This past spring I enrolled in Crystal’s six week “Bike Fitness” class. I thought it would be a nice way to kick start my season and shake those off-season cobwebs from my legs. After about a million kettle bell swings and burpees, the snow started to melt and I was finally able to get out on the bike. What a difference.
I come from a BMX/dirt jumping/downhill background and am currently racing “Enduro”. An Enduro race consists of a series of “transition” stages, where you pedal your way to the top within a set period of time, followed by timed downhill sections; this is where it really matters. Those timed downhill stages are combined, and the fastest overall time wins. This style of racing rewards the most rounded rider that can descend, corner, jump and climb. A high level of skill, endurance and strength is needed to perform well in this type of event.
After completing Crystal’s “Bike Fitness” class, I was impressed by how good I felt getting on the bike on my first ride of the season. Usually those first couple of rides include keeling over, a ton of whining and basically, an overall weak display of athleticism. The way that Crystal’s workouts incorporate strength and endurance training, I not only felt strong off the bat, but I was already at level of endurance that I had never had that early in a season. With those results I was sold on her class and decided to continue training for the rest of the summer.
The gains to my upper body and core had the most significant effects to my riding. Having a stronger upper body and core made me more balanced on the bike and allowed me to throw the bike around with more ease. As the summer went on and training continued, it was easy to see that I was becoming a faster and stronger rider.
This past August was a real testament to Crystals training during the Enduro X at Steamboat race. The race was comprised of three timed stages, which were the longest stages I have ever raced. The first stage was a real doozy which included 3,000 ft of descending with a substantial amount of climbing. The winning time for that stage was 22:26, a very long time to be gunning it for. The following and final day was comprised of two, pure downhill stages. The second stage was a bike park style trail with berms and jumps and the third was a gnarly, loose, and technical, downhill course, with winning times of 12:26 and 11:34, respectfully. I ended up taking 6th overall in the pro class amongst a field of very talented and fast riders. Although I have a long way to go as far as technique and bike handling skills, there was no way that my level of fitness held me back during the race. Those long stages were long and physically demanding but regardless, I felt par for the course.
Thank you Crystal for all your help and guidance, whipping me into shape. For all of those mountain bikers out there, I would absolutely recommend joining Crystal’s gym and taking your cycling to a stronger and more confidant place.