Sunday, December 04, 2005

Cross Country crosses over all cycling disciplines

I was riding the other day on Brush and climbing the fire road and heard a truck behind me. I thought it was some hunters but it was some free rider/downhillers shuttling up in a truck. 4 bikes with front wheels hung over the tailgate.

I caught up to them a the fire circle and was chatting with them. You know you are getting old when you can't tell if someone is in highschool or college but they were pretty young. I was wishing I could do a run with them but they were done for the day. They liked my Hollowpoint.

I bet there are a fair amount of XC riders out there who look down upon the free riders/downhillers. And don't realize how much we can learn from them to improve our own riding. And I got to thinking how XC riding is the part of cycling that is an intersection point between many disciplines.

You've got the fitness aspect of road riding, and the skills aspect from downhilling, and if you ride in technical terrain you've got some of the free riding flow.

I've know mountain bikers that never road ride, yet they can learn a ton from descending a road on skinny tires and can improve their fitness efficiently. And I've known XC riders that laugh at the chairlift riders yet think how much we could learn by just focusing on downhills w/o having to ride back up. I was like that once but now would definitely like to try out some chair lift stuff just for focusing on skills.

Sure 5" of front/rear travel and 8" discs are going to go faster downhill than a hardtail but that doesn't mean a hardtail rider can't ride 'like' a downhiller.


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