Tag: skill development

Chance Glasford and Jed OlsonI’ve blogged here about Chance Glasford and Jed Olson, including how I’ve benefited from the informal coaching they’ve given me (specifically: how to pump and how to jump a table top).

So it’s cool that they’re teaming up to put on two Mountain Bike Skills Development Clinics this summer in collaboration with MORC, one next week and another in July.

In this clinic, instructors will start by aligning your mind, body, and bike, to attack trails and obstacles with the skill and confidence needed to turn frustration into enjoyment. The primary focus will be cornering, braking, and riding up, over, and down obstacles. We will assess your skill level, strengths, and weaknesses, and cater portions of the class to your goals. Along with in-class instruction towards becoming a better rider, attendees will leave the clinic with various drills and exercises to work on at home, and on the trail, so that they can continue to improve their riding skills. (continued)

I’ve signed up for the July clinic and hope to be taking some photos at the June clinic. Join me.

Learning to ride

I’m getting better at the skinnies at Leb. Instinctively leaning the bike instead of turning the handlebars is the key.

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Above: Last week was the first time I made the right hand turn on the man-made skinny. I used a front wheel hop at the apex of the turn.

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Above: I made this log for the first time about 6 weeks ago. Last week, I almost did it again, ending up a couple feet short.

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Above: I got about 3/4 of the way up this log last week. My goal is to get all the way up, do a sharp turn around on the hillside, and then go all the way back down… with no dabs or falling off, of course.

Once that happens, I’ll still have a ways to go. Look at this video for some amazing skinny rides:

Learning to ride

new beginner loop map at Lebanon HillsI spend the afternoon on Saturday at Lebanon Hills, much of it on the new riding area that opened a week ago.

It’s considered a beginner loop, though some folks in the MORC forum trail discussion are referring to it as a beginner + loop. Trail designer Tim Wegner wrote:

I believe that we felt there was a bit too much of a gap between the old beginner trail and the intermediate trail as far as features and skill required to ride. The new beginner addendum trail kinda fills that gap. It is a bit more difficult than the old beginner trail but not as much hard climbing as the intermediate trail. I think this new segment of trail will really fill the bill as far as helping to enhance rider skill development. Perhaps this segment should be labeled advanced beginner????

Ryan Lieske on the upper open area of the beginner loop at Lebanon Hills Lower open area of the beginner loop at Lebanon Hills Upper open area of the beginner loop at Lebanon Hills
I had the good fortune to meet current MORC Chair Ryan Lieske on the new loop and took a bunch of photos of him riding the five big berms in the upper open area and the smaller berms in the lower open area. Looking good, Ryan!

I also took several photos of beginners riding these features, including the 21 whoops and the 6 larger jumps in the lower area.  The father and son in the center photo above repeatedly rode those, whooping and hollering for joy every time they went down.  And true beginners can get through the area without actually having to ride the ‘obstacles’ as evidenced by the photo of the woman on the right, who, when she noticed me taking her photo, shouted "I’m scared to death!"  No wonder: her mountain biking outfit consisted of short-shorts, a tank top and a baseball cap. Oy. But she got through it.

I spent an hour practicing the lower berms of the open area. I probably rode them 20 times, which was easy to do since it only takes a minute or two to get back to the top of them. I then went back and rode the 5 big berms of the upper area (which only takes 5-10 minutes to get to the top of those). My skill and confidence had increased dramatically. Thank you, Tim!

See my album of 33 photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or this small slideshow:

Photo album Trails