Even though we are already well into the new year, I would like to point out ten things I learned last year. Since this is my first post this year, I thought I would reflect on my year and share some of my knowledge. Scope the list below and make 2014 the best year ever!
1. Try Different Disciplines
I am not a mountain biker; I am a cyclist. One thing you can do to throw some variety into your rides is try a different riding style. Never ridden downhill before? Check out a resort. Last year I tried Enduro racing, Cyclocross racing, and road riding in addition to my standard Cross Country and Downhill riding.
2. Learn to Love Climbing
We all hate it, but it is a necessary evil. As soon as you accept that climbing is just a part of the sport, the better off you will be. Just sit down and spin those pedals until you reach the top.
3. Enjoy the Ride
Take a break once in a while. Mountain bikes allow you to travel to some of the most beautiful places on this earth. The best rides are the ones when you don’t worry about anything else but the breathtaking scenery around you.
4. Big Rides
One of the most challenging things to do on a bike is ride for long distances. Anybody can ride for an hour or two, but it takes a whole nother set of skills. There is something magical about riding your bike for hours on end, and it is the best feeling when you are done.
5. Adapt to the Seasons
Too hot to ride during the day? Ride early in the morning or even at night. Is it cold? Wear warm clothes and layer. I once read something along the lines of “ there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing”.
6. Don’t be too Serious
Not every ride is a race, and nobody likes coming upon an overly aggressive rider on the trails. Every once in a while it is nice to take it easy and just cruise.
7. Take a Break
Over training and bonking is a terrible feeling. I agree that riding your bike everyday is awesome, but if you are tired make sure not to over do it. take a day or two off after a big ride and you will feel great the next time you go out.
8. The Trail Gods are Unpredictable
Something that I am constantly reminded of is that you never know how you will feel out on the trails. One day you may feel terrible with heavy legs and nothing on your bike seems to work. Don’t get too worked up, often times an awesome ride is right around the corner.
9. Riding at Altitude at Hard.
As someone who rides at close to sea level every ride, riding up in the mountains is very challenging! You know that feeling during a race when you are breathing like crazy and can’t seem to get enough Oxygen? Well that is multiplied when the air is thinner.
10. Mountain Biking is Awesome!
There is a reason that we keep riding day in and day out. That reason is that this sport is awesome! The feeling when you reach the summit of a big climb or the g force when you rail that berm. This sport really is magical.