Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lessons from the Trail

In my last post I briefly mentioned that Michael gave me some feedback on my technique once we watched the footage, and I thought I would share that feedback. I'm sure the real bikers out there won't be so surprised, but the newbies like myself may benefit from knowing what I now know.

Also, look out for Media Friday this week when Michael will post the video from our ride. Not everything we did is in the video, but I just watched it and everything I need to work on is definitely represented.

(in Michael speak)
  1. Get up out of that saddle, turkey.

    The very first thing Michael noticed was that I stay in a seated position for most of the ride. Being in the saddle gives me the sense of being more stable, but apparently that is just an illusion. When going around curves or downhill being in the saddle can cause the rider to be much more rigid thus making the impact of every root and rock feel ten times as rough. People say it all the time about every athletic endeavor: Loosin' up. The more loose you are the better you go with the flow of every turn, bump and decline. I really can't wait to use this piece of advice on our next ride because my ass needs a break.

  2. Don't brake for every turn, b.

    You'll notice in the video that I automatically apply the brakes every time I go into a curve in the trail. Every time. It's funny because when I was riding that day I felt like EVERY turn was super sharp and therefore required me to slow down. Then we watched the footage, and I immediately thought, "That curve doesn't really even look like a curve." The truth is, it was a curve but not a dead man's curve like I sized it up to be mid-ride. To help ease me into just riding the turn at the speed I'm already at I need to, you guessed it, get up out of the saddle. Being too rigid is giving me the impression that the turn is sharp because when you are in the saddle, thus moving your whole body instead of just the bike, it feels sharp. So the next thing I need to work on is getting up out of the saddle then keeping my body straight while tilting the bike to handle the turn.

  3. Jump it, mang!

    One of my attempts at jumping on the trail is documented in the final footage, but if you really examine it you'll find that I didn't really jump much of anything. This is definitely something I need to work on because I really like pulling my bike up over stuff mostly because I don't want to feel the impact of whatever the obstacle is on my butt. So jumping things is totally cool with me. I do need to utilize this technique more AND try to jump with my front and back tire as well. I mean, my feet are all locked up into my pedals and until now that just resulted in me falling a lot. So if I can use the fact that I'm clipped in to lift my back tire, well, that would be delightful.
So there you go. And yes, Michael does routinely refer to me as "turkey", "b" and "mang" ---and I love it, yo!


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