How have you improved your riding in the last year?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How have you improved your riding in the last year?

    One of my aspirations is to become a better biker each year. Better climber, better descender, more creative, better attitude, better teacher/guide? Racer? Better party'er? Better trail builder?

    Goals and possibilities change each year with age and opportunities.

    What have you worked on? How? What was effective?

    I see folks who improve SO much in one year. And I see folks who stay stagnant for 10 years.

    So what has worked for you in the last year or 5? If nothing, what about the next year?

    How have you improved your riding in the last year?-danny-macaskill-ridge-still.jpg
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  2. #2
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    How have you improved your riding in the last year?

    When I lived in Idaho most of my rides were in the 10-15 mi range with 1500-2k gain.

    Coming here, I quickly realized that people do big rides, with steeper climbing! But of course more riding = better, so sign me up.

    Was super hard at first but I try to do one long ride every week. I've improved a lot! We did 33/5k in Nisene last weekend and I felt pretty good. I was thinking back to springtime when dirtvert, griz and TurfNSurf almost killed me doing 28/4700 in the same place. So to see a direct comparison improvement always feel good.

    Now, the downhill, that's harder because it's mostly skills and practice! I think I've improved by necessity as the stuff here is gnarlier than Idaho, but no way to measure.

    On a related note, I've spent a couple nights a week over the summer practicing wheelies and manuals. Just because. Tons of improvement on both, but still a long ways to go. I don't know how every kid I see can manual like crazy, do they practice a ton or does it just come naturally to some? Either way, I will get it down eventually.

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    i was pretty apprehensive about stuff at UC before this summer, but thanks to dirtvert and skyno for taking me on what seemed like a deathride back in March, I was able to go from "people ride that section!?!" to "oh ok, i got this, no big deal".

    big thanks to dirtvert for keeping the stoke levels high at all times!
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    I've improved my super slow-climbing speed to just slow. Finally strong enough to run a single ring up front, yay!

    New for this year is to ride where others are not. In many cases it means riding game trail in seldom visited areas. Sort of like backyard pool skateboarding for bikes. Super fun, off camber, narrow, low-key, hidden entrances, only an occasional invited guest, and NO STRAVA.


  5. #5
    fRIDEday makes me happy!
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    Cornering for me has been an area I have learned more about and have benn able to improve through practice. Learning to trust the tires more as you lean into a corner with better body position as well as bike handling. As I improved I also noticed how much energy I would waste when not cornering well, not scrubbing the brakes prior to entering the corner and then powering out of it.

    The beginning of this year was the culmination of a few months off the bike dealing with my Dad's final days battling cancer. I lost many of the gains I had from last season and physically as well as mentally beat down. Getting out of my head, having healthy expectations of my performance and just enjoying getting some miles in instead of chasing the next PR. Keeping a mental balance allowed me to be kind to myself which got me out on the bike more. Now I am in similar fitness as this time last year and happy to be riding.

  6. #6
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    Going from a 140/150 bike to a 160mm front and rear travel has given me way more confidence to just mash through the DH unlike before when I had to be more selective about my lines. Is this better/more skill? Dunno, but definitely faster. Oh, and trying to whip more!

  7. #7
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by FullBladdy View Post
    Cornering for me has been an area I have learned more about and have benn able to improve through practice. Learning to trust the tires more as you lean into a corner with better body position as well as bike handling. As I improved I also noticed how much energy I would waste when not cornering well, not scrubbing the brakes prior to entering the corner and then powering out of it.

    The beginning of this year was the culmination of a few months off the bike dealing with my Dad's final days battling cancer. I lost many of the gains I had from last season and physically as well as mentally beat down. Getting out of my head, having healthy expectations of my performance and just enjoying getting some miles in instead of chasing the next PR. Keeping a mental balance allowed me to be kind to myself which got me out on the bike more. Now I am in similar fitness as this time last year and happy to be riding.
    Cornering is most ultimate pursuit of all. It is the easiest to execute the most difficult to master.

    Everyone can get better at cornering and it will be a worthy cause.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Cornering is most ultimate pursuit of all. It is the easiest to execute the most difficult to master.

    Everyone can get better at cornering and it will be a worthy cause.
    Agreed! I liken it to a golf swing. Proper form and lots of practice will be the best help. Bad habits will linger for a long time and no matter how many swings or corners you hit it is always an ongoing process where one day you have it and the next maybe not so much.

  9. #9
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    By simply appreciating and enjoying my riding time more.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FullBladdy View Post
    Agreed! I liken it to a golf swing. Proper form and lots of practice will be the best help. Bad habits will linger for a long time and no matter how many swings or corners you hit it is always an ongoing process where one day you have it and the next maybe not so much.
    Definitely there are many bikes and many shapes and sizes of corners. Plus there's a huge array of soil conditions.
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  11. #11
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    A great quote from long time Zen practitioner Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia: "In Zen archery, for example, you forget about the goal – hitting the bull’s eye – and instead focus on all the individual moments involved in shooting an arrow. If you’ve perfected all the elements, you can’t help but hit the center of the target. The same philosophy is true for climbing mountains. If you focus on the process of climbing, you’ll end up on the summit."

  12. #12
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    Great question fc. This is my first year on a mountain bike (I'm 41) and it's all about learning. Just realized ok the last few weeks how I'm hanging off the back of the bike and not actually riding it but letting it ride me. Working on staying centered and attack more. Cornering basics also - I'm so upright now. Need to get the bike out from under me.

    Learning is why I love mtb. I've ridden road for ever and I still love it. But it's missing the mental game that mtb brings.

    Oren

  13. #13
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    What?!? Where's griz? Griz to the white courtousy phone please!
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  14. #14
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    i moved from Concord CA to Santa Rosa CA.

    that alone made me a better rider for the fact that there are better places to ride.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    By simply appreciating and enjoying my riding time more.
    Definitely agree with this.

    My biggest improvement has been the weight loss associated with my increased ride time. So far I have lost 40 lbs since February, my goal is to lose 50 lbs by new years. But, more than anything my enjoyment of riding has increased and my desire to ride more has increased as well. My gains haven't been really noticeable but I do find myself climbing higher and riding faster than ever before. I'm still fat and slow, lol. But I am less fat and definitely not quite as slow as before.

  16. #16
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    i figured out my 64oz growler fits in a frame bag. started ridin my dirtbike a lot more. i hookup my bicycle mechanic big time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by griffsterb View Post
    .

    On a related note, I've spent a couple nights a week over the summer practicing wheelies and manuals. Just because. Tons of improvement on both, but still a long ways to go. I don't know how every kid I see can manual like crazy, do they practice a ton or does it just come naturally to some? Either way, I will get it down eventually.
    On manual, get a dirt jumper or bmx, you hardly even have to try to sustain manual with the short chain stay. That was the biggest thing that improved my manual distance exponentially.

    Also, after trying for more than 20 plus year, i finally learnt the logic of how to pedal kick on one wheel a few sucessive times, also thanks to the dirt jumper with high rise handlebar. One wheel pedal kick has been the biggest break through in my quarter century of riding. It is just so difficult to understand how to pedal and jump at the same time.

    On a DJ bike, the position is so upright you find the balance point very easily, and it give you a lot more margin for error to play with before the wheel falls back down.

  18. #18
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    Just about to finish off my 4th year of being "into" riding and the time I spent improving my skills has paid off. I rode in my first long distance race (Motherlode Epic 32mi), not sure if I will do it again next year, but it is off the bucket list.

    Here is some of the stuff I worked on:
    • Much better at technical climbing, found out that clearing a good technical section going up feels almost as good as going down
    • Vast improvement in going through the rough going downhill, especially going through rock gardens
    • Able to pace myself better for long distance rides
    • Doing better keeping up with more advanced riders

  19. #19
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    I moved to Tahoe and started riding at least 5 days a week. Pretty much everything has improved dramatically

  20. #20
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    I started riding with regularity about four years ago and have since gone completely bonkers for the sport. This year I have focused on riding new trails as often as possible and have hit most of the major destinations in NorCal. It's made me a well rounded rider. Last year I was more focused on improving results (Strava times) on trails that I frequent regularly. My fitness, power, and balance (center of gravity) have all improved, but I am still miserable at manuals, bunny hops, etc. I think I am going to switch to flats for a while after reading the thread on it. I have also improved my cornering by focusing on getting my head around, but as said, it's so tough to master and I still think I'm losing a lot of speed there.

    There are so many sources of information out there now it's easy to make progress quickly. That includes the tech side of the sport. I have gone through five bikes (three of which I built) in the last four years and am now well versed in most aspects of 'mechanicing', outside of wheel building and suspension rebuilds. I think I finally have the perfect duo of bikes to cover nearly all riding scenarios outside of full face downhill riding. I've fiddled with wheel size, tire size, bar width, stem length, hta, about six different saddles, sag settings, chainstay lengths, you name it. I think I have two perfectly dialed bikes for me, but it's taken a lot of time to figure out what that means. Once you've got it, it makes a huge difference. That doesn't mean that I'm not salivating over the new Pivot Mach 5.5 though...!

  21. #21
    fc
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    Inspiring so far. Just need more photos.

    Relocating, becoming more appreciative of each ride, losing weight... love the responses so far.

    How about:

    - getting a better partner
    - learning how to tune the bike and maintain it better
    - learning how stretch, eat, hydrate better
    - learning how to focus more
    - learning how to hit the ground better (like judo)
    - recovering better from a crash or injury
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  22. #22
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    Ryan Leech MTB On-Line Courses Are Excellent!

    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    One of my aspirations is to become a better biker each year. Better climber, better descender, more creative, better attitude, better teacher/guide? Racer? Better party'er? Better trail builder?

    Goals and possibilities change each year with age and opportunities.

    What have you worked on? How? What was effective?

    I see folks who improve SO much in one year. And I see folks who stay stagnant for 10 years.

    So what has worked for you in the last year or 5? If nothing, what about the next year?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hey Mr. fc,

    I've paid for and taken Ryan's Wheelie, Manual and Bunny Hop courses. They've all been incredibly valuable! I'm considering taking both his Jump course and Balancing course. Frankly I've been surprised at how much assistance I've received from the on line training.

    Here is a great thread on my specific experience with his Wheelie course: http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/wh...e-1031511.html. You can read through it to see the comments I made starting back on 2/13/2017.

    I highly recommend any of his classes! Good luck with your learning process.

    There is no standing still....you're either moving forward or falling behind!

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  23. #23
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    I got a bike that is more capable than the rider. I wouldn't have tackled half the trails I've done recently on my old bike. Now I know that the bike is capable of tackling more technical terrain I am more likely to try it. If I'm trying stuff then I'm learning.

    Also I'm choosing to do long rides with lots of climbing at altitude. I'm slow, but I can ride all day at my sedate pace.

    - Jen
    Ride like a girl! :cornut:

  24. #24
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    I moved further from 'paved towns' to a more 'farm' town

    and..my 'garbage ride' has become an awesome ride, no matter how I slice it.
    I am becoming super fit again without having to try...so total win win win for me

    lots more trails and variation on how I spend my after work junk ride


    just by moving 10 miles away from where I was.

    what actually changed ? I can link this together with no road miles, or 2, or 5, or 8. so i can get in the big ring and hammer for sustained periods and let dust grow on my road bike and spend my roadie fitness on the mtb and ...hey I'm on the mtb hitting more chunk too...I'm being better rounded with less actual road biking.

    tl;dr: putting in more speed and miles on the mtb, on my garbage rides.
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Inspiring so far. Just need more photos.

    Relocating, becoming more appreciative of each ride, losing weight... love the responses so far.

    How about:

    - getting a better partner
    - learning how to tune the bike and maintain it better
    - learning how stretch, eat, hydrate better
    - learning how to focus more
    - learning how to hit the ground better (like judo)
    - recovering better from a crash or injury
    Judo is also good for improving relations with hikers and equestrians!

  26. #26
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    My gf wanted to hit more jumps so she got a couple days of training from lee(likesbikes) in Colorado and I tagged along. It was really good teaching and both of us advanced our skillz. Valmont bike park in boulder is worth the trip alone. How come we can't have something even close to that in the bay. Trestle bike park is so rad. How come we can't have soil like that in the sierras. The berms are so firm and natural. More brake bumps in the first turn at north star than on the whole mountain but I may have been hallucinating from the altitude(new strain?)

  27. #27
    Trail Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    And I see folks who stay stagnant for 10 years.
    Unfortunately, I fall into this category; we bought a house in 2003, and that was the end of it all...I still ride but, only twice a week.

  28. #28
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    I have improved my riding in *most* chunky situations, mainly by utilizing my dropper post more often. I used to dabble/dance/pick my way thru chunky terrain but I've learned I'm better off plowing thru at speed. Like mentioned by others, cornering has always been my weakest attribute whether it's been mountain bikes or dirt bikes...though I'll rail anything on a snowboard.

    If I have a goal for the future, it will be stretching out my rides as I need to prepare for thaw Whiskey 50 and similar rides in 2018.
    Carpe Diem!!

  29. #29
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    I have vastly improved over the last year, in all areas. I would say my results are from riding with faster and more experienced riders than me. Learning from them, and sessioning new features...i am able to hit most jumps while checking the mail where last year i wouldnt have it any.

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    i have improved my riding in *most* chunky situations, mainly by utilizing my dropper post more often. I used to dabble/dance/pick my way thru chunky terrain but i've learned i'm better off plowing thru at speed. Like mentioned by others, cornering has always been my weakest attribute whether it's been mountain bikes or dirt bikes...though i'll rail anything on a snowboard.

    if i have a goal for the future, it will be stretching out my rides as i need to prepare for thaw whiskey 50 and similar rides in 2018.
    w50 ftw! 👍
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  31. #31
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    I just signed up for a skills clinic. I've never done one before.

  32. #32
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    I just signed up for a skills clinic. I've never done one before.
    Hell ya. When I could no longer get faster climbing (over 50), I worked on my descending. I took 3 coaching clinics in one year.

    Descending is a skill sport and instruction is verrry helpful.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcin View Post
    My gf wanted to hit more jumps so she got a couple days of training from lee(likesbikes) in Colorado and I tagged along. It was really good teaching and both of us advanced our skillz. Valmont bike park in boulder is worth the trip alone. How come we can't have something even close to that in the bay. Trestle bike park is so rad. How come we can't have soil like that in the sierras. The berms are so firm and natural. More brake bumps in the first turn at north star than on the whole mountain but I may have been hallucinating from the altitude(new strain?)
    My wife took the Dirt Series bike clinic cause she sucked and was scared. I sat in both days and realized I did not know 60% of the skills they taught. I was not scared but I sucked.

    #tooproudtolearn
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  34. #34
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    Recovering weight weenie here, Air 9 RDO and Giant Anthem X Adv
    Put dropper posts on my bikes and run beefier tires
    Took a skills class a few years ago and am still implementing those lessons
    Increased fork travel from 100 to 120 for a slacker head tube
    Starting to keep up with faster descenders by letting go of the brakes, separating bike from body, and looking farther down the trail. Bonus, I get to see how they ride.
    Getting more comfortable with inches of air
    We take care of your technology needs so you can focus on what's important.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by FullBladdy View Post
    Cornering for me has been an area I have learned more about and have benn able to improve through practice. Learning to trust the tires more as you lean into a corner with better body position as well as bike handling. As I improved I also noticed how much energy I would waste when not cornering well, not scrubbing the brakes prior to entering the corner and then powering out of it.
    All of this. I'm not on the bike often enough for the past two years, and this has deteriorated the consistent cycling-fitness baseline that I enjoyed ~2009-10. Avg ride distance/footies has dropped to ~1/2 of what it was then. Around then I started thinking more about pumping, as pump tracks were the rage on this here forum. Without a track nearby, I tried to find spots during my rides where I could put the concept to work. Then Endor Flow opened up, which provided more consistent reps each pass.

    Like FullBladdy, I started consciously experimenting with trusting my tires at lean, and at a modestly increased speed. Getting my first dropper post was part of the inspiration too, since it dramatically changed my sense of cockpit and what it meant to ride dynamically.

    Still have long ways to go with all of these, okay by me. I prefer to live in the middle of the learning curve, as it makes seeking challenge a lot easier.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by oteich View Post
    Great question fc. This is my first year on a mountain bike (I'm 41) and it's all about learning.
    Oren
    Hopefully you're learning good technique in your first year. This is better in many ways than having to unlearn unconscious bad habits - riding off the back, braking in instead of before turns, looking in front of the wheel instead of down trail, avoiding the front brake - lots of stuff some of picked up as kids.

  37. #37
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    a couple things - though not necessarily all this year:

    1. Core fitness - not just strength, but flexibility. Seems that at 50, intentionally 'hardening' the body for the inevitable involuntary dismount is a good call. It's also helped me be more stable and composed on the bike. I like to try different styles of workouts for this but have been a regular on the Lagree fitness workouts for a couple years now (three mornings a week).

    2. utilizing training / coaching from other related areas. For me, automobile racing / coaching has taught me a ton about cornering technique and 'vehicle' dynamics and I'm always trying to apply that to that next ribbon of tasty turns.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderup View Post
    a couple things - though not necessarily all this year:

    1. Core fitness - not just strength, but flexibility. Seems that at 50, intentionally 'hardening' the body for the inevitable involuntary dismount is a good call. It's also helped me be more stable and composed on the bike. I like to try different styles of workouts for this but have been a regular on the Lagree fitness workouts for a couple years now (three mornings a week).

    2. utilizing training / coaching from other related areas. For me, automobile racing / coaching has taught me a ton about cornering technique and 'vehicle' dynamics and I'm always trying to apply that to that next ribbon of tasty turns.
    Good words. IHB for the IID... inevitable involuntary dismount.

    I often hear folks say "No need for pads, I don't plan on crashing today." Okay.
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  39. #39
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    Pad up, and get out of your comfort zone. I do that (code for total yardsale wipeouts ) in one way or another almost every ride. Also I work to ride new-to-me trails with the same vigor as trails I know well.

    How have you improved your riding in the last year?-1001sentiers-trip-enduro-mercantour-xxl-p1140765.jpg

  40. #40
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    I think getting a beater bike and practicing bailing out would go a long way in preventing injury and building confidence. When I used to skate big ramps as a kid knowing how to fall eliminated much of the fear and thus injury. Judo has taught me to be very comfortable with the ground, now taking that to technical trails is key.

    1:35 and 2:20 of this video are worth practicing.


  41. #41
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    this thread is great. I thought everyone came out of the womb shredding trails, nice to know I am not the only one still developing!

    I started the year with a shiny new out of the box mtb, my first dual suspension haivgg not ridden in 10 years, and then only minimally. So lots of room to go up!

    I had pretty good cardio and climbing, my improvement has been mostly in downhill confidence. I trust my bike now and can handle some modest technical features.

    I have trail ADD and so my instinct is to try new trails every time. It's been nice to slow down and repeat some more, to try to nail some features. It's been fantastic clearing segments that used to challenge me. My switchbacks are way better too.

    I've got zero of the classic skills.. bunny hops, manuals, etc. onwards to 2018! I do want to try a formal skills class, I think that will help lock it down.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshmj View Post
    this thread is great. I thought everyone came out of the womb shredding trails, nice to know I am not the only one still developing!

    I started the year with a shiny new out of the box mtb, my first dual suspension haivgg not ridden in 10 years, and then only minimally. So lots of room to go up!

    I had pretty good cardio and climbing, my improvement has been mostly in downhill confidence. I trust my bike now and can handle some modest technical features.

    I have trail ADD and so my instinct is to try new trails every time. It's been nice to slow down and repeat some more, to try to nail some features. It's been fantastic clearing segments that used to challenge me. My switchbacks are way better too.

    I've got zero of the classic skills.. bunny hops, manuals, etc. onwards to 2018! I do want to try a formal skills class, I think that will help lock it down.
    Right on. That's the right attitude.

    I know too many folks that ride the same now as they did 10 years ago. Cause they're done learning and are self-taught. Self taught wrong.

    And then I see others that are progressing every month. Advancing leaps and bounds, trying new trails, sucking up information at every opportunity.
    IPA will save America

  43. #43
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    I went from my hardtail to my fs and i think my riding skill got worse. Lost the flow moving around on the bike. Now i think im just standing on the pedals and counting on the suspension to do all the work. Got to fix my riding style.

  44. #44
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    I don't crash as much anymore :knocks-on-wood:

    Sent from my kltedv using Tapatalk
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  45. #45
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    I'm on year three of owning a mountain bike. I'm not to worried about getting better, but I love riding new stuff. I rarely ride the same place twice in a row. I'm getting pretty good ( much better at least) at finding off the beaten path awesome routes. Keeps it fun and interesting constantly not knowing what's around the next corner.

  46. #46
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    I changed up my strength training program and started wearing knee pads, one less thing to think about

  47. #47
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    I have spent alot of time with my 2yr old riding off road. Hes gone from 1 mile to 4+ miles with 200-400ft elevation gain, riding in dirt over the past year. Its absolutely crazy. For me since we move very slowly, ive learned how to track stand for minutes and learned how to wheelie longer, and most importantly its taught me riding has different purposes at different times. Before riding with him i focused on faster everything. Learning balance for me has made me a much better climber. I also switched from clips to flats for my many dismounts with my 2yr old rides, and ive found im faster up and down on flats when im not with him. Im looking forward to this coming year as he transitions to a pedal bike!

  48. #48
    Ride More - Suffer Less
    Reputation: TraxFactory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Cornering is most ultimate pursuit of all. It is the easiest to execute the most difficult to master.

    Everyone can get better at cornering and it will be a worthy cause.
    Could not agree more! its always been about the turns for me no matter what I am piloting

  49. #49
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    (1) riding more than last year, and mixing up workouts between steep-ass climbing (strength) and “roadie-esque” higher-speed flat rides (speed)
    (2) riding the fully-rigid singlespeed more… which I am convinced will help me later on taking faster lines over rocks/roots/features on a bike with suspension.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  50. #50
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    I started riding five years ago at age 50 and within a year I was about as fast going uphill as I am now, but descending has been a long process and I'm still not all that fast. I started racing a bit this year (three CCCX races and the Old Cabin Classic). I'm still working on technical uphill and downhill as well... skills are not that good but I'm able to clear many obstacles that I would have walked a few years ago.

    I find I have to re-learn a lot of skills if I don't keep at it. For example if I go a few months without riding Santa Teresa, I'll dab everywhere when I go back. However over time it gets a bit better and easier to get the skills back.

  51. #51
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    Biggest thing for me this year was learning how to adjust my suspension.
    This included volume reducers "tokens".

    It has turned me from an average rider into an advanced one.

  52. #52
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Great thread. Thanks for starting.

    Can we say how have we improved over the last 5 years (been into mtb almost 25)?


    Cornering. A lifetime's pursuit. By trying new techniques, or practicing old ones, I'm always working on cornering harder and faster. Only a few weeks ago I learned an excellent new technique that allowed a breakthrough.

    DH. Got back into DHing about 4 years ago and really dialed the DH rig. The local mountain is double black old school steep tech. After I ride that for a weekend, getting back on my AM rig - well, it feels like a toy I can throw around. And, the speeds on regular trails now feel like slo-mo.

    Flats. Don't use them every ride, but often enough.

    Bike set up. Always changing to keep up with my progression. Especially dialing suspension, and tire choice.

    Trails. Always building and riding new, harder stuff, and working on being able to go back and forth between riding aggressively and smoothly.

  53. #53
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    Day 4 on flats today. Definitely caught myself trying to cheat (and failed most of the time) on trying to lift up while trying to punch over obstacles **but** I couldn't believe how natural going down thru some chunky, twisty sections was. I actually thought to myself "I forgot I'm on flats" as everything was natural and I wasn't having to think about technique. I was hitting small drops and popping off small features w/ no issues.
    Carpe Diem!!

  54. #54
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    I am wishing I was a decade or two younger so that I could practice some of the stuff seen in Youtube videos of Danny McAskill and Ali Clarkson… seriously talented dudes, it’s really inspiring seeing stuff done on bikes that sort of defies the laws of gravity and physics.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  55. #55
    Totally, and to the max.
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    The past year has been full of change (selling house, buying house, wife quit work, kids in new school, etc.) which has taken its toll on the stoke of riding. That is a complex thought since I am hardwired to be obsessively active hence leading to some existential issues with the thought of my activity level winding down. That said, I pushed through and forced myself on the bike enough times to get the stoke back where it needs to be.

    Here's my top 10 lessons I learned:

    1. It's not important to feel like riding. It's just important to ride. I've suited up before and sat at my desk debating actually riding, as the daylight waned. I finally begrudgingly got on my bike and put an hour of hill repeats in. I came back happy and wondering why I even hesitated.

    2. No ride is too short. 30 minutes is enough to reset my mood from "life kinda sucks" to "let's chill on the deck!"

    3. Dial in your garage, your tools, your bike, and your riding gear. Make it super easy to just hop on the bike and go. Full bottles in the fridge. Bike cleaned, chain already lubed. Make getting out the door for a spontaneous ride easy, because if an afternoon presents itself, and you're ready, it can be a ride for the history books.

    4. Never overlook the post ride. I'm all about the camping gear and a quick trip to the market. A folding table and a flame with some ingredients turns the typical dirt parking lot into a place of fellowship real fast. This is now as important to me as the actual physicality of the ride. This kind of interaction is my church. It feeds my soul.

    5. I'll sacrifice a shred sesh on a Saturday and take my 7 yr old out. As slow and not endorphin-inducing as it is, it's probably the best way to spend my time. Seeing trail riding through a kids eye is amazing. And the ride always ends with ice cream.

    6. Air pressure. Tires and suspension. Dial it in, on the trail. Ride infinitely better.

    7. Every now and then, do a ride where half way into it, there's a swimming break. There's no easier way to feel like a kid again. #gardenofeden

    8. New socks are the best, cheapest upgrade.

    9. Eating vegetables all day balances out a day you choose not to ride when you can.

    10. It's totally okay to be lazy, if it is good for your head. Just ride tomorrow.

  56. #56
    May contain nuts
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    Good words Kmax.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  57. #57
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    ^Right. On.

    As for me, after a very slow recovery to a nasty knee injury from a crash, I've learned a ton in year 2 of MTB.
    I'm much better at cornering, though I do sometimes lack commitment to a hard lean and end up too wide. I'm still a little scared of losing traction up front. Totally momentum killing. This is probably where I stand to gain the most too.

    Bunny hops - check
    Drops - check
    Manuals - sorta check; I can't hold them for that long and I'm kind of scared to do them at speed.
    Endo-turns - not at all. Want to get better though.
    Jumps - much better; I can hit most (though not every time) of the jumps on Corral without casing. Still working on keeping or gaining momentum out of the berms though. Need to get better at whips and adding some style points.
    Cardiovascular/leg endurance - significantly better than last year.
    Fun - seems to just get better and better.

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