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  1. #1
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    Hello and first post

    It is my first time posting online anywhere. My husband (mward) is on mtbr all the time and I decided today I would post my own.

    For the first time in my life I rode Landahl today and didn't leave a trail of explitives the entire way. I didn't have hateful thoughts, and wasn't secretly transforming every trail name into my own choice words. I left feeling completely amazed at such an awesome ride.

    I started riding with my husband a couple years ago, and we have come to love the sport. We mostly ride on the Katy trail since it is in our backyard, but we love singletrack and we have raced the past 2 summers in the kansas city area. I had a nasty fall last year, and my riding wasn't the same since. I kept with it for a little while, but late this season I told him that I was completely done. I was tired of walking 80% of the trails because I didn't know how to ride over rocks, roots, logs, switchbacks...you name it. It was very demeaning that I couldn't even seem to ride the family trail. So anyways, I said I was done unless I could gain some skills to match the areas that we were constantly riding. My husband, not wanting me to quit decided he would do anything and everything to help make next season more enjoyable for me.

    First he got me a custom 29er by Rob Pennel. This bike is designed specifically with a woman's geometry in mind. It is a beautiful bike with candy apple blue and special details in every nook. I am not much on techy stuff, but the bike fits...perfect. I thought my other bike was perfect until I had the opportunity to really ride this bike.

    The other thing my husband did for me was sign me up for a betterride skills clinic by Gene Hamilton. This runs through some of the basic core skills that every mountain biker eventually learns. I am not a very patient person, so learning on my own was out of the question. I realize that wrecking is some part of riding, but there are only so many times you can wreck before you actually get hurt. My numbers were getting scary. I didn't want to take any more chances.

    Wow!! The week after taking the clinic, and really being able to ride my 29er at Landahl was amazing. The trails somehow seem easier. Is this the same trails we have ridden (walked) in the past. Unbelievable how much better I I was riding. I only got off my bike twice as opposed to walking most of the trail. Anything over the easy trail in the past was just frustrating. We rode one of the black trails and absolutely everything seemed easier. I couldn't believe that this was the same trail that had given me fits before. I was able to get up every hill, over almost every rocky section, over logs, I flew through the grassy sections...everything.

    The uphills, grassy sections, and some rocky sections, I can contribute to my bike, but the rest was from Gene's clinic. Since I love to ride so much, it was so important to me to try and do the best that I can. I may not be super competitive, but the fact that my husband and I can enjoy doing something together everyday and have a great time, is worth more than gold.

  2. #2
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    Good for you! Gene is a fantastic coach - I've done a DH clinic with him and he was REALLY motivating and helpful.

    It does take some time before riding really becomes fun. Don't let the falls get you down - it keeps getting better and better!

  3. #3
    Nat
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    Somebody married mward??? How in the heck...

    Just kidding; I like the guy.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by connie
    Good for you! Gene is a fantastic coach - I've done a DH clinic with him and he was REALLY motivating and helpful.

    It does take some time before riding really becomes fun. Don't let the falls get you down - it keeps getting better and better!
    Thanks for the encouragement. I am sure that I will stick with this sport, falls and all. It is already great and now for the first time, I feel like I can really enjoy myself on some of the technical single track. I can't wait until next race season just to compare times. It shaves alot when you can at least stay on the bike.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Somebody married mward??? How in the heck...

    Just kidding; I like the guy.
    LOL. That is the first thing I read this morning and I almost spit out my coffee. What a hoot.

  6. #6
    life is a barrel o'fun
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    I guess their first child would be called "nward"

    Congratulations on the progress! I love these stories. You have so much to look forward to and it's gonna be a blast
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  7. #7
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lward

    For the first time in my life I rode Landahl today and didn't leave a trail of explitives the entire way. I didn't have hateful thoughts, and wasn't secretly transforming every trail name into my own choice words. I left feeling completely amazed at such an awesome ride.
    .
    This made me laugh out loud. There ARE still occasional days like this, but the one that you had today, the awesome one? You will have more and more of those. Congrats and welcome to mtbr!

  8. #8
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    Welcome

    Well, hello and welcome! Trust me. We have ALL left our share of expletives on trails and called our bikes very unsavory names. I've heard nothing but great things about the Gene Hamilton seminars and I am glad its helping. I think you'll find that somewhere you reach the point where your body will automatically know what to do and you can actually relax and enjoy the ride instead of sweating every obstacle.

    Keep on riding!

  9. #9
    cyclemaven.net
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    Great Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Lward
    the fact that my husband and I can enjoy doing something together everyday and have a great time, is worth more than gold.
    ...but this left a little tear in my eye. I know just how you feel.
    Welcome!
    Donate now!
    I'm a roadie this year for AIDS LifeCycle. Find out more by going here:
    http://girlmeetsbike.org

  10. #10
    Complete Bastard
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    My wife isn't physically connected to the computer like I am, she suggested I post a pic of her bike. Here it is:



    She rode so much better on the last outing since our bike clinic. Her skills have definitely increased about 300%. I used to have to wait for her and trail junctions, no more, she was right behind me the whole way on saturday, she cleaned a lot of stuff she wouldn't have even attempted before like lots of exposure, switchbacks, and rocky stuff. I was super proud of her. During the camp we rode up to this long rocky downhill and I stopped to figure out how I felt about it and she came blasting right around me and bombed the hill like it was nothing. Damn! Owned by my own wife! Seriously I was majorly proud. Some people have given me grief for the times she rides better than me, like when she beat me by 3 minutes last year during a race. Someone made a comment as I finished that my wife finished 3 minutes ahead of me. I was grinning ear to ear to hear it and asked, "Where's your wife?" I love riding with her, it's about the best thing in the world.

    So.. nward eh? Nicole or Nathan? What about kid #2, it'll be O. Oliver? I don't think so. Ophelia? Maybe we can go the other way and use K. Kelly. Works for boys and girls.

  11. #11
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    Thanks everybody. I love the support and encouragement from you. I can't wait until the next riding season, even though we are still planning to ride this winter. I have lots of time to work on all my newfound skills. :P

  12. #12
    Shaman
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    Glad to hear your first ride after the camp went so well! If you keep doing the drills and practicing perfectly and you will keep improving!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lward

    The other thing my husband did for me was sign me up for a betterride skills clinic by Gene Hamilton. This runs through some of the basic core skills that every mountain biker eventually learns.
    I hope I didn't give you the impression that all mountain bikers eventually learn these skills because most mountain bikers never learn half of them. I know many "good" riders (they race in the expert, semi-pro and pro classes) that have been riding for over 15 years that don't know the "core skills". I have been mountain biking for 18 years the last 11 of those years as a pro racer and I learned one of the core skills that I taught you last year. I still don't have all of the core skills I teach mastered, on the trail I will still revert to an old bad habit sometimes. I would estimate that less than 8% of all avid mountain bikers know the core skills and less than 5% can show some degree of use of all the skills. As you practice what you have learned and get better at those skills you will find yourself doing technical moves that fitter riders with much more experience cannot do.

    Smile and enjoy the ride.

    Gene
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

  13. #13
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    Thanks Gene. Our first ride was unbelievable. I can't wait to get back on the trails and for next race season. That was the best thing that Marcus and I could've done. I will let my friends know what a fantastic coach you are and look forward to many years of great riding. Thanks again. (By the way, I didn't mean that all mountain bikers learn the core skills; I just assume they know more than me since everyone is way faster.

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