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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mountain bike school

I haven't done a very good job of following my doctor's advice after Wednesday's little mishap. Taking it easy sounds good, but there are so many good opportunities to get outside. So it was that "taking it easy" has consisted of a 25-mile ride on my road bike Thursday, a 3-mile run Friday, and a 4-hour mountain bike clinic on Saturday.

In reality, the only casualty from the first two activities was Jeff's sympathy. It's hard to milk an injury when you ignore it to do something fun. The mountain bike clinic, on the other hand, resulted in a few new scrapes and a very unhappy shoulder, but it was worth every milligram of ibuprofen.

Put on by Team Revolution, a women's cycling group, this clinic was exactly what I needed. I wasn't aline, either; there were around 40 women of different ages and levels of experience. There were grade school girls and several ladies who looked to be about my mom's age. Skill levels ranged from a woman just learning to ride a bike to some ladies I've seen at local races. The instructors helped us work on a variety of skills in a big field. I've got great friends who have given me a ton of helpful hints and pointers, but it was great to have a chance to practice some old and new skills in isolation and have someone right there watching to tell you what you were doing wrong and what you needed to change.

Here are some of the things we worked on:

*body positioning
*braking
*lifting the front wheel
*lifting the back wheel
*bunny hops (I can bunny hop!)
*racheting the pedals

After practicing these in a large group, we split into three smaller groups to work on putting the skills into practical use weaving around obstacles, clearing obstacles, and maintaining your line on a narrow path. This was followed up by a Q&A for schwag from The Alpine Shop, and then we hit the trails.

Again we split, this time into beginner, intermediate, and advanced groups. I went with the intermediate group, where it was kind of nice to feel like on of the stronger riders. This riding was more like the riding I do with my friends, except that I wasn't way behind everyone else. :) A friend of mine went with the advanced group, and she said they spent a lot of time worked through more technical spots in the trail. That would've been good, too.

I did have several slow-speed falls bc I couldn't get unclipped in time, but nothing bad. Just embarrassing. Getting my left foot out is very natural, but the right foot is harder for me. Practice, practice, practice. And I'm so glad I didn't play it safe and stay home. I learned a ton. It's so cool that these women who are all impressive riders and racers are willing to take the time to share what they know with people who are learning. I had considered not renewing my Team Rev membership bc it's hard for me to regularly make it to their group rides and such, but I'm going to stick with them. It's definitely an organization I want to be a part of.

12 comments:

  1. Explain to Jeff THAT is taking it easy. Might be challenging though.

    That sounds like a great program.

    I clip out easier with my left foot than my right too. Why? No idea. The worst part is that for road riding you should clip out with the right to lean away from traffic. Do as I say not as I do I guess.

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  2. I haven't bunny hopped since 3rd grade.

    Sounds like a cool school. A cool school that I would like to attend.

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  3. Taking it easy means a sofa, a footstool and a bottle of wine! This is Dr Walletts advice would be (I'm not a real doctor by the way)

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  4. Are you right handed or left handed? Does that have anything to do with which foot is easier to release?

    Sounds like it was a very worthwhile clinic. I am still amazed at how you are learning so much on two different types of bikes this summer.

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  5. I need to go to school! Sounds exciting, and challenging too. Kudos to you!

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  6. Sounds like fun! You can also loosen the tension in your peddle making it easier to clip out. On spd pedals there are two allen screws (on for each side).

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  7. "it was worth every milligram of ibuprofen" - love it! That sounds like a really great clinic. I'm sure a lot of people wish they could attend something like that.

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  8. i wish i was you sometimes. you really are SUPER.

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  9. I leave for a bit and Super Kate not only uses the cape, keeps on ticking, and over-exceeds her quota! You never cease to amaze! I have missed you!

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  10. Sounds like a great clinic. ! Jealous of your bunny hopping skills!!

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  11. sounds like this was great and worth it!!!

    taking it easy....you can do that when you are 80 or 90? there is time for that later!!!!

    bunny hop: I think we want to see pics of you doing bunny hops!!!

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  12. Hey Kate, thanks for stopping by my blog --- if the adventure race doesn't work out the weekend of October 22, it would be great if you could make the Camp Ondessonk run. Please pass the word among your trail running friends as well. Thanks! - Anne

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