As a cycling amateur, I always want to ride like a professional cyclist because they are the most awesome one in the world and they are doing the most awesome thing in the world. Well, so to speak, I want to flow on every trail I ride as a professional cyclist does. But the thing is, how? This question has bothered me for a lot of time and to make myself clear, I worked very hard to figure it out. And my some outcomes and little suggestions are as followed.
1.If we want to ride fast, we need to know how to see.
What does it mean? Let me give you an example. When you are riding a bike on the road, have you ever noticed that bad things still happen when you keep staring at a little obstacle and even you try very hard to avoid it as you open your mouth and your eyes widely, keeping telling yourself that “Avoid it! Avoid it!” Why? That’s because the only thing your mind get is that little obstacle, and then “boom”, the last thing you want still happened. Therefore, it’s very important not to stare at a certain thing when you are riding. But rather scan over it and look at the road ahead of you.
The relationship between our eyes and brain is funny. When we look at the things around us slowly, our brain will think,”Oh! I want to have a close eye on that thing! I need to slow down!” therefore it automatically sends a “slow down” message to our legs and slow them down. This is the reason why you slow down when you look at the surroundings at a low speed and you speed up when your eyes quickly glimpse around and look things further ahead of you. Remember, if you want to ride faster, scan things further in front of your and never stare at a certain thing.
The same thing goes to the height you look in front of you. Think about it, if you always look at your front wheel, your mind will think you are interested in the front wheel and it needs to slow down to let you see it better. On the contrary, if you look at the high place, your mind will get the information that you are fond of that thing and it needs to speed up to make you get to it as fast as possible. The higher you look, the careless of your mind to the speed, the faster you ride. As the old saying goes, out of sight, out of mind.
To ride faster, we need to learn how to see at the first place. Scan the high farther place ahead, never lock your eyes on a certain thing, don’t be scared by whatever you see and focus on your destination. If you’re not familiar with the skill, practice is always the golden rule. Now let’s get a move!
2.Choose the great lines.
The line you ride is one of the important things which would affect one’s cycling experience. I will jump off the flat route and focus on the tricky one. It’s very usual to encounter some unsatisfactory lines, such as gravels, boulders, foliage or something like that. Well, since we can’t always choose what we get, we can learn to change our routes in that conditions, which means it’s of vital importance to choose the great lines for us to have the optimal cycling experience.
What would you do when there is a mountain road and you have to go across it? It’s a little annoying with little gravels, rocks and some other obstacles all over it. You will feel extremely uncomfortable when you just step very hard to get over it and your butt feels hurt and numb.
In this case, we need to use our eyes to find the smoothest spot, say point A and point B, and get over them and repeat. Your eyes need to react very fast to find them and your mind needs to make a quick decision. However, you will find that a line which avoids every single obstacle has many turnings. And we have to slow down a bit to keep our safety when turning. It’s hard to ride over without losing speed or risking our life. But practice will make it easier.
However, we don’t need to avoid every obstacle. The straighter line is a better choice if you learn to pump over the obstacles. Pumping gives you a new line choices range and there is no need to scan every inch land ahead and react quickly, but to choose a better place to pump over. When there is a turning, remember to slow down a bit, in case of little rocks affecting your trip. You can actually go straight and even speed up a bit to get over the boulder line.
If you learn the art of pumping, it will save you a lot of time and efforts and it feels awesome when you pumping. Remember, practice is always the golden rule to learn things.
It’s not so easy to flow on every trail like a professional cyclist does, but I always believe that “Where there is will, there is a way.” I don’t think that there is nothing we can do if we really put our mind on it. As for flowing on every trail, learning how to see and how to choose the great lines, pumping is just a part of the project.
According to the Ten Thousand Hours Rule, we need to practice for ten thousand hours before we become a world-class master. The same thing goes to cycling and mastering the skills of the mountain bike. We need to try very hard and focus our mind on it.