World Cup DH racing has returned after a too-long mid-season break, and the next Enduro World Series and World Cup XC events are on the horizon. That means a whole bunch of high-caliber athletes are out there spending serious amounts of time trying to figure out how to go even faster. If you've trained for months, or years, only to see the win slip out of reach by mere millisesonds, or maybe you're a former podium contender that's suddenly in the middle of the pack, I'm sure it can trigger some deep introspection in an effort to find that extra burst of speed.
It's not just elite athletes that find themselves scratching their heads either – plenty of riders have entered a race for the first time, convinced their natural abilities will power them to glory, only to be dissapointed when the final results sheet gets printed out.
Sure, going faster seems like it should
be as simple as letting go of the brakes, or pedalling a little harder, but there's obviously more to it than that. I've seen ridiculously talented athletes crumble from the stress of the starting line, and we've all watched mechanicals prematurely end a winning run.
You don't need to be a racer to want to get faster – as the saying goes, fast is fun, which naturally means that faster is funner, or something like that. We all ride for different reasons, and I like goofing off on a bike as much as anyone, but there's also something addicting about trying to unlock the secrets of a particular section of trail, or figuring out how to keep up with that riding buddy who somehow always ends up in front.
For this week's poll, imagine there was a way to magically gain extra speed, no drugs or motors required. You can only pick one, though, so choose carefully – the fastest bike in the world won't make a difference if you have the reaction time of a sloth, or can't ride off a curb without crashing.