My blog has been falling victim to the same death as my training -- too much going on. I just haven't been able to make it fit very well so far this year.
There have been a few reasons. We switched to a 9-80 schedule last year, which means every other Friday off. This seems like it should be great, but so far it has meant longer days with less training time and more to get done on the off Fridays. As the kids get older I've been more busy with them too. Other things, but anyway...
I did get a new bike about a month ago, and finally got to ride it last weekend. My new Superfly 100 is awesome, and it was a blast to ride. I didn't get to really hammer on it yet, but that'll come. Thanks to Ian and BikeFix
for setting me up! When I lived in Bountiful there really wasn't a good bike shop up there. Now there is.
So last weekend was also a weekend in Hurricane with the Gene Hamilton and BetterRid
e. My parents went down, and it was fun to spend some time with them.
Gene has been an effective advertiser (which I think it a good thing, BTW) and I've been impressed with how many people have heard of him or even taken his courses. I ran across him last summer and tried to set something up last fall, but the scheduling didn't work out.
So I guess a lot of people will be interested to hear my thoughts about the camp, and the first question is, "was it really worth the $600?" I almost laugh when people ask me this. The 24 hours of Moab cost me more than $600 last year by the time I paid entry, gas, supplies, mechanic, etc, etc, and all I got was a good time and a temporarily blind eye! Honestly, if any one thing I learned at the camp helps me get better, it will have been worth it.
So that is the real question - will anything I learned help? I expect so, but it remains to be demonstrated. His camp is all about breaking down the various components of riding a bike, and then practicing specific drills to work on each of those individual components. The goal isn't to push the limit in the drills, but just the opposite, to do them in a controlled manner that allows precisely correct form. The drills need to be repeated, over and over, until they become reflexive and no longer require distracting and conscious thought.
Josh Waitzkin, in the Art of Learning, talks about becoming an expert in chess, and proposes a concept he calls something like, studying the numbers until you see through the numbers
. That concept has really stuck with me. He then recalls practicing a martial art called pushing hands where he did the motions slowly, exactly, over and over. Anyway, Gene is teaching the same method.
So I've been riding more or less the same way for 20 years now, and I've gotten a lot better at riding that way, but I haven't gotten any better for several years. So here comes Gene saying, "hey - I have found a better way." For now, I'm worse. Practicing, drilling, but still focused on the numbers and hoping that I can get a lot better by getting a little worse first.
Was it worth it? Ask me in a few months when I can see through the numbers.