Mountain Biking is not just a sport, it’s an art form. Almost anyone can appreciate the beauty of a rider with an appealing RideStyle as they navigate terrain with flow and panache. We can recognize our friends on mountain bikes even when they are too far to see clearly because we know how they move and recognize their RideStyle. My own way of riding a mountain bike was like a place of refuge in my life – time spent there was joyful and relaxing and familiar and fun as hell.
When I signed up for my BetterRide camp (back in 2010), I was really excited to learn to do things I have always struggled with on my bike. I have always ridden bikes with a passion and have put much of the total energy spent in my life into riding like a bat out of hell over the hardest trails I could manage or find. After 19-20 years of this approach to mountain biking, I decided to find out what I hadn’t found out yet.
Gene taught me the core skills of mountain biking. I didn’t need to do things differently only on certain terrain, I needed to change the way I ride my bike EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME! Yikes. My body was in the wrong place, I was looking in the wrong place (the wrong way), I was approaching corners the wrong way (I thought I was great at cornering before the camp). It took me some time to get through the Five Stages of Grieving after my camp, but it had to happen. Sorry RideStyle, it’s not me, it’s YOU. We’re through!
o now it’s Acceptance. That’s the part where I do my drills, take care of myself and enjoy a new way of riding my bike. The best part is, I’m getting to know a new RideStyle now! I think I love her. And I know it can last forever!
Holy Cow! I never seen anything like this before! I have almost been hit by a deer, almost run into a deer and I have seen bears while riding but this looks painful!
There is a widely held misconception among mountain bikers (YOU). It’s that you are good. At mountain biking. You’re not. It’s easy to see why you might think you are, with so many forces pulling you towards that idea. Maybe it’s your friend that you can beat on the trails you like to ride together. […]
To make themselves feel comfortable and confident, top competitors in many different sports utilize a personalized pre-race (or pre-game) routine to help them perform at their best. Routines are not the same as rituals, a routine is a structured plan designed to help you reach your optimum performance while a ritual relies on superstition to control your performance (things like not washing your “lucky” socks or stepping on a crack). In other words a routine helps you take control of your performance while rituals assume fate (not you) will control your ride/race.
This was originally written for a downhill mtb team I coached but works equally well for all mountain bike riding and xc racing. A big key goal is to eliminate thoughts that will distract you and put youself in the poper mind state to ride with confidence!
I have added a night before the ride/race routine to eliminate most causes of worry and allow you to get some sleep.
Your pre-race routine should make you comfortable in strange/new surroundings, build your confidence, eliminate stress, and prepare you to do your best. I have listed many common practices to get you started but you must experiment and find out what works best for you.
Use this as a rough outline adding what works and getting rid of what doesn’t through experimentation. A well thought out routine will make you confident at the start while your competition worries about their run and wonders why you are so confident.
Angie, a BetterRide student has been tearing it up since taking her camp in Philly last year. Read what she thought of the camp and watch her videos! It was a great camp with riders ranging from a 14 year old kid to World Champion Sue Haywood all leaning the same Core Skills of mountain biking!