MTB Skils Sessions
Please note that sessions are minimum of two hours and prices listed are per person
Whether you're getting ready for a race or just wanting to get more out of your riding
these MTB skills sessions are for you
What do you get from the session:
After answering our on-line form we will plan the session to suit and work on the exact skills which you are wanting to develop
Our sessions are one-on-one or small group settings so you can get the most out of the session. You have a question - ask away, want to try something else on your bike, get better set up on your bike - all our coaches can do this
You won't be bored and bombarded with hours of drills - we'll make sure you get to put those skills into practice out on trails. Two hours in a session is the perfect time to absorb the skills and then give them a try
After your session your coach will let you know which skills you can continue to work on and how best to keep improve
Mountain Bike Skills
A Clip From Our Feb 2011 Clip - Shows some of the skills that we learn at the first session - come along and ride Canberra
Mike - Thanks for a great afternoon yesterday – we all took a lot away from the session. Mike you were an excellent coach. I think I’ll have quite a bit more confidence just from that one session – and will be tackling terrain I would never have otherwise. Cheers Nicole (May 2013)
Canberra MTB Weekend 'Nice job Will. John and I cycled Ourimbah a few days after the [CBR mtnbike] weekend and we both noticed significant improvement. Thanks again.' Stephen (Nov 2012)
Small Group MTB Session 'Hey Will, We had such a great lesson today - thanks again. With a few practice bunny hops on the curb and some tight corners we should be ready for Rotoura!! Many thanks.' Abby (Sept 2011)
How to Wheelie ... Wheelie Good
Wheelies - in our last block of MTB skills sessions we were working on wheelies. Not an easy thing to do, or is it? First off you must consider that there are two ways to get your front wheel off the ground. With the addition of front suspension the ‘pop’ wheelie is the easiest one to learn. Then there is the ‘drive’ wheelie which is a more of a timing skill to get your wheel off the ground.
First the ‘pop’ - with the aid of front suspension and all that knowledge that you learned in science class this shouldn’t be too hard. Suspension is like a spring, if you push down on that spring you will get a force back up - wanting to return to its original position. Do complete this wheelie, pedalling is not necessary and can be done at quite high speeds. You must shift your weight on the bike to make the spring work, so being out of your seat is the first thing. With your elbows out and hands firmly on your grips you are going to push down onto the handlebars, this makes your weight rock forward.
To make this easier, think about pushing your forks down along the same angle as the forks are ... if you are pushing at the wrong angle it won’t be easy to preform.
Once you’ve pushed down on the forks, you are to retract your elbows back towards your body, but not hurling your arms back. While retracting your elbows rock your body weight back almost bringing your butt back onto the seat.
This should bring your front wheel off the ground. Remember that you don’t need to be lifting it 30cm off the ground! Just a little lift is usually enough to get your over that 5-10cm log. Plus you are to practice and practice - the more confident you get the easier it will be to get your front wheel off the ground more.
The second ‘drive’ - this is done at slower speeds. You do not need a suspension bike to make this happen. You can also preform this while sitting down in your seat. To first master this skill you need to work out which is your ‘Chocolate Foot’ which means which foot you like to have forward when you are ‘gliding’ down the trail (not pedalling). There is nothing written to say if you are right handed you will have your right foot forward ... give it a go and you’ll work out which is your Chocolate Foot (CF).
Imagining your cranks (what your pedal is attached to) are a clock dial. With your weight forwards and your CF at 11 O’Clock you will drive your foot down towards 6 O’Clock. While doing this you are to rock you body weight backwards on the bike (even with sitting on your seat). You can also roll your wrists backwards to lighten the front end of the bike. MTB riders need to be a gear that provides resistance. As before you are not expected to lift your wheel 30cm off the ground, just a little to start.
These types of wheelies are best used out on trail when going at slow speed, maybe you’ve just come around a corner and there is a root/rock.
DH Skills Session Testimonial:
Hi Will - the session with Chris was terrific. He did a great job and I would thoroughly recommend him to others. I got exactly what I wanted out of it which was to learn how to approach some bigger obstacles, improve my performance on berms and how to take jumps. By the end of the session Chris had helped me to confidently clear quite a few sections/features which I would have thought the only crazy people would try - so a fantastic outcome. He also went above and beyond the call of duty to get some footage of me on the jumps - just great. Thanks again. Pete (May 2012)
Remember the better your bike handling the more you will enjoy riding
Skills sessions in Moore Park - Working on your slow cornering skills
MTB Skills for intermediate and beginner riders - December 2010
This past week we had our very first skills session in Sydney. Considering we are Sydney based this was bound to happen sooner than later. At this first session, one of four in the 'series', we had three participants from our past trips to Canberra.
It was great to catch up with these riders and see how much they have been riding since their trip with mtnbike. We began the session with some cornering practice.
While doing any riding it is not often that you actually turn the handlebars to corner. The exception is when you are going at a slow speed and trying to stay away from an obstacle or turning around a very tight corner, again at slow speed.
The reason I talk about doing this at a slow speed is that if you turn your handlebars while moving at a decent speed, your front tyre will turn and your rear wheel will stay straight causing you to 'jack-knife'. We've all seen those terrible images of a truck jack-knifing now image that was you and you're out on track or on the road, you won't be on the bike for much longer.
Having some cones out to help you is a great way to work on your slow speed cornering skills. The obstacles can be 5m's apart to start. To begin, go around the cones making a circle/oval, get comfortable on the bike and work on looking ahead. As you start to get more comfortable, when moving up to the cones slow down, get closer to the cones and physically turn the handlebars around the cone.
Your leg placement when going around the cone is an important step. Your weight needs to be on the outside leg, that leg which is on the other side of the cone. Your inside leg should stay close to the bike. Remembering that you are not a motorbike rider, there is no need for putting your inside leg away from the bike. This will move your centre of gravity away from the middle of the bike, since you're going at such a relatively slow speed you will most likely fall over.
Begin to ride straight lines coming up to the cones, not make such an oval any more. As you approach the cone turn the handlebar, looking through the corner (to where you are going, NOT at the cone), trying to have just enough momentum to carry you through so you don't have to turn the pedals/cranks. Once you have worked on this skill for a while you can start to hit your rear tyre on the obstacle to make sure that you are getting close enough to the cone.
You can practice this skill sitting in the saddle to begin. I find it easier to move a bike, in a situation like this, when you are out of the saddle. As you turn the handlebars that in-turn moves your backside away from the cone and more over the rear tyre.
When you are comfortable doing it one way, turn around and un-dizzy-yourself by going the other way. Once that is done you can work on figure 8's - you won't need any more cones or need to move the cones further apart, start with the same distances. To make it more difficult you can complete the skills with one hand, this will make sure you work on your body position and help your balance, an integral part of riding MTB.
Take good care all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We'll be offering a new set of four skills in Feb of 2011.
How to rail a corner - MTB Skills - November 2010
This past weekend we took down another group of Gear Up Girls, our third of the year! We were talking and practicing cornering and as easy as it sounds there is a lot to master.
Legs/knee, balance, head and speed all play a part in getting you bike around corners. In certain situations you can turn the handle bars to get you around corners but the corners I am talking about are those sweeping bends that take up most of our turns while on a bike (road or mtb).
To start with lets discuss the legs/knee. Have you ever watched Casey Stoner fly around a corner on his motor bike? His knee almost touches the ground, he is looking through the corner and he has a lot of momentum. Do this but without your knee touching the ground. The only reason your knee will be 'out' will be if you are on a banked turn (with a lot of speed). You knee will actually be touching the front part of your bike, the stem, when you corner. The most important thing to remember is that your inside leg, is UP and your outside leg is DOWN when cornering. It will also help tremendously if your weight is all on the outside leg, the one that is DOWN (at 6 o'clock on a dial) - this will help your bike when it comes to traction, this is the balance part.
When cornering your head also plays a part, with all mtb'ing you should always be looking to where you are going. Cornering should not be different. This will not only help you see where the corner is going but also help in picking up any obstacles which may come up.
Speed will also play a part, if you are going too slow into the corner you will struggle to 'lean' the bike. This will slow your cornering speed and generally make you turn with your handle bars. Turning with your handle bars is okay to miss a stone/rock, make small turns but in essence you want to turn your bike by leaning and speed is necessary.Leaning your bike also means turning your shoulder into the corner. Your knee is up and into the bike but that same shoulder is leaning away from the bike.
One more point, similar to driving a car, do your braking before/going into the corner and try to set up so that you can pedal out of the corner.
In sum - inside leg up towards the stem of the bike, weight on the outside leg for balance, carry speed and look through the corner and try to lean the bike.
Good luck and see you out on the trails/road soon.
How do I lift the front wheel - MTB Skills - October 2010
In last months blurb I mentioned about being part of the bike and one of the things was your 'Chocolate Foot'. This is a vital part to being able to lift your front wheel. I hate to sound pretentious but while in Switzerland last month I was riding with some very talented riders. One fellow had the hardest time lifting his front wheel ... so we worked on it ...
The best way to start is by NOT moving! You should be at a complete stop to begin with. Speed is not necessarily always your friend. To start you need to be covering your brakes, remembering which one is your front and which one is your rear. You can start this drill seated.
Have your feet on the pedals at 12 and 6 on a clock face. You will need to let go of the brakes and drive your foot which is at 12 down towards 6. This force will drive power to your back wheel. While you have done this you need to slightly lift back with your torso, while keeping your arms locked straight and head up (looking ahead).
Remember to start off by aiming to lift your front wheel 5cms off the ground. Even being able to lift the front wheel this much (or even just de-weighting your wheel) will help tremendously to get over those pesky obstacles.
Do not forget to get back on the brakes. You do not want to ride down the road or have any momentum. Once you've had one go, have another, always starting from a complete standstill.
About braking, pinching your back brake will bring everything to a halt. Riders who are experts at pulling wheelies (a life skill) have their back brake covered, and used, all the while during a wheelie.
Good luck and I'll be back soon with more fun.
Being Part of the Bike - MTB Skills - September 2010
After our recent trip to Canberra where we had a few riders who were new to mtnbiking, but not new to riding, it was amazing to see their abilities increase once they learned to be part of the bike. This may sound strange but there are many obstacles, turns and trees that go along with mtnbiking.