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  1. #1
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    Have you ever, well, just ran out of talent?

    From time to time, I've felt kind of guilty for not doing an extra something myself, aside from pump track, and regular rides, to try and stay stronger, faster and better. Had to ask, because recently someone I know ate it pretty bad, and really, I felt his skills on the bike were to blame, while he cited his overall fitness was good enough to do anything. This is a guy that climbs, plays soccer, hanglides and does just about everything in between, including stepping on the bike.
    And really, since I've been seeing all this cross fit, cross training, mud running, pushup, weight lifitng type training all over the place becoming so popular, is it wrong I think all that takes away from my bike handling skills? When does it pay to stay off the bike and hone my fitness lifting a tractor tire? Won't I forget the feel of the side knobs and am I wrong to disagree with the logic in saying "I spent an extra hour doing cross fit last week, I should not have crashed, I'm super fit".
    I know fitness keeps us safe(er) from injury, but what am I missing? Should I feel guilty that all I do is ride bikes?
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  2. #2
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    Yes, I've run out of skill. I'm not sure I would say talent, but more learned skills. That said, I'm definitely not gifted in anything dealing with dexterity.

    Fitness and skill go hand in hand, I guess when to stay off depends on what your goals are and what you're willing to sacrifice to achieve those goals. Are you aiming to be a top tier pro? Or do you ride for fun?

    I'm pretty cautious. I know my limitations, most of them have to do with higher speed handling. I'm also not fit, cardio stuff isn't what I've ever done, so biking in general is a very large shift for me.

    Running out of mental capacity? No, but most problems happen when balls are bigger than brains.

  3. #3
    gran jefe
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    I run out of talent all the time. I have the pedal marks on my shins to prove it.

    If you want to get better at riding hard, then ride hard. If you want to get better at flipping tractor tires, flip tractor tires. The best exercise is whatever you can make yourself do 3 or 4 times a week.

  4. #4
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    I write checks my body can't cash. Then I bounce.

    I know if I work out on my rowing machine, I am much better the following windsurf season. Rowing machines give a full body workout and I feel more powerful, less intimidated by heavy wind. It's a good feeling.

    When I coached skiing, I had students that didn't want to do upper body work outs, just legs and abs. I explained that you need to work out your whole body, for when you crash is nothing else.

    A lot of motorcycle riders are learning how to "balance first, go fast second". Riding trials bikes will give you a new sense of balance. Bicycle trials, just learning how to hop is good.

    I've seen some guys that are super fit and all they do is play basketball. I find it rather boring, but throwing a ball and running around seems better than sitting on gym machines. If I had the space, I'd get a hoop in my backyard.

  5. #5
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    Ha. Definitely not trying to be a top tier anything.. The days of my youth are long, long gone. I may be considered a top tier beer drinker in my older age..
    I appreciate your response Holland, I posted to read someone elses take on a situation, where someone crashed on a ride I was on, and refused to admit they should have scaled down their speed to match their ability. Most of us are aware of the amount of ego a lot of riders take on in cycling.
    However, I was tight lipped then and kept to myself, and feel it was appropriate to read what other people thought about it.. Just seems so easy to ride more, know the trail, know your bike, rather than adding mountain biking to the list of "rad sh*t you do". That's all..
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  6. #6
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    Being physically fit is good and can even help reduce injuries, but is not a replacement for bike handling skills.

  7. #7
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    Everyone has their way of participating in the sport and nothing is wrong with that. Many reasons exist for people to cross train with biking and something else. For me keeping as much of a solid core by working out with my resistance training is one way to keep my body "tuned" for when I am out on the bike. Very little of what can be done in a gym setting will replicate honing actual skill sets while biking. When my core is stronger I can work my muscles in a better way which increases power in my riding.

    Complimenting your sport of choice with others keeps me from getting burned out. Now that I live in a place where I can bike pretty much all year I enjoy the snowboarding season that much more because it is a change of pace. I am also in rock solid shape for snowboarding because of all the mountain biking.

    As far as riding above your skill level and crashing physical fitness only plays part of a role and not the main one. I agree totally that knowing your bike, trail and physical limitations are they key factors but you also have the sh@t can happen factor and no amount of training can prevent that in it's entirety. Not admitting they should have scaled back is just plain tough guy talk which we are all guilty of a little bit. Have your friend watch the sh@t mountain bikers say video so he can laugh at himself a bit.

  8. #8
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    In the spring and summer months, there is plenty of "talent" at St. Joe's in Los Gatos

    Really... in truth - I have better bike handling skills than I do bike fitness. I gas on climbs, but I can spin 360's, bunnyhop, wallride from a bunnyhop, feeble grind, do ground tricks, ride trials - all that. I rarely crash and I think it's years of BMX and crashing constantly has helped me learn how to "save" it.

    I almost get a little giggle when grown men on MTB's get super excited when they learn how to front wheel pivot 180*and roll backwards. I never say it out loud, but to myself I'm thinking "Um, I learned how to do that when I was 12..."

    My goal is to get my fitness to the highest level I can possible so I can marry that to my semi-decent bike handling skills. I've come to realize that mad cardio some guys have take years to build. So I'm patient. After 4 years of riding MTB's, I'm just now starting to feel somewhat okay about my climbing fitness. I think 10 years into this thing, I may be an okay climber.

    I never believed in cross-fit training to enhance bike riding. I think for overall fitness and strength, it's okay - but it will ever replace seat time. Never.

    So... no. Don't be ashamed you just ride bikes and do nothing off the bike to "compliment" your riding. I totally agree with KevXR (as a fellow moto rider), riding trials - even at a local school yard with benches and planter boxes - pay SO much in dividends. But... even when I try to coax these guys around here to do a high school quad urban trials session, I get "That ain't my cup of tea..."

    Every MTB'er should be able to pedal up and pedal off a 16" high bench seat - and bunnyhop a curb. How many "fit" guys can actually do that without eating a corner of cement?

    Always be in the BMX state of mind.

  9. #9
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    If you crash, you crash. It could be the sand, rocks, or even just a bad day.

    Overall fitness didn't cause it--that's a red herring. Shoot, even if you road bike more than you mountain bike it can affect your bike handling skills. Just a matter of how much time you spend doing something else other than MTB (if that didn't make sense, lemme know). Crosstraining is good for preventing burnout, overtraining, or just even having another passion.

    Most of us sit too much, and then we go ride (sitting position mostly). I do other exercises that involve a more extended position to get the muscles counter to cycling happier (swimming, martial arts, yoga, weight training) and make mountain biking more fun for me.

    But, during prime riding season, most everything else goes by the wayside for saddle time. During the winter and wet, I ride 2-3 times a month instead of 3-4 times a week.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    In the spring and summer months, there is plenty of "talent" at St. Joe's in Los Gatos

  11. #11
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    ride when it's light out, skip the TV at night and go work out when its dark. For me it seems to give an excellent balance. Doing the two gives you the fitness and strength to really enjoy technical trails at speed. Hey at my age I need all the help I can give myself
    Warning: Consumption of alcohol may make you think the person on the barstool next to you is attractive

  12. #12
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    I personally believe more in doing the activity you want to be good at and building the strength as needed. If I want my legs stronger for climbing, I'm going to go out and climb more, not go to the gym and do leg workouts. It just makes more sense, and you know you are working the muscles you need. Plus it's more enjoyable.
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  13. #13
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    But wait- I had no talent to start with?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuLax18 View Post
    I personally believe more in doing the activity you want to be good at and building the strength as needed. If I want my legs stronger for climbing, I'm going to go out and climb more, not go to the gym and do leg workouts. It just makes more sense, and you know you are working the muscles you need. Plus it's more enjoyable.
    Wow, Stu... that just makes too much sense!

    I can't stand these "Weight training for mountain biking" how-to's and such. I saw one a guy posted, and it was a video of a bodybuilder dude "instructing" on training for mountain biking, and not one mountain bike was shown in the video! Then, the OP says that the guy a.k.a. "instructor" who posted the video didn't even own a MTB.

    I guess we're a little spoiled here in California because of the great weather, but I wish people would stop with this type of stuff. Guys talking about how they do squats to be better climbers, etc. Silliness.

    I work out in my garage, but it's for strength and conditioning - not mountain biking. I focus on exercises that will lend themselves more to riding, but that's about the extent of it.

    Now that CCCX is upon us, I'm not messing with weight training.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittylube View Post
    But wait- I had no talent to start with?
    I'm with you on that!

  16. #16
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    Yes. I suffer from ROOTS. Running out of talent syndrome

  17. #17
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    And it's not like our local trails here in Toro are all that forgiving, either. In all fairness, and after reading all the repliesd to my post, it really would be more diplomatic of me to understand, maybe the guy does all that other stuff just to hang in there?

    Last time I checked, 2100' vert in a 12mi ride is not exactly easy to everybody, per-say. I think it's safe to assume that in this case, the majority of people on this thread work out to stay fast.

    Good Ol Nor Cal, keeping sh*t real- (and some others outside our calling area too) You guys really are true purists in the sport. Much thanks.
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  18. #18
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    Wonder if these guys ever question what more can be done on a bike. They didn't get here doing push-ups!!! The last trick is INSANELY good!



    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    ...maybe the guy does all that other stuff just to hang in there?
    Never underestimate the "alpha-male" mentality. A lot of guys do this "extra" stuff to feed their ego. MTB'ing is hard. You have climbing, but descending and navigating with speed on a downhill takes balls, skill, strength and endurance that is just overlooked.

    How often do you meet Mr. Alpha Male who will be completely aggressive on a climb, just to white knuckle tip-toe on a downhill? And going downhill is supposed to be "easy". I say some guys don't like that feeling, or they don't have the confidence to maintain control of a bike in that situation, so it's easier to do mud runs and push-ups and squats, where you don't have to deal with your inadequacies.

    Conversely, you get a lot of guys who are fast on downhills, but refuse to climb.

    Believe me, I'd love to just go downhill and play on technical stuff all day - but I suck at climbing, so I have to suck in my ego and go climb.
    Last edited by Dion; 01-07-2013 at 02:05 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    Wow, Stu... that just makes too much sense!

    I can't stand these "Weight training for mountain biking" how-to's and such. I saw one a guy posted, and it was a video of a bodybuilder dude "instructing" on training for mountain biking, and not one mountain bike was shown in the video! Then, the OP says that the guy a.k.a. "instructor" who posted the video didn't even own a MTB.

    I guess we're a little spoiled here in California because of the great weather, but I wish people would stop with this type of stuff. Guys talking about how they do squats to be better climbers, etc. Silliness.

    I work out in my garage, but it's for strength and conditioning - not mountain biking. I focus on exercises that will lend themselves more to riding, but that's about the extent of it.

    Now that CCCX is upon us, I'm not messing with weight training.
    I'm not gonna say that doing leg work won't help you, but obviously the best way to build strength for a task is by doing that task. There are certainly ways that you can workout and help yourself, as many of the top pro riders have rigorous workout regimens. For example, I've noticed my shoulders seem to get sore, so I want to start doing some easy shoulder workouts just to strengthen them up a bit. This is something that wouldn't come from riding, but should help my riding. Pretty much like you said with working out in your garage.

    There's a reason most bikers always have skinny upper bodies and huge legs.
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  20. #20
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    Sh*t just got real....

    HELL YEAH Dion!

    Well.. I'm useless at work for a while.. At least the next 3:46 (times 2 or 3)

    Thanks.
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  21. #21
    I just wanna go fast...
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    If you're out building skills, you're going to crash at some point. That can happen any time a person pushes themselves hard. Call it running out of talent, learning a lesson or taking a digger, that's just how it goes.

    I ran out of talent on my moto last week. Just before I dropped in, I knew it could go 50/50 either way but I figured it would be a good challenge for a someone new to the sport. I felt pretty good about making it 90% of the way

  22. #22
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bdamschen View Post
    If you're out building skills, you're going to crash at some point. That can happen any time a person pushes themselves hard. Call it running out of talent, learning a lesson or taking a digger, that's just how it goes.

    I ran out of talent on my moto last week. Just before I dropped in, I knew it could go 50/50 either way but I figured it would be a good challenge for a someone new to the sport. I felt pretty good about making it 90% of the way
    You're going to need a bigger yard to turn your pump track into a motorcorss track home slice! And lots of dirt!
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  23. #23
    Weird huh?
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    [QUOTE=Dion;10047084]In the spring and summer months, there is plenty of "talent" at St. Joe's in Los Gatos


    I snorted
    Poaching Demo...that's why we can't have nice things...

  24. #24
    I just wanna go fast...
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    You're going to need a bigger yard to turn your pump track into a motorcorss track home slice! And lots of dirt!
    Yeah, she aint gonna fit. Something I'm going to be running out of talent a lot until I get to ride more.

  25. #25
    gran jefe
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    OTOH, to improve my cardio for the xc race i'm doing in the spring, I'm prolly better off going to spin classes than riding on trials. i do better at staying on the rivet in spin class than i do on the trails.

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