The Racer X Virtual Trainer 500 Meter Time Trial
By Tim Crytser

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David Pingree was the first to accept the 500 meter time trial challenge

Photo: Greg Hammond

Memorial Day weekend is a great holiday. First and foremost it is a day of remembering those who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy everyday; never loose sight of that. Memorial Day also marks the official kickoff of summer, and if you are a motocross fan, it means High Point. I am lucky enough to have grown up in the town that claims High Point as its own, Morgantown, WV even though the race is held just a few short miles down the road in Mount Morris, PA. I say I am lucky because not only do I get to go home for the holiday, I also get to go to the races all weekend. This weekend’s race would be like no other I have ever attended. You see, the Racer X Virtual Trainer website has only been up and running since last August and I’m finally getting to the point where posting an article doesn’t take all week. I am still a one man show writing most of the articles, posting user pics, answering emails, making design changes and anything else related to the site. I learned how to write html and a lot about web publishing in a short time and now my focus is shifting to article content and advertising. Over the past several months you may have noticed a couple of new advertisers on the VT website. All three were going to be at High Point so it was time for a road trip, not only to see some great racing but to get some work done as well.
Paying the Bills
The companies that actually pay the bills and bring Virtual Trainer to you each week are our title sponsor Cytomax, along with, Concept2 Rowing and Man and Machine. Greg Hammond from Concept2 Rowing came to High Point to show off the latest in rowing equipment, while Rob Hill from Man and Machine came in from Alaska to showcase his new TransforMX bars (more on what they are later) and Rob Beams from was there with his rider Matt Boni and to talk training with the rest of us. Racer X was having an industry open house on Friday and Greg and Rob were there to show their equipment off for the first time to an MX crowd. Both are breaking into the action sports arena so this was a big weekend to gauge how the MX community would react to the Rower and the bars.  The Racer X open house provided a perfect opportunity to introduce their products and see how many people they could get to take the 500 meter challenge.  With the competitive nature of the folks that work at Racer X, finding people to take the challenge turned out to be quite easy.

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Man & Machine's TransforMX bars mated perfectly with the Concept2 Rower 

Photo: Greg Hammond

The Open House
The first order of business was the Racer X open house on Friday. From 3 to 7 Racer X would open its doors to the rest of the industry to witness first hand where the greatest magazine on the planet is put together. The event was scheduled to take off around 3 but Greg, Rob, and I had some setup to do as Greg had donated a brand new rower to the Racer X office the week before and it was still in the box when we arrived. We also wanted to make sure that Rob’s TransforMX bars mated to the rower correctly as this was the first time the two products had actually been used together. Rob has invented a very unique training system that has been in development for the last five years at his shop in Anchorage and he has named the equipment the TransforMX bars. The bars are more than just a set of handle bars attached to a rower like a few other people have brought to market in the past. These bars offer variable grip positions, collapsible handles for storage, a pushup platform, a method for connecting the bars to a doorway or similar devise for pull-ups, as well as connections for a Duraband system for doing lat pulls and other resistance type training. I had been talking with Rob over the phone about his new product for the past several months and was looking forward to getting the bars in my hands and putting them through their paces. As soon as he pulled them out of their custom travel bag, I was more than impressed. Even though the Racer X staff was on deadline for the August issue they couldn’t help but put down their keyboards to get a better look. Most of them followed us back to the office gym as we unpacked and started putting things together. After a quick trip to Lowes to make some hardware modifications the rower was set up and the bars were attached. Now that the rower looked like a piece of equipment that was motocross specific the boys from Racer X were really talking smack about who could lay down the fastest 500 meter time trial. Needless to say, it was on!

500 Meter Time Trials
Besides showcasing the rower and the TransforMX bars to industry insiders, the whole point of being at the Racer X open house was to see how many people we could get to lay down a 500 meter time trial. Putting in a 500 meter time is actually pretty simple. Once the rower is programmed for 500 meters, the first pull of the handle starts the clock and the machine measures how long it takes you to row 500 meters. The harder you pull, the faster the flywheel spins taking you toward the 500 meter goal. An average person can row the distance in about 2 minutes. We have incorporated a new feature both on this site and the Concept2 site for logging your fastest times. Log in and join the Motocross Nation and see how you stack up against other riders. 

   Steps for Setting Up Your Online Ranking Profile  
  > Go to      
  > Click on Ranking & Log (top right corner of the home page)
  > Click Register under new user    
  > Fill Out Profile Information (use MOTO in the Country field at the bottom of the list)
  > Click Submit and you are in Baby!!  
   Now Get off your butt and log in your best 500 meter time.
    Once you have registered, you are ready to logon and record your times.  After logging on, simply fill out your time and distance in
    the "Add New Workout" area and hit the add button. 

Once you have added a time, you can now rank your time (by clicking the "rank" button) to see how you compare to others in the Motocross Nation.  You can add as many times as you like to your log book and rank your best.

To see where you rank, click on the Rankings Button at the top right side of the page.  This will open a seperate search window.  Set "Distance" to 500 meters and "The Country Code" to Motocross Nation.  Motocross Nation is at the very bottom of the scroll window.

Problems or questions, call Tim at 804-240-5045 and I will step you through it!

Once the open house started it didn’t take much arm twisting or name calling to get the competitive juices flowing and soon everyone was challenging each other to see who could lay down the fastest time. The first person to step up to the plate and accept the 500 meter challenge was Racer X’s David Pingree. I have met Ping a few times in person back when he was a factory rider and several times since his retirement. The guys at Racer X like to poke fun at him, but let me tell you this, the guy is in great shape and
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Racer X Designer Jason Hooper was all business giving everything he had for his record settting time

Photo: Greg Hammond

 probably one of the most competitive people I have ever been around. He jumped on the rower and after a few pointers from Greg on rowing technique, was off. He posted the fast time at 1:52 and looked confident as he stood up from the machine, drenched in sweat and grabbed a big swig of Corona. He was after all a professional athlete and was confident that he had set a time that would stand. Next to take the challenge was Racer X Designer, Jason Hooper. Fresh from a buzz haircut out back from Jason Berry (really, when we got there JB was out back cutting Hooper’s hair…they were THAT busy). Hooper, who by all accounts is a pretty good endurance athlete running marathons, mountain biking, and competing in the occasional mini triathlon handed me his beer, sat down and asked "now what?" Greg stepped in with a few more pointers and a 1:38 later Hooper emerged with a time that had Ping asking, "what the @#$%&?" Everyone was stunned as Hooper staggered away mumbling something about getting a beer and logging his fast time. Greg was also extremely impressed as this was a very respectable time for a seasoned rower let alone someone who had never been on a rower before and had just polished off another beer. After taking a few minutes to compose himself and get over the ‘I’m going to pass out and puke’ feeling, Hooper couldn’t get to his computer fast enough to log the fast time of the day and spread the word of his accomplishment. Next up was Racer X’s Media Relations/SX Announcer, Jason Weigandt. Fresh off of two or three beers and full gullet of food, the Weege was taking a more relaxed approach. He wasn’t talking any smack, he was just going to row and take his time like a man. Much to Ping’s dismay, Jason put in a time of 1:50. You could see the wheels turning in Pings head, these journalists were beating him and he wasn’t happy about it. Next up was Head Athletic trainer for the Asterisk Mobile Medic Unit, Eddie Casillas. 1:47 later, though it wasn’t the best time of the day, it was below 1:50 and good enough for Eddie.

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Jason Weigandt with his signature 'Elbows up' riding style

Photo: Greg Hammond

Over the next several hours many people jumped on and off the rower and were enjoying the TransforMX bars and the rower. The 500 meter time trial was a hit, but Ping still had a point to prove. Throughout the afternoon, Ping’s confidence grew as he was getting more and more rowing advice from the expert, Greg. This time he was sure to beat Hooper. Late in the day, it was on; Ping had brought his ‘A’ game to the rower and was going to shatter Hoops time. Unfortunately he had brought a few more beers to the rower and a bunch of the buffet, as Ping was only able to post a 1:48 time. Hooper and Eddie were pleased, Ping just felt like puking. One thing they all agreed on was that the Rower coupled with the TransforMX bars is a fantastic piece of equipment for MX training. If you have access to a rowing machine be sure and set your own time for the 500 meter time trail and post it here.

The Time to Beat
Props go out to Rob Hill for setting the fast time of the day, laying down a blistering 1:35 time. That was in full-on street clothes, several Coronas, and 3 trips to the buffet. Well done Rob. Yours Truly posted a time of 1:48 while the rest of the staff either came up with an excuse as to why they didn’t want to row or just ran as we approached them. Excuses ranged from ‘I don’t want to get my clothes all sweaty’ to ‘didn’t you hear, we are on deadline?’ My personal favorite was from Racer X boss, Davey Coombs. When asked if he was going to put in a time he simple said, ‘Hell no, I’m not getting on that thing.’ Well said old man!

With the Morgantown 500 Time Trial complete the only thing left to do was go to the Racer X pre-race party and either drown your sorrows or relish in the glory. Rob’s glory faded quickly as none of the ladies at the bar seemed to care that he had set the fast time for the day. They were here to see MX riders not Rowers. Sorry Rob, at least you set the fastest time! The 500 meter time trial was a hit and everyone who tried the rower and TransforMX bars agreed on one thing; that is one kick-ass workout. If you want more information on the Concept2 rower go to , and for info on the release date of the TransforMX bars go to .   
That's it for now. Until next time, good luck with your training and, as always, VT can be reached anytime at .  In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section , your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.

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