Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Strongest Legs in Indiana?

Jonathan Juillerat racing in a DINO Mountain Bike
race in Scottsburg, Indiana in 2002.
Jonathan Juillerat is one of the best mountain bike riders in Indiana. I found this out when we went on a group ride to Nebo Ridge back five or six years ago. Jonathan guided the group to some gnarly side trails that I never knew about.

At one point the trail came to an amazingly steep climb that was pre-IMBA trail spec, meaning it was straight up, full of rain rutting, rocks, branches and the like.

I looked at my buddy Mark and said something like, “We’re not going to try and climb that are we?”

Jonathan said something about keeping your momentum and with that started peddling up this insanely steep ascent. I was in decent shape, doing DINO Series races at the time, but I got about halfway up the hill, tried to jump over a rut and came to a stop. Once I lost my momentum there was no way to start peddling again so I grudgingly started pushing the bike up the trail.

I wasn’t alone in pushing. I looked up and only Jonathan and one other rider out of our dozen or so group were still on their bikes.

To be able to ride up this hill was a major accomplishment enough, but the one thing I failed to mention was that Jonathan made it to the top in spite of towing a trailer behind his bike!

Needless to say we all gained a newfound respect for Jonathan and his Superman legs that day at Nebo.

Jonathan has some cool videos here, showing his off-season training methods. If you want to talk with him sometime swing by Nebo Ridge Bicycle Shop up near Zionsville.

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