Using the most over-used quote in sports isn’t too creative of a topic title. Greg’s recent “Over a beer” article on dropper posts lead me to think about the idea of practicing MTB skills. I am a wannabe weekend warrior who gets out 2 to 3 times a week. I don’t want to practice, I want to ride (which is a form of practicing). So my question to the community is: how often do you practice MTB skills outside of just riding?
I “practice” mountain biking way less than I know I should. Practice is boring but the fact is, it’s the most effective way to get better. I personally don’t think riding is the same as practice because it’s just not very focused. In fact, I wrote this in an article in 2014:
Does every mountain bike ride count as “practice” time? For me, honestly, it doesn’t–most days I’m just on autopilot and not really thinking about progression (other than fitness perhaps).
Just realized I didn’t directly answer your question. 🙂
I practice MTB approximately zero, though I’m stepping it up to about 0.1 now that my kids are starting to ride. The thing is, most of us barely have enough time to get out for a weekend ride and with limited time, no one really wants to spend that time just practicing. Riding is so much more fun!
I am with Jeff on this one, I am all giddy and gleeful if I can sneak out of the house by myself for a hard effort ride up the local to the local trails once a week. I learned most of my skills as a kid on a BMX bike and I might practice a bunny hop or a manual (I need lots more practice on that one) within the first 100 yards away from the house, it has been a VERY long time since I went out with the sole purpose of “practicing” any certain skill. I am mostly set on improving my personal fitness and beating my strava times UP the hills ( since trying to do so going down the hill is causing our community a lot of grief).
** Though I will say, from time to time I get bored of the same old steep ass fire roads and I settle for some seat down urban riding. It is during these rare rides that I would get most of my practicing in. Track stands at red lights, hopping up and down curbs (always hoping to find a big one lol) about 100 attempts at manualing along the way. Even still, the focus is on fun and not so much a serious approach at honing my skills.
Most of my practice is when I’m working on or cleaning bikes and then it’s usually off curbs and stuff in the neighborhood to make sure my stuff is dialed. If a trailhead has a skills area, dirt jump park or pump track I usually give it a few goes before I ride or if I come back to refuel.