Growing up XC racing I always used clips but I had a brief riding break during
college and when I returned back to riding I decided to try flats. I stuck
with them for a couple of years and learnt a lot from flats. I always had it
in my mind that I would go back to clips but before my re-attaching Five Tens
appeared on the scene and after trying a pair I was blown away by the level of
confidence they provided.
I've now been using flats exclusively for over 10years and unless I return to
race at a serious level I can honestly say I'll never return to clips. The
skills you learn on flats are incredible and once you dial in the correct
inputs you don't need the 'performance' enhancement provided by clips. All new
MTB riders should rock flats for at least a few years to build the right
techniques before ever even trying clips, there's no advantage to clips to the
new rider but there are many disadvantages.
I'm a strong believer that if you are racing and you are at the pointy end of
the group then ride clips because they could be the difference between winning
and losing, unless you're Sam Hill of course!!
is it obsolescence or adolescence? Mountain biking is still really young, it
took years for the motorbike and automobile industry to reach some reasonable
sort of industry standard and unfortunately for us Mountain biking is still
nowhere as popular or has anywhere near the amount of capital involved with
it. SO personally i think we just have to see where it all comes out in the
wash before actually giving up on our favorite sport/pastime because of some
new technological advancement or the fact that someone cut out my favorite
root or moved my favorite rock….
I usually go once a week. Power, Flow, Hatha and Pilates are what I aim for, whichever one suits my schedule, it's great to get an extra workout either mellow or intense depending on how you go about it. I'm not a Hot or Bikrams fan, I have been, I just don't enjoy the heat I sweat enough in some of the other classes. Yoga is great for body awareness and body weight strength workouts, it's also fantastic tool for clearing your mind, breathing and learning how to focus.
Most studios do introductory offers like unlimited for 2weeks for $49 including mat and towel. Also they offer 30 or 40 day challenges that will really progress your practice 10-fold, plus give you time concentrating on another activity to ease the stress of MTB on the body. These are always a reduced price too. The teachers in most classes are great and are really helpful to beginners, definitely worth going a few times to learn the basics, you won't regret it!