Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I don't train, I practice

I often get asked how I train for long cycling events, things like Paris-Brest-Paris or the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race. My answer, which I went into in some detail in David Rowe's ebook, The Ride of Your Life, is that I don't train, I practice. Today, I went out and practiced with my new Monocog Flight 29er. It's a short trip, only 83 miles, but the little trips add up and are where I learn what I hope I'll need to know for the longer trips. Later, I'll add more weight to the bike in the form of camping gear and extra water bottles but for now it's fun to run with a light bike on familiar trails.

Today's route takes me east and up into the mountains to a place I call Boiling Frog Road. The bike feels great and I'm seeing why 29er enthusiasts are almost as annoying in their zealotry as recumbent riders. I'll have to work on not being one of those 29er preachers. I need to get one of those "Nobody Cares About Your 29er" shirts. For the record, the only problem I'm having with the 29 inch wheels is remembering not to carry too much speed into the turns. It's easy to get the Flight wound up to about warp 8 and those big wheels like to keep going the way you point them. On a little wheeled bike, I tend to go a little slower and I can snap the bike a bit more at the last minute. I've already got my reflexes so they are 99% 29er and I that last percent is coming along nicely. Heck, I've only ridden the bike for a couple of days!

I also practiced another Great Divide skill, taking pictures of my bike leaning against all kinds of stuff and photographing the weird or pretty stuff I see along the trail.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
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