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Winter isn't exactly the most popular time to pick up cycling, but if you're a commuter or just a die-hard cyclist, cold weather and snow won't get in your way. Here are a few tips to help keep you safe and warm from Lifehacker.com
Before we look at what you can do with your bike, it's best to make sure you're correctly outfitted for the cold. read more....
I made a special effort to shrug off all commitments and get to the Interbike dirt demo this year, I have heard great things and thought it was time I checked it out. I arrived into Vegas at 11.50 with the goal of making it for the last shuttle at 2.30pm out to the demo. Vegas was calm and overcast when I got there, however from what I heard it sounds like I arrived at the perfect time, just after the storm passed. Earlier that day the dirt demo had been more of a mud fest with only the hardcore hitting the trails with some serious rain around them.
It was my birthday last week and totally contrary to my personality instead of heading out and hitting the trails I just hung out and took a day off. It was awesome to sit back and relax with the knowledge of a weekend of biking just on the horizon. This weekend past was the annual Silver Mtn Brewsfest. Silver mountain is in Kellogg, Idaho and a great place to go downhill. The Brewsfest is a super cool event; for less than the price of a regular lift ticket you get to ride the mountain bike trails, try out beers from 30 different breweries and listen to cool music.
It is not the most extensive bike park you'll ever visit but the trails are fun and super long. From the top of the world's longest single pole gondola back to the base you drop 2,200 ft, its a long way down! Three runs and I was revved up and loving life but the body was tired and ready to eat some food and drink some beer. The runs are a little bumpy but have fun flow, a few challenging sections and lots of smiles at the bottom. The gondola ride gives the legs and arms time to recover then downhill we go. To make it a full weekend you can stay on mountain and enjoy the water park too where they have the Flowrider so surfing and biking in one day is possible at Silver Mountain. This is the second year I've attended and it is definitely an annual event; check it out next year we will be there!! The more friends the more fun to be had!
After the weekend I was a little jaded, slightly stiff and in need of some yoga. BettyGoHard and Kerry Yoga had our first Hiking and Yoga event on Monday night - what a way to start the week off on the right foot! We hiked to the top of Raven Rock trail to the lookout overlooking the the town of Trail and the Columbia river - what a view!! Overlooking the Columbia, Agathe led us through a half hour gentle yoga practice; normally I have trouble stilling my mind and really getting into my practice but with the wind blowing gently and the view of the mountains it was the best yoga I have done for as long as I can remember. Thank you to the ladies that joined us and the cute guy at the bottom with the amazing quinoa fruit parfait it was the perfect way to end a perfect experience. Next week we will be doing Elder Trail high above the Columbia on the other side of Trail. Maybe I will see you there.
Have a great week
I am about to give you the key to speed. One phrase. Are you ready?
Don't use the brakes.
Don't look so disappointed. What were you expecting, Magic? I don't mean to not use them at all, just use them less.
One of the best ways to improve your riding is to go with someone that is faster than you. Not way faster, so that you get discouraged, but a bit faster, so you really have to work to keep up. Once you've found someone that fits the bill, try following them through some downhill singletrack. Notice how the gap keeps getting bigger? You're not doing much pedaling so it's not likely a strength issue. What could it be? I'll tell you, the faster rider is using their brakes less.
Have you ever been on a ride when, for some reason, you had no brakes, or a lot less than you wanted? Maybe a cable broke or your rims iced up or something. I know it was scary. Careening downhill, unable to slowdown to a comfortable speed, you thought you were going to die. But you survived, and you went down that hill a lot faster than you otherwise would have. If you want to go faster every ride you need to harness a bit of that experience and apply it in a more controlled manner.
Moving out of our comfort zone can make us apprehensive. To try to calm the fears of your rational mind have your irrational mind tell it this: Speed is our friend; Speed brings stability; Stability is good. The wheels underneath do more than just hold us up. They also act as gyroscopes, like those spinny things you may have played with as a kid. They're also the things that keep spacecraft stable in the vacuum of space. The faster a gyroscope spins, the more rigidity it has. This means the faster your wheels are turning the more they will fight to stay upright and pointed straight ahead, just what we want. Now you know why sometimes when you get anxious and slow down you biff, but if you stay fast and ride it out you make out okay and look like a hero.
The hard part is knowing how fast is really too fast and when to say whoa. You can set yourself up with an exercise to explore these limits. Find a section of downhill singletrack steep enough that you won't have to pedal much and fast enough that you definitely have to brake for the corners. (Keep IMBA happy and make sure you won't encounter any hikers or horses on the way down). Make your first run at your normal blistering speed. Try to note where you apply the brakes for each corner. On the next run, each time you reach for the brakes fight the impulse for one second. Remember that every bit of speed that you can carry through the turn is speed you don't have to gain back on the next straight. And that's energy in the bank, my friend, better than money. A little bit saved every corner can really add up over the course of a trail.
In all your subsequent training runs try to brake just a tick later than the time before. It is super important to ensure that you are only using one or two fingers on your brakes - no three, four or five fingers - what are you holding on with? Although some might suggest that a tip to avoid the temptation to brake too early or when you really don't need to is to ride with all eight fingers wrapped around the bars. I personnally subscribe to the theory that you should always be brake ready including uphill climbs.
The key to pushing the envelope is to do it gradually, in small increments. Riding a downhill with your front brake disconnected may make teach you how to go really fast. More likely, it'll teach you just how brittle collarbones really are. Even though improvements may seem small one corner at a time, it will add up and it will make a difference. You worked way too hard for that speed to just turn it into heat for no good reason.
Good luck and stay safe!
Thanks to Dirtworld.com Staff for more tips and biking information visit them at www.dirtworld.com
o May 8th – Mothers Day Ride Clinic
o May 27-29 - Cindy Devine Skills Camp
o June 4th –Ladies Introduction to Off-Road Riding
o June 5th – Ladies Park Clinic
o June 4th – Ladies Introduction to Off-Road Riding
· Nelson – Working with Gerricks Cycle to create clinics for Nelson
o May 13–15 - Ladies Off-road Tri Clinic –focus on running and biking
o June 11th - Ladies Intro to off road riding Clinic
o June 12th - Ladies Intro to off road riding Clinic
· Silver Star
o July 15,16&17 – Fourth Annual BettyGoHard Loeka Silver Star Biking Weekend
Local Summer Camps
o July 5,6&7 – Rossland beg/int – 8-13yrs Girls
o July 11,12&13 – Rossland int – 10-15yrs Girls
o July 18,19&20 – Trail beg/int – 8-13yrs Girls
o July 21&22 – Trail beg/int – 8-13yrs Boys
o August 15&16 – Castlegar beg/int – 8-13 Girls
o August 22&23 – Castlegar beg/int – 8-13 Boys
· Working with Grand Forks Recreation & Gerricks Nelson to develop camps for Grand Forks and Nelson
Local Ride Series
o April 6th – 27th – Four Week XC Biking and Chocolate – strengthening and conditioning
o May 11th – June 1st – Four Week XC Biking and Chocolate
o May 23rd - 13th – Four Week XC Biking and Chocolate
o May 24th – 14th – Four Week Beginner Downhill Biking and Chocolate
o May 26th – 16th - Four Week Intermediate Downhill Biking and Chocolate
Local Hiking Series
o April 21st – 12th – Four Week Hiking Series
o April 19th – 10th – Four Week Hiking Series
o August 13th & 14th – Camping retreat: Hike to the Natural Arch and Dogwood Falls on the Arrow Lake just North of Castlegar