Why don't you want to ride like a pro!

Why don't you want to ride like a pro!

Are your goals the same as a professional runner?
Are you in your twenties or thirties? Professional runners can be younger, stronger, and more aggressive than you, and their goal is to win races.
Why don't you want to ride like a pro!


When I coach professional runners like Mitch Robilato and Cody Kelly, I realize that they're not like most runners. They are younger versions of me (and now better copies of me) when I competed in the pro category.

Being stronger, more aggressive, and getting paid for good performance in the race gives professional runners a different goal than most avid mountain bikers. Different goals require different approaches.

I've found quite a few situations where you might not want to ride like a pro and will share them with you in a series of articles. Some of them involve different equipment, different mindsets, and completely different skills.

The first situation where you don't want to ride like a pro:


Never take Pro Lines, your goals are varied.


Have you ever heard the saying, "Don't take the fast lane fast, take the fast lane smoothly"? I learned this from a teammate years ago. Anyone whose goal is to go as fast as possible needs to learn and live that way. I have taught students for years.

Taking a smooth fast lane often means going straight ahead and using different methods to float on rough objects. Jump over hits, bunnies, or just lose weight, anything that could slow you down. Then pump the rear sides of the bearing to increase speed.

Doing so well has been my meditation for years. It keeps me focused at the moment and provides instant feedback. It rewards you by avoiding impacts and allowing you to speed up the path.

You also instantly know when you're screwing up and “eating the handlebars” when the bike slows down and your body continues to move, forcing you to do the push-ups at full force.

What is your goal? Is it to enjoy, to ride with more confidence, and/or not to hurt yourself?

Well, depending on your goals, you might want to take some smooth lines at medium speed! I am 54 years old, and “Handling fast lanes” can be tedious now.

Floating above rough objects often requires speed and explosive movement, two things I find myself declining as I get older.

It was so crushed on New Year's Day 2020 and woke me up. My priorities have changed, I can't be broken and support my family, and I can't train when I fall.

Since the accident, it's 90-95% of my previous pace. At this rate, the descent is different. I don't have the motive power to float above a jagged object so sometimes I have to take the regular line quickly rather than taking the fast lane smoothly.

Taking a smooth streak quickly is actually a lot of fun - it won't win any races, but you do get fewer hits. It's quieter and doesn't overload your brain with hundreds of decisions in a fraction of a second per minute.

“Don't take the right streak quickly, take the fast lane smoothly” is also a relative thing. Believe me, Aaron Gwen takes streaks faster than me because he's so much better and stronger than me.

Aaron's lines scare me like that! Anything small or smaller than a Honda Civic passing or exceeding it, its scratches are insane.

While they don't scare Aaron, my hint might scare you. Depending on our goals, physical condition, and skill level, what we believe to be the fast lane changes dramatically.

Honestly, I never realized how mentally exhausting it was to ride to the limit of your ability until I decided to hold back a bit. The way I've come down for the past 30 years is producing a massive surge, not just a rush of adrenaline and a surge of dopamine, but a brain surge as well. It's very intense, like a drug, hence my addiction.

Riding a little slower is a whole different sport, less intense and more relaxing. Riding like this doesn't mind charging that much.

A wise Buddhist once said that our goal is not to rejoice, but rather to be an equal bundle. We can be very happy and when we are so excited we can't go on and crash later. When I was young, I found it defeated. I wanted the happiest there was. As a middle-aged man, I have come to appreciate Buddhist wisdom, apparently, this even applies to mountain biking!

I also missed a lot of fun lines and am I not ranked first in mountain biking for fun? By following "my slowest friends" I have always found them to be more creative than me. They are comically looking for little "punches" to descend as they meander down the track. It was driving me crazy! Now I like to follow them and see all the "fun lines" that I missed while finding and hitting the express lines.

Hope you found this article useful or at least entertaining. Find my next post on how you might want to use different gear than the pros.

Please share this article with anyone you think could benefit from it and feel free to call or email if you have any questions.

Cheers,

The gene

Please share this article with anyone you think could benefit from it and feel free to email them with any questions.

I have been training ATV skills for 21 years and love to ride you at your best! , for more skills articles and videos, and to register for one of my guaranteed skills courses.
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