Category Archives: Learning to ride

Announcing: The Mountain Bike Skills Network (MTBSN)

There are many free places online to discuss mountain biking but few that are exclusively devoted to learning skills. And most of those are devoted to a single instructor or organization.

I’ve learned much from a variety of online mtb resources and so I wanted to create an online forum that A) made use of whatever was online that was helpful; and B) that tapped into the intelligence and collegiality of fellow mountain bikers who were willing to share and learn together. And so I’ve created the Mountain Bike Skills Network (MTBSN), currently a closed group on Facebook. Here’s the current description:

“The Mountain Bike Skills Network (MTBSN) is an online community of mountain bikers dedicated to helping one another develop our riding skills. We alert each other to and discuss how-to-ride resources that we find online (for example, from Phil Kmetz (Skills with Phil), Gene Hamilton (BetterRide), Leigh Donovan ( IChooseBikes), Ryan Leech (Ryan Leech Connection), Simon Lawton (Fluidride), Chris Carter (MTB Tips), Global Mountain Bike Network, James Wilson (MTB Strength Training Systems), Lee McCormack (LeeLikesBikes), PMBI, IMBA ICP, etc). We ask for feedback on our own riding and offer feedback to others when they ask. We celebrate each other’s progress. And we do all this in a spirit of collegiality and with a tone of civility (discussion guidelines here).”

Why use a Facebook Group for this? Although Facebook’s Groups platform has many limitations, the advantages are significant and include: A) a large percentage of mountain bikers who are online use Facebook every day; B) Facebook has very good smartphone apps, including one specifically for Groups; C) it’s free for me to use as the organizer/administrator; D) its tools for photos and videos are very good; E) it’s very easy to tag people which encourages more engagement; and F) it’s very easy to link to resources within Facebook as well as to those resources outside of it.

If the Group gets too large and unwieldy, then migrating to a web forum outside of Facebook might make sense.

Interested? Click here. It’s a Closed Group which means I get notified to admit you.

Video analysis: logover drop

Last week, I posted the question (to my MTB Geezer blog, my MTB Geezer Instagram feed, my MTB Geezer Twitter feed,  & my MTB Geezer Facebook page):

A big tree came down along a segment of our local mtb trail recently. We got it trimmed up a few weeks ago and last week, it occurred to me to try riding over the fat end where it hangs over a concrete block lip. So it’s a logover but it’s also a drop. Can you predict from these video stills whether or not I endoed?

Here’s my overly-detailed (5.5 minutes!) video analysis of my ride over that logover drop.

Four photos of a logover drop: Can you predict if I endoed?

Video: hopping backwards to get lined up for a ledge

Video: driveway rocking skills practice session

I decided a week or so ago that I needed a refresher on my rocking skills, as I was having trouble deploying them consistently on the trails for tight turns and some obstacles. It occurred to me that, just like I did for learning track stands, I might be able to benefit from 5-10 minutes/day doing drills in my driveway. After 5 days, I've made pretty good progress in my straight-ahead rhythmic rocking. Here's a clip of my session from yesterday, on my 29'er hard tail and on my @advocatecycles Watchman fat bike. Why am I better at rhythmic rocking on The Watchman (Advocate Cycles fat bike) than my 29'er hard tail, even though it's about 5 pounds heavier? #goodproblemtohave 55-seconds, 50% slowmo:

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Video: track stands, hopping, & rocking to get back down a skinny

Video: Difficult climbs at Theo’s new Brownie Lake trail

I rode all the black and red sections of the new Brownie Lake trail at @morcpics's Theodore Wirth Singletrack this week. This video shows two sections that I found to be the toughest: 1. An uphill, armoured left turn. After a couple of fails (not that steep but the rocks were a bit slippery with dust and leaves), I cleaned it with a wide cheater line and then again with a straight shot up the middle. 2. The long, straight, steep, rocky uphill with a steep slab in the middle. I got up the slab twice but then lost my balance. I gave up after about a dozen tries. Traction was absolutely perfect. Looking closely at the video, I can see now what I did wrong. I will be back. So. Much. Fun. 55-second video, 50% slowmo:

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