Belgian Tricks

This has been an interesting week. Our friends our here from Belgium so we’ve been on vacation in our own city. We’ve been checking out the sights of Ottawa and getting in some relaxation. I know I’m not supposed to be training right now, so instead I’ve been lucky to get out with Rene for some awesome rides in the woods.

We’ve been taking it pretty easy and focusing on skills. Wow does it ever help to have the advice from someone who has been racing cyclo-cross for 35 years in Belgium. I’ve learned so much in four days of riding. It is amazing what you can accomplish in one hour of training.I can’t wait to  out there again and work on my new found skills. It really is amazing how the little things add up to helping you gain crucial seconds in a race.

I’ve been feeling pretty good. But this is mostly because I’ve been riding easy. No intervals. No long efforts. No long rides (okay there was the four hour ride to Merrickville and back – but I sat on for most of it). I’ve decided not to do Rideau Lakes this weekend. This is a big disappointment because I really enjoy this ride. But 340 km in two days is not a smart move for me right now. Rideau Lakes is not going anywhere so I’ll be able to do it next year no problem.

I’m feeling optimistic about my health and I know with time things will come around. Thanks for the comments, emails and messages.

For now I’ve got the new Belgian tricks to practice and to think about while I lie in bed dreaming of the upcoming cyclo-cross season.

2 thoughts on “Belgian Tricks

    • Hi Mike

      Did you read my recent post about training – I shared some of the tips I learned from Rene.

      The biggest thing I learned from him was to really let your bike flow and to play on the bike. For every skill we worked on, we started out slowly until I was comfortable and then increased the speed. A big thing for me is over-braking – particularly using both the front and rear brakes. I’m now working on only using the back brake and marginally. I learned that standing up and steering with your knees through fast twisty terrain can help you moderate your speed without touching the brakes – it is also easier to accelerate because the speed is still there. For sand riding I’m working on looking forward and pushing with my hips while pulling up on the bars (hard to explain).

      I hope to take some video and post it on the site soon.


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