Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Off season, off road

Can you imagine my face when my coach tells me that at this time of the year I need two weeks off the road bike?  The conversation went something like this...
Coach:  You need some time off the bike.
Me: Time off from training, or time off the bike altogether?
Coach:  Time off.
Me: How long for?
Coach: Two weeks.
Me: (In my head). TWO whole weeks!?!?
Me: (Bargaining question number #1). Can I still go to the gym? Weights and stuff are still ok?
Coach: Yes.
Me: But no bike at all?
Coach: Looks at me quizzically.
Me:  (Bargaining question number #2). What I meant was, can I use my mountain bike?
Coach: As long as you are not doing it too often and absolutely no efforts.
Me:  Thanks, that's great.
Me: (In my head).  Phew!

I know I have mentioned in this blog a few times over the years that I understand the importance of a rest period between training blocks, but boy am I glad to be allowed back "off road" for a bit.
The first few rides on the MTB last week have already made me remember why I took up this hobby in the first place and wonder why I have done so little of it in recent times.

There's no cars or trucks to contend with, no traffic lights, no noise. There's just me and the bike, and the occasional friendly wave from another rider as they disappear back into the tree-lined trails as quickly as they came out of them.  There's just those nice MTB "feelings" that are much less frequent on the road bike.
The next challenge?  Getting smooth and flowing again while on the bike.

Aptly, this is an excerpt from the new "Flow" mountain bike mag by Chris Southwood...
"I can't bunny hop, I have heard riders say.  What?  Does this mean you have special gravity?  Of course you can bunny hop.  It just takes practice.  Practice may not ever make you a perfect rider but when you reap the rewards of your practice out on the trail, well, there are few more perfect feelings."

And I am ready for more of those nice experiences "off road".  And I have a feeling that when my two weeks are up, I may find it hard to get back on the road!

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