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3.5yrs riding update

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Not posted anything on here for a while. Still riding. Still slow progress. Still some issues with my shoulder but I'm working on that improving mobility and strength there. I'm a mid/late forties rider still at beginner level after three and a half years.

Most of my riding now is in the garden with limited space so working a lot on handling the bike at slow-to-no speed. Here's an image from today during a quick lunch time session of what I was doing. I don't work so much any more trying to go bigger, so much so that I don't often do anything higher than 3 pallets! Still takes me a lot of effort to do the small stuff like in this photo. Once I'd got on the bike and manoeuvred it into position to get the front up on that ladder/beam I found it very difficult to maintain balance without readjustments that caused collisions with the obstacles either side of me. And also difficult to get the front wheel up from standstill onto the obstacle without overshooting myself too much. I only made it round a couple of times in half an hour or so.

I think I'd be more confident on the bigger stuff knowing I have the bike control there.


Edit: just a couple more points to add:

One of the things I've been thinking about is tension vs relaxation. We get told to relax on the bike so as to not be wooden, but at the same time, don't we need a certain degree of tension to resist the forces acting against us to upset our balance? So there's the need to identify how much I'm tensing up unnecessarily and how much more I might be able to relax. Too much tension increases the physically intensity of effort required which increases the over-correction errors. How much could effort be reduced by?

How much of that is down to age is another thought that crosses my mind. Watching videos of some of the older riders, I see an 'old man thing' about them, and see it in my own videos from time to time too. I'm not yet 50, and lucky in that I've not really got any real physical health issues. Massive dislike of pain through injury and inability to cope with it though! Scraped a small amount of skin off my little finger this afternoon brushing past a stiff wire fence, enough to stop a ride chasing my kids round the car park!

Also still riding by myself for 99.9% of the time so no feedback from other riders about what I'm doing, and not getting to watch other riders in real life are both contributing factors to slow progress. So that's why this post. Thanks for reading!

Edited by marg26
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I think like most things in sport it’s knowing when to apply power and when to relax. To balance you need to remain fluid to correct quickly but to drive through a section you need power and for that power to be applied smoothly and in a controlled way.

With that little skinny you need to focus on where you want to go not where you are. If your minds eye is constantly looking around and down it will be really hard to maintain balance. Try focussing on the end of the skinny and keeping that focus as you tackle the obstacle and commit. Stay relaxed on the run up but once your on focus and power. You’ll notice riders don’t hang about on skinny stuff and keep moving at reasonable pace.

Keep going and just do what you enjoy riding!

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