Since the Weather has played a harsh role in setting up initial dating, I’ll be posting out Dates and Group Rides based on the Weather alone.
If you’ve never been to Andre’s then you’re in for a treat. It’s a legitimate progressive trail park that allows riders to progress naturally through different jump/roller lines. There’s also a big FreeRide area around the backside of the park that gives you a chance to test a few drop zones.
Andres is a regular spot for me and it’s one of the easier locations to get to. I know it can be quite the hike for some, so rest assured it’s worth your trip out. We’ll have loads of snacks and water for this outing and if conditions are right we’ll jump right over to Raceway Woods and ride any of the trails that are dry and open.
Drops - Drops are all about carry speed and confidence. You cannot, and I say again cannot stall out on a drop. You need to fully commit when sending a drop. In order to build the nerve to fully send your momentum with confidence it’s always good to plan your speed and set your trajectory. So in order to build to this level of confidence as well as technique, we’ll need to start small where the possibility for wash out is safe. Practicing on the smallest of drops even as high as 1-2 ft can set the bar for furthering the height. Once you get the form down it’s no different 4-5ft up or 8-10ft.. It’s all about setting your bar and progressively climbing to the next level where you feel the most confident and can visualize what you need to do.
Jumps - Jumping is a form of launching yourself forward while leveling yourself out mid flight. Even the best riders need to flat out a landing or bail out to judge speed. Setting yourself up for jumps should be a gradual process that you progress into. Biking can be a lot like Skiing or Snowboarding in that anyone can slide down the mountain, but doing it with style and control is the difference. So the basis of learning how to jump your bike stems from practicing, slowly judging your speed on exits. Knowing what your comfortable with is also key and then edging towards that farther end as you get confident.
A lot of what any rider does is based on practicing Reflex Skills - These skills become embedded the more you practice and understand what your mind and muscles need to do. When you’re on point you shouldn’t be overthinking anything, it should just be a natural reflex and connection to the bike.
Knowing when you’ve got your line and sending it, and knowing when you don’t, is key to staying safe. Sometimes you roll up to a lip and your foot slips a bit, it’s better off to hit the brakes and reset than try and force it. Another usual scenario is being put off balance, so when this happens, wash out into the corner and try not to seize up. As you progress and feel out each section or feature the more confident and more importantly the more your Reflexes will settle in. It takes time and practice learning how to manipulate the trails.
Knowing Your Center (Quiet on the Tee) - When you’re totally centered in, sometimes it’s best to be left alone. The adrenaline runs high, the blood is pumping and you want to contain this force. It’s an energy and if you leave any focus away from what you’re about to commit to you’ll get off center. Sometimes when I’m at the top of a section and I’ve paled around a bit I’ll get quiet after a few of my runs. I start to really focus in on what I’m doing and drown everyone else out. Not for the sake of exclusion but for the sake of my hyper focused moment. I’ve had these moments interrupted and you literally have to rework your rhythm at times in order to get back to your centered moment. It doesn’t always come but when it does, hold in your energy and focus like a determined athlete. This type of mindset has helped me hit some of the biggest lines and jumps with total confidence and focus.
Looking forward to squeezing in a few jump lines with anyone willing to show up on short notice!!
Again more of these will be posted up soon and if the weathers nice we’ll always try and head over to Raceway Woods for a double dip of the mountain bike pie.
See you on the trails my pack animals!!
The Bike Hub