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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    92

    Mountain Biking in Connecticut with Coach Jimena Florit Dolzadelli

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    I went to Connecticut this weekend for coaching sessions with Jimena. Here is a brief report:

    Mountain Biking coaching weekend in Connecticut, day 1:
    1) Got lost in Massachussets on my way to Connecticut. Saved from a meltdown by my son's calm listening and excellent advice.
    2) Only one fall. Asphalt. Bruised butt.
    3) I'm good at bike handling and weaves.
    4) I still haven't got the hang of the skills that require lifting the wheels off the ground.

    Note: Jimena is a wonderful coach.

    Mountain Biking coaching weekend in Connecticut, day 2:
    1) Technical Trails are terrifying. I still don't feel enough in control while using clipless pedals to go fast downhill on unknown curvy singletrack trails with deep roots, rocks, and trees in the way. Heart pounding, body shaking scary.
    2) Clipless. Grrr. Hate 'em! Not giving up, though.
    3) Basic trails I can do. I'm getting good at turning sharp corners. Made it through the tight, narrow spaces. Grabbed a tree to avoid a crash.
    4) Learned how to take off the wheels from my full suspension bike with disc brakes -- it's tricky getting them back into the right grooves for the chains, disc, and fork. I did it.
    5) I'm exhausted. My mind worked as hard as my body this weekend.

    If you're interested, I can post a list of the skills we practiced.
    --Nick
    2012 Santa Cruz Juliana R xc (blue)
    Vintage Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 24 speed (red)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Northern CT
    Posts
    34
    I am in CT...how did you find out about this clinic? Was it associated with a shop? How much $ was it? (Oh man, I've got a lot of questions!)
    2011 Specialized Dolce Elite/stock Riva
    2010 Jamis Durango 1 Femme
    2006 Diamondback Wildwood (gift from my mother-in-law, so I must keep it! It is really comfy to ride)
    1996 Raleigh M-20 (got my love for cycling going!)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    92
    Smiles, hello. It wasn't a clinic. This was a private coaching session. I found out that Jimena is located fairly close to where I live when I attended a MTB clinic hosted by the local Luna Chix MTB team. Jimena led the session. I would definitely recommend that if you are in Connecticut and looking for MTB training, sessions with Jimena are the way to go. She is a wonderful coach. I calculated the cost of attending regular MTB clinics in say, Vermont, which is equidistant from Connecticut for me (there are a few places in Vermont that offer ongoing clinics). The cost of going with a scheduled clinic vs. private coaching were about the same. The nice thing about private coaching is the one to one focus adapted to your level and needs.
    --Nick
    2012 Santa Cruz Juliana R xc (blue)
    Vintage Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 24 speed (red)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    That is so cool, Nick. I'm glad you had that kind of an opportunity.

    As for the clipless, have you thought about taking them off for a bit and then going back to them when your other skills are better developed? As a new MTBer myself, I decided to wait on the clipless, although I've long used them for road riding. It's just one less thing for me to worry about for the time being, but I do plan to eventually try them.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    As for the clipless, have you thought about taking them off for a bit and then going back to them when your other skills are better developed?
    The thought has definitely crossed my mind! Jimena insists that I need to get comfortable with the clipless, so I'm hanging in there. I was far more comfortable with the BMX style pedals on my hardtail. I didn't fall once with those, and wasn't anywhere near as fearful on the trails (because I felt in control).
    --Nick
    2012 Santa Cruz Juliana R xc (blue)
    Vintage Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 24 speed (red)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Obviously, I know less than a coach, but between confidence building and safety, I tend to disagree with her. If you'd do better with bmx pedals, then use them. You can go back to clipless later.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    What Indysteel said...though I am no coach. I do use them on the road but they would terrify me on the mountain bike. However, you have a lot more experience than I do on the bike (almost everyone does). In the end we have to go with what gives us the most confidence...though I imagine the learning curve for clipless in mountain biking is always different than it is for road application...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    583
    The bottom line is that there is potential for injury on a mtb regardless of which pedals we choose. (Ask me how I know) We know ourselves & our riding styles better than any coach can. Follow your intuition to keep yourself as safe as possible while still having fun.
    LORI
    Pivot Mach 4 / WTB
    Updated Vintage Terry Symmetry / Bontrager InForm RL WSD

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    92
    Thanks, everyone, I appreciate your advice (and concern). I've toyed with the idea of changing. I'm doing fine with clipless on short road rides and multiuse trails that don't require curving around trees and through unexpected tight spots. Or sudden stops. I've been doing well with sudden stops on road or multi-use, probably because I can always swerve to the side or pull onto grass to readjust. That's just not an option on a rooty singletrack. The combination of speed, downhill, and sudden stops adds to the risk and fear factor. I'm going to work on it for the rest of the season, and if by then I just can't handle the combo of clipless + mtb, I'll switch pedals. I'm also thinking it could be that I'm just having way too much trouble with the Candy 3s, and that perhaps I should change to Frogs or something...
    --Nick
    2012 Santa Cruz Juliana R xc (blue)
    Vintage Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 24 speed (red)

 

 

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