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Best mountain biking of my life on Saturday.

Monday, March 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

March
14
2011
The bumpy raised log ride at Soldiers Creek (video capture)

The bumpy raised log ride at Soldiers Creek (video capture)

I briefly mentioned in yesterday’s weekly cutting progress report my trip to Soldiers Creek on Saturday. I had a blast riding out there, and I felt more comfortable on my bike then I ever have before. There are two main reasons for that: this is by far the best cardio shape I’ve been in since I started mountain biking, and also this is the lightest I’ve been since taking up the sport. The difference between riding at 180 pounds compared to 203 pounds is like night and day, and being able to ride for extended periods of time with my heart rate at, or very near, its maximum is an incredible, very empowering feeling. These differences are especially pronounced because the changes have happened over a very short period of time–just 10 weeks.

Feeling more comfortable on my bike gave me the confidence to try some brand new features out there, and I also felt much more solid as I hit areas that I’ve felt shaky riding in the past. For example, the skinny over the log that I faceplaced on a little more than a year ago? I hit that over and over all day long without a care in the world. There are a couple of fairly tricky areas that I’ve only recently attempted to ride; in the past I’ve felt sketchy and lacked confidence on these features, but this past Saturday I was like a whole new rider.

Resting at Soldiers Creek (March 12, 2011)

Resting at Soldiers Creek (March 12, 2011)

Forum member “Foley” asked for my opinion on how to get in great cardio shape. I thought this was an excellent idea for a detailed blog entry, and I hope to have that posted tomorrow. I would have loved to written the article this morning, but I woke up an hour late (well, an hour late thanks to the time change) and I’m running way behind now.

I’m feeling awesome this morning, and I can’t wait to train legs this afternoon!

John Stone Fitness Comments

8 Responses to “Best mountain biking of my life on Saturday.”
  1. Its amazing how good you feel when you are lighter on your bike, I got down to 178 last year and that was the best I ever felt on my bike as well. Not having to pull the extra weight up the hill is an asset.

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    • It’s so true. And I probably have another 5 pounds of fat loss go. I could also do some serious tweaking with what I carry in my CamelBak to further reduce weight. Some of the stuff I carry is important when I’m out in the forest at Wekiwa and very isolated, but I could eliminate quite a bit of junk when I’m riding a place like Soldiers Creek, which is just a ~1.5 mile loop and heavily traveled.

      How’s your cut coming, Craig?

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      • Slow, I’m down to losing a 1/2 lb a week, that is OK though, I’m sticking with it. The goal is to get down to about 175-178 and STAY there. I have three weeks left of P90X then I get on the trainer and start doing long hours on that which is always good for fat loss. We dont really start getting into riding her until late April/early May so I still have time.

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  2. I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the biking so much now. It’s really one of those things that once you hit a certain level of fitness the enjoyment factor goes up by 100. Not sure if you ride much with a group, but that makes it even better. You start to associate biking with socializing and socializing with happy time. A great feedback loop forms. If you’re ever in western SD hit me up at BHMBA.org.

    Your next step will be to start trail running which will strengthen your ankles/support muscles up which will result in super bike control.

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    • I’m absolutely loving it, and you’re right–being light and in great shape makes it that much better.

      I’ve met a lot of people out at the trails and also on forums, and have met up with groups as small as three and as large as ten or so. Lots of fun, and I learn so much more riding with others. Some of the guys I’ve had the pleasure of riding with have been riding all their lives, so it’s cool to watch them and pick up on some things that otherwise I might never have learned on my own.

      Soon Orlando will finally have a real mountain bike park. It’s going to open in early summer. Initially there will be some singletrack (beginner and advanced) and a pump track. In fact, the pump track was completed this past weekend. Eventually there will be free ride areas and jumps (hopefully some tabletops so I can learn the skill before attempting the gaps).

      Running is out for me: it kills my knees (especially my right one – old injury), ankles and joints. Plus I just don’t enjoy running at all.

      Can’t say I have any plans to visit SD any time soon, but thanks for the invite. If you’re ever in O-town and looking to get the tires dirty, let me know.

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