RIDE SMART, NOT HARD
Anyone who has ventured on a mountain bike has encountered a hill. Riding downhill is, in the simplest term, fun, and the gravity gets riders to reach adrenaline high. An effective communication with a downhill rider’s fitness and skills is equally imperative as it creates an effect into the ride.
In fact, riding downhill is an extreme sport, but riders must communicate with their bikes and surroundings. The myth of riding downhill leading to mortality should be dispelled. If the skills are in control within riders’ abilities, there is certainly not as much risk involved as people tend to think. With the number of hills around in Malaysia, the population of riders jumping to downhill is snowballing. There are trails for every level of rider, programs and equipment that allow them to learn and utilize safely.
Downhill riders race against the time. “Every single second counts.” Fadzlee explained on the most basic but highly important techniques of riding downhill. “Body positions are crucial. In addition, wider handlebars allow maximum strength and leverage easily while riser handlebars make every cornering more efficiently.”
Mentality is ultimately critical. Usually a day before a race, Fadzlee would visit the race course, analyze the segments and study the elements on overcoming the obstacles. Every race course is a surprise to the racers. Encountering unpredictable terrain conditions and weather is equivalent to learning a new chapter. Being well-equipped during a race is essential, too.
Every race course is a surprise to the racers. Encountering unpredictable terrain conditions and weather is equivalent to learning a new chapter.
Is there any specific brand to determine Fadzlee’s performance?
Fadzlee is very pleased with his Polygon full-carbon bike. He is contented with the complete bike including the components and specifications. “Having a good bike is great but it is not all about the bike. How you tackle the course is important too”, Fadzlee enlightened us. The price of a bike will not define a rider’s performance. It is always a matter of skill and proficiency. Having a vigorous fitness is an obligatory requirement a downhill rider must call for. Riders must be fit in order to go downhill, but not to go downhill in order to be fit. Downhill bicycles are commonly heavily built. To go descends, riders need to carry their bikes to the top of a mountain through steep slopes and sheer gradients. How are you going to make it without strength, right?
COACHNG WITH CONVICTION
Just about 6 to 7 years ago, Fadzlee crashed his collarbone on his shoulder joint with a dislocated shoulder. The accident caused him quitting the sport for a year. On one fine day, he was meandering along the hills at UITM Shah Alam, when a sudden thought clicked through his mind. “I can’t run away from this.” The evening stroll reminded him of his passion for riding downhill. After a year of recuperation, Fadzlee resumed to his utopia.
Downhill mountain biking is evolving. Terrain is becoming more accessible. Equipment is getting more affordable. Bike parks are designed particularly to cater to every skill level. Fadzlee joined a number of local mountain bike racing clubs and was sponsored under them. Being a senior rider, he has often been thrown a lot of questions by other riders. He has been dedicating himself to provide more knowledge to the sports enthusiasts.
“I can feel the sense of satisfaction after coaching them.” Fadzlee flaunted his smile while revealing that his students managed to improve their performances after attending his lessons. “Therefore, I decided to start coaching without charging a single cent.”
Much to Fadzlee’s surprise, opportunity knocked on his door. Fadzlee’s experience is perfectly adequate for Polygon’s requirements. He is able to measure his clients’ masteries before determining their classifications. Other than that, he created a positive reputation on his social media platforms.
In March 2017, Fadzlee was invited to his first International Mountain Bike Skills Coaching Program in Brunei. Later in April 2017, he had another Mountain Bike Skills Coaching Program in Singapore with the crews from Polygon Malaysia. More frantic schedules awaited him, he will be conducting MTB Clinic and demonstration for the new Polygon Bike in Singapore in June. Most of all, he will be training hard for Asia Mountain Bike Series 2017 in August.
Downhill mountain biking is Fadzlee’s passion, however, his goal is to start up a riding academy for the potential young riders. He has interacted with every level of athletes and leisure riders, and incredibly passionate about giving young riders the guidance they need to nail it on a mountain bike.
You may feel intimidated, the fear, and even the butterflies in your stomach. But if you commit to the summit, you will be inspired. Like Fadzlee, push your mind and your body to their limits, join an incredible community, and discover your strength and potential on a bike.
You will progress, at the same time, you will fall. But finally, you will appreciate the improvement with more confidence and stability. Now, you start looking at big drops and jumps differently.
Downhill riders accept the risk, as the reward is so much greater. “I will make sure that my coaching style is varied from others.” Teaching a student from a beginner becoming a regular is the absolute reward Fadzlee can ever acquire.
Having a good bike is great but it is not all about the bike. How you tackle the course is important too