Working out to be a better rider.
It was a little over a month ago when I realized how much I missed my weekly workouts. Tonight during my workout I had a lot of thoughts cross my mind and I wanted to share them. I enjoy working out, and know that I'm making myself a better rider because of it. There are riders who stick to one discipline and that is perfectly fine. If they are happy, then that's all that matters. However, only riding one discipline would drive me nuts. I love riding every different kind of bike possible. This is good for a lot of reasons. It helps to keep your riding fresh and aids in avoiding boredom or a riding rut. Skills on one bike can easily translate to the other bikes you may ride. You never know when the need might arise to hop a squirrel or broken bottle on your bike whether it be xc or road. Anyway, you get the idea. Now this is where working out comes into play. I want to be the best all around rider that I can possible be, and for that I need a well rounded and strengthened body. It is just as important to me to be able to hang on through a long rock garden as it is to stick with the sprint on a road ride. I'm not lifting for size, I'm lifting for bike control, power, stability, and health. Let me break each of these down. Bike control is the ability to decide where the bikes goes the second I want it to go there. Power refers to the ability to move the bike through whatever section or terrain I might encounter. This happens through my upper and lower body working together. Stability helps out with bike control in that all my muscles are in balance with one another, and can function when I need them to. I look at health as the ability to keep me safe on the bike, and to help reduce the chance of injury in a crash. Working out simply makes your body stronger and able to handle more physical punishment. So why is this important to you? It may not be, but if you're anything like me you want to ride your freeride bike, just as well as your dirt jumper or xc bike. Also, you want to be good at all of them. Since I have started working out again I have noticed improvements in my bike control, stability, and a delay to feeling fatigued. I believe all cyclist could benefit from some type of structured weekly workout, of course taking in personal goals and health issues. Remember this is far from being a regular body building workout. Everything I do revolves around making me a better, faster, stronger rider, not about benching two times my body weight. Ride smart, and ride strong.