Coach's Column with Lynda Wallenfels
Mastering Technical Descents
"While I tend to think I'm a decent technical rider,
'technical' can mean so many things. For those racing over all different kinds of
terrain, what should the focus be on when descending fast, open dirt roads that
have a tendency to get loose in corners vs. rocky, rooty, technical downhills?
How much is rider position and skill vs. equipment choice?"
technical ride skills are the same in any type of technical terrain; balanced
weight, eyes looking forward, chin up, chest down, relaxed confidence, weight
in the pedals, elbows out. To improve riding in all conditions improve core
skills with drills and practice.
skill and equipment play into the equation and racers should look to maximize
everything to their advantage. The best equipment choice is rider, situation
and race specific. Riders with more
skill can race with lighter weight equipment and lower rolling resistance tires
on some courses. Less skilled riders
will be faster descending on equipment that inspires relaxed confidence and increased
skill. This would be more suspension and tires with more tread.
Wallenfels is Cat 1 USA Cycling coach and owner of LWCoaching.com Visit her site for
mountain bike training plans, coaching and consulting.