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Five Things Friday — OK, This is Mostly Bikes.

February 28, 2014

Five Things Friday — OK, This is Mostly Bikes.

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Mastering Skillz on the MTB

A few months ago, when I was thinking about things that I needed to improve on for a solid Xterra season, the first thing on the list was technical MTB skills. I realized that in the course of a race, I was losing time and expending way more energy navigating the technical bike sections, and if I could spend 10% less time and energy just by working on skills, not by getting faster, that’s a no brainer. So I signed up for a clinic with Ninja Mountain Bike Skills and decided to try really hard to keep an open mind. I’m not a huge fan of clinics just on a personal, self conscious level, so this was a big step for me.

It was amazing.

I learned a lot of tricks for going up and over stuff (the different kinds of hops) and mastered lifting just my rear wheel off the ground. I also figured out the difference between a bunny hop and a flat hop, and actually could feel the difference. Most valuable though, was the cornering skills section. We were talking about leaning the bike and maintaining body position, and while I was having trouble figuring that out when we were talking about fore and aft at first, I totally understood the side tilt thanks to all of my practice on the road bike with standing. So I was pretty psyched when I was able to actually rip around turns on a gravel descent. It’s still not easy winding through trees at a ton of speed, but I definitely started to feel a lot more comfortable on the bike.

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Wheelies

I had an amazing time at the MTB clinic I was at last weekend, but I still can’t do this. Still, it’s nice to have goals! Wheelies by the end of the summer, for sure.

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3Saddle, Sore is Done!

I’m still working on a few minor tweaks and changes (and looking for potential partnerships, more info here) and the release date is still March 15, but I’m really happy that the actual interviewing, writing, and laying out is actually finished. I’m really happy with how the layout turned out, and even more psyched on the content!

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4Spaghetti Squash

If you’re trying to cook gluten-free or low carb/calorie but still want pasta, spaghetti squash is pretty much the perfect food. We’re eating a lot of squash and potatoes in this house, but spaghetti squash nights tend to be my favorite. Cook for 10 min in the microwave, or for about 40 in the oven, and then just scoop out the “noodles”? Awesomely easy. My favorite way to eat it right now is just with olive oil, a bunch of cilantro and sea salt and pepper, but I think the pasta sauce we’re making in the crock pot for the whole crew tonight might take its spot as the new best thing ever.

5Afghan Cycles (and getting women riding!)

Some of you may remember the work I was doing with Mountain2Mountain and Afghan Cycles last year—we hosted a couple of clothing drives and raffle nights back East, and we got a ton of awesome kit sent over to the women that have started Afghanistan’s first National women’s team. Very cool stuff. I just had an amazing meeting with the two women who are working on the feature-length documentary itself, and while I have more coming on it (and how you can help!), I’m so happy to see this awesome image. More on this project next week!

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