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
Hey Lee. Paul and I are having fun at the Break Epic in the duo 80+ division. We have won arguably the two hardest stages, Guyot and Wheeler, not in small part due to shredding skills we picked up from sessions with you. Ciao.
Mike D. and Paul R.
Both Mike and Paul have done private and semi-private MTB skills classes with Lee, and they are both active members of the Lee Likes Bikes MTB School. This stuff works!
Meanwhile, our coach Kristie Van Voorst, who teaches our women-only Level 1 classes, is riding her bike solo from Boulder to Durango.
“Ran into racers from the Breck Epic 2 days. The first was on a downhill. I was farther back in the pack but pretty much kept up on a fully loaded hard tail… I kept watching everything they were doing wrong… ”
Ha! When an exhausted, fully loaded bike tourer hangs with you on a downhill while you’re racing, there’s some fruit on your descending tree. All you XC racers: You can’t believe how much faster you can be!
We offer lots of instructional options, both in person and online. Get faster now!
Not the ideal descending setup, but Kristie makes it work.
By now most of the internet knows Aaron Gwin won last week’s World Cup downhill in Leogang without a chain. He broke it out of the gate, shrugged it off then railed and pumped his way to a win—over the best riders in the world—the rest of whom pedaled!
Totally rad. Go Aaron. Go America. Go God.
Update July 3, 2015: Added link and summary of Dirt article “Aaron Gwin – Chainless – How did he do it?”
This week I’ve been working with XTERRA world champion Lesley Paterson. She is a gifted, driven, smart and methodical professional athlete.
Her fitness + LLB kung fu skills = world class mountain bike racer. Just watch.
NinerBikes posted some beautiful photos on Pinkbike yesterday, and they show Chloe Woodruff shredding!
Niko Mulally’s chainless world championship downhill run!
Plus notes from two stoked Peoria, IL skills students:
Last weekend was a big deal in Winter Park, CO. You had the Air Downhill, the Enduro World Series, the Slopestyle, some cross country and more I’m sure.
I didn’t compete at all. It felt strange, but it was good.
A mate and I are looking at training up for the Mega Avalanche 2014.
We were wondering what bike you would recommend?
We have watched lots of videos and noted that it is really a mix of DH rigs and AM bikes.
Would the Specialized Enduro be an option or should we step it up to the Enduro Evo?
The Sea Otter Classic dual slalom is coming up. 2012 was my first year and it was a blast—I am looking forward to 2013. Sea Otter, when you take into account travel, entry, and the practice-qualies-main spread across days scheduling, is the most expensive race in my amateur season.
So I am trying to choose the right bike and I thought you would have serious insight. This is because you own a Specialized SX and a sweet Specialized P3 pump-track hardtail yet chose to race a Stumpy FSR 29 in 2012.
I own a Specialized SX and yet keep being drawn toward the absolutely ripping Nukeproof Snap hardtail I race USA BMX on. Incidentally, I started racing BMX because of Mastering Mountain Bike Skills and a dumb crash in last year’s Sea Otter dual slalom! Best cycling advice I ever took.
My question, put simply, is why did the trail/AM bike come out on top for you? And was that decision purely personal, or was it informed by a general principle that will help me choose to bring a 26 lbs hardtail that rules on hardpack or a 33 lbs dual-suspension slalom bike that seems tailor-made, but is a wildcard.
Unsurprisingly, my SX does not shine on the BMX track, and the only local, legal slalom course was shut down shortly after I bought the frame. Or should I just borrow my father’s old Stumpy FSR!
Thank you very much,
Our friend and kung fu student Judy Freeman won a big one: last weekend’s Subaru Cup Pro XCT in Wisconsin.
In this post-race interview she is stoked—and she gave our skills work a nice plug.
Thanks Judy. Keep ripping it up!