA, polishing as far as my arms would reach while he’d be working on it. Dad loves classic racers; he’s owned Triumphs, BSAs, Nortons, Matchless and Ducatis. Pop and my brother have always had motorbikes too. Their love for life on two wheels has definitely influenced my own.

What was your first motorcycle and where did you ride it?

I picked up my first road bike on Valentine’s Day, a red Ducati Monster 659 named Valentino. I’d only been living in the Illawarra a little while, and my Duc took me up and down the coast as I learnt to ride. There were lots of National Park runs, rides up Keira, down Kembla, to Berry or further south and up to Bald Hill.

What wheels do you have now?

I’m currently riding a very charming 2013 Triumph Thruxton 900 named Knox. I went in to pick up a helmet and had the guys at City Coast Motorcycles hand me the keys and tell me to take it for a spin. It was love at first braap, and has been ever since.

Kirli Saunders - The Incredible Freedom Machines
Kirli’s beloved Triumph Thruxton 900

What has been your most memorable motorcycling experience to date?

For me every ride is a memorable experience, there’s a really strong and encouraging motorcycling community in the Illawarra and I often ride with my motofam, the Illawarra Café Racers or The Litas Wollongong. We’re blessed with so many beautiful coastal roads here. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride last year though was superb, really well organized and for such a great cause. I’m excited for this year’s one. In partnership with City Coast Motorcycles and The North Wollongong Hotel, The Litas held a Santa Pub Crawl Charity Ride. It was fun riding across the Sea Cliff bridge in Santa suits and raising money for a local cause. We’re really grateful to be supported by local businesses.

Motorbikes have been like ‘a rock’ to you. Can you share with us how they have helped you?

I remember dad saying that you don’t see motorcycles out the front of psychologist’s offices, and you know I think he was onto something. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression just before I bought my first bike and I found that riding really helped me to be mindful, to spend time close to Mother Earth and to be around good people. It’s amazing the type of healing a bike can provide. If ever I’m stuck a ride on my bike really contextualizes things for me. I always return with a heart full of gratitude.

How did the idea for The Incredible Freedom Machines come about?

The Incredible Freedom Machines tells the story of a little girl and her adventures with her Freedom Machine.  For me, this book is a metaphor for my own adventures on Valentino. The day that I wrote it, I’d been riding through the National Park, and along the coast before arriving in Keiraville for a cup of tea. I wrote the whole manuscript in one sitting, sent it to Matt Ottley, one of Australia’s best illustrators with the email subject: ‘Be my Illustrator?’ and was absolutely flawed when he sent it to my now editor at Scholastic.

Kirli Saunders-The Incredible Freedom Machines
Valentino: Kirli’s first road bike

What age group is The Incredible Freedom Machines pitched at?

This book could be read to Preschoolers or analyzed for literary studies in High School, though the primary teacher in me sees it being loved dearly by Primary students. The illustrations (which I can take no credit for) are the most divine creations, I couldn’t have dreamt them better.

This book is getting excellent early reviews. What do you have planned next?

Thank you! It’s really exciting seeing it hitting shelves. The Incredible Freedom Machines has been selected for presentation at the largest Children’s book fair in the world, Bologna Book Fair (May 2018). It’ll be pitched there to hopefully be published in other languages.

It’s also being presented as a part of The Sound of Picture Books in Fremantle, where an accompanying orchestral piece will be played by the Perth Symphony Orchestra as Matt Ottley (The Illustrator) draws and I narrate for school audiences. I’ll be Writer In Residence at Bundanon Trust in August for Book Week, sharing The Incredible Freedom Machines with local schools.

My second book, Our Dreaming is being illustrated at the moment by Dub Leffler and will be out in June 2019. I’ve also got two more manuscripts under consideration with Scholastic at the moment and have been working on a poetry collection as well titled Mother, Earth Child, Lover.

Kirli Saunders - The Incredible Freedom Machines
Kirli’s second book, Our Dreaming will be released in June next year

Can you tell us about your work at Red Room Poetry?

Red Room Poetry is a NFP that aims to make poetry a meaningful part of everyday life. I manage Red Room’s Poetic Learning programs, connecting contemporary poets with 450+ education communities across Australia & New Zealand. I am also the First Nations Cultural Liaison at Red Room. I’ve developed a program titled, “Poetry in First Languages” that sees First Nations poets create and publish poems in First Languages with Elders and Custodians while also supporting students on country to do the same. As a proud Gunai woman with ties to lots of east coast nations, seeing First Nations students use language to express themselves creatively is really powerful. This year we’re leading workshops on Gundungurra, Dharawal, Gadigal, Bundjalung and Yuin Nations with local communities.

You are a co-founder of the Litas Wollongong branch which is part of a worldwide, all-female, social riding collective. How is it going?

The Litas are a group of phenomenal women riding and thriving all around the world, I feel really honored to be a part of the crew and even more so to have helped start a movement in Wollongong with Sari Lokollo and Jessica Knight (the other Co-Founders). I’ve been so flat out of late that I haven’t had a chance to get along to many of the rides, but there’s always ride outs, camp outs and wrench nights happening. I encourage all female motorcycle riders of all skill levels in the Illawarra and surrounds to get involved.

 

Kirli Saunders - The Incredible Freedom Machines
“The Litas are a group of phenomenal women riding and thriving all around the world.”

Do you have any advice for women getting involved in riding?

My advice is to absolutely do it. Buy the bike, buy the leathers and start your adventures. Riding motorcycles has helped me develop confidence and independence in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

I’d suggest researching widely and finding a bike suited to your style, build and ability. Getting some quality, well-fitting protective gear is also paramount. My other advice would be to join The Litas or another club of riders, or ride with some more experiences friends, follow their lines and take their tips on board. Like all new ventures, you must do it often in all conditions and practice practice, practice.

We think the Illawarra boasts some of the best moto daytrips in Australia. Do you have a favourite?

There’s so many great rides around the Illawarra. I do love a cheeky braaap to Bald Hill and back; I think this one is best during the week or even in the evening when the road is a little quieter. I also love extending that ride into the National Park.

Riding up Mount Keira and down Kembla with lunch at the pub is always a good time. Heading out the back of Jamberoo, finishing in Kiama or heading to Berry is delightful too. You can’t go wrong with a ride up the Macquarie Pass up into the Highlands either.

Overall though, I love cutting along the Upper Kangaroo Valley River, to the suspension bridge. That spot is all kinds of magic.

Kirli Saunders - The Incredible Freedom Machines
Kirli at the inaugural Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride – Wollongong hosted by City Coast Motorcycles

Kirli Saunders’ The Incredible Freedom Machines from Scholastic Australia is available at all good book stores.