Biking with joy | Lessons learned

Just a bit over two years ago, as of this writing, I started an activity that has become my passion. Mountain Biking. I learned a few things over this period of time that I want to share away for the next newbie around the root/rock/bush/drop emm... corner.

My first bike was a K2 Sport XS. Although it was in nice shape it was clearly 3 times smaller than my 5.7' body requires. I was also 219 pounds so I guess it balanced out the fact that I could barely get from point A to B regardless of the bike's frame.



My second bike was a HUGE improvement over the the first. A SuperFly 100/AL Elite bought as lightly used by a local teacher. It served as a wonderful intro to understand a lot better what works and what doesn't for me and the trails that I usually ride. 



My current bike is a fantastic BMC Speedfox 02 2018 size M with 27.5 wheels size (specs).

At this point I am far enough in the game of biking to have a few certainties at least for people for the equivalent experience and body similarities.

Clothing

I ride in all four seasons. Which means that I need to have three things right:

  • Stay warm but don't hot hot while riding
  • Don't get your feet wet
  • Stay as dry (underneath) as you can when it rains or crash in the snow
I achieve that with the following items. I don't get any kick for referrals so what is linked below is just what it worked for me.

Undergarments
  • A tee undergarment to keep the sweat to cool and become a layer of ice on your skin
  • Underwear that wicks sweat and yet doesn't compress excessive as your muscle swell with pressure 
  • Socks for winter and socks for the summer
  • Cold freezes my lungs under 2 minutes. It has been like since I was a kid. So I wear this when is really super cold and this when it just WA cold in combo with custom scarf tubes.
Shoes
  • Dry and summer those make me face any drop or crazy speeds
  • For places where rocks rule the trail to protect my toes I use those ones
  • I tried several shoe covers to keep my feet dry, including waterproof socks, nothing worked. The only closest one were silicon covers but got destroyed soon because of the spikes on the pedals.
Shirts
  • I tried so many that I lost count, however for summer I end up being very happy with this and for winter I am still looking for the holy grail. Post in the comments if you have figure it out.
  • I even got my custom shirt for summer. There are several ways to get a custom shirt so I am not linking what I used as you have to shop around to get good deals on a seasonal basis.

Pants
  • Fall, mild winter. I absolutely love the ATG by wranglers
  • For cold this one worked really good and it is water proof
  • For mega cold this were like wearing light pans in summer while being warm and dry

Gear

  • For hydration pack after trying a lot of different options I end up loving the Osprey backpack option.
  • I am one of the assholes (from how loves silence) to play music when I ride. Music numbs the pain and boost the adrenaline. So fuck it! I used bluetooth speakers but I keep debating with EarPods because the wind at high speed reduce the music blast. I use this phone holder which is the most sturdy I have found and protected the phone in the most vicious crashes I experienced. (many)
  • Helmet (I tried two type and this one was the winner for several good reasons)
  • Multitool and small pump (nicknamed pumpy-pumpy)
  • A container to hold all gear with waterproof zip bags
  • GoPro 8 which has a fantastic stabilizer anything just doesn't make sense 
In another post I will share repairing lessons and training discoveries. There's plenty out there so I will keep sharing what worked for a small fat pig that now can ride like a fat butterfly. 

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