Doing it Solo

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Doing it Solo

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    • #106570

      Hey guys, a few of you know me on here and I have been a member for a while and y’all are great with advice (most of the time.) So I was wondering if anyone of you out there could give some tips, advice, inspiration or etc.

      Coming from a highly unsupportive and dysfunctional family Ive always had to do things on my own, my original dream was quad cross/motocross but my family would never allow me to own a motorized recreational vehicle of any kind (even though we live on a multi-thousand acre ranch) So I have settled for mountain biking and have been going to college and working just to buy my second bike after being the first being stolen. (I raced on the first bike once and had a decent finish, top 15)

      What I am wondering is how, if it is possible for someone to make it to the top, or at least close with inadequate funds and little time and support and basic equipment. Basically I have a bike and a helmet 😆 . I have made a pledge to quit drinking and partying and save my money only for racing supplies and training. This means, full diet, riding, and gym schedule.

      Also would the training app on this site be helpful, I was debating on going premium?

      Is there anything you guys would recommend? All i want to hear is my name called and to stand on a podium.

      **Not really trying to vent or give a sob story, but I know there are many zeroes to heroes out there and Im just looking for any help or advice I can get.**

    • #106571
      "MERCE006" wrote

      What I am wondering is how, if it is possible for someone to make it to the top, or at least close with inadequate funds and little time and support and basic equipment. Basically I have a bike and a helmet 😆 . I have made a pledge to quit drinking and partying and save my money only for racing supplies and training. This means, full diet, riding, and gym schedule.

      That sounds like you’ve got the deck stacked against you, but I know [i:3jvtis6g]exactly[/i:3jvtis6g] how you feel. Back in the day I wanted nothing more than to be a professional athlete… then I realized that actually, I DID want other things too, and that competing professionally actually [i:3jvtis6g]wasn’t[/i:3jvtis6g] what I wanted.

      What I think you’ve got to decide is what exactly you want to do, and then do it. Do you want to be a pro racer? Or do you want to make your way in the mountain bike industry in some other way?

      If you decide that you want to be a pro racer, then JUST DO IT. If you set your mind to it and commit 100%, anything is possible. It might not be physically possible to be the best in the world… some people just have the genetics for it and some don’t. Then again, maybe you DO.

      Bottom line: if you truly decide that you want to achieve something and you put your all into it, I think you can do it. But it will be hard. It will require so much sacrifice that you may think you can’t go on anymore. It may take you a long time to do.

      You said you don’t have any time right now. Well one thing is certain: you are going to have to MAKE time for it. And if you really want to do it, you will. If you don’t…..

      As for inadequate funds, at some point sure, you’ll need some decent gear. And you’ll need to repair your bike along the way. But the question you should be asking yourself is: "do I need a bunch of money and the nicest equipment to get started on my journey?"

      And I’d say the answer is NO. You’ve got a bike and a helmet you said. Well, start riding your bike. Start riding it a lot. Start riding it farther. Start riding with people that are faster than you, and go from there. As you work on getting better and faster, save every cent you can.

      Long story short, I’m a believer in trying to achieve your dreams. And you can do it! But if you think it’s going to be easy, you’ve got another thing coming.

    • #106572

      No. I want to be a pro athlete 100%. And thanks for your reply, its one of the best answers I’ve ever gotten for any question asked on here. I watch so many mountain biking videos its unreal.

      And as for the time part I’m working on it. Ive started riding before some classes and after before work starts and doing really longer rides on my 2 days off. In a way I don’t want this to be easy, I think the fact that its not being handed to me is what is making me want it so much more. Just to be able to one day look back and say, "see I did it when most of you said I couldn’t."

      If there is any other helpful advice, feel free to send it my way.

      And again, many thanks…It means a lot 😉

    • #106573

      One thing to think about: being a professional mtn biker doesn’t pay jack. Not just in comparison to other pro sports like baseball or football, but in general. A lot of pros don’t make enough riding to support their families and have to work a real job too. However, the beauty of cycling is you can be an awesome athlete and compete at a high level without being a pro. It’s one of the few sports were amatuers can line up next to professionals at the races and compete head to head.

      Thomas Turner is one of the fastest racers in the southeast. In 2010 he was 11th overall and 4th American at the brutal Costa Rican stage race LaRuta. He’s sponsored by Jamis. Know how he pays the bills? He works at a bike shop AND as a construction worker. No lie. A friend of mine even ran into him here in Augusta recently.

      Going pro in any sport is nearly impossible. Not impossible, obviously, because people do it. But it’s hard. In cycling it takes more than just hard work, the guys who stand on top of the pro podium are just put together different than the rest of us. Different genes.

      BUT – heck yeah, try and be the best rider you can possibly be. But at the same time, put in the work in school too. If you don’t land a pro sponsorship on the bike at least you’ll have a degree to get a good job so you can afford nice gear and lots of race entry fees! You can still have a ton of fun on a mtn bike without being a pro.

    • #106574

      This is outside my area of expertise, but I have a couple of thoughts.

      First, it sounds like you have determination. And that should take you a long way regardless of what you are pursuing.

      Secondly, I’d recommend start looking around at local race teams that you might be able to join. Again, I’m not real sure how it works, but there is one locally that I think only requires you to race in a certain number of events per year to retain membership. Of course, winning would be nice, but I’m not sure its a deal breaker. In addition to racing, I know they also partcipate in things like volunteer events as a team.

      Being part of a team should give you access to things — other riders/racers, sponsors, support, & product. Direct access to other riders with experience in what you are pursuing that are willing to share their knowledge and support would be huge. You might also get access to products at less than retail (or free!). As a matter of fact, one of the sponsors of the team I am referring to is a local hand-crafted bike company. Several of the team members ride their bikes, and my guess is it was a pretty sweet deal all around.

      Good luck, my friend.

    • #106575

      Many thanks to all of you for your kind words and advice. Its a lot more than Ive ever gotten from anybody, it really means a lot to me. Thank you.

    • #106576

      One thing I’ll say about being on a limited budget… skills and fitness beats fancy equipment any day of the week. Case in point… I was struggling on some rock gardens one day on my FS 29’er when a guy comes bee-bopping down the same trail on a hardtail rigid (no fork even!) 26" with rim brakes. That bike was older than Jesus and yet the guy passed me on my fancy-pants rig like it was effortless. His bike probably weighed 10 lbs more than mine but he knew how to use what he had. What a humbling moment! Note to self… it’s NOT about the bike… So don’t despair if you don’t have top notch equipment or the lightest bike to hit the planet. Ride well and ride smart and you will humiliate the punks on their $6,000 rigs.

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