As you can imagine in my 20 years of coaching mountain bike skills I have had a lot of interesting and inspiring people take my camps. Some of these people have gone on to become famous racers, some legends in the industry but many of the most interesting stories come from my passionate students who simply love riding bikes.
They say that with age comes wisdom and I have definitely learned a lot from some of my oldest students. While most people aged 50 plus are retiring from sports or watching their performance in their sport/s of choice decline many my “older students” have inspired me to keep learning, improving and getting better even as I approach my 53 birthday.
My first older student was a 55 year old grandmother…
1. Create a pre-ride routine to get you in the right mental space to ride your best! Nothing kills confidence liked a busy, cluttered mind. Don’t just a hop than bike after a stressful day, start with a routine that gets you focused on riding your best. Learn to create your pre-ride routine here: https://wp.me/p49ApH-1g9
2. Go at your own pace and take “baby steps” when progressing. Taking a big leap over your comfort zone is not a good way to improve. This is a case of fear being a good thing! A big leap over your comfort zone likely means you don’t possess the skills to do it (or at least don’t believe you have those skills)!
Have you ever been goaded into doing something that you felt was way above your skill level?
I learned to coach because I love helping people succeed. That is a coach’s job, help their athletes reach their potential. I had a horrible snowboard coach (he knew his stuff technically but was bitter and put all the athletes on the team down) and thought I could do that better! In my 29 years of coaching my focus […]
As I mentioned in my last post, I love what 30 years of practice and modern mountain bikes allow me to do!
So what exactly do modern bikes allow us to do? Well, one of my readers summed it up well,
Enjoyed your musing on old vs. new mountain bikes. I’m 47 and my first bike was a 1991 Bridgestone MB-Zip which I raced in the 90’s NORBA Expert Class.
I tend to not be overly nostalgic about those old bikes, particularly about the reliability, maintenance, and number of crashes. My steel Bridgestone frame literally snapped in half …
Modern mountain bike geometry is so much safer too! The long, low and slack geometry I have been preaching about since 1999 or finally available for mtbs designed for all purposes of bikes. There are now cross country race bikes with slack head angles now, making descending much more fun and less scary while having no affect on most climbs (especially when combined with steep seat tube angles).
Challenging Mountain Bike Trails Should be Ridden with Skills, Not Balls
Does it take nerve to do anything you are 100% confident that you can do easily? Does it take nerve to walk down a crowded sidewalk in the city you live in? For me, things I have great confidence in do not take nerve.
How do you gain confidence without taking risks? Work on your skills in a safe environment. Once you feel you are consistently riding in balance and in control slowly, using baby steps start tackling tougher or slightly more exposed sections of trail.
Things I lack confidence in doing which have consequences that might involve a trip to the emergency room(or worse), would take a lot of nerve and at 52 I choose not to do them. This video demonstrates both of my points. You will see me ride one exposed section of trail with confidence then see me stop right after a little white sign because I am not 100% confident on the next short section of trail.