Maybe you’ve heard about manuals and bunny hops. Maybe you understand — maybe not — how they can improve your riding. The fun you can have. Maybe you’ve tried to learn them on your own. Maybe you’ve not gotten the hang of them. Maybe there’s a better way.
I’ve been riding with flat pedals since Aug, 2011, about 6 weeks after I began mountain biking. I don’t evangelize about them too much in part because I’ve not delved deeply into the flats vs clipless debate. I just had more fun riding with them. And although I’ve always believe crashing is part of learning, I wasn’t willing to suffer injuries caused mainly by not getting unclipped in time to put my feet down.
It’s FREE until midnight, 12/31/2016 (New Year’s Eve).
Since he announced it a few weeks ago, over 6,000 have signed up.
Here’s his short description of the course:
“A drill-filled guide designed to help you discover the technique and style gifts of flat pedals. I’m NOT trying to convert you to flat pedals. Though if you ride clipless, then you’re missing out on the refinement that logging time on flats can have on your technique. You can then carry this style back to clipless at any time you like! Following my curriculum will speed up the acquisition of these, dare I say, transformative flat pedal benefits.”
Here’s the course overview page with the entire curriculum, testimonials, and link to register, NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED:
(Full disclosure: I’ve been collaborating with Ryan on a few aspects of his online venture for the past year or so. I’m also a marketing affiliate, which means I get a small commission for referring people.)
I’m pleased to announce that I’m teaming up with pro mountain biker Ryan Leech at his Performance Mountain Biking & Coaching website, RyanLeech.com. As a longtime customer and student of Ryan’s, I’ve seen firsthand how his instructional philosophy mirrors my beliefs that:
Online instructional modules should make use of videos, graphics, text, so you can pick your preferred ways to learn.
Online instruction should emphasize how you can learn more directly from your experience, guiding your attention to what happens when you do different things so that you become more confident in your ability to learn.
His first two online courses (30-Day Wheelie Challenge; and Baseline Balance Skills) live up to his site’s tagline: “Creating the highest quality, most comprehensive and effective online technical skill training programs for mountain bikers.” The depth of the instruction (yes, LOTS of drills and exercises) and the superb production quality are impressive.
I crashed hard on my first attempt to ride the new 4-foot high skinny drop at Hillside MTB Park in Elk River, MN a month or so ago. I somehow had it in my head to not go too fast, that it was better to err on the slow side. And since I’m good at riding skinnies, riding it slow was not a problem, or so I thought. 22-second video:
Looking at the video, clearly visible in the slowmo segment, I not only approached the lip too slow but I didn’t use any ‘technique.’ My front wheel dropped immediately and OTB I went.
Fortunately, I was completely armored up: chest and spine protection, shoulder & elbow pads, hip and tailbone pads, knee and shin pads. Unfortunately, I was pretty shaky afterwards and decided to bail on my riding companions, L to R, Paul Hogan, Troy Sierakowski, and Bradley Cyr:
I sustained some cracked ribs on my right side, which have pretty much healed since with no complications.
Here’s a video of Hillside’s DirtWirx trail steward Rich Omdahl riding the skinny drop on the day it was installed this past summer:
Last spring when I saw that pro mountain biker and coach Ryan Leech was going to offer an online 30-day course on learning to wheelie, I was thrilled because A) I suck at wheelies; and B) he was going to use an online approach to learning a complex skill similar to what I’ve been doing with my Thick Skull Mountain Bike Skills online instructional courses , ie, many small steps, using exercises and drills, with a multimedia delivery platform.
I started the course back in April when it launched but I quit after about ten lessons. I started having low back pain, something I struggled with years ago but eventually solved (or so I thought) with a special regimen of pilates and yoga called Back RX which I described in this 2013 blog post. I thought my subsequent regimen of kettlebells and free weights (more on this in a future newsletter) would be enough to keep my back in good shape for mountain biking so I quit doing Back RX.
Yes, it’s often heard: “Forget wheelies and learn a skill that matters: manualing.” But supposedly a wheelie is a good foundation for learning to manual as it gets you comfortable with finding and holding the balance point on the rear wheel, even though the wheelie is done sitting while the manual is done standing.