What a rewarding weekend! While I was busy coaching a downhill camp (with a healthy mix of pro racers, Cat 1 racers and advanced beginners) I received three emails from stoked students conquering their on trail nemesis’s and BetterRide athletes made to xc race podiums!
Congratulations to these BetterRiders on sweeping the pro women’s podium! In 3rd Erica Knight Tingey, in 2nd Sarah Kaufmann, on top of the box Lynda Wallenfels!
Wanted to thank you for all of you time an patience this last week in Phoenix, I do appreciate all of your effort. I really did not expect to be e-mailing you so soon about some of the skills that I apparently acquired in Phoenix, but I am.
Remembering back on the Sunday drills, I focused on not getting impatient and watching my body position and balance and again, probably one of the smoothest runs on the switchbacks I have ever had. I also had the opportunity to work on the various wheelies and bump jumps and like the other techniques felt that they were enhancing my riding. I plan on going back out again today to work on more of the same.
Video clip of Gene Hamilton coaching Bryson Martin at Bootleg Canyon. Gene is excited to coach such a faster racer with a poor skills foundation! He took third two weeks ago behind winner, BetterRide coached Mitch Ropelato and 2nd place finisher Mikey Sylvestry yet he can’t corner (and found out today is vision skills needed some work as well as body position and vision!). With his dedication to learning, doing drills to master those skills and training hard he will be a threat this year.
Notice he carries enough speed to clear the step up after the rollers! The only racers I have coached that have cleared that are Mitch Ropelato and Andrew Pierce (and my asst. coach Greg Minnaar. Once Bryson added his legs into to the pump and got is vision dialed he was flying!
Cool Video from the Nevada State Championships Downhill Race featuring many of my students. Look for these Betterride athletes: pro winners, Mitch Ropelato, Jackie Harmony, Jr. Cat 1 winner Cody Kelly, 7th place pro finisher Jon Widen and a host of racers tearing it up. My future student (in this weekends DH camp) 3rd place pro finisher Bryson Martin is also featured.
I am so fortunate to coach such a diverse group of riders. From eager, passionate riders just getting into the sport to World Champions like Ross Schnell they all need to master the same core skills that 20 years of riding will not help you stumble upon.
Notice how he is staying centered on his bike (weight on the pedals) and in a neutral position so we be smooth, maintain his momentum and keep his wheels on the ground.
Ross is balanced, using counter pressure to lean the bike, looking through the turn and back on the gas before he exits the second corner!
Here the corners are steeper and tighter but Ross is still managing to stay low, centered and neutral. In this one he should of slowed down a bit more and finished his braking before the left hand turn to generate more exit speed.
“Gotta go slow to go fast!” (this for all riders, especially those more concerned with control than speed, please read on!)
So here are two guys that pay (or used to pay) their rent by going faster – not by slowing down – telling us we need to slow down to go fast? What gives?
In the following, we’ll explore what the saying actually means and how it can help not only racers, but also recreational riders ride more efficiently, more in control, safer, and, faster.
every time we descend on the bike, its an exercise in momentum management. Every corner we take, every rock or root we drop off, etc. Every time we almost get thrown over the handlebars by improperly negotiating an obstacle, its because we screwed up on managing our momentum.
So I find it kind of amazing that very few riders look at riding a section of trail in terms of momentum management.
So sometime on a future ride, do this: look at sections of trail purely in terms of momentum. Use momentum as your tool to generate speed. Use momentum as your tool to clean obstacles. Think/look “outside the box” and don’t feel the need to follow the typical lines of the trail. Chances are, you’ll start to see things quite differently. You will start to “go slow to go fast” and reap the benefits of managing your momentum. If done correctly – and when combined with other proper techniques such as proper use of vision, body position, etc – instead of fighting the forces of physics in order to hold a particular line or drastically increasing or cutting speed, you’ll start to instead “flow” with the trail.