IMBA

Has IMBA Lost its Soul?

Mountain Bikers, Has IMBA Lost its Soul? Become Too Powerful?

As a 20 year supporter of IMBA I decided not to support them in 2013 (still supported a few clubs though). Last year alone BetterRide gave IMBA and quite a few of it’s local chapters over $3,000.

Honestly, it really wasn’t a tough decision. I joined IMBA to help them fight the good fight, keep trails open and gain access to more trails.   This seemed to be their focus for all of the 1990′s and early 2000′s as they are a nonprofit advocacy group. Slowly over the last 10 years they have been acting more like a for profit business by straying from trail advocacy and using their considerable clout to compete with private businesses. Read more

Cedric Gracia, World Cup Mountain Bike Racer, Rock Star?

Mountain Bike Much Better in 2 Minutes!

Mountain Bike Much Better in 2 Minutes! A quick, easy and fun exercise you can do pre-mtb ride that will make you ride at the best of your ability level. The “Power Pose”?

A student just forwarded me a skydiving article that covered a mental tip I have been teaching our students to do for years! I never new the exact science but I knew it worked (thanks to something I had learned from Tony Robbins).
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Mountain Biking, More About the Equipment than the Ride?

Mountain Biking, More About the Equipment than the Ride?

When I got my first mountain bike it was all about fun and freedom. Wheelies, riding up and down the stairs on campus, exploring area trails, riding the local BMX track, man that bike was fun! It had a sweet straight fork that transferred the impact of every bump directly to my hands (most rigid forks have a bend in them that flexes a bit to absorb some of the impact when the wheel hits a bump), the brakes had gigantic levers that you used three fingers on to squeeze those awesome rims brakes and slow you down and it had no suspension. Heck the bike lasted four years with zero maintenance except for lubing the chain. Then I sold it for about half what I paid for it. For all I know it is still being ridden, original wheels and all. After all it was a mountain bike, my sturdy, trusted friend, oh the fun we had! We met other riders too and they showed us their favorite trails, regaled us with stories of near death experiences and travel to exotic places like Moab. We shared adventures, ate by campfires together and enjoyed ourselves. Our conversations were fun and diverse, where are you from, do you snowboard, have you ridden the Two Peaks trail, ever bonk on ride? this one time in Moab …, wow, is there good camping in Hurricane? Great times, great friends and great memories!

Then a few years ago at a campsite in Fruita, “Is that a free-ride bike or an all-mountain bike?” my reply, “I’m not sure I just ride it. It is a fun bike!” “Wow, is that an X9 derailleur? Does it shift way better than X7? I’m thinking of buying ….”, all night, equipment questions, my bike is better than your bike statements, that bike is good for this but not good for that, my derailleur is better… It was one of the longest, most annoying campfire evenings of my life.

Bikes can cost over $10,000 today! I’m not saying there haven’t been some amazing improvements to braking, suspension, geometry, wheel size, tire tread, etc. and many of those improvements have definitely added to the fun, but they don’t make the fun, you make the fun! A $2,500 mtb today is better than a top of the line titanium, all XTR bike was in 2000.

Stop worrying so much about your equipment and enjoy the moment, enjoy the scenery, enjoy the company of your riding buddies and simply be in the moment on your bike! Nothing wrong with nice bike stuff but I know so many people with $7,000-$10,000 bikes and really nice cars/trucks with cool aftermarket rims that constantly tell me how lucky I am to be able to ride so much! Well, if they didn’t spend every penny on new shinny parts (that they post photos of on facebook) they could afford more riding time!

Bikes are made to ridden and enjoyed!

PS The day after writing this my $1,500 carbon wheel set (traded to me for a spot in one of our skills progressions) blew up the rear hub on it’s eighth ride! I had to walk out 2-3 miles (all usually fun downhill) because a wheel set that costs 2.5 times what that first bike cost pooped bearings all over the trail!

Mountain Biking and Coffee, and Beer?

Mountain Biking and coffee go together like mountain biking and beer!

Ever wonder how coffee (or any other caffeine filled stimulant, Redbull, Monster, various teas, etc) gives you energy? I have, being extremely caffeine sensitive I only use it a few times a month for the powerful drug that it is (it really helps me focus when I am trying to get stuff done!). Many of our coaches and students however can’t get through the day without a cup (or six of coffee), especially if they plan on mountain biking. I found an interesting article on how caffeine doesn’t actually give us energy (which makes sense, energy come from the right combination of exercise and recovery, how could something give you energy?) it is all in the mind! The article also talks about how mountain bikers second favorite beverage, beer affects us too.

Before I get to the article though a few reasons caffeine can be bad for mountain biking and some experiments you may want to try.

1. Caffeine can make you jittery and tense causing you to not ride as smooth and relaxed as you can without it, this often counters the extra energy effect as you are now less efficient and possibly even a little clumsy.  With no caffeine in your system practice trackstands for a few minutes and note your longest, calmest trackstand. Then drink your caffeine of choice, wait 15 minutes and practice trackstands again. After the caffeine can your trackstand longer? Are you more or less twitchy on your bike after the caffeine?

2. Caffeine allows you work a little harder than your body really wants to work. This can be good by pushing you to new heights on your mountain bike but can also lead to feeling sluggish or worn out and next day and possibly even over training your body if you don’t manage your recovery. I once heard a trainer describe using caffeine as “borrowing energy from tomorrow”! After reading the following article I believe he may be right!

https://ooomf.com/blog/coffee-vs-beer-effects-on-creativity/

What has been your experience with caffeine and riding? Do you drink beer while or after riding?