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Mittwoch, 29. Juni 2016

Rookie Ride, Foraging and cuppa coffee

It has been quite some time since I last offered a rookie training, and yeah, while it was stress that I gotted mobbed out of my own club for´t, I did not quite realize that I missed sharing knowledge with ambitioned rookie riders. The gals and guys from the iron forge squad were interested in doing some goofing around and we met at ... tadaaah... Felsengarten area in Hagen. The schedule was to do some basic tutorial, forage for some herbs and watch the eagle owls nesting there. We met at half past two on Sunday. Kathrin came by and Henning... and Julia had announced her venue...;-). I could not take any on-bike pictures, and it was a bit chaotic at best, for Henning´s 35-year old klunker disintegrated due to spontaneous material wear;-), and we could not stick to the plan, but as is, Henning went rad with the old iron, and Kathrin deserves even more respect, by embarking on a 20km ride even to get there.
Julia suffered from a hangover and did no riding, but just smelled the roses.
After the training, we went foraging for St. John´s Wort, lavender and sage and carried home quite a loot!
Kathrin collected St. John´s wort for oil concoctions, especially for curing burn marks for the smiths! Way cool, Kathrin, that´s how it should work... ;-)
The vicinity of the Felsengarten area is a very cool place to relax.
We also met with an elderly lady who was doing some owl-watching and who readily shared her knowledge with us. We watched the eagle owls, and had a nice chat.
Then all of a sudden we heard this soft groaning rumble... accompagnied by the customary whining of Julia, who demanded to be off, for now she was hungry. Of course, she has to satisfy her need in an instant ;-), because else she gets free radicals ;-) and we must suffer from her temper :-), so off we were. Henning and Julia drove out to the Käse Deele café, and we had some good food and some more chats.
Folks, it´s simply good to have you around... thank you all so much for being so laidback....
Then I offered Kathrin to show her the ride home, because she was not too fond of riding through the city traffic. It was her first mountainbike ride at all, and she was in for some ordeals, and I remember full well how it was for me, being taken out into the woods by a bunch of absolute madmen, and I don´t want my friends having to experience that! ;-) She encountered some limits that day and did a marvellous job in coping with them. She had warned me she would whine a lot, but I was the one constantly having to remind her of watching her pulse and heart rate and not to overdo it...She also mastered one or the other fear when going downhill, and while there´s still a long trail ahead of her, she actually seemed to enjoy it... Respect! Tutoring is fun that way.

When I had delivered her to the departing point at the lake, I made for my way home after a long and joyous day.
I relished in the vistas and in the fact that my body performed as it should for a change. This was a day that I will keep in my memory for sure!


  1. Sounds awesome. What greater goal for growing up than to teach what one has learnt? I'm still learning how not to break myself or my bike. I went down a hill a bit cocky, and soon found myself in mid-air as my bike tumbled off trail without me. I slammed hard into my shoulder, but managed to roll a little. No serious damage, but a sore body and a wobble in both wheels. I'll probably try truing them some day, but in the meantime I'll bum a pair off one of my neglected bikes.

  2. I found out several tips to be worthwhile when going downhill:

    1. make sure your bike fits you properly. If you sit on the saddle with the seat extended, the drawn line between your navel and the tire contact points should form a triangle with equal lengths
    2. Good brakes-obviously
    3. Push your elbows out, and do not hold the handlebar in a death grip
    4. Keep your weight centered and move back and forth up or down
    5. get out of the saddle when going down
    6. Keep your pedals level to the ground to achieve more clearance
    7. use the front brake when entering a turn and the rear while going through it
    8. When cornering, put the outside pedal down and put your weight on the outside pedal
    9. If the corner is rocky so that a lowered pedal would catch angle the bike around the corner
    10. Cornering starts in your head and with your head. Lock your neck muscles consciously and look where you are headed, and the bike will follow
    11. Look where you want to go, not where you don´t want to go. Seems obvious, but it´s a matter of psychology. So many times I careened into a rock because I wanted to avoid it oh so much. Instead, work with a mental programming like "There´s a rock. I want to take a left turn to go around the rock to avoid it"
    12. Take the route the water would take

    And some more I cannot think of now. maybe I´ll do a tutorial some day...


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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