Skills training with a side note on Parenting
Been continuing to work on my skills on a regular basis after my lesson from Gene at . Yesterday I could finally feel things start to click a little. Click in the sense that I was starting to do some of the things I learned as second nature and not from forcing myself to do them. Descending overall is starting to improve noticeably.
Though there is still the perception that I'm going slower sometimes and I'm not sure if that is because by looking up more things get 'slowed down' or if in fact I am going slower. A timed run is the only way to verify this. Though I know my cornering is slower right now because I am trying to do all my braking before the turn so I'm currently entering the turn slower until I can bring up my speed threshold throught the turn.
I have to thank Alan who contacted me through the BLOG in response to one of my posts. He has had some downhilling experience and I've been corresponding with him regarding the stuff I've been working on and his comments have helped a lot.
For example. Elbows and and chin low.
I've been trying hard to work on this. But as with many things with me I take it too seriously and was trying too hard. Because I'd be doing it but was trying to force the position when braking which wasn't so good. Of course the idea is to always be fluid on the bike and not rigid w/a forced position. And Alan's words in an email helped me to realize that it's all a constant ballet. Elbows out, down low at the turn or on straight stretch, but when braking a fluid transitioning of the weight back with arms outstretched and when done braking fluid transition back to elbows out and down low.
I still have a hard time getting low as I think when I try to get low I am also getting forward, which is fine when it is flat but when it get steep I need to get low but still get back to maintain my weight balance.
Here Colin Baily has elbows out and chest low but he is also behind the saddle.
It is pretty cool to be flying down a hill and have my weight balanced on the pedals so that I can just be holding the handle bar with my index finger and thumb wrapped in a circle ever so lightly around the bar, and feel the front end and the whole bike just moving underneath me with the suspension soaking up some of the terrain but mostly my legs and arms acting as suspension.
Even though I'm probably not as fast as the guys I'm trying to chase the important thing is that I'm getting faster.
One thing I'm noticing is that there is a constant mantra in my mind about skills. Elbows out
look through the turn
push hard to turn
use the hips
and it takes constant vigilance to keep these fundamentals as a priority. And it struck me that parenting is the same thing. But often times it is in a negative context, which has been bugging me lately. Always being the bad guy.
Don't burp at the table
Don't say butt at the table
Don't track mud in the house
Don't jump on the bed
Don't jump on the sofa
Don't hit your brother
Don't pick your nose and eat it
Don't run in the road without lookinig
Don't do (insert anything here)
With the skills everything is in a positive context. Instead of "Don't look at that rock" you say Look up.
Instead of don't hit that tree, you say look through the tree and look through the turn.
I just hope that I can keep working on the skills and keep it as a core part of my riding done on a regular basis. Instead of doing for a little while and then forgetting about it and moving on to something new to keep my mind occuppied. Gene made the point that even as a veteran pro he has to constantly work on the fundamentals. So I have to remember that even though I don't have to think about everything on a ride, I should try to focus on some part of the fundamentals throughout my riding.