It was a beautiful day last Sunday. How about 30 miles in Richmond? Of course, this urban assault included a lap or two of the infamous Poop Loop, plus the Buttermilk Trail, Forest Hill Park, Dogwood Dell, and North Bank. Just like a high school dance, the last song…I mean climb… was Stairway to Heaven.
You have to love the featured photo by Coach Randy— The bike racks were overflowing at Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream with our machines at lunch. #LivingTheCityLife
Coach Randy captured the team practicing dismounts and remounts plus bottle hand-offs. This is strategic because our coaches and student athletes utilize a race day pre-ride to assess the course paying attention to obstacles that may be too advanced and/or can cause stopping points. Coach Mike tells a good story of carrying his own bike over an obstacle and passing for the race win!
Over time, with practice, and based on the necessity, changing a tire becomes easier. Coach Mike, trying to keep it fun, included fixing a flat in a relay race Tuesday night. The baton to be passed was, you guessed it, a tire lever!
From Coach Rick, “I wanted to pass along a good solid tire/tube video for the visual learners like me. I think most can benefit from watching and practicing the tire/tube changes.”
According to one student-athlete, “We practice changing tubes to be faster and more efficient in case a flat happens on the course. [See NICA Rule below.] Beyond NICA, practice helps you be prepared for on the trail emergencies. It happens—pinch flats, punctures, chaffing, and wear-and-tear. Your options are walk it back, or repair and ride. I only want to “hike a bike” over a technical section, not back to the car.” (Parker)
NICA Rule 4.6 Penalty for Outside Assistance
Student-athletes must repair their own flat tires and mechanical problems and carry their own tools, tubes, etc. If outside assistance, parts, or tools, are provided, a 5- minute penalty will be assessed. The student must report such an occurrence of outside assistance before the end of the protest period that precedes the award ceremony. The student must report to a Scoring Official, Course Marshal, or other Race Official. If a student does not self-report the penalty may be doubled. http://www.nationalmtb.org/wp-content/uploads/NICA-Rulebook.pdf
The team was kicking up the dust at York River State Park last Saturday. Practices are clearly getting serious, just look at their faces, but our student athletes and coaches are still having fun! (Click the featured photo above if you do not see photo gallery.)
A new type of practice kicked off this week. The basics have been reviewed, practiced, and fine tuned. Time to ramp up on race skills. This includes riding all out in the grass. Like pedaling in quick sand! Pictured here: Coach Mike takes the team for a warm up…in the grass. Coach Steve gives tips for starting…in the grass. Ian shows some emotion after riding a loop…in the grass. Only Coach Irene seems happy to be riding..in the grass! #StrongBodies #StrongCharacter