Sunday, October 10, 2010

not racing doesn't mean not riding

On non-racing weekends, I've made a promise to myself that I will take Stompy out and play in the mud for an hour or two. Fortunately, there was almost enough mud and wet grass today to make me mostly happy.

The goal is not to ride myself into the ground; the goal is just to ride around and try out various techniques, including wobbling my back end through deep mud puddles and then riding it out without falling down; dismounts (easy); mounts (hard and yes, I still suck at them -- not sure how to remedy that except maybe with more heavily-padded shorts and maybe a shot of Novocaine in my, um nether-regions -- NOT); and lots of off-camber stuff that I achieved by picking crazy lines through the deserted playground, which is set in the bottom of a grassy "bowl" with tons of off-camber possibilities. After an hour, I felt like I'd done enough, and headed home muddy and happy.


Richard said...

Are you landing on the inside part of your leg on the remounts?

Try lowering your saddle and going slow a few times. You'll get better the more you try.

bikelovejones said...

Not landing. Not flying. Not leaping. I've got the dismount dialed in, it's fine. I hop the barrier (with a fat-tubed mountain bike, suitcasing is usually my only option here, unless the course designer is a joker who sets barriers in the middle of a long run-up), then try to keep moving forward while setting down the bike gently, and everything just sort of stops right there. The mountain bike doesn't give me a graceful way to suitcase it, so I sort of schlmupf along. (Since I cannot bring myself to race with drops -- there's simply too much BMX'er in me -- I am willing to pay the penalty inherent with a mountain bike bars.)

This fall I'm learning to keep my hips facing forward and to not look down. It's better than it was last year. I am hopeful that one of these days I'll figure it out.

cyclofiend said...

On remounts, you want to feel like you are going forward rather than jumping up and landing down. If you feel like you are coming down ON the saddle, try aiming your knee slightly lower. You actually don't need to go all that "up" at all.

Hope that helps!

- Jim

Brian-J said...

Yeah-- aim for the inside of your thigh when remounting. It's tricky and I'm STILL working on it. But to echo the other posters-- it's not so much jumping and landing on the saddle as it is just swinging your leg up behind the saddle (really quickly) and landing on the inside of your thigh. You foot should then be close to the pedal. You push off and go... hopefully. :) Keep practicing-- I will!

Judi said...

and you are running once a week for 20 minutes?

bikelovejones said...

Dear Judi -- my training consists of:

--daily commuting, roughly 9 to 12 miles a day depending on errands for the shop. One to two days a week this is done on the cargo bike.
--cross practice once or twice a week for 60-90 minutes, when and where I can fit it in, usually at my local park.
--stretching, when I remember. Sort of like poor man's quasi-yoga. I do whatever I can remember on the spot, slowly and gently, for about 20-25 minutes, one to three mornings a week before work. Not sure it helps much physically but it puts my head in a better space.


No coach, no team or teammates in area, no gym membership, no wind trainer or other equipment.
Partner is not a cyclist, and is not terribly active either. (And yet, we love each other. Go figure.)

I am basically making it up as I go along. And above all, I go out and have fun whenever I do it; racing, practice, whatever. So it's good.