Have you ever considered taking a mountain bike skills course or clinic to learn how to ride a mountain bike? Me neither. I mean, come on now why would you? Many of us learned how to ride a bicycle as a kid so what else is there to know? Or at least that’s what my ego said. It wasn’t until after our mountain bike clinic with a Singletrack Mind did I realize that this couldn’t be further from the truth! From beginners on a cruisy trail to experts ripping down Mr. Toads, a mountain bike clinic will help bring your cycling to another level.
Why Did I Take The Course?
Two wheels are a different animal to me in the mountains. Being used to board sports and standing sideways on snowboards and skateboards, looking straight down a slope filled with boulders, rocks, and tree stumps is an accident waiting to happen. Confidence wasn’t one of the words I would ever apply to being on a mountain bike. Luckily, our new client Dylan Renn of A Singletrack Mind is one of only 20 in the world with a Level 3 IMBA training from The International Mountain Bike Association ICP program. So, it was the perfect chance to swallow that pride and try to improve my biking.
What To Expect At A Mountain Bike Clinic
We tried our best to pull up to the class location for the day without any preconceived notions. I’ll be honest, it was difficult. You’re going to feel a little goofy. A tiny bit like a dumb ass. But most of all you won’t realize how much you’re learning until you set off onto the trail. The focus is on creating the proper building blocks so that when you do head out onto the dirt, your technique is on point.
Top 3 Things I Learned
The list of things we absorbed is LONG but we’ll boil it down to the top three things we learned that were eye opening:
It’s Not About The Trail
We’ve always thought of singletrack as just that… Single. Track. Meaning that there is no variation to it. Boy were we wrong. Just because it’s a mellow route doesn’t mean it has to be boring. These cruisy runs can become a playground. Are there rocks to roll over? Jump over? Banked turns? Suddenly old trails have become NEW and exciting.
High Speed Cornering
One of the biggest issues I’ve had is taking a banked turn that’s covered in loose debris or sand. My tires either slip and slide or I take it so slow that it’s no longer any fun. Learning the mechanics of high-speed cornering suddenly made these turns enjoyable.
Time is a rare commodity in all our lives and the idea of warming up to go for a bike ride was foreign to me. If you take a few minutes to sever the mental gunk from your day and find the center of the bike, your ride will be that much better. Here’s a great video from Dylan showing some of the concepts you want to use as part of your warm up:
After it was all said and done, a crazy idea occurred to me on our drive back home. If mountain biking can suddenly become more fun just by taking a clinic why not snowboarding? As we wait for the snow to fall again, if you’re a person that’s considering hopping into the saddle or has thousands of miles under your belt, we HIGHLY recommend taking a mountain bike clinic. Your progression will amaze you too, regardless of where you start.