To say that I was looking forward to this trip (3rd -5th June, last weekend) would be a little bit of an understatement! After April’s 5 day trip to Snowdonia, a trip to the Lake District with 7 of my mates and to have 3 days guiding by Tom Hutton (MTB Guiding), simply couldn’t come soon enough.
The weather is always a concern when you pre-book a trip, invest some money and book time off work, and we were all secretly watching the weather and trying not to curse it by posting forecasts on Facebook – because it looked like we were going to be in for a treat!
Ryan Leech is a bit of a trials bike legend who I first saw on the Extreme Sports channel popping up in episodes of Ride Guides. I did a little bit of BMX as kid but nothing that comes close to trials riding, but I have always loved to watch skills vids and edits from the likes of Danny Macaskill and Chris Akrigg.
Anyway, I’ve always tried to push myself on technical sections and roots. I don’t shy away from logs in the path and I like a track stand challenge. So when the opportunity to subscribe to Ryan Leech’s online skills course came along I thought I’d have a look!
At first it seems a little odd to be taught riding skills on the internet in this way but Ryan’s mixture of text and video explains things in a simple way and provide you with progressive lessons to hone your skills.
I have only just started to give his online course a try and have so far been impressed with the way he breaks down things like track stands and slow turns into their component parts.
As with my session at UK Bike Skills this is going to be a slow process of making sure I’m using the right techniques and then applying them on the trail. The difference between learning to jump or drop and learning some slower speed skills, is that I can drill them in the garden or in my lunch break.
Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted on how I get on. In the mean time check me out turning around on my bike in the garden! Sounds silly but these little exercises hone your trail skills and bike handling.
I realised this last week that I am a Strava Addict. Yes I admit it.
I didn’t really doubt it and let me get this straight, its not that I am addicted t o chasing down other peoples times and climbs. I am much more realistic than that. I ride for pleasure and fun, and ONLY OCCASIONALLY do I feel the need to try and beat someones time.
Last week my Garmin bike GPS failed to connect to my computer meaning that I lost a ride to the oblivion of the internal memory. Now let me explain, this was only a small pedal out at lunch time not even 10 miles, but I enjoyed it and I rode down a section of hill on my cyclocross bike that I normally do on my MTB. I was desperate to see how the times compared as I felt like I was moving! This was the first reason I was disappointed, secondly I wanted to show that the CX bike doesn’t stop me riding off road and doesn’t make me a roadie.
Thirdly, I do like to keep an eye on my exercise and while I know full well I went out and I took a photo (above) to commemorate the occasion, my Strava account doesn’t know! I can’t add manual entries – everyone knows they don’t count!
After much searching on the internet (Googling as we have become accustomed to calling it) I found that i was not alone in my pain. While this doesn’t appear to be a known fault as such, its seems to just happen to these devices to some people. It could be a mechanical issue with the USB port – I don’t know.
What next, a new one? Certainly buying gadgets is great, but the Garmin actually works otherwise. I know I can use a card reader and take the activities off the device microSD card. Excellent! Problem solved. I can ride again.
So two days later I rode and rode and rode (and took more photos) and got up to a fantastic high speed on a little road descent. Can’t wait to see how I compare with others and my previous times!
ARGH! I didn’t have the device set up to record to the microSD card! Another ride lost to oblivion – that actually didn’t happen and the only record is another photo.
I have now fixed the issue and rides will be recorded to the microSD card from now onwards. And I have saved myself buying a new Garmin!