Coming from a cross country background, I tend to always think that it’s faster to pedal than to coast, but while pre-riding the Super D course at National Championships I started to question that assumption. I found that I seemed to be going faster if I got into a tuck and coasted instead of pedaling.
Just to make sure we’re on the same page, I’m talking about descending. If you are on an uphill, flat or even slightly downhill trail, it is faster to pedal. Duh. And if you’re on a section of trail that is super steep or technically difficult, don’t try to pedal because as I’ve mentioned in the past you’ll (...read more)
As seen on Mountain Flyer online:
There is a section of trail on Horse Thief (also known as “Close Your Eyes and Hope for the Best”) in Arroyo Hondo, NM that I always point out to people as the place I learned a very important riding lesson. I was riding with the FITaos after-school mountain bike program and had just accidentally ridden off the side of the trail. Sean and Susie, being the brilliant leaders that they are, seized the moment as a valuable teaching opportunity and taught me the following: (...read more)
I decided to write this blog post a couple weeks ago when I was helping with the Field Institute of Taos after-school mountain bike program. This is an awesome program that has gotten tons of kids (including me, albeit over 10 years ago) into mountain biking. I can’t remember how many times I’ve helped with the program, but it’s great to hang out with these kids (some as young as 8) and watch them get into mountain biking. A big focus of the program is skill development and this most recent time I was reminded that one of the most difficult skills in mountain biking is shifting. (...read more)
Turns out cornering is one of the most important aspects of riding a bike (whether you want to go fast or not). If you can’t corner, either you crash a lot because you fall while trying to turn, or you don’t turn and even worse things happen (trails that meander along the edge of cliffs come to mind)…So even though I’ve already talked about cornering, I’m going to again.
One of the most effective ways to improve your cornering is to have the correct amount of speed going into the turn. If you’re going slow, you’ll probably make it, but if you have (...read more)
In honor of the fact that I’m currently in Moab and getting to do lots of it, this week’s tip is about dropping. And no, I’m not talking about losing hold of things while you’re on a ride, although I am an expert at that. Water bottles, gels, glasses, even the occasional bike have all been dropped by yours truly. Not much fun. The other kind of dropping (riding off of things) is a lot of fun! And for the rest of this post, when I say drop, that’s the one I’m talking about.
So why would you want to drop something? Here are a few reasons: (...read more)