The outdoor trials season is on. Or not?

One of the things I was hoping for to happen this winter, has happened. The outdoor trials season started early. It’s been a lot of snow in the mountains, but fairly warm in the lowlands. Though it still was quite cold in Oslo when I left Thursday, it’s much better here at the West coast.

Yesterday I met up with Mads Lexander to ride a bit on my way to Austevoll. TRA also showed up, but he was busy doing some sounds checks for an upcoming project he’s working on (not trials related).  Tone got a few photos the short time we were actually riding. I was dead tired, so I decided to do an easy ride.

Me and Mads having a chat:
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Helleneset in Bergen. Beautiful place:
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Mads getting up:
mads_lexander_riding_outdoor_trials_bergen

Me getting up too:
eirik_ulltang_riding_outdoor_trials_bergen

Today I was in a better form, and got an interesting ride in a local quarry here in Austevoll. The weather was a bit crazy. Woke up this morning with hail/snow covering the ground, and had to wait for it to melt. When I started my ride, it again started to hail. But, it melted once it hit the ground, so the friction was not that bad. After a while the sun showed up, and it was actually quite spring-ish for a while, before armageddon once striked me, and it started snowing. The riding was great though, I really like the rocks here in Austevoll. So grippy!

During today’s trials session it was snowing, hailing, raining and also the sun was shining in between. Guess I’m well prepared for most weather scenarios this season?
snowing_austevoll_trials_gt_bicycles_peugeot_expert_evoc

Read full portrait in magazine online

Norway’s leading mountain bike magazine, Terrengsykkel, featured a portrait with me early last year. Now they’ve published it online, and you can read all of it here. If you’re not able to understand Norwegian, you could try the Google Translated version here.

The interview and photos was taken while I was leaving in Barcelona last winter. It took place north east in Barcelona, in Sant Just Desvern. A really picturesque spot for photos, but maybe not the best spot for riding (though I’ve been riding there many times). I was lucky enough to work with the true punk rocker Sebas Romero, and below you have some of the photos he shot.

Now over to something else: managed to schedule today’s training really well today. Normally I spread my workouts throughout the day, from the morning to the evening. Could be good for recovery, but it also feels like I’m working all day long.

This morning I had an appointment with the doctor at The Elite Sports Center (Olympiatoppen) in Oslo. Right after that I joined the classes with basic training and with flexibility. After a short break I followed up with some high intensity intervals on the treadmill. All this before 14:00 was pretty nice. Lots of time to recover before tomorrow!

Remember it’s the Pancake day today. I had some for dinner!

eirik_ulltang_the_norwegian_trials_rider_sebas_romero_barcelona_park

eirik_ulltang_the_norwegian_trials_rider_sebas_romero_barcelona_grafitti

eirik_ulltang_the_norwegian_trials_rider_sebas_romero_barcelona_portrait

eirik_ulltang_the_norwegian_trials_rider_sebas_romero_barcelona_biketrials

Riding trials in the great outdoors

Finally it’s possible to join the great outdoors, and start riding under the sun. Still you got to pay attention to ice covered surfaces, but where the sun has been shining the most, the rocks are pretty dry. If you’re not riding trials, I guess it’s hard to understand the joy of this situation. But, after months in dusty indoor places, riding outdoor is a big thing for us! I’m so grateful that I got into a sport where being outdoor is a big part of it. I feel really bad for all those doing handball, ice hockey, weight lifting or any other indoor sport.

Erik brought his camera and bike along, and Joachim joined us too. First off we started with some indoor riding, as it was minus degrees and quite humid and foggy in the morning. But after a few hours, it got warmer, and I got my second outdoor riding session this week. Brilliant!

Riding natural is fundamentally different to riding indoor (seriously?). At indoor riding you more or less only have square boxes and flat surfaces. And natural riding is more about bumpy in-runs and rocks in different shapes. In my opinion, so much for fun. It’s not all about jumping the furthest or highest, but more about finding the right line and keeping control.

Here you have a few shots from Erik’s camera, shot by Erik or Joachim. Now you should go out and enjoy the great outdoors!

eirik_ulltang_sun Eirik and Joachim enjoying the great outdoors eirik_ulltang_hvervenbukta_tree Eirik Ulltang riding in the great outdoors

Progression and smart training methods

I’ve come to a conclusion, which is very logical. When I only ride twice a week, the technical progression in my riding isn’t optimal. I knew that when I planned this winter training. But, it doesn’t mean I have no progression. I just have to be a bit smarter. This weekend I both progressed and got a bit smarter.

At Saturday evening, me and Erik were riding in the tent in Oslo. While practicing a particular technique (pedal-up to rear wheel), Erik came up with a great idea: changing to a variation of the technique at every try, in a circle. We did the following: first pedal-up to rear, then pedal-up to parallel and then pedal-up to front wheel. And repeat. Same can be done with any other technique, and probably in every other technical individual sport.

The clever part with this way of practicing a technique and its variations, is that you always need to adapt. Even though pedal-up to rear and front wheel is pretty similar, you do a lot of small adjustments to land on the front instead of the rear wheel. And it’s pretty competition specific, as it’s quite rare to do only one technique all the time. Super psyched to come up with a new training method, makes it so much more fun to train.

[More text below images]

Erik pre-loading a gap:
erik_solbakken_trials_indoor_weekend_gap

Me landing a gap to front:
eirik_ulltang_riding_trials_indoor_weekend_gap_front progression

At Sunday Joachim joined trials riding for the first time since he broke his frame in December. With his new B1K3 Eclipse, he wasn’t hard to notice with the neon yellow frame. We had an awesome 3,5 h indoor session in Hokksund, where I really felt the progression. Managed to do a lot of quite big jumps and also practicing a lot of front wheel hooks. Always feels great to battle with Joachim, trying to be the first to make a jump or doing three successful attempts in a row. Gives you the motivation to get the progression.

Of course we didn’t make the jump when we brought out the camera, but it felt great to be front hooking 160 cm again:
eirik_ulltang_riding_trials_indoor_weekend progression

Joachim styling it down when he didn’t make it up:
joachim_skjaevestad_riding_trials_indoor_weekend

New nutrition partner: Udo’s Choice and Soma Nordic

I have signed a new product partnership deal with the Norwegian distributor and producer of healthy foods and sports nutrition: Soma Nordic. They are also the Norwegian distributor of Udo’s Choice. Really happy with the signing, as they have a lot of products I’ve been wanting to use for a long time.

Being a professional athlete I pay a lot of attention on the nutrition I choose. On top of this, I’m a vegetarian, and need to put extra emphasis on the intake of different micro and macro nutrients. Especially a few vitamins and minerals can sometimes be hard to get enough of (also for you meat eaters!). I need to get enough D and B vitamins, enough omega 3 and also magnesium and sink (because I sweat a lot). Together with Udo’s Choice and Soma Nordic, all of my nutrition needs are covered.

Now I’m off for my daily yoga session, I’ve now been doing yoga every single day for 107 days I think. Definitely seeing some results, even though increased range of movement takes some time. Followed by the yoga session, I’m off to some indoor trials riding. Probably alone, but hopefully Joachim or Erik will join me. Really looking forward to the spring now, starting to get a bit bored of all the indoor riding. I want to explore the outdoors!

Enjoy your Saturday!

cocosa_coconut_oil_udos_choice_opti_green Soma Nordic and MCT sports nutrition udos_choice_omega_3_6_9_optimal_oil_blend

First shows in 2015 done

It’s a wrap. The two first shows of 2015 is done. And boy it was a hectic day. First show at 12:00, then second show at 14:00 with a 15 min drive between. Lots of lifting, moving and more lifting.

Both of the shows were a success, and it worked out great. I was a little skeptic when it was snowing before the first show. But, fortunately it stopped snowing before I started riding. Never been doing shows outdoor at this time of the year, but it was a positive experience.

Trying to please the crowd:

Eirik Ulltang Sykkelshow SHOWS

Jumping over Magnus:

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A brave volunteer:
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All photos: KARL BRAANAAS/Budstikka

Finishing January as the best training month in my entire life. Never been training more, with more than 3,5h in average every single day. No single day without yoga, not skipped one single gym session and been riding more than planned every week. Really happy with my work the last 31 days. But, it comes at a cost, and I guess I’ll be pretty dead tired tomorrow morning. At least I am right now.