What a great day of riding I had today. Today was a recovery day for me, after three days of intensity. I kicked off the day with a smooth ‘cross skills training session.
It was me, the park, my flags, my PVC tubing barrier, and some kids playing tag. I did a simple 45 minute focused session – barriers were the focus. My barrier technique is pretty solid. But it still needs work. I tend to slow down as soon as my feet hit the ground and I can be slow to clip-in. Not to mention I seem to miss the pedal more times than I like. So after some pointers from Marc a couple of weeks ago, I was at it this morning to try and improve on my technique.
Some might wonder why I spend time working on mounts/dismounts – well if I can get myself a second or two each time I have to dismount at a barrier/stairs/run-up, then this will go along way in saving me overall time in a 40 minute race. Today I tried to keep my feet from “sticking to the ground”, or in other words, trying to stay light on my feet. I also practiced taking a peak at where my pedal is before remounting. Last thing I added into the mix was really drilling my right leg down and onto the pedal – trying to minimize that delay or “lazy leg”. At times, everything came together nicely and at other times – I was a mess. But this is why I’m practicing – small improvements each session will result in a big payoff.
I also set up the flags on the face of the little hill and worked on smooth cornering. I tried to always be looking ahead and purposely focusing on where I wanted my front wheel to go. At times I find it is super easy to get sucked into the front wheel and then all of a sudden I’m looking at the ground in front of me, instead of where I want to go. I also worked on getting used to letting the bike fall onto its line when descending and cornering. This requires (for me) a great deal of trust in my tires, my abilities, and the slope of the incline. I’m happy to say that I’m getting much better at this. I’m more willing to take risk and to see how far I can push my bike and comfort levels. This is what it is all about.
Filled the rest of the morning and early afternoon with some work. Some writing projects for KingsBridge and research for a couple of other potential opportunities. Then soon enough it was time for my second ride of the day.
All summer I’ve been trying to connect with young Timothy A. for a road ride. Well, today was my lucky day – everything came together and Timothy and I got out for a great ride. We set our sights on the Richmond Bakery and had a great little spin. Chatting all the way about bike racing, training, ski racing, hopes, dreams, cyclo-cross and our favorite pro riders. I have to say it was a great ride. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Timothy for such an awesome ride. Quick stop at the Richmond Bakery for an apple turnover for Timothy and a Diet Coke for me – we chilled in the little park and then decided to take the long route home. Great ride. Not too hot, not too windy and no rain. No complaints here. It was super refreshing to ride with such an enthusiastic and passionate bike racer.
Tomorrow is looking good. Morning ‘cross skills and the Tuesday evening training crit. Should be another solid day on the bike. I’m 100 per cent hooked on riding to the crit, racing the crit and then riding home. Makes for a good long session on the bike.
So there you have it – lots of fun times had on the bikes. Pretty darn solid Monday. Hope you had a good one as well.