After crashing out of my road racing season last spring, I've been expanding my cycling horizons a little bit. I've taken up track cycling as my racing fix, not really looking forward to the press of a criterium peloton in the future. I've also begun to return to my roots: mountain biking. When I first climbed aboard a bike a number of years ago, it was a fat tire mountain bike. I cut my teeth on the rocky, rooty, twisty trails of the Hudson Valley. I voraciously read about mountain biking tips and practiced my skills at every chance I had. I was hooked on riding and places like the Taconic 909, Stewart Buffer Zone and Blue Mountain Reservation were places that I knew better than my own home.
Then I found road riding and racing. I spent the past 5 years ignoring those fat tires, cruising around the roads of New Jersey. I raced Battenkill, time trials, stage races, crits and road races, spending countless hours pursuing fitness on skinny tires and super light bikes.
Then I spent 3 months injured because of those road races.
After I got back in the saddle this past summer, I walked into my garage, looked up at my 10-year-old Kona Dawg Primo hanging from the wall and mused about how much fun it might be to get back on the trails. A couple weeks later I climbed aboard a bike that once felt so familiar but now felt completely foreign to me. Thankfully, all of the training I had done meant that only a couple of miles in the saddle would bring back all of those old memories again.
But being out on the trails isn't all fun and games. It's also a great training tool to build strength on the roads. Click through to read some mountain biking tips and training advice. Learn how to use fat tires to make yourself faster in races, on group rides or on your own!