Mountainbiking or trailbiking has become big in the last few years. From adrenaline junkies, midlife crisis to families many more people can be seen out on the trails. We all look at the YouTube and Instagram edits of guys riding effortlessly through technical terrain, seemingly dancing down the mountain, and many of us ask the question “what are they doing that I am not?”
The answer is really quite simple:
But how do we get this? That’s not so simple. Mostly it’s many, many hours, days or years riding. Literally becoming so comfortable on your bike that it feels part of you.
As a kid I rode my bike every where if I was not stripping for parts or building a jump I was riding. Then I grew up and got a driver’s license. Now let’s be honest, how many of us take the car on short journeys that we could do on the bike.. Apart from being bad for the environment and our health this also means we are limiting our bike time. Now I do not commute by bike every day (sometimes it is not convenient or the weather is plain crap) but I try to at least twice a week especially if I know I don’t have time for an evening ride.
Also every bike is different and we need to give ourselves time to learn how the bike handles. But riding the road is one thing riding a technical trail is quite another. The same skill sets apply, now you are just taking them into a new and sometimes scary environment.
What can you do to give yourself every possible chance of success and improvement?
Out riding with your friends who have been riding trails for years. They are fast you are struggling to keep up and feeling well and truly out of your comfort zone. Important nuggets of information are passed on to you like relax, do this, don’t do that and don’t pull your brakes so much! Does this sound familiar?
Because your friend is naturally comfortable on the bike, what they do is more instinctive. Therefore they probably have not spent so much time breaking down the movement or skill in a way that it becomes a progression. Also analyzing a person and finding what works for them is a skill acquired from years of teaching.
So why take a workshop? It’s just riding a bike isn’t it, so how hard can it be?
Why not give yourself every chance for success. There are so many other variables to take into consideration once we are on the trail, confidence and terrain being the biggest. A qualified experienced MTB coach/guide is going to find a safe enjoyable environment for you to learn in whilst still pushing you out of your comfort zone. They will also know how to analyze and help you to experiment to find your style, whilst giving you tips that take years of self exploration to find. How to plan a trip, navigate, read a trail and choose a line. What to take with you and what not to take.
A good coach/guide will also teach you some basic bike maintenance saving you a fortune or a long walk home (something I fear not enough people focus on).
But most of all they will give you the tools to help you find your FLOW!!