The “Van der Poel” Position

We’ve run a few cyclocross and mountain bike clinics recently where we have been talking about cornering and getting our cranks level before initiating the turn.  This “ready position” we’ve nicknamed the “Van der Poel” position, as he frequently seen demonstrating this to set up for corners, technical sections and to help him recover from high intensity bursts of power.  Here’s an example if you aren’t familiar with it.

This is a great position to initiate a turn from when on dirt, drop and weight the outside foot and push down on the inside hand to make the turn.

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Head Coach Nick wins State XC Mountain Bike Championships!

This past weekend, Head Coach Nick raced the Crafts and Cranks/California State Championships Mountain Bike Cross Country up in Big Bear.  This event had been one of three “A” races Nick had picked out at the beginning of the season.  He duly took the “W” and with it the State Champions jersey!

2018 CA State Champ Jersey

Speaking afterwards he said “I learned a lot from the last round of the Gold State series  that I raced here a few weeks back where I got passed and beaten into second in the last half mile;  I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.  Training has gone really well leading up to the event, I tapered well and came in feeling fresh and ready to go.  I’m absolutely stoked to win the Bear Jersey and will wear it with pride!”

What MTB should I chose?

I was recently asked this question by a rider who hasn’t ridden mountain bikes before.  Knowing the athlete’s background in road and cyclocross racing, plus the terrain around where he lives, I initially responded either a 100mm travel hard tail or XC bike.  He came back to me saying, so why is the industry telling me to buy a 130mm travel full suspension trail bike then?

This got me thinking and I clarified my response – look at what the people you are going to ride with are riding.  Base your selection on that.  All MTB’s are a compromise and there is no point having a big bike if you are riding with XC types, likewise no point in having a xc bike if you’re riding with enduro types – you’ll be spending a lot of time by yourself and one of the best things about mountain biking (and cycling in general) is the camaraderie of the shared experience.