Roadie Mistakes

I was a roadie for long time before getting on an MTB. Consequently, I learned to spin my cranks pretty fast, a skill that still serves me well on trail climbs. But it’s not really what you want to be doing to get through a rock garden or over a log. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite.

Still, my instinct is to shift to an easier gear whenever an obstacle appears. Then I can’t time my pedal strokes as needed and smash a pedal on a rock. Or I don’t generate the torque needed to power through. Or I spin out the back wheel. In any event, I’m done.

This has been frustrating me for years, but old habits…

Last night on my Waldo ride I adopted the mantra, “One gear harder.”

It served me well. I got through and over some stuff that had been troublesome.

This morning, my legs are toast.

Next time, it’ll be better.

About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class guy from Roxbury, Connecticut. I've been married to my best friend since 1988, and we have two grown sons. I like riding bikes, and my biggest accomplishment is the 180K D2R2. I own 5 bikes but my go-to rides are a 2016 GT Grade gravel and commuter bike and a 2016 Specialized 650b hardtail mountain bike. Additionally, I have a 2000-something carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a 1990-something Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike and which now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 1985 Ross Mount Hood MTB. All but the 650b have Brooks saddles. I work from home now, but used to commute 32 miles round trip to work by bike year round. I was a carpenter and still love building things, but regular paychecks, insurance, and vacation time lured me into journalism. I've written a couple of books on carpentry, and I've been an editor at Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, and Professional Deck Builder magazines. Currently, I manage construction events at the JLC Live and Remodeling Show trade shows. Additionally, my wife and I run Transylvania Guest House, an Airbnb. Find us on Instagram. Come stay with us and I'll show you some great cycling.
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