Most mountain bikers are tenacious but riders who refuse to quit or even start riding with major back issues like fused vertebrates, degenerative disk disease, bulging disks, etc. really inspire me! I was fortunate enough to coach just such a rider this weekend, Skeeter is a 57 year old mountain biker who has been riding dirt bikes for years and has degenerative disk disease. His cockpit set up is really tall which will compromise …
If you are in the market for a new mountain bike you are luckier than ever! Over the years it as been amazing how slow the mountain bike industry has been to leave tradition and embrace new ideas on how to make a mountain bike handle better. We have been pushing for change, especially in the mountain bike cockpit set up department (longer frames, shorter stems, wider bars, slacker head angles and dropper posts) since those products were developed and finally all those things are mainstream! This is great news for you as rider, you now have bikes that are much more fun to ride and safer right from the factory!
Wow, the bad concepts well meaning people and unqualified coaches share with other riders! Mountain bike braking happens while riding you bike! That means the same body position that puts you in control and in balance should be used while braking! We stress being in a balanced, centered and neutral position while descending and we need to maintain that while braking. As a matter of fact, because of braking forces (remember the brakes on our light bike, not our much heavier body) it is even more important to stay balanced, centered and neutral while braking. Your butt is not your third brake!!!
A common email and/or phone call we get starts off like this, “Hey guys, I’m a really skilled mountain biker, I don’t need your whole curriculum, I just need to learn how to do bigger drops and hit jumps better.” So, since that is a common question I will give you a detailed answer so you can got out and hit those big drops and jump better!
There are two big mountain bike myths that hold back many riders. The myth of the “natural athlete” and the myth of the “magic pill” have played a huge role in depressing riders confidence for years. Are either holding you back?
I will start with the “natural athlete” mountain bike myth. You may think (like I did until my late twenties) that the best people in sports are gifted or born with natural talent. This belief can lead you to not giving your all and/or not seeking out the best coaching available because you feel that you will never be as good as those naturals.
Yes, even if I had given a 100% I would never be able to beat someone with Ned Overend’s lung capacity in a cross country race but it would of been fun to see how close I could of come. Luckily skills don’t take big lungs. So stop labeling yourself or using the idea that you are just not a natural athlete as an excuse to not do your best (as I did). If you focus on being the best that you can be everyday you will astound yourself.