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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mountain Biking Rants

I was watching alot of people at the trailhead this morning at BT. It led me to think what has become of the sports coupled to all the marketing ploys out there.

Over time I have heard a lot of people saying things like "Oh, the kind of bike I ride is just not conducive for climbs or flying down etc. True, different bikes have their pros and cons but its getting to the point of limiting what one can do and constantly narrowing down that range!

It used to be " I have a mountain bike" and that one rig is where you ride everything. If its "unrideable", be it technically impossible relative to the bike of the day or a rider's lack of skill, we all just haul it over, across or under.

But today, on the same trails, well maybe a little more eroded than a decade ago, there are bikes that spans a multitude of categories from the familiar XC, to the rather amibguous AM (some will prefer to call trailbikes) and some bad ass looking FR bikes. Even some DH rigs are seen from time to time. No doubt helped by the latest suspension and bike geom in riding a roller coaster type of trail. The techno babbles for each is endless. As one gets familiar with his/her own bikes, adjustments and buying in to technology is quite normal. But should that become the main focus. Isnt the main focus out on the trail suppose to be pedaling and catching one's breath?

Most importantly, its still about the rider.

I mean there are swanky multicolored jerseyed riders on souped up 8k XC rigs that don't even make it past the first little slope without dismounting. Next thing some grouchy singlespeeder that will simply blast their way up with a loud "bike, on the right".

So who is to say what can or cannot be done with a bike. A lot of time it really lies with the rider.

You may not get it the first time but then its a learning curve. Most having a bike and fail to clear rutty rocky climbs has one problem. They freeze when they see the first obstacle on their way up and stopped pedaling. More often than not they have not chosen a line beforehand to follow. Losing momentum is like ten times faster on the up than flat or coming down. Natural progression of things becomes putting a foot down on the ground and push push push.

Just pedal on and learn to shift the body weight around. Yes, its that easy. Close your eyes and visualize then haul that bike out and try.

and try again and again.

Quit the hype, get some rest away from forums and go do some real riding for the best way to improve. Nothing beats feeling that "sticking point", discovering for the first time how a proper weght shift from body english actually gets u up and over that seemingly impossible slope.

Ok, next, one needs to figure how best to clear that forked root that meets u on the way down right after the climb.

Tip: its not jamming the brakes

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