the end of the riding season is slowly coming around the corner for some of us, with maybe a couple more months of autumn riding before winter hits. i thought i'd post up and see how everyone's season has been so far in terms of acommplishments or failures with respect to the goals that we had set for for ourselves at the beginning of the season.
for me, i hadn't really set any specific goals and just wanted to get more time in riding than i did last season. i also wanted to improve in my overall bike handling skills and i'm glad with how my season has progressed this year, despite the fact that i still feel fairly uncomfortable in the air and apprehensive of hitting dirtjumps and drops bigger than 4' after a couple of crashes i had last year (one in which i broke the arch on my fork and another in which i tacoed my front wheel). as the season's been winding down i've been working on that a bit though hitting up drops more often and trying to go a bit bigger and bigger each time. hopefully, next year i'll be comfortable with dirtjumps again.
as for handling skills, i've made quite a bit of progress and am getting more comfortable with riding skinnies and ladder bridges. a bunch of new stuff has been popping up here and there in the don trails and i've been trying at least one new stunt each ride out, giving them a go as my confidence on the bike has been getting stronger. my favourite has got to be this new one that was put up just last week:
it's not really skinny, being about a foot wide (done for safety reasons - the city wouldn't be too happy with non-"fatkid"-proof stunts), but it's super long and super fun. at present time, i think i've pretty much hit up every skinny in the don except one (which happens to be one of the longer, skinnier skinnies in the valley). teeters have become a piece of cake and i'm starting to get better at judging just how much fast or slow stunts can or should be hit at.
my trackstand isn't where i want it to be yet, but it's getting better. bunnyhopping is on and off... some days my technique and timing is on, some days it's seriously lacking. i've started learning how to ride up larger obstacles like riding up onto 2' ledges and sets of stairs more than 3 or 4 steps high. as for learning how to wheelie and manual, i've kind of put that off for the meantime in favour of getting more comfortable on the trail and improving my balance on the bike. next year, hopefully, i'll spend more time on things like wheelies, manuals, endos and more of the trialsy type moves. using those tricks thoroughout the trail make things more fun, challenging and not to mention styley .
i also got my first real taste of dh and loved it. hopefully, i'll get more chances to head up to bluemountain and get some more experience riding dh as it's a whole different animal than the crosscountry type trailriding we do within the don valley.