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It is not every day that I dodge rocks at 30mph in kayak. However, this is a daily occurrence on a Mountain Bike. On the flip side, it is would be very difficult to slalom-pivot a bicycle. So what is the cross over? Why do so many people who kayak also have big-tire bikes strapped to their vehicle?

Let’s start with what we describe as fun. Those who choose to forego the weekend football games for a long drive to their not-so-local rivers and trails have an almost tribal commonality. The reward sought after on these treks is the actual struggle being experienced. Overcoming one obstacle at a time. Sometimes these treks are an effort of delayed gratification to better ones-self for future, longer and more difficult treks.

To better ones-self at kayaking, one must commit their spare time only to kayaking. I believe this is a common misconception. For instance, there may be some training mornings or afternoons that getting on the trail will be a lot easier than getting on the water. A “getting in something is better than nothing” scenario, but I further advocate that the cross over components of kayaking versus mountain biking can be amplified as mentioned in the title of this article.

When I get in a kayak after having been on a bike a fair amount, I feel as if everything is moving in slow-motion allotting more time to react. However, kayaking involves nuances which are not commonly experienced on a bike. So as riding translates to paddling, there is a vice versa effect. Holding the line in a boat through heavy cross-currents is like riding the narrowest, most exposed trail while micro-reading currents and rocks. Take away the currents, keep the rocks and you have skills for challenging mountain bike trails.

As the Green Race approaches I almost feel a sense of guilt for not spending more time on the Green River Narrows. However, riding bikes is more novel to me right now. Training weekends both involve grueling Pisgah National Forest trail riding and some time on the Green River which is near-by. Being my 7th consecutive Green Race, this is my first year testing out this plan. The plan has worked well for multi-sport races such as the Green River Games Silverback, Jerry’s Baddle, The Russell Fork Baddlun and the Ocoee Baddlun. Time will tell how it will work for a sprint kayak races like the Russell Fork’s Lord of the Fork Race (next weekend) and the Green Race (the weekend after).

Go fast and take (calculated) chances!