Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Skillz and Drillz with Gene Hamilton

Back in the fall of 2010, when having a blog titled Athlete Fights Cancer seemed unfathomable, I had the opportunity to participate in one of Gene Hamilton's BetterRide clinics in Fruita, Colorado.  Gene has worked with and helped some of the best (and by best-I mean world champs) mountain bikers and has developed this amazing curriculum that teaches correct body positioning, foundational skills, and drills that just plain make you fast and efficient on the bike.  I wrote about it here.

Most cyclists think the only way to get faster is to get fitter, and while getting fitter really, really helps, improving bike skills and efficiency not only allows you to downhill faster, but helps you conserve energy so you can focus on utilizing that hard-earned fitness to the best of your ability and hammer up the climbs.  Knowing that my downhills skills had room for improvement, and being an easy 'buy-in' to Gene's philosophy based on my history of having constant coaching in my former life as an equestrian, I thought the BetterRide clinic would be especially worthwhile.  It did not disappoint, and I must admit when my life took an unexpected turn in 2011, practicing drills and using some of Gene's visualization techniques brought me immense enjoyment during a difficult time.

Fast forward to 2012.  I am back to racing!!!  Racing is going well and I am feeling fit and fast and although I feel like I'm riding technically stronger and more efficient than in the past, I also feel like a little technical tune-up is in order.  So, I caught up with Gene Hamilton for a few hours when he was traveling through Utah.

We discussed bike set-up, problem solved and practiced skills that were irking me, rode some trails,  discussed race strategy, and I came away with some specific skills and drills to work on.  All-in-all it was a pretty amazing morning and I am already feeling more confident with those skills that were irking me!

Here are some photos Gene took:

 Practicing some tight switchbacks.  
I now have my vision, position, and braking dialed.  Well...hopefully!

As for specifics, I'm not going to give away my new secret weapons:)  Okay, maybe I'll give away a few in my lesson write-up on!

No comments:

Post a Comment