Saturday, March 6, 2010

DIY Mud Protection

It doesn't rain much where I live so I don't have to deal with this issue very often. However, it was wet out there the other day and I was hankering for some riding so I decided to construct my own mud protection. The first thing I made is not a new invention but is great for keeping mud out of your face - its pretty popular with downhillers. It has a name starting with "S" and is pronouced something like schnidoof or shnichimut - I know I'm way off so if you know it's actual name please tell me. Essentially it's a piece of old tube that is attached between the fork crown and the arch. Most people attach it with zip-ties but I wanted mine to be removable so I used some velcro strips. When your wheel is spinning at high speed, mud is thrown in front of you which you end up catching with your face; the S-word does a great job of stopping this mud and keeps you much cleaner.

At the rear end of the spectrum I have built a fender from an old milk container and attached it to the top of the seat-stays. I was toying with the idea of having it sit under the saddle like a race fender but thought it might gain better coverage if it were closer to the wheel. Again, you could punch some holes in the plastic and attach it with zip-ties but I used some craft wire that I had lying around.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kettlebell Training

Kettlebell training is a fantastic way to build strength specific for mountain biking. This form of exercise will build whole body strength while working your cardio system. there are heaps of resources out there where you can get information on kettlebells and kettlebell training - just run a search in google or YouTube and you'll have an abundance of materials. I found after only a few kettlebell sessions I had increased power and strength which transferred directly into my sport. I put this down not only to muscle adaptation but because kettlebells teach your body to engage your core which is critical in achieving maximum strength and efficiency from your efforts. Kettlebell exercises strengthen your body in a way that is specific to the way you move as opposed to the more unrealistic movements of weights exercises (bench press, arm curls etc.).