What did you learn?
In the technical course (sometimes called trail course), I locked in on my manuals. A manual is a maneuver when the front wheel is lifted and the rider balances over the rear wheel without pedaling. My manuals were fleeting. Sometimes I could do them and other times I couldn’t.
My coach/course conductor, Duncan Mainland, was amazing! He held me up in a static position so I could “feel” the balance point. Next, he let go and I was balancing off my rear tire while holding the front tire up. I thought, “Hey, I can do this.” It opened new possibilities for me and I keep getting better at performing a manual. It was that “a-ha” moment for me that we talk about. It finally clicked, and all of sudden I could perform a manual at will and on demand.
How does this keep you physically and mentally engaged in the offseason?
Physically, I am always looking for traction and grip when I’m riding mountain bikes. The more I trust my tires (which takes time throughout the season for me to develop), the more I feel like I am trusting my edges when skiing (which also takes time for me to develop throughout a season).
Mentally, coaching another sport where the risk factor is higher (e.g. friction – there is a lot more of it in the summer than the winter), is a great challenge and opportunity for me to present information simply and clearly.
Also, I got to watch my kids get the biking bug too!