Category Archives: Learning to ride

Being an mtb student makes me a better coach

I’ve made considerable progress in my jumping skills this year. I’ve been taking Ryan Leech’s Jump With Confidence course via his Ryan Leech Connection (RLC) online mountain bike skills coaching website and practicing several times/week at a local skills park where I’ve built several beginner-level table tops.

Here’s a one-minute clip of some of my recent beginner-level jump attempts this fall.  Yes, I know, there are visible flaws in these attempts which I’m still working to correct even as the ground is now frozen and covered with a few inches of snow (I’ve been shoveling). But the cool thing is my confidence is solid. The course is aptly named.

In 2017, my skills focus was on learning to bunny hop and manual via Ryan’s Bunny Hop Master Class and his Manual Master Class. Here’s a one-minute of my beginner-levels skills:

 

In 2015-16, my focus was on track stands, hopping, and rocking via Ryan’s Baseline Balance Skills course. Here are two short videos of me putting those skills to use on technical sections of some local trails:

I also happen to be one of several RLC skills coaches who answers questions and provides online feedback to those taking the online courses at the Ryan Leech Connection (RLC) online mountain bike skills coaching website.

RLC Coaches and Staff

 Here are a couple of marked-up images showing how I sometimes use a screenshot from video submitted by a student along with a screenshot from an instructor (I’ve blurred the faces of the students in these examples):

I’ve been recently learning what I’m teaching and I think that perspective, along with feedback from several coaches who are vastly more experienced than me, is partly what makes the courses at Ryan Leech Connection so valuable.

Join us, risk-free.

Sessioning – Part 1: Episode 5 of the MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio

Episode #5 of my MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio is now available.

See the show notes and links on the MBR page for Episode #5.

Main topic: THE ART OF SESSIONING ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE, PART 1: FOCUSED PRACTICE OF A CHALLENGING OBSTACLE OR SECTION OF TERRAIN ALONG THE TRAIL

TRANSCRIPT

INTRO:

Hey welcome to Episode #5 of the Mountain Bike Skills Network podcast. My name is Griff Wigley, also known as the mountain bike geezer. I’m am the founder of the Mountain Bike Skills Network and the host of the Mountain Bike Skills Network Community, a busy group of over 2600 mountain bikers on Facebook, free for anyone to join.

Continue reading Sessioning — Part 1: Episode 5 of the MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio

Top 5 reasons why it’s so hard to learn to bunny hop: Episode 4 of the MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio

Episode #4 of my MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio is now available.

See the show notes and links on the MBR page for Episode #4.

Main topic: Top 5 reasons why it’s so hard to learn to bunny hop

TRANSCRIPT

Introduction:

Hey everyone! Welcome to Episode #4 of the Mountain Bike Skills Network podcast. My name is Griff Wigley, also known as the mountain bike geezer. I’m am the guy behind the Mountain Bike Skills Network blog and I’m the founder and host of the Mountain Bike Skills Network Community, currently a group on Facebook.

My intent is to have all three – the blog, the online community and this show — help recreational mountain bikers like you, have more fun while upping your skills. Why? So you can ride the stuff you want that challenges you. I think of it as a Goldilocks Zone. Not too scary or hard; not too easy or boring but juuuuuust right. That middle is where the fun is and one of the most reliable ways to stay in that Goldilocks Zone is to continually increase your skills.

You can learn more about the Mountain Bike Skills Network at mtbskills.net where you’ll also see links to my various social media accounts.

Today’s show is about the bunny hop, what some people refer to as the most difficult skill in mountain biking.

I learned to bunny hop recently and was surprised at how challenging it was just to get to the beginner level that I’m now at.

With help from members of the MTBSN community, I’ve put together what I think are the:

Top 5 reasons why it’s so hard to learn to bunny hop

 

Continue reading Top 5 reasons why it’s so hard to learn to bunny hop: Episode 4 of the MTBSN podcast on Mountain Bike Radio

Putting my newbie bunny hop and manual skills to use on the trails

On my recent MTB trip to northern Minnesota last week, my main goal was to put some of my beginner-level bunny hop and manual skills to use on the trails at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, Cuyuna Lake Mountain Bike Trail System, and the vast network of COGGS MTB trails in Duluth.

I also wanted to A) experiment with cornering, primarily on bigger bermed corners since I’ll be instructing riders on those at Welch Village’s new MTB park in a few weeks; and B) ride lots of drops and gnarly stuff to see what it’s like on my new full-suspension Kona Process 134 Supreme from Michael’s Cycles.

Here are several videos from the trip, with some commentary on each:

Continue reading Putting my newbie bunny hop and manual skills to use on the trails