7:1 and stoked

Today was an excellent mission at Left Hand Canyon: 175 minutes pushing a bike up hills; 25 minutes riding the bike down hills.

Featuring a first descent of North Red Trail.

Mission: DH coaching/training with Alex, aka young Skywalker, a 15-year-old pinner.

Goals: We’ve been paying a lot of attention to balance, position and range of motion. Last week we did detailed video analysis, and I gave him some mobility homework. I also told him to axe the clip-in pedals; they were allowing some bad habits.

Today was about three things:

1) Finding his feet and operating from the middle of the bike. Getting low. Lower.

2) Flowing — sight unseen — down gnarly terrain.

3) Pure work. Pushing the big bike up those hills is fantastic for endurance, foot-to-hand strength and general Mountain Man toughness.

Bikes: Alex rode his Intense Socom. I rocked my Carbon Enduro DH. We’re both running flat pedals.

Route: Hike to the top (286 to 286E to 838 to 286D). Ride down North Red (836). Hike up North Red. Pin the main dirt road (286) back to the parking area. Click here for a trail map.

We were too busy hiking and riding to shoot, but I caught Alex cursing me on the way up North Red. By this time I was pushing his 40-something-pound Socom, and he was pushing my 30-something-pound Enduro.


Alex is a strong, fast kid. He is getting stronger and faster.

North Red is an awesome trail. Steep, rough, loose, tight and all that. Highlights include jagged rock falls and steep, tight, stair-stepped switchbacks. With stops for fallen trees and “DUDE THIS IS RADs,” the descent took nine minutes. I think we can roll in the fours or fives. Perfect for DH racing.

I feel super strong and smooth. My skills are there, my training is working and my bike is fantastic.

Today was super fun. I love mountain biking. I mean I really love it!

Last week: First descent: Red Trail at Left Hand Canyon

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8 replies
  1. Russ says:

    sounds like an awesome ride Lee! I’ll have to a agree that pushing a bike up hill is excellent for all around mountain man toughness. If you never have to push your bike, your riding easy trails.

  2. Paul says:

    I like these write ups, the other left hand canyon one too. Maybe its the pics that dont do it justice or the fact I havent been there but North Red seems pretty mild for a double black.
    Also speaking of times, what is your best time for the descent on deer creek?

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    North Red is a double RED!

    That photo shows pretty much the only mellow, straight section. Also the only section with open enough sight lines to shoot that far.

    Deer Creek? Not sure what you mean.

  4. Alex Willie says:

    You don’t see what your riding until you hike back up. It felt super flowy, smooth, and almost race course worthy. But when you go to haul your bike back to the top, you relize how tight the corners are, the unseen black ice, drops in the middle of the switchbacks, the rock gardens covered with snow, and the over all burlyness that lefthand offers. SO RAD. By far, my new favorite trail.

  5. spitfire says:

    could we know what the “bad habits” are with clips? is it around having the foot “static” ie not moving with the bike and depending on the clips to ensure that your foot doesn’t bounce off the pedals?

    many thanks!

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