Yesterday I was working with a new LLB coach, Kristie Van Voorst, on the upper pump track at Valmont Bike Park.
I was riding laps, making common mistakes, and helping her identify and correct them.
At one point I wanted to ride perfectly at normal speed, but only make the mistake of staring right in front of my wheel (instead of scanning to the next corner).
As soon as I locked my eyes on the ground, I slowed way down, and my body simply wouldn’t execute proper pumping technique. The more I committed to looking down, the slower and more awkward it got.
Crazy: No matter how dialed your skills are, if you don’t give yourself good data, you can’t execute.
This is great vision. In one turn but already looking into the next one:
I’ve done a several “big” workouts on the RipRow™ now. They usual consist of 60-90 minutes of Trainer / Rip Row — swapping 5 minutes on trainer at Threshold, then 5 minutes on Rip Row, set to 3, wash, rince, repeat. Usually 10 minutes of warm up and cool down as well. Â When I do these bigger sessions I find that my lower back is pretty tight and a little sore the next day. Not to the point that I can’t function. Really just feels like I spent 4-5 hours moutainbiking the day before. I’m wondering if this is normal, or the result of bad form, or just my back trying to make up for a weak core?
The second question is with the cornering rows. I don’t feel very coordinated when I do these, and they feel super awkward. I guess my biggest question is, are you leaning the RipRow™ with your upper body? I think part of my is wanting to try and weight my outside foot, which makes the machine rock in the opposite direction of the actual corner, which makes the balancing feel awkward. Curious to hear your thoughts on it.
Thanks for making an awesome machine! It’s great to be able to do an indoor workout that makes me feel like I’ve had a big day on my mountain bike when mixed with the road bike trainer.
Really looking forward to having the trails dry out, so I can see how the bike feels after RipRowing. I haven’t ridden on dirt since I got back from New Zealand! 🙁
Read my reply at RipRow.com >>>
When I do Pump Up the Base intervals, workout A is pretty straight forward sweet spot training. My power level and heart rate stay pretty stable. Workout B is a different animal. Climbing, ladders, etc. blow me out pretty quickly. My heart rate goes anaerobic fairly fast and it generally ends in a beat-down. In a good way.
So here’s the question: did you and Lester intend for “B” workouts, the drills, etc. to be aerobic capacity intervals? That’s more or less what they have become for me. I keep the power out put in range of my FTP, but damn everything else is brutal, and by the end of the workout, I’m a wreck.
I sold my Pivot 429 and am building up an Evil Following MB. Stoked.
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!
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:
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.
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
When you offer 2 days of instruction at a remote location, Is it the same course each day? I am thinking of attending the clinic in Amarillo, TX in February and I was wondering, if I attend the second day will I be getting the same instruction that was offered the previous day?
I recently spent a weekend training the CEO and top coaches from TrainerRoad. All three riders started at different levels — and they all improved a lot.
They created a video, podcast and blog post summarizing what they learned.
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Last weekend I was in NorCal teaching and doing a RipRow™ demo at Trail Head Cyclery. Thursday Lars Thomsen and I talked business, assembled the machines then went for a ride. It was getting late.
We drove to Santa Teresa and parked at the “Lover’s Lane” lot near IBM. The sun was setting. I told Lars:
“I don’t want to be afraid.”
Over the past several years, as my shoulders have deteriorated, rocks have become painful, and I’ve become very afraid. But I’ve been doing the REVO physical therapy and RipRow work. My shoulders are stronger. My Specialized Enduro Öhlins Coil is the most capable trail bike in the world. I want to ride aggressively and not worry about the details.