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Showing posts from July, 2012

BMX Lessons for Mountain Bikers

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Over the course of one winter I went from a 45 pound Downhill rig known as Red Frankenstein to a 25 pound Clayborn 20" BMX bike. You would think that the many lessons I learned racing Mountain Bikes would carry over onto the BMX track but they didn't. In fact, it turned out to work the other way around.
Mountain Biking, with its 26 inch wheels, full suspension set-ups, hydraulic disc brakes and so forth can act collectively as a cheaters combination of tools. Sitting on thousands of dollars of advanced technology allows the rider to forego many of the basic lessons which are needed to become a skilled rider. This is why I had to start all over again when I moved down to the small bikes. Luckily I have survived the initiation and can tell the tales of what I have discovered.

Balance: Bikers of all types pride themselves on their ability to balance on a bike. It's the first thing you learn as a little kid, it's the act you extend when you ride your first wheelie. On the…

Tempo Cyclery Time Trial

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What better way to break in my new Mountain Bike than to jump right into a fun race. Sarasota bike shop Tempo Cyclery holds a monthly Time Trial for their customers. The TT is free (Except for a few beers for the timer) and the atmosphere is friendly to all types of riders. Good thing too because I was the only person who showed up on a full blown Mountain Bike.

After digging out my old gear I realized that I was lacking the appropriate details. My only MTB jersey is long sleeve (A tad hot in 90 degree weather) and all of my gloves are full finger so I decided to go without. My bike doesn't have a water bottle cage so I stuffed one in my back pocket only to later realize that it was a twist off cap. Can you tell that I've been off the bike for 20 months?

We all met in the parking lot near Geckos restaurant on Clark road and then rode our bikes to the starting point at the corner of Honore and Palmer Ranch parkway. Here the sidewalk corner slowly filled up with cyclists eventu…

2011 Trek 4300 Mountain Bike

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After one solid year of being without a Mountain Bike, I was starting to lose my mind. Granted I have been shredding on two wheels but it was on a much smaller 20" BMX. Don't get me wrong I love BMX racing and while it does fulfill my desire for competition, it doesn't help my desire for exploration.
So, with little money but great desire I searched every corner of the internet for a good deal. When my lovely wife suggested I grab a cheap Walmart bike I could feel the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, there are some lines one never crosses.

My brother Kevin made the same suggestion but only after a friend of his had a minor breakthrough. The friend had bought a Genesis 29er for about $200. at Walmart. He then changed the fork for a Rock Shox and had a bike shop fine tune it. He had since survived several rocky rides in Massasoit State Park in Taunton, Massachusetts. 
I studied the Genesis 29er carefully. I hunted it down, sat on one in the store, played with the gea…

Superstitious Nonsense

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I have never believed that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Nothing terrible of any note has happened to me on that particular date. Perhaps I'm immune because I was born on Thursday the 12th. Who knows? Anyway, on this Friday the 13th I was all excited because Peddlers Bike Shop put a seat post adjuster on Terri's cruiser. This meant that I could hike up the seat and go for semi off-road bike ride.
Even though the sun was shining on my house there was a distant rumble, the sound of a low rolling storm. Looking out the front window I could see the darkening clouds in the distance. However, I was determined to go on my trail ride.

Challenging the shadows I set off at a blistering pace. The trail head was 1.5 miles away and easily reachable. Once in the woods the pure joy of the riding took over. This was my small escape from the world. Nothing beats the scent of the woods that fills your lungs as you shred through hardpack covered in pine needles. This is what I have missed ov…

Building a Solid Foundation

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When I returned to Mountain biking at 35 years old my fitness level was terrible. I was 25 pounds overweight and struggling with Bronchitis. Through Mountain Bike riding, training and racing I lost the weight and got in top form but I started having problems with my lower back.
At 37 when I started BMX Racing the same problem came up. My lower back just couldn't handle the workload of working, riding, training and racing. My back pain affected my outcomes, forcing me to miss more than one event.

I let the excuses rule for a short while. You know them - old age, genetic predispositions, Physical limitations  - the lies we tell ourselves when life seems too hard. Yet I couldn't deny that there were others older than me who managed to keep their bodies strong, healthy and competitive even into their sixties. There had to be a common sense answer. I looked through the literature to find out what was available and came upon Foundation Training.
This is the system used by Lance Arm…