Lon Cullen, Mountain Bike Skills Lead Instructor

Lon Cullen's training and continued professional development: 
 
  • (2014) Invested in a day of private lessons from an instructor from Colorado.  Emphasis was on technical climbing and descending, and on body positioning on all-mountain trails near Birmingham, Alabama.
  • (2015) Earned certification as a Professional Mountain Bike Instructor.  Required 3 days of training on cross country trails in Whistler.
  • (2016) Invested in 4 days of private lessons on how to teach and ride better.   Emphasis was on jumps, drops, cornering, steep rock rolls, and other advanced maneuvers on intermediate and expert downhill trails at Whistler Bike Park.  Instructors from Zep Techniques taught me.
  • (2017) Invested in 4 days of learning how to teach and ride better.  Emphasis was on cornering, bunny hops, manuals, wheelies, stoppies, and other advanced maneuvers on cross country trails near Brevard, North Carolina.  
  • (2017) Earned Ninja Mountain Bike Performance Instructor's Certification.  Emphasis was on high speed cornering, pre-turns, jumps, drops, steep transitions, and other maneuvers on cross country trails near Ellijay, Georgia.
  • (2017) Invested in 3 days of how to teach and ride better.  Emphasis was on advanced jumps, advanced drops, and cornering on enduro trails near Boone, North Carolina.
  • (2017) Invested in Backcountry Lifeline Training.
 
 

My Story:

I have been riding just about anything with two wheels now for over 40 years--from BMX, to moto hare scrambles to mountain bikes.  However, in 2011, despite many years of experience, I suffered a major mountain bike accident that damaged the vertebrae in my neck and blew out my knee. This opened my eyes to the need to improve safety and control in my riding.  I have since then invested myself in developing techniques to ride skillfully and safely without sacrificing any of the joy of the sport.  I believe that good riding should be accomplished with technique, confidence and skill--not just luck.  Having an earned doctorate, I have served as an instructor in both youth athletics and adult academics.  I have applied my instruction skills to a sport that I am passionate about…mountain biking.  I have been riding the classic mountain bike trails from the old growth forests in Oregon, to the deserts of Nevada and Arizona, to the ski lift trails in California, Utah, Colorado, and West Virginia, to the Adirondacks Mountains in New York, to the mountainous coffee plantations in Costa Rica, and the hundreds, no, thousands of miles between.  I have studied with numerous instructors over the years and have applied their combined wisdom to my own riding and teaching.  I am eager to share what I have had to learn the hard way--the thrill of riding both safely and skillfully. 

Coaching Women:  I actually fell in love with coaching when I coached a kid's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club.  I noticed how the girls had more of a tendency to listen to what I had to say than the boys.  That became even more evident when the girls started to "tap out" the boys.  I have found the same thing to be true as I have coached mountain biking.  Often times women pay more attention to the details than do men because most of them know they can't always just "muscle it."  Coaching girls and women in the sport of mountain biking has been rewarding for me because most women really care about getting the technique perfect.  What's more, I have a two for one women's private lesson special. Details Here.

3rd place, 45+, Coldwater Enduro

Racing & Difficult Terrain:  While I do not have an extensive racing pedigree, I do understand the pressures and concerns associated with racing.  I have raced Cross Country and have podiumed in Downhill, BMX, Super D, Air Downhill, and Enduro.  I placed 7th at the Enduro National Championship.  I have raced some of the steepest and most technical Enduro courses in the East without crashing and injury, even in very slippery, rooty, rocky, and muddy conditions.  I've gained valuable insight from all these experiences.

 

At 50, I've retired from hitting bigger lines that have huge consequences.  But I continue to instruct successfully riders who are wanting to increase their technical abilities on or off the race course.  As we are reminded when we watch sports, division one NCAA football coaches can't catch as well as their players, but they certainly can instruct their players to become better than what they already are. 

50-54, Downhill, Snowshoe Bike Park, WV
circa 1980
Over 35 years later
Over 37 years later, 9.5' step-down requiring launching 12 feet out on trail bike
A rainy day...
Yeah I know; Strava never tells the full story, for we are never as fast as it says we are or as slow; but it is a fun way to race your buddies on days when the trails are almost empty.

The techniques I've learned in bike school apply both to cross country and downhill trails.

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