Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to Basics ... and a Mini Challenge to Myself

Jez and I attended a Dirt School session at Lee Quarry on Saturday. I desperately needed something to kick start my MTB skills and confidence as they have been on a bit of a downward spiral for quite a while now.

Thankfully the weather was relatively kind with glorious sunshine but it was also baltic and I'm not sure I've properly warmed up yet. It was a useful day for me in quite a few ways...got much better at drop offs, a bit of jumping, flat off camber corners where I managed to find the traction limit of my front wheel a few times (which I'd normally never get near) and some advice on bike set up.

My (admittedly very slight) ability to manual appeared to have completely deserted me when I was thinking about it, was fine when I didn't (see drop offs). My shoulders and back got a serious work out as I started to throw all sorts of muscles into getting the front wheel to come up.

Jez's day was made by learning to clear tabletops, smoothly and in control...I'm not far behind but still get some OMG! when both wheels are off the ground, even though it was deliberate for a change.

So a few things to think about and put into practice. The mini-challenge? Learn to climb properly on flats, I just couldn't do it, kept lifting my feet right off. Got the hang of descending on them again pretty quickly and felt pretty attached to the bike at all times apart from climbing. I'm obviously very dependent on the upstroke from SPDs for climbing (no wonder my hip flexors are always tight). It just annoyed me, so I want to see if I can change it, no other reason really so the flats are staying on the hardtail for the forseeable.


  1. Sounds brilliant. Fair play to you both, I hit the panic button if my wheels get any air below them, hopeless at it and it usually ends up in a fall!

  2. I know exactly what you mean, hopefully I'll be just a little less panicky when airborne.