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Dienstag, 19. Juli 2016

A rookie ride with catastrophes and cake and coffee...;-)

 Two weeks ago we met again @Felsengarten in Hagen to get in some technical basics. The smiths and crafties seem to have developed an affinity for fat tires...;-) I claim to be innocent, no really, I am ;-). Nick showed up with his new Stevens Taniwha 29er (Dom, dom, the Taniwha has come...:-)) he really enjoyed.
 It was really, really cool that Kai showed up to help with the tutoring and have some fun. He has got a lot to do at the moment, what with his studies and his eagerness to be the best... ;-). It was good fun to have him around, have a chat and do some sicker lines to impress the folks... ;-)
 We also foraged for some sage and lavender and did some owl-watching... but alas... the owl family was not at home... ;-) and we did some smelling the roses.
 The vicinity is really beautiful and you can do everything, if you do it sensible. Basking in the sun is one thing...
 We did some braking practice, and then Henning came to me and asked about some funny noises his bike made. Then it turned out there were some huge chunky tires fitted, and while the stays offered plenty clearance, the front derailleur obviously did not, and the only way was to take the big/big combination...

 Turned out that with a shortcage rear derailleur and a chain that was a bit short and a 100kg body weight that was a combination that was less than ideal.

So Henning tore off his derailleur hanger. #shit, if you ask me. Henning is fighting quite some adversaries taking up the sport, and I am really sorry for this (but cannot help it any). Mountainbiking is a hard sport, and you WILL fall, and you WILL hurt yourself, and you WILL wreck your bike. Mastery comes with controlling the circumstances, so that if you hurt yourself, you do not hurt yourself permanently, and if you wreck your bike, you are prepared to repair it. A torn derailleur hanger, however, is just about SNAFU.

Since it did not work out, Henning packed up and was off for a BBQ, and we continued tutoring Nick and Kathrin. I was really fond of Kathrin, who is making some huge progress at the moment. She has to overcome some mental barriers still (some anxiety and the plain refusal to do some essential things such as getting accustomed to riding with a lowered seat in technical situations, but as is, her composure and body tonus are way good already.

Lowering your seat in technical situations is not only a requirement of style. It often is crucial for survival, and even on some leisurely and casual rides you always encounter steep inclines where a high seat will ultimately send you over the bars. This is often not easy to understand for beginner riders, why you need a high seat for some situations and a low one for others, but it is an essential technical basic to know when to say when. A lower seat, even if you are not accustomed to it, will offer you more control in steep inclines and when climbing over obstacles.

We did some more braking practice and some first practice on off road terrain. Kai gave some valuable additional input with his background in trials and hardcore freeride mountainbike riding.
 Then we rode out to Käse Deele trailside café to do some practice in balancing a cuppa coffee and a piece of cake while having a laughing fit ;-).
Just having a good time and relaxing after a cool day riding!

Folks, it just feels cool to just go out with you, and as I have said on countless occasions - I really look forward to showing you some real rides and to open up the "heart of the wind" for you! But even so, it´s cool to have you around! For this to me is what mountainbike riding is all about: hanging out with some friends at places where it is really cool, pushing your comfort zone and playing around on a bike, and some good foodie afterwards which you can delve into with relish.

Simple. Fun. ;-)

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