PACTIMO REWARDS(0)  |  FREE SHIPPING ON $50 ORDERS  |  FREE EXCHANGES  |  877-291-6238  |  NEED HELP?   US Dollar British Pound

A Lesson in Mountain Biking Enjoyment

July 13, 2018

A Lesson in Mountain Biking Enjoyment

My Crash to Ride Ratio has Improved Significantly.

by Alison Powers ALP Cycles Coaching

When I was 14 years old, I started mountain bike racing. With very little fear, and no sense of self preservation, I crashed - a lot. I loved to ride my bike, loved to get my legs burning and heart pumping, and I was a little bit competitive. But, I had absolutely no skills. Eventually  the speed, the trail, rocks, or water crossings would catch up to me and I'd fall off my bike. Being a teenager, crashing didn't seem to faze me. I'd huck ledges (broken tail bone), bomb descents without brakes (punctured abdomen), and push the speed at which I would start to be afraid (broken ribs). 

Despite racing bikes, and getting some descent results, I had very little skills training and, other than go hard and go fast, I really didn't have any idea what I was supposed to do on my bike. I never thought about body position or weight distribution. I knew I needed to look ahead, but I didn't really understand what that entailed. I assumed descending on a bike was the same as on skis-wrong (different weight distribution). My crash to ride ratio was at least 1:1 if not 2:2.

ALP Cycles Coaching MTN Bike

Fast forward into my early 30's. Fear and self preservation have entered my mind and I no longer enjoy mountain biking.I'm afraid to crash. I'm afraid to get hurt. Every time I rode my mountain bike. I'd come to a technical section, lose my confidence, get afraid, have to dismount and walk, and then get frustrated at myself for not being braver, better, etc. It was not an enjoyable experience. 

 I finally decided it was time to do something about my lack of skills. Plus, if I had aspirations to properly coach mountain bike riders and racers, then I'd better be able to walk the walk. In came skills practice. I asked friends who were coaches to help me, I took skills clinics, I practiced on my own, built my own skills props, and diligently learned, practiced, and executed basic mountain bike skills.The ones that helped me most, and that I, in return  teach are - body position, attack position, weight distribution, vision (how to look ahead), and cornering. 

Now, nearly 40, I am a better rider than I have ever been, and I have the most fun I've ever had on a mountain bike. My crash to ride ratio has improved immensely. I won't be winning any enduros (I think I'm actually getting slower as my sense of self preservation gets a stronger hold on me), or hucking big air, but when it comes to riding new trails or old ones with hard sections, I look forward to the technical aspects. I like the challenge and enjoy testing my skills. 

Good skills and knowledge lead to confidence. Confidence leads to enjoyment. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

ABOUT ALISON POWERS

Alison Powers

Alison Powers only recently retired from cycling, finishing her final season on the UnitedHealthcare Women’s Team. Her career has spanned a wide array of wins, including the 2013 USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championship where she won in memorable fashion by soloing after an early breakaway that obliterated the pro women’s peloton. Other standout results during the 33-year-old’s 2013 season include the win at Redlands Bicycle Classic, second at the Tour of Elk Grove, third at the US National Road Championship and the US National Time Trial Championship, and stage wins at Cascade Classic, Tulsa Tough, Tour of the Gila and Redlands Bicycle Classic. Hailing from Fraser, Colorado, Powers has been racing bikes professionally for eight years and is a true athlete with her career beginning as a teenager in mountain bike racing. In her mid 20s, she added in alpine ski racing before switching over to the road. In addition to being the current Criterium National Champion, Powers has two other national championships (Time Trial, Team Pursuit) and 2 NRC titles (2009, 2013).

 

About ALP Cycles Coaching

ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Shawn Heidgen, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at http://alpcyclescoach




Also in Alison Powers - Featured Blogger

ALP Cycles Racing - Cyclocross Team
ALP Cycles Racing - Cyclocross Team

July 13, 2018

We are excited to announce the addition of a Cyclocross Women's Race team to our ALP Cycles arsenal. ALP Cycles Racing is a women's race team based in Boulder, Colorado which augments individual professional coaching with race team techniques and camaraderie. By providing coached training rides and team races with team race strategy. ALP Cycles Racing hopes to change the way local race teams train and race. 

Read More

What I Didn't Know Then...I'll Teach Now
What I Didn't Know Then...I'll Teach Now

March 23, 2018

My first roadie race was in 2005 in New Hampshire. It was a Criterium, and other than watching the Tour de France on TV, I had never seen a road bike race. I knew nothing about racing a criterium and I made many mistakes that day. Saturday, March 24th, my fellow ALP Cycles Coaching coaches and I will be coaching a criterium clinic in Boulder. We are going to teach the things I didn't know 13 years ago in New Hampshire.

Read More

The Limiter
The Limiter

March 23, 2018

"I'm 100% sure I can't do this." I told the yoga instructor after she showed us the next pose we were supposed to get into and hold. With tight shoulders and a delicate elbow, I was sure that my body would not get into or like the pose. The nice instructor came over and, in less than a minute, I was in the pose doing something I was convinced my body couldn't do and it actually felt good.

Read More

Find us on Google+