The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 152 - How To Be a Better Rider w/ Coach Joel Harwood

Nov 17, 2022 at 15:43
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich


If we had to list the reasons we like mountain biking in order of importance, I'm pretty sure that most of us would have, "It's a lot of fun" in the number one spot. I'm also willing to bet that progression is a small (or big) part of that fun, regardless of how competitive you may or may not think you are. So, what would happen if you were a bit more intentional with your riding? Would you have even more fun? Today's podcast sees me talk to Joel Harwood, founder of Squamish's Blueprint Athlete Development, about how any rider can improve on the bike and as an athlete in general.

Joel explains minimizing terrain to maximize learning, practicing intention daily, and how you can't choose to be motivated or confident but you can rely on competent behaviors.





THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 152 - HOW TO BE A BETTER RIDER W/ COACH JOEL HARWOOD
November 18th, 2022

Minimizing terrain to maximize learning, riding with intention, and how you can't choose to be motivated or confident but you can rely on competent behaviors.



Podcast presented by Bosch



Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Subscribe to the podcast via your preferred service (Apple, Spotify, RSS, LibSyn, etc.), or visit the Pinkbike Podcast tag page for the complete list of episodes.


52 Comments

  • 39 0
 My path.
1. Purchase equipment that exceeds ability
2. Ride the same flow trail religiously and avoid all new features.
3. Ride alone or with small children so ego is never challenged
Now you’re awesome.
  • 8 0
 Not enough credit is given to lowering the bar. It's by far the easiest way to get "better!" Well put, @blinglespeed
  • 2 1
 I’d rather be a quitter than a loser.
  • 9 0
 Super happy to see this pop up, along with another season of Cathro's How to Bike series. It is great to see more content emerging about skills and technique (how to actually ride bikes!), as opposed to the new, flashy, expensive thing to buy for your bike. Not that there is anything wrong with tech videos and fancy parts, but its nice to see more skill-related content coming out.
  • 12 1
 Wtf is "ashphalt"? Is this a Canadian thing?
  • 1 0
 Thank you!
  • 4 0
 It's when you ass is at fault
  • 2 3
 Its a term used to refer to the road everywhere outside of Merica. Aka tarmac or bitumen.
  • 4 0
 @Two-planker: I was being facetious. in 'merica it's asphalt (pronounced ass-fault, not ash-fault). I've heard tarmac and bitumen and a number of other non-US-centric terms for road surface before, but this is the first time I've ever heard asphalt pronounced that way.
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: that is correct.
  • 9 2
 Hopefully "Start a YouTube Channel" and expose every secret trail in your region with your "progression" videos is part of this. Right after getting 1000 followers on TikTok and contacting every brand about discounts.
  • 5 0
 That was an outstanding listen. As a 60 year old rider still trying improve, I’ll be listening to that one again. And again. There were so many statements worthy of memorization. One fav was “to maximize learning you need to minimize the terrain.” Thanks @blueprint.athlete.development and Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 Confidence is a feeling that often comes from discussing competent behaviors.
  • 3 0
 Enjoyed that, was a lot of reinforcement for what I'm doing for little reward - at least I'm on the right path. Not being defensive about Cathro but the mentions of the videos developing skills versus the importance of the fundamentals, with How To Bike the first proper episode on the bike is body position and where you want to be looking - and then calls back to it every episode. Being free online videos, though, people can just skip to shredding.
  • 6 0
 Upgrade your old Yeti to a new Yeti to get 7mm more of chain stay length?
  • 2 0
 Super good podcast. It's so interesting this part of progression on the mountain bike. Being 45, I could improve a lot by changing my body position in the last three years. The video posted by the strength factory here on PB a few years ago had a big impact on the way I ride. So I'm a lot more confident on tech stuff now and it's so rewarding.
  • 2 0
 Loved this episode. Such good back-to-basics advice for someone who has accumulated decades of bad habits.

Cool to hear Angie Duckworth and grit get mentioned. She's got a great podcast with Stephen Dubner Called "No Stupid Questions". Recommended!

freakonomics.com/series/nsq
  • 2 0
 Was with you until the nutrition portion.
Don’t forget registered dietitians are health care professionals with a governing body.

Nutritionists, naturopath, health food store employees etc are not.
Similar to the principles of fundamental movements and body positions being most important physically. Simple maintainable food habits that leave the flexibility for enjoyment are important.
  • 4 0
 So excited about this one, Joel is the real deal as is his whole crew. Shout out to Javi his skills coach as well!
  • 5 0
 What happened to James Smurthwaite?
  • 1 2
 Google will tell you all you need to know if you just type in his name....
  • 5 0
 I doubt his new BBC coworkers would enjoy the mushroom story as much as the Pinkbike audience.
  • 26 0
 James got an adult job working for the BBC and we all miss him terribly, especially on the podcast.
  • 2 0
 @bigtim: Top response from Google:

"James Smurthwaite was an English first-class cricketer, who played seven matches for Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1938 and 1939. Born in North Ormesby, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, England, Smurthwaite was a fast-medium swing bowler, who could also bowl medium-pace off-breaks."
  • 1 3
 @JSTootell: if only Google gave you more than 1 result!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: was just about to ask this question but also 1) will his replacement be joining the cast and 2) what happened to RC, Christina - and Kaz ??? Also we all secretly know Alicia got injured and PB isn't making a public statement about it - not an issue, but is there a place we can still kick in to help out $$$ if that is still needed? I've seen a few links to that buried in comments, but can't find any of that again.
  • 1 0
 @DizzyNinja: thx so much -
  • 4 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Yup, there will be more people on the pod in the future. RC is retired but always here in spirit and we’ll catch up with him soon. Christina is busy making vids on bikes!

For Alicia: www.gofundme.com/f/alicia-and-her-family-with-medical-costs
  • 3 0
 thanks for this! rewinded it multiple times to take notes on new things to try.
  • 2 0
 These podcasts always bug out on my feed. 4.5 hours long and every time I try and rewind 10 secs it sends me to a random point
  • 1 0
 Same here. What app are you using? I'm on Pocketcasts on Android. I've had to come here to listen to the show so I don't get this weird stuff going on. It's been happening for a while. Very weird.
  • 1 0
 @chromakey321: I have been using BeyondPod for years. Actually, probably close to a decade now.
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: May need to check that out. This weirdness with this specific podcast is getting really annoying. This was a cast that I wanted to jump back to certain points and whatever this weirdness is causes it to jump to weird moments in time. Like MrHuntso mentioned it shows up as 4.5 hours in our catcher.
  • 1 0
 @chromakey321: yeah I'm on pocket casts too
  • 1 0
 @MrHuntso: I tried @JSTootell suggestion and I'm seeing the same issue in that podcatcher too. Ep153 is over 4 hours long and I can't fast forward without it jumping around. Very weird issues.
  • 1 0
 @MrHuntso @chromakey321
I've been having the same issue on BeyondPod on Samsung Android.

I just found this info:
www.beyondpod.com/cms/index.php/troubleshooting-player-issues

And using external player 'VLC' seems like it may work better. Their suggested external player 'MX player' seemed to also have problems.

It would be nice if it just worked....
  • 1 0
 Odd, I have not seen this at all.
  • 2 0
 As a coach myself this is the type of messaging that needs to be said more often. Great to hear an established coach like Joel put it out there loud and clear.
  • 3 0
 Great episode! Also a huge fan of the 12 minute foundation- m.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOTvaRaDjI
  • 1 0
 Going to try and apply some of this coaching info with the middle/high school team I coach. Not expecting much since the kids watch YouTube, have stupid fancy bikes, and know everything.
  • 1 0
 I wasn't expecting this kind of content from a PB podcast show but turned out to be one of my favorites to date! This was a great one so congratulations! This was both entertaining and very informative at the same time.
  • 3 0
 Why practice skills when I can just buy a new bike to get better?
  • 2 1
 If you buy an ebike you'll go faster too.
  • 2 0
 At some point you just can’t buy anymore
  • 2 0
 Not mentioning carbohydrate intake during the nutrition segment was surprising. Most riders are under fueling by like 80%
  • 1 0
 Damn it, there was a line in there that I heard but can't find again - about body position to use your rotator cuff less. Anyone able to help me out finding that?
  • 2 0
 Dunno what spot that is but plop it on for your next car drive & you'll ge there. Had to listen 3 times & stopped to take notes...rarely every do that, but the chin of the bar / chin over the bar / chin over the bar DEF'LY helped me ram some flat turns much better, noticeably in just one ride. This dude killed & made me realize a series of coaching would def'ly be a wise investment for all matters...main one being decades of bad habits.
  • 1 0
 Why does this guy think he’s going to be sued for recommending a YouTube video?
  • 6 0
 I was just teasing. Sarcasm is my second language. I'm assuming he'd be excited about the shoutout.
  • 2 0
 Great episode, thanks
  • 1 0
 Always a fun podcast.





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