Mountain Biking 12 Feb 2011 09:48 pm

Lars (not sternberg)

If I’m Lars’ mentor is he my protege? Anyway I’m mentoring this cool 14 year old kid here in Ashland for his middle school senior project.  He wants to be a Pro DH racer and I think I was his best local option.  When approached to be his mentor I decided I’d model the whole thing after Karate Kid.  So I’m Mr Myagi in this…Just not quite that old…Or of Asian descent.

First we started with the “wax-on, wax off” stage. Before he could go out and ride the bike I was supplying he had to completely tear the thing down and rebuild it so that he would better understand the parts he’d eventually be breaking. Actually he hasn’t broken anything on the bike yet despite some serious efforts last weekend.

I think there was a “catching the fly with chopsticks” phase and I honestly don’t have a parallel  for that one.

Throughout his training there was a recurring theme of respect for others….So I’ve made a requirement that he has to participate in some sanctioned trail maintenance at some point, as well as attend one of the trail advocacy meetings we have.  Also he must show respect to other trail users, which he’s been doing a great job with,  but so far I’ve been unable to secure his attendance in one of the previously mentioned gatherings, due to scheduling conflicts.

Peppered in through out this time is the training.  Which a big part is getting him to ride uphill part of the time.  Last weekend I’d say there was some of that hopping crane jump kick thing when Karate Kid fell on the stump.  Lars’ version of that was to go for the first big gap jump on Marty’s and front wheel casing it. But somehow riding out of it.

Of course the big showdown will be the local Spring Thaw DH race where he will bring it all together and show those “Cobras” what he’s made of!

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