Tuesday, July 20, 2010

rookie mistakes

I've got a new teammate who's a runner by first trade and cyclist second.  And somewhere in there she mountain biked a few times ten years ago without much success.  On a ride a few weeks ago with her,  I realized how much more I know about bikes, bike maintenance, and even how to ride the logs than I did a few years ago.  I owe it all to the peeps who were patient with me and the blood vessels that continue to heal my bruises.

So here are some of easy-to-fix rookie mistakes I've noticed over the last year or so of hanging out with a few newbies in the woods:

1.  Smearing dirty, oily fingers all over the disc brake rotor.

2.  Laying the bike down on the drive train side.  Even the not-so-rookies do this.  It drives my mechanic crazy.

3.  Riding with one leg straight on the downhills. 

4.  Looking where you don't want to wind up.  Hey, sis who rode into/over a rather large rock - this is you.

5.  Over or under tightening skewers.  Yes, I've watched people's REAR wheels fall out of the dropouts over logs. Yes, I've watched this happen more than once.

6.  Under-inflating tires.  Guess this isn't a rookie mistake - it's the single thing my in-house mechanic is not very good at.  Especially when it's his bike.  I predict I will see more of this at Michaux this weekend.

7.  Underestimating the importance of clean shorts for (and after) every ride.

8.  Dropping a chain going uphill due to poor shifting.  Oh, wait, some pros might occasionally do this too...

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