Just a note to say thanks!
I became a dad this year, so getting on actual trails hasn’t been a priority. But I’ve been working my way through Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, and I recently checked out the video that the guys from TrainerRoad put together about their clinic with you.
After ~2 months without any trail time, I finally had a couple hours this weekend to get out. I headed down a local favorite descent with zero intention of trying for speed. Instead, just thought about floating over the bumpy stuff, braking in the “heavy spots”, and leaning the bike over in the turns.
Result: I felt far more in control, had way more fun floating and dancing over the shape of the trail, and ended up just 2 seconds behind my PR.
Once I make time to dial in the muscle memory, I’ll be far faster than I was, and have more fun.
I just got a cool note from Roger in Finland. I’ve been helping his daughter with her BMX skills for a few years, and she’s now on the Finnish National BMX Team!
I have a quick question for you. When I’m RipRowin’ on a higher setting (9+) and am doing ShredLift sprints, the front end of the Rip Row will often lift off the ground when I extend my hips to the bar. I’ve tried moving my feet further forward but it still happens if I really pull hard with my hips (which is the idea I think). Any thoughts?
I recall when we were riding together at Dakota Ridge, there was a large rock that I needed to quasi-bunny hop at speed up and over and one of my issues with smoothly transitioning over the rock was leaning too far back on the row portion and thus impacting my rear wheel with enough force to kill some momentum. Could I be leaning too far back on the heavy Shredlifts and thus unintentionally facilitating the liftoff? Would a short video clip be beneficial?
Thanks for your help. Have a great day!
I picked up MMBS 2nd edition from the library early this spring and loved it. I have been MTBing for 25 years and have had period of good downhill flow but they were not consistently repeatable. After reading your book I understood why…because I had no idea what I was doing. When I got into those flow states it was completely by accident and I was never able to reproduce them with intention. However, you lay out some key concepts that are great mental handles on what our bodies should be doing on the descents and I am in your debt for that. I bought the Mastering Mountain Bike Skills 3rd Edition and have influenced a few friends to do the same. Thank you for systematizing this!
Question, I am running Maxxis Icon 2.35s (EXO, TR, and all the fancy stuff) front and back on a 29er XC bike and they do a pretty good job all things considered. I do live in Jeffco and ride all the front range trails and Buff Creek and Breck a lot. Can you recommend the most comparable tire in durability, weight, XC rolling speed but with some big side knobs so I can really lay my machine over with confidence in every situation?
Thanks much, John
Here’s an edgier-than-normal interview I did with Norman at MTBjumper.com. Among other things, we covered:
The toughest boss I’ve ever had (me).
My beginnings as a rider.
The movie that made me quit my old life to start this one.
The hows and whys of RipRow.
Understanding when you should go for a big jump or other obstacle.
Check it out:
I bought your plans for the Sea Otter 2010 pro pump trackto build it at my new home which is currently under construction.
A few questions:
I have a 5-7 degree slope where I plan to put the pump track. Are there any considerations for elevation? Should I make it as flat as possible?
Living in Northwest PA our winters are tough. Any build/maintenance advice for keeping things in good condition?
My dirt contains a lot of shale. Is this manageable to build with or should I think of supplementing with top soil?
Thanks! I look forward to breaking ground soon.
Listened to your interview on the TrainerRoad podcast (How to become a faster mountain biker) – it was amazing and made me rethink what I thought I knew about riding bikes.
I’d really like to read more of your work but I’m a roadie and was wondering what you have for roadies in the way of books etc.
Hi, pumptrack question…
In your last book you mention, that 6X9m land is needed for a minimal pump track. I have long but narrow land in my backyard, so in one part there is space only for one line that will be ridden in both directions. But the problem is almost 270 degree turn that slould be made in one end… What you think is minimal radius for a 260° turn?
A while ago you I believe you wrote an article that addressed racing mountain bikes and why people do it. I think the byline was something like “If you’re racing, ask yourself why?”. Does that ring a bell? If so, could you send me the link so I can re-read it?
I’m the former head coach of a high school mountain bike team, and I’ve become quite disillusioned with racing. We’ve lost no small number of kids who loved (notice the past tense here) mountain biking, joined our team, and quit in frustration because training for racing, and racing itself, took all joy out of the sport. I feel really bad about this, and I know other coaches around the state are experiencing the same thing. Kids should not join a club and end up hating mountain biking. Something is seriously amiss here.
Me, I’m done with racing. I’m riding for fun and fitness now. It’s why I fell in love with the sport in the first place.
Ex Racer Dude