Mountain Biking: Ride into your flow state
TIP: Ride with a focused mind and a relaxed body to both learn and improve. There is always room to expand your skill set when on the bike.
As a professional athlete for many years I can see the value of having continuous challenges to overcome and goals to strive toward.
Creating that flow state is so important when riding a mountain bike. To ride as if you are one with the bike will provide better control, elevate your efficiency and decrease the amount of wasted energy.
As Yoda would say: “To mountain bike better, flow as one you must.” What Yoda means is you and your bike must operate as one harmonious unit flowing down the trails.
TECHNIQUE: Relax: You need to let go of the physical and mental tension when on the bike to just charge. Your goal is: a better feel for the bike, more speed, higher efficiency and the least amount of energy wasted. You must control your bike as an extension of yourself.
You don’t want to be white knuckled, you want to be at ease yet still in control. Relax your shoulders let go of the tension in your arms to get rid of the shrug. And now create that flow state, also known as the zone.
It is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. Fuse with the bike as a single unit to create that flow state.
How to link the Mind and Body on the Bike
First off decide what you want to focus your attention on. Evaluate your surroundings, and acknowledge the challenges ahead.
Collect your skill set and establish a ready state on the mountain bike. Your mind is ready, now your body will follow.
Allow your conscious mind to create the image of your next action then allow your subconscious to make the action a reality. If you bypass the use of the mental component and don’t “think” then failure is much more likely.
Think about any activity that you might lose your focus. As simple as cutting vegetables. Lose your focus and perhaps lose your finger. Another example would be, thinking about what you will do for dinner while still out on your ride. Stay focused on the present time and place, in the moment so you are ready for the next obstacle ahead. This goes for all activities in life.
Mind body fusion will happen fluidly when you are aware and attentive to what you are doing. Stay alert and create your flow.