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More trail riding; I’m below 170 pounds and probably right at 5% body fat.

Thursday, March 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I’ve been mountain biking almost every day over the past two weeks, and I’m having a blast!

I rode at Wekiwa on Tuesday, and on the 3 mile timed section I turned in a time of 13m07s. At first I was very disappointed that I didn’t break my existing personal record of 12m48s, but 13m07s is my second best time ever, and I definitely rode as hard as I could. Nothing to be ashamed of, I guess, but I felt like I was going to break the record. The trail conditions were less than ideal on Monday–very dry and sandy–and that certainly slowed me down a tad. It’s good to know that my current personal record of 12m48s was such a solid run. That record is not going to fall easily…

It's called "Gravity Destroyer" on the way down, but I call it "Leg Destroyer" on the trip back up.

It's called "Gravity Destroyer" on the way down, but I call it "Leg Destroyer" on the trip back up.

I was thinking about how much fun I had when I rode at the Mt. Dora trails last week, so I went back there yesterday morning.

The trails are dry right now, and there are a lot of dead leaves and pine needles on the trail as well. As I rode there was a lot of slipping and sliding, but thankfully no falls. It’s cool because I’m actually getting used to the feeling of the back of my bike sliding out from under me on fast non-bermed corners. I used to hate that feeling, but now I actually look forward to it because I’m able to keep things under control (heh, most of the time).

I wound up doing five laps yesterday, and my average moving speed over those five laps was almost 1 MPH faster than it was when I rode there last week. I was really happy about the speed increase, especially considering that the trails are so dry right now. I feel like I’m getting better at carrying speed through corners, but I still have a long way to go before I’m truly railing them. Learning to find the perfect line though a corner while weighting the bike properly for maximum grip and speed is an art form; getting it right takes a lot of practice. Thankfully the recent improvements to this particular trail system provides lots of opportunities to practice fast corning skills. Riding this trail as often as I can is going to make me a better rider.

I had a scary moment yesterday. I was approaching a ramped bridge over a log, and I was going very fast. Just before I hit the up ramp I saw a coral snake directly in front of me. By the time it registered, I was already practically on top of the snake. Thankfully the snake slithered out of the way at the last second and didn’t strike. That certainly would have ruined my week!

Even though I’ve been increasing my caloric intake each day, all this riding is making me continue to lose fat. You guys aren’t going to believe what my scale weight was this morning: 169.8 pounds. Hah, hey Craig, turns out I did get below 170, but I sure hadn’t planned on it! 🙂

I want to go riding again this morning, but I can’t. I’m stuck here waiting for the A/C repairman to show up and replace the coil in our downstairs A/C unit. The coil is covered under warranty, but the labor is not. So there goes $600 bucks up in smoke. Needless to say, I’m not happy about it. I’m going to go burn off some of my irritation with an indoor cardio session on my recumbent bike.

John Stone Fitness Comments

8 Responses to “More trail riding; I’m below 170 pounds and probably right at 5% body fat.”
  1. If you had put a blog post up a year ago that said, “This time next year, I’ll be weighing in under 170lbs”, I’m fairly sure not a single person that frequents this fine website would think you were of stable mental condition.

    Your transformations are pretty wild to follow. Well done!

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  2. Railing corners is as much about the bike as it is rider skill. You have to have your sag/compression/rebound set just right and the right kind of tires for the conditions. The super pro XC riders around here will go out everyday for a week or so before a race and pre-ride the course to figure out which tires/suspension setups will work the best. It’s pretty amazing what two clicks of rebound adjust will do to your riding. Head angle also plays a role as well. Slack it out a bit and railing corners is easier, especially descending corners.

    Also, everyone here has switch to 4″ FS 29er bikes for XC racing. Perhaps it’s better traction with the bigger wheels.

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    • I don’t doubt that very experienced hardcore XC racers need to dial things in with high precision to be competitive–especially at the top of the heap–but I don’t buy the argument that bike setup is as important as rider skill. I’ll bet you could put Danny Hart on a trail he’s never seen before riding a POS Huffy straight off the shelves of Wal-Mart and he would rail the living hell out of the corners.

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  3. So where you ride you can be stopped by a “snakebite” even when using tubeless tires 🙂

    I can’t wait to get out on the trails here in Finland also, but we still got snow here so there will be many weeks until the trails will be in shape for some serious riding.

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