Hybrid clubs represents a huge leap forward for the game of golf! These clubs offer the momentum and large sweet spot of a wood with the control and pitch of an iron hence the name. These clubs were very expensive when they were introduced on a wide scale around four years ago, however they have decreased significantly in price making them in the reach a any avid golfer. Here are a few reasons why these clubs will change the way you play golf.
Like I siad hybrid clubs provide the best of both worlds, the ability to play a ball like a wood or an iron without changing your club. They are also much easier to hit that the long irons (1-4) which even good golfers have a hard time hitting constantly so they use fairways woods, and even though woods have a larger sweet spot they are still difficult control. This is why the hybrid is so genius because it gives you a larger sweet spot like a wood with the club length of an iron giving you a lot more control.
The best part is these clubs are so versatile that you will only need three of them to replace all of your long irons. Not only will your bag be lighter but you will likely get on the green in two stokes. Every major manufacture has jumped on the wagon and offers at least one line of hybrids so it I likely you can match your current set of clubs with complementary hybrids. Seriously go grab at least one hybrid to start you will be impressed!
Here are some good links to start looking for hybrids: Golf Galaxy/ Global Golf
Riding shoes may be expensive but they will prove to be a worth while investment. They provide a light weight high preforming platform that will increase control and endurance. There are a wide range of styles for every stye of rider from down hill racers to causal signal track enthusiasts and everything in between. Here are some things you should consider when choosing weather or not to switch to riding shoes and clipless pedals and what you should look for when buying equipment.
As with anything you get what you pay for so I would suggest spending at least eighty dollars on your shoes. It is also a good idea to think about how you ride and what you need in a shoe, there are heavier shoes that provide better protection and support for down hill riders as well as lighter wight models that breath more for cross county riders, and because the shoe locks to your pedals you can take advantage of your up stoke which increasing your stamina by spreading the work load over more of your leg mussels.
Finally you have to consider the price of new clipless pedals. You will likely spend the same on your pedals as you will on your shoes while this might seem like a lot of money you will instantly fall in love with the control it gives you. It is a great feeling to be so connected to your bike because of the confidence that it gives you. I have provided some links below to get you started, so start looking around and making your wish list.
Photo credit (Pedals) (Shoes)
Evans Canyon has another hidden gem for you serious riders. In the upper section of what we will call the “N” trail there is a free ride section that offers a variety of features making it perfect to push your skills. As I talk about and provide directions in my previous post Evans Canyon is a great reaction location from the casual walker to thrill seeking down hill enthusiasts, and its close proximity to the UNR makes Evans Canyon a cant miss destination especially as the weather gets better.
There has been an impressive effort made by local riders to build up this free ride section. This is what I love to see, a collaborative effort to build trails in our area, it is usually these grassroots efforts that produce of the best lines that I have ever experienced. There is plenty of room to expand, so hopefully after the next few seasons there will be an awesome freed park right in our back yard, however do not just build on your own because it will be taken down by the county. Look for trail building days and other sanctioned events to build trails in the area.
If you want to push yourself on your bike and or you have become board with only hitting single track it is time to start trying some free ride lines, there is nothing like finally landing a big gap or crushing a big drop that you have taken a tumble on in the past. When you start free riding you are going to fall and it can be dangerous, so always use you safety equipment and take your time learning to ride because pushing yourself too quickly or far beyond your skill level will get you hurt. If you think you like mountain biking now after you start to ride free ride you will become even more addicted to the sport, so grab a shovel get out there and start building some awesome features.
Here is a link to a great workout to help you improve your riding endurance.
Goat heads are thorns that grow on the tribulus terrestris, shown to the right. These thrones are prefectly designed to stick into your tire giving you a flat. Here are a few tips to help protect you from getting punctured. Even if you fallow this advice you will inevitably get a flat from a goat head, so it is always a good adea to have a few spare tubes around.
The best piece of advice is to keep your tires pressurized to the higher end of the range the tires is rated for. This may seem counter intuitive when in fact your tire is less prone to puncture when highly pressurized because you have a smaller foot print and are less likely to hit something sharp then when your tire is under inflated. Additionally when the rubber of tire is under tension from the inner tube the rubber become more resistant to puncture.
If you are like me an get a goat head related flat at lest five times a season and you keep your tires pumped up you many want to look into thicker tubes and different tires. Most major manufacturers have a thorn resistant line of tubes that are only marginally more expensive than a regular tube. The only downside to these tubes is their heavy weight which may change a bikes handling noticeably. My final pice of advice is to not ride anywhere off the trail because the likelihood of hitting a goat head is significantly higher then on the trail. Have fun out on the Trail and watch out for goat heads.
Here is a link for more information about Goat Heads.
Here is a link to a website that sells thorn-resistant tubes.
After getting the climbing equipment that I talk about in my post “What Will You Need to Start Rock Climbing?” your next likely purchase will be a climbing rope. The two main types of climbing rope to consider are static and dynamic ropes. All modern climbing ropes are dynamic which means that they will stretch to help slow you down when you take a big fall. Static ropes should never be used to climb because they can cause serious injury when you fall since they do not stretch.
While looking at ropes also makes sure that you know if you are buying a wet or dry rope. Dry ropes will loose their elastic qualities and become static when they get wet while wet ropes will work in any conditions. If you only plan on climbing in area that hardly receives precipitation then I would suggest a dry rope because they are usually significantly cheeper than wet ropes. However if you live in a wet area or plan to travel to different climbing spots than spending the extra money on a wet rope is worth it.
The final thing you need to think about is how long of a rope you will need. Most precut ropes are between sixty and ninety meters, so always make sure that your rope is at lest sixty meters long because ropes that are any shorter will not be long enough for most climbs. If you have the money I would recommend buying an eighty or ninety meter rope becuse you will never need another rope for singe pitch climbing weathering it be top roping, sport or traditional climbing. The weather is getting better everyday , so it is time to do a gear check and get ready to start planing some climbing trips.
Here is a link to a good website to find climbing rope.
As I discussed in my previous post entitled Mountain Bike Beginnings, Caughlin Ranch is located in the neighborhood right behind the shopping center off of Village Green Parkway. Still go up to the clearing that is roughly a quarter mile above where the road ends, but instead of going up the trail that I described in my earlier post hike up the steep hill located to the left of the other trail. You will have to hike up two more hills before you reach the ridge in the picture.
Once you hike to the the top of the hill shown is the picture you will see a single track trail on the right hand side of the trial as you are hiking up. There are a few trail that start off the fire rode in this area, so look for a serials of jumps and a transition that are located a few hundred feet down the trail from the fire road. After the free-ride section the trail below provides some intermedieate single track that I would recommend to anyone with a full-soupention bike. Eventually you will ride into a gully at the bottom of the trial that you will need to hike out off to get beck to your car.
The 2013 season has begun; all the snow has completely melted and trail conditions are consistently excellent. My ride today was amazing, conditions were perfect, and because reno can get very hot during the summer this is my favorite part of the season to ride because it is only getting up into the seventies for a high which is great for riding. It is time to hit the gym everyday that you are not on you bike and vice versa, so you can get as strong as possible. Because the more endurance you have the better you can become and the better you are the more fun you will have.
Here is a link to a sweet mountain biking video to inspire you to get out on your bike.
In light of the recent bad weather that we have been having it is almost time for my favorite golf course in the area to open, the mountain course in Incline Village. I have played countless rounds at this course throughout my entire life and it has never become old. The course consist mainly of short par threes, so hitting to the green is a relatively easy accomplishment on much of the course this is also help by the fact that most of the greens are significantly lower than the tee as you can see in the picture the right. By no means does this make this course easy or predictable, and that is why is never become boring to play.
The mountain course is also significantly cheaper than the Championship Course, the only other course in Incline. I would highly recommend any avid golfer in the area that have not played to get up there this May when the course opens to take advantage of shoulder season rates which are extremely reasonable for locals and non-locals alike, and the twilight deal after 4 pm with a $1.50 charge per hole and only $5 for a cart rental. This is a deal that I will be taking advantage of a lot this upcoming season.
Not only does this course provide extremely engaging play it also offers amazing views, this is one of the most beautiful courses I have ever played, so much so that I have taken several people out with me that do not golf just to so they could see the course. Golfers and non-golfers alike have never come back to the club house disappointed. It is time to get out to the driving range and sake the cobwebs off so you can crush it on the links this season.
Here is a link to the Mount Course’s web site.
Here is a link for some exercises to improve your swing.