Sunday - DH Day
Had a cracking day at hopton on the big bike n goog n Johnstuff. Trail riding was going really well, although I admit my jumping technique left a little to be desired on occasion! Still, it was just another day of feeling happiness at being able to whizz about on muddy trails with enough confidence to really enjoy every moment. Monday - Jedi Training Day
I'm going to write this up as a blog entry on it's own, so won't say too much here other than it's suffice to say it was, yet again, more than worth the money (and the long journey) to get tuition off of the best coach I have ever come across.
Here's a link to Jedi's blog write up for the day. http://ukbikeskills.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... yself.htmlTuesday - Recovery
One thing I didn't mention was the not-so-small crash I had on Monday when I failed to make a decision on landing area until it was too late
I ended up with two bruised knees, a bit of lower back pain, but an fair bit of shoulder and neck pain. Nothing major that painkillers wouldn't ease, but certainly major enough to need time off riding and the gym. Wednesday, Thursday - Scotland
A 1000 mile round trip to fit in an urgent survey for work, oh, and some Scottish trails...Woot!. The shoulder was easing off nicely by the time I met up with my local guide at 9:30 on the Thursday morning. Good job too, as the pace was way higher than I am used to, and the trails very much more pedally. YET AGAIN I failed to change the DH tyre on the front. Big mistake for the undulating black grade I was shown - or the climb up, especially as my front mech was sticking and I was stuck without the granny ring if I tried to change down at short notice. TBH, first trip down the gulley monster I was all over the place, partly because of the bike, but mostly because of the huge drop to the left hand side.....how I love being scared out of my wits by my fear of fallling.
Still, I was particularly proud of myself as I realised I was more than capable of making far better work of the trail if I stopped thinking about the drop so got BJ to take me around again. I enjoyed it a lot more that time although the short sharp up's were still killing me. We ended with a trip down the blue run where I was pedalling as hard as possible, and still watching BJ disappear. Still had an awesome time, despite being as slow as a snail - the berms on the blue at Fochabers are lovely, perfectly placed works of art, and the jumps with endless transitions were so much fun. The trail pixies have worked wonders, and it's tragically under threat due to resource shortages.
I was totally beating myself up for my lack of trail fitness and skills, but I've come to realise there is a very good reason for these things, namely that I have been focusing on DH training, and ultimately (right now, anayway) I want to use my limited training time to become as fast as possible on the DH trails. My bike is also set up for DH and that's not likely to change in a hurry. I'd love a 140 mm trail fs for pedally days out.....but these days make up less than 10% of the riding we do and I just don't have the funds. It has given me a kick up the arse to get some XC tyres sorted for the HT, as that will at least make the pedalling easier when I do decide to use it for trails. Friday - Rest
Shoulder still not 100% for weights, so decided to just hang on and go back to the gym next week Saturday - XC
Tyre testing and pedalling work. I was amazed, although not surprised, at the difference running a lighter tyre on the front made. I ended climbing the Beacon in the 32 ring (rather than the granny like normal!). The Nobby Nic I had borrowed though, that wasn't nice at all on the downs. Squirmy, unpredictable and easily flatted. After an hour of very hard work (of which I have no record as I forgot to press 'start' on the Garmin
) I rode straight to the bike shop to purchase a single skinned Maxxis Hi Roller. That'll sort it. Hopefully!
Oh, and I found out via Alex's lovely Iphone application that the head angle of my HT is currently.....wait for it....somewhere between 64 and 65 degrees. No wonder it rides like a barge unless it is going down a very steep hill