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Mountain biking trainings and lessons

By Aleksey - Posted on 26 February 2007

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

I am new in MTB and i want to find coach for personal or group training (trails) . Tell me about your expirience in begining .


Well - I went to Morzine, got on a lift and followed the crowd Eye-wink

Ok, OK - so that was how I re-discovered MTB, but as a kid used to ride around in the woods a lot so could still remember sort of how it went. Even with the recent success though, I can't claim to have anything more than mediocre skills. What I do have were gleaned on the Sydney trails following those that could, you learn an awful lot watching/talking to people is my experience. Erm... and probably pick up some bad habits too :">

For more formal training (which is probably what you want to get going?) Cyclinic run sessions at St Ives Showground - check out their site for dates.

I haven't actually tried these, but I'm guessing someone who has will chime in any minute with a review?

Good luck!

I used to ride around on BMX bikes a lot through the bush when I was a kid. We grew up in Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, so there was heaps of places to get lost in. Also, all of the basic skills about balance, safety, personal limits, what can hurt you badly if you stack it, etc, were learned at an early age. However after I was in my mid teens, I stopped riding until I got into my early 30's.

A couple of years ago, a mate talked me into going on a MTB ride with him. I wasn't massively fussed with it at the time, but I perservered. I am now, fortunately, addicted to it. But it has taken a while to build certain skills that are important to this pasttime. IMHO there are two main groups of skills - fitness and technique. Which could be further explained as physical and mental.

If you are just starting out, but are riding pretty often, you will find you acquire a certain level of fitness, or "conditioning", rather quickly. Of course, you aren't ready for entering the Hawaiian iron man. I am not Sad But it is a "diminishing returns" thing. You get a lot of gains early on, but later your fitness improves only in little bits. If you are riding every week, you will see this conditioning improve your fitness in terms of stamina, leg strength, hand and wrist strength, balance and reflexes.

For technique, this is a harder skill, in that it does not improve unless you try things. Just riding does not acquire you improved riding technique. Well maybe at a very basic level. Technique is more mental than physical. Does this make sense? You need to put yourself in a position on the bike where you are forced to create, improvise, and possibly, maybe, save your own skin. That sounds worse than it actually is - don't worry. You learn something about yourself and your limits, in these situations. What I am really saying is just get in there and do it! Laughing out loud A swimmer never learnt to swim by reading a book.

For a rider that has just started out on their first few rides, I would suggest a program of mixed riding trails, where fire trails (especially the hills) are used to develop fitness over longer distances. A decent level of stamina will not take many rides to develop. Also some basic technical trails need to be thrown in as well to learn something of technique. Start small, but never be afraid to try something new. A don't be too afraid of the odd stack here or there. Whenever you are learning, you are going to stack your bike. One word of caution about trying something overly technical (read dangerous) - if you are not confident, don't do it.

Hope this helps Smiling

(sorry for the ranting post).

The Cyclinic courses are really good for all skill levels, giving you anything from a basic grounding to improving the most experienced social riders technique. Also I think you'll find a fair bit of info by just googling what you're after, or the MTB press are pretty good with skill tips.

While just riding will get you somewhere there are basic things that you need to be told to not build up bad habits and to get going a lot quicker. Tricks for (most importantly) staying centred over your wheels, gear selection, line choice, cornering and climbing technique can all be learned a lot faster with simple tips up front. Just ask on rides too, all of us have been there and will be more than happy of the opportunity to help.


There's a cyclinic coming up soon. I'm thinking about going. Apparently there's a major race (Polaris?) on the same weekend, so it might end up being a bit less technical than usual. I haven't done one before, so I have no idea what it'll be like.

Email follows


For all those interested in next sydney cyclinic,

March 10th and march 11th, 9am-4pm, $150

Format has changed so will be a whole new thing to those who have done one
May see some of you there.


Mountain bike videos are another nice way to learn some things,
you can watch some online for free:

There are also some DVD's you can buy, I have come across this one:
I haven't seen it, but I think it is aimed more at dowhnhill...

Ah... and don't forget these YouTube training vids that we stumbled across earlier!

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