This year I have changed my main focus of mountain biking. Up until this year, I just focused on staying on my bike without clipping a tree or wiping out on a turn or even (this is embarrassing) falling up hill. I honestly tried to just get around the loop without getting really hurt. I had no technical skills, walked over most logs, and floundered over the rocky sections. My goals for this year are to improve my technical skills, rocks, logs, sharp turns, and roots, and improve my endurance.
I am competing in the NUE race series this year, which are long endurance races ranging from 45 to 101 miles. A huge part of making it through these races, like any endurance event, is nutrition and hydration. My brother, Heath, constantly tells me to drink more water and eat before I began to fade. I set a timer in my head to drink every 20 minutes to help prevent the hole I dig for myself. Eating while I ride is hard, especially while mountain biking because it is hard to take your hands off the bars through the sharp turns. For me, I usually have to stop to eat, which can work on a casual ride, but is not great for a race.
Heath and my dad use Infinite energy drinks to get through their long days. They create custom formulas based on their needs while they ride, how flavorful, how much you sweat, if you cramp up, if you retain water, and much more. This drink can also be made to stop you from needing food while you bike, which is a huge plus for me. I usually drink Gatorade for longer and hotter rides to help keep me going and encourage me to drink. I finally decided to try Infinite for myself! I made and ordered my custom formula just a few weeks ago. I got to try it out some this weekend because we got to go for some longer and harder rides, and I am looking forward to see how it affects my riding!
Our ride Saturday was really broken up because rode to breakfast and then to a bike demo. We biked to a nearby park where there was a Scott and local shop (Race Pace) riding demo. Sneakily, we changed our road pedals out for SPD mountain bike pedals that morning so we could try some demo bikes! I got to try a Scott Spark 930 and 27+ which were both awesome bikes to ride. This was my first time riding a plus bike, and I loved how easy it was just to cruise over the logs and smash through the rocks. It was a great confidence boost. It was also so easy to change how much suspension I had making it great for rocky sections fully open, long climbs part way open, and road sections being locked out. I really enjoyed riding these bikes!
On Sunday, Heath and I went for a nice ride before the misty rain set in. We got to take his dog, Oakley, out with us, which always makes the rides more fun. He loves to run and can keep up really well. Although, he does cut some of the corners!