Mtb Skills Camps & Clinics for All Levels

SingletrackSkills.Bike

Whether you enjoy cross country, trail, or all mountain, I can help you get better in the technical.

It’s as easy as riding a bike!  Or so they say.  Whoever coined that phrase never yard-saled on a rocky descent.  Cornering well is an art, and difficult to master without feedback from a mountain bike coach.  Jumps are a whole other story.  Braking efficiently...  Little of this is intuitive.  In fact, often our intuitions are dead wrong and will get us into trouble fast.  And riding more is not the answer.  You’ve got to ride smarter.  The saying, "Practice makes perfect," is not so good if a rider is practicing poor techniques.  Years of practicing bad habits leaves a rider with really good bad habits. 

Some riders do pretty well without any coaching.  A few people really are naturals.  But the unfortunate truth is most riders get by on a mix of mtb skills picked up as a kid, the wisdom to avoid the really tough stuff and of course, luck.  Luck will eventually always cash in for expensive medical bills and months off the bike.
 
Speaking of naturals, there are great riders out there; but not everyone knows how to teach the sport.  In fact, most naturals are not able to explain what it is they do.  I have effectively taught many riders of all abilities.  While the majority of my clients have been beginner to intermediate riders, I have coached a few expert level riders.  One of them podiumed in his age group at the Xterra World Championship.  Another regularly and beautifully hits 25 foot jumps.  While both of these riders were way better riders than I am even before I met them, they have both told me upon more than one occasion that what I have taught them has made them even better. 
 
The cost of mountain bike camps and clinics is less than the sales tax many riders have already paid for their bikes and equipment.  Plus, there is something about when you wear out one bike, taking your skills with you to the next one!!  Mtb instruction is a great value when compared to many other sports.  You name it; monthly coaching for dance, wrestling, gymnastics, martial arts, they are all much more expensive than a one time expense of quality mountain bike coaching.  Sports franchises pay their coaches millions of dollars because they believe a good coach is invaluable, yet for years I know I was more apt to pay heavily to save a few grams on my bike's weight than I was to pay anything for mountain bike coaching.
 
So much can be gained from watching "How to" Mtb skills videos.  However, there is no way to know what we are doing or not doing on the bike without the trained eye of a coach assessing us and giving us feedback.  I've experienced this "Ah ha!" moment myself when I thought I looked a certain way on the bike, and one of my coach's videoed me and showed me I was doing something totally different.  Then through slight adjustments of what my coach showed me, I began to break bad habits and begin better habits.
(Rider Unknown)

We all want to ride down more difficult terrain.

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It's easy to dismiss big downhill features found in bike parks and say, "I'm never going to do that."  But the reality is the exact same body postitioning, selective braking, trail scanning, and timing that are used for bigger lines are also used for the more challenging "roll-ins" on some cross country trails.  The feature pictured to the left is called "Drop-In Clinic."  It is a double black section of trail in Whistler with a 5.6 level climbing pitch.  The person in this picture is not me.  However, under the careful leadership of one of my coaches, I tackled this feature twice in the rain on a 150 mm trail/enduro bike.  You can tell how steep it is by the fact that my coach completely disappears in front of me when he rolls down it (run in point of view footage begins about 1:30 into this video.)  I can teach you the same things that my coaches taught me so that you also can tackle the trails that you want to ride down, whether they be more difficult or less difficult than this one.

We all want to get a little air.

Drops are something that every mountain biker would like to be able to do, even if it is off something as tall as a curb. The more aggressive the head angle of the bike, like on the singlespeed with the 80mm fork in this photo, the less room for error.  Most cross country race bikes (regardless of the price) have a similar aggressive head angle which can make them twitchy when going off drops of any size.  That's why it is even more important to get the technique right when one is riding an XC or trail bike instead of a DH bike.

The principles of doing drops without eating rocks and dirt are the same, regardless of whether the drop is 6 inches or 7 foot tall.  No we won't be going off any drop that my students aren't comfortable with, but we will make sure that everyone knows what is supposed to be going on when it comes to a drop so they aren't just shooting in the dark and guessing out there on the trails. It's funny when young aggressive riders say, "Just send it," but those of us who can't afford to miss work because of a serious injury know "just sending it" is not wise. 

(Rider Unknown)

The drop in the top left of this picture on the left is the world famous "A-Line" drop.  Notice, the rider in this picture is a "girl."  Many of the girls in Whistler are much better riders than most of the male riders I've run across in the States because they have undoubtedly invested in many hours of good mtb skills coaching.  (Yes, she’s a better rider than me also; I’ll admit.)  But just as someone who takes golf seriously and wants a better swing invests in a coach, so do great riders.  Nobody, male or female, just knows intuitively what to do perfectly off of a drop, especially considering there are different types of drops.  Good mtb skills instruction removes many of the doubts so that we as riders are not guessing as much.  Removing doubts increases confidence, and there is no better weapon out there on any trail than confidence.  I would have never dropped the A-line drop on my trail bike had I not invested in more than one "drops" lesson before I tackled it.

Katie, one of my students, catching some nice air.
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