The Mountain Bike Life

 Fifteen seconds was the difference between a podium spot and none at the last East Cup Cornwall. After finishing the race and hanging with buddies and having laughs it doesn’t mean much. At that point it’s all over.. the hurt, the gasping, and the beer tastes good.

 It is later on at home or at the coffee shop when you are relaxed that you start thinking all the what ifs. When you think of the 15 seconds and what could have been done differently.

                                            The Bone of Contention….15 Seconds

If you are like me one who thinks about this stuff you pull out the pen and paper. And write out what you think you need to work on. Thinking of ways I can be a wee bit better the next time. There are so many variables that can cause 15 seconds….pile up in a root section,  A front brake lever acting up, crappy pedals, maybe it was the grips, maybe I need to work on my cornering?  Maybe I need more leg strength? Maybe I need to do more hill repeats? Would buying a book help?

                                                          The 15 second culprit

 While a mechanical thing like a brake lever is easily fixed like it is easy to swap out bad grips for better one’s. In truth the mechanical things are the easier of the list one can work on to do better. It’s the rest that isn’t as easy and takes more work.  Not simple like swapping grips out for a set that reduces minor numbness and arm pump issues. Not that I am saying swapping out grips is child’s play. But significantly easier then working on things like hill repeats or wet root skills.

                               Find a hill. Get used to the view as it will be repeated

So it now comes down to the harder part which is the non mechanical. And the new questions…..Lose weight? Get faster? Sprint better? Corner better? What will be the better path? Oh.. these are such difficult choices. And I don’t have Doctor Who as a friend who would lend me his TARDIS to see which gives the best bang for buck.

Well, I figure keeping it simple is the better path and will choose 2 to work on. Leg strength, the riding kind and skills are the two of choice. Because while losing weight might sound good it runs the risk of making me slower not faster.  Because I know if I tried to lose weight and increase leg strength I will lose as both can’t be worked on at the same time.

                                                         Mud friendly

 All this over 15 seconds some will wonder. Wonder why care about it and think about it. After all it’s all about participation and just getting out there they will ask. I was never raised to think like this when it came to anything involving a stop watch. Because it’s about improving one’s performance which if you think about it is no different the whacking golf balls to get a better golf swing. Through which one plays better.

 15 seconds….. not next race.

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