Use it or lose it is a good maxim for life. I have not been using it. I feel as if I have gone into shut down mode. Since the South Downs Way ride I think that I have only had two proper mountain bike rides, a month ago with the Strada team and yesterday.
Normally I believe that my bike will just do the right thing. If I leave it alone it will follow the trail. Of course I have to help it by looking way ahead, but that is all. Yesterday I found myself looking about 5 bike lengths in front. Not good, everything seems to be coming up too quick and the trail too narrow for the tyres. I tensed up which the bike doesn’t like, it reacts accordingly and that makes me even more nervous. If you are trying to control the bike you end up going slower. I know it sounds corny but the great life skill to come out of Star Wars (not the trail) was “Feel the Force”. That is how you should do everything. “Feel the Force”. When I am riding well, I just….. feel the force, sometimes I can be so relaxed that I hardly seem to be in contact with the bike, it just moves under me.
Yesterday, I didn’t feel the force at all and the worse thing was that I was trying to imagine the bike sliding but couldn’t. Usually I am not fazed by it losing grip and know that that is normal and that I can deal with it. I had lost that confidence yesterday.
The conditions were amazing, actually too dry in places making it slippery. But what a day to be out on the Downs? This is my favourite time of year. And this year is even more remarkable in that it is warm when you set off early in the morning or finish late at night. In fact dropping down into the cool Adur mist was a pleasant relief even at 8:30 in the morning.
As our ride progressed I was distracted enough by the beauty of our surroundings that I forgot to worry about the bike and found myself looking way ahead and knowing that all I had to do was hang on and pedal. And pedal I did!
The bike is a Whyte 29C Team customised to suit me but the one thing that really makes the difference are my Q-Rings. Off road the benefit seems even more pronounced that on my road bike. It’s like having an extra gear and a turbo!
Here’s the ride. Who’d believe that it is late September?
Call us or drop it to discuss Q-Rings.