I saw a post on an online forum last night that reminded me of something that is a bit of a peeve to me. Have you ever done this? I'll admit, there was a time when I totally was into this! You know...........doing what the pros do! Setting up your bike just like your favorite offroader-du-jour. Wow! What a huge mistake! Yep, I did it too, can't deny that.
The big problem with setting up your rig just like a pro's bike is this; you do not ride like a "pro", you do not ride where a pro rides, and you are not sponsored! Okay, let me explain all of that!
1. Okay, if you were a "pro" rider; getting paid to ride, you'd be riding all the time. Yep! No time for drinking with your buddies, playing x-box, or checking out a little football action. No way! You are riding ALL the time! Hours and hours each day, honing your skills, fitness, riding style, and equipment to a knife edge so sharp that it will cut hardened steel. It's right for only you- you've invested all that time focusing all those things on your needs, not some "joe-schmoe" trail riders needs.
2. You probably ride some "rad" trails, okay. You might even see some "pro" out riding on your favorite loops. However, you do not ride "where" a pro rides! It makes sense two ways really. One: you do not push yourself into the bleeding eyeball, screaming nerve endings, barely in the realms of conciousness riding areas that most pros do when they compete. Nope, you do not ride "there"............and number two. Nor do you, most likely, rage the same "courses" that they do when they compete. Keep in mind, their rigs are specifically set up for that.
3. This last one should be easy for us all to grasp. Do you ever get replacements for parts you break for free, or complete race rigs for free, or all the riding togs you need.......for free? No? Yeah......me too. This is reflected in the way I choose my parts. Are they reliable? Are they strong? Are they within reason price-wise, so that my wife, kids, and bank account do not suffer adversely from my aquisition of said parts? Real world. Uh-huh.
That's why when I read or hear that someone or other is not going to do or ride such-and-such because "that's not what the pros do" I cringe. Hey, here's an idea! Figure out what works best for you. Yeah, yeah! I know, you will actually have to think about it, maybe even do some research. Experiment, try out some ideas, see if they work for you. Maybe your rig will end up looking un-like anbody elses rig, but that's okay if it works for you on your trails. If you do invest into your riding style, and the way you ride, you just might find out something. You might find out that riding your bike is fun. It's not a statement about how cool you are! It's not about how much you know. It's about fun, fitness, and the challenge.
Now, get rid of that goofy stretched out racer geek set up, drape yourself all comfy like on some sensible trail sled, and let's ride fools! 2006 awaits! Last one out eats my trail roost!