On Sunday Tricia and I took the Climbing and Descending class the Velogirls offer. It's one of their few co-ed classes, so we were able take it together.
We started out in a parking lot right near where the Sequoia Century started. We works with getting comfortable on our bikes and finding balance. It was a blast to be a kid again and hang off one side then the other, drop off the back, lean over the front and generally be 10 years old again.
We also worked on cornering. For me the thing that made a big difference was the admonition to lift my chin and point it where I want to go. I'm no neophyte -- I always look where I want to go, but the "lift the chin and point it in that direction" was something I hadn't done. I really made me feel more solid in the corners.
I guess that's the advantage of a good class -- having someone who's seen of a lot be able to give you specific advice.
We then went out and climbed. I'm not sure where we were, but it was very pretty.
The advice I got was to stop climbing on the hoods and use the bar tops. Considering I've been climbing on the hoods for a zillion years it's pretty hard to stop. But I'm working on it.
The hill we descended on was a delight. I don't know how they found it. A reasonable 2 mile climb, but not a lot of sharp corners and not so steep as to be frightening, or even use brakes on. Just a nice 35 mph ride where I could work on rhythm and balance.
One interesting thing that happened: On our ride out I briefly talked with a rider not in our group . Apparently she thought I was turning right and so she, from my left, jumped and cut right, hitting my front wheel. Amazingly we just rubbed and I was able to bounce off and not smack it in. What the heck, I'll give some credit for my survival to the bump exercise we did a few weeks ago in the other Velo Girls class I took.
Anyway, once again I had a great time, and learned a bit as well.
Now all I need to do is get to work on the engine and I'll be really ready to rock.