Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tips to improve your MTB technical skills

First off this will be more orientated to the weekend warrior trail/all mountain rider but will be beneficial for all your hard core racer types as well!
Second try to start with the best base you can. I mean get some decent cardio/endurance, the longer you can last the more quality training you can get in per training session. Also get a good solid strength base. Technical riding is more about muscle strength and endurance then it is about cardio endurance. I would recommend checking out James Wilson at His programs are awesome and have really helped me!
Third get yourself a pair of decent flat pedals, shoes and a quick release seat post clamp. You will want the pedals and shoes for easy escape from crashes but also they will teach you how to ride your bike properly! If you can bunny hop, manual, wheelie, jump, climb and ride rough stuff (basically anything you would do on a mountain bike) on flats you can’t really do it and are using your clips as a crutch to cover you weaknesses. The quick release is the cheap option, the other option is a dropper post, to get the seat out of the way so you have room to move in your cockpit!
Ok let’s get started.
Go to and pick up Mastering Mountain Bike Skills Volume 2 and read it and then read it again. Now that we have that knowledge base, find yourself a good size area, probably a drive way or a parking lot. You will spend a fare amount of time here to begin with. You will want to do drills like the figure 8 cornering drill trying to increase your speed and lean until you look like this:

It is possible I promise you! You will also want to get comfortable in the attack position and be able to pedal as fast as you can and stop only using your front break and not have your rear end lift off, also possible!
Work on things like manuals, bunny hops and wheelies. Also see how far you can ride the curb without falling off and work on drops off the curb. I know it is not high but you will get the basic motion down with no major consequences.
After you have put a good amount of hours in at the parking lot, it is time to find a nice loopable trail that offers a wide variety of trail features. I would recommend Lebanon or maybe Battle Creek. Lebanon is sort of ideal because of the options for loops inside of loops, such as the Green and Black loops.
I recommend that you keep all “training” rides to 30-45mins or take frequent breaks and session specific sections; like a jump, some turns or a rock garden. You want to be as fresh as possible. Save the 2-4 hour marathons for the weekends with the buddies because as soon as you get tired and start to fatigue you go from a clear mind that can focus on training to survival mode and you will fall back to muscle memory and bad habits and just try to make it back to the car!
As you develop good skills and your muscles start to remember proper form, so your survival mode form will become better and better.
For each ride pick something to work on specifically. I would start with attack position and I would do a couple rides were you simply focus on body positioning. If something feels off, it probably is. Focus on keeping light hand and heavy feet and staying low. Then progress to cornering, really work on leaning the bike and staying low and in attack position. Find a nice corning section with a few nice corners in a row. Work flat corners and then go to berms. Although berms can be intimidating to people that don’t come from a BMX back ground they really do help you corner as they force your bike to lean to a point and run you through the corner. A flat turn will make you do the work and learn proper cornering.
After that it is up to you, pick a section that really is giving you a tough time and analyze it. What is making that section difficult to you? If it is a fast rough section, are you staying low, in attack position? Heavy feet light hands? That solves most issues right there. Is it a flat rock garden? Do you need to work on manuals and bunny hops? How about track stands? I can’t believe I almost forgot those! They are, in my opinion, the best think you can learn as a beginner! Learn them with both feet forward. They will help you in rock gardens, switch backs, skinnies and many other facets of the MTB game!
I also recommend getting Pro BMX Skills and Coaching Mountain Bike Skills by Lee McCormack. BMX skills transfer great to MTB and that is why if you ask the majority of really good MTB riders they started racing BMX! The Coaching book has tons of great drills and pointers and really goes deeper then the Mastering Mountain Bike book does.
Another great skills builder is pump track riding and dirt jumping! Also get out and go to places like Ray’s Indoor MTB park or race BMX. Lexington has 2 completed pump tracks that are great. They will force you to learn how to get free speed and corner like a champ! Soon there will be a 3rd pump track and jumps to hone your skills on!
You can’t just ride yourself better or into shape. You have to train yourself to get better and that takes a focused effort! Learn more, ride better and have more fun!

Keep it real!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On the 8th day God gave us pump and we rode!

I have no idea were to start!
I just want to thank everyone that showed up to help build! We had a great turn out despite the on and off rain all day. I believe we had 12 people that showed up.
I want to give a huge shout out to Tim Wegner and Mike Mullany for bringing their machinery and operating it all day long for us! We moved a ton of dirt and made a lot of awesome track!
I want to thank QBP for allowing so many of their employees to come out and help build.
I want to think Josh Abrahamson for bringing a grill and sausages.
I want to thank Clay Haglund for driving all the way up from Mankato to help out and donating a push broom to the cause! Shout out to Adam Buck for sending the beautiful Red Bull ladies our way for a nice mid afternoon pick-me-up!
I also want to thank Thor and Nick for all their attention to detail and really making the two completed tracks super dialed in!
Over all it was a huge success. We dialed the beginner pump track, completed the second pump tack, which is a replica of the Whistler Crankworx '10 and got the 3rd pump track, a replica of sea otter '09 roughted in!
Today I will be back out there to run some shovels around 1-130ish. I know a few people said they would come back out. I will send a text to everyone I know. Other wise spread the word. It is suppose to be sunny till dinner time and then get cloudy and rain starting after sun set! So the tracks should be in great shape for riding! Thanks again to everyone that showed up and brought tools and I hope to see you out there today and all summer enjoying the bike park! There is nothing like this in the Metro, MN or even the midwest that I am aware of!

Keep it real!
I will try and post some pictures but until then there are tons here

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Ok it wasn't the overall first ride of the year but it kind of felt that way. Lebanon really makes you work for your fun. It's not like BC were you or I and my buddies mostly start up top and shred the luge and then push back up and session some jumps. No, you ride the whole loop. I started off feeling great! I was moving at a good clip. I could already tell the limited pump track riding was helping. I felt smoother and was getting tons of free speed. I only did the blue loop, with a couple stops to chat and session some of the cool features.
After lebanon, about 510pm, I headed over to Lexington for what was suppose to be a pregame get together and shred session, and I guess it was a shred session for one! Haha, I did meet a guy that was following the progress on facebook and he had his 3 kids with. I gave them some pointers and the rode the track for 10-15mins and they all left with grins ear to ear! So that is encouraging! At least I know that I have accomplished my goal of making it kid and family friendly!
A little after 6pm and having about 30 laps in on the pump track I said F it and loaded up and went home. Maybe impromptu isn't the best but I would have though a couple people would have shown up...? I guess everyone is busy or doesn't care....
Hopefully more people show up tomorrow and the weather holds off a bit so we can get some serious building done!

Keep it real!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Big Build weekend!

Don't forget build weekend for the bike park this weekend! We will start at 9am on Friday the 13th, if you can't make it till later that is fine. Come when ever. We will working on Saturday at well, we can discuss the start time but I'm guessing in the AM as well. Sunday is up in the air depending on how much we get built and how much dirt, other supplies and peoples willingness to help we have le...ft.
Let me know if you are going to make it so we can have an idea of how many people are coming and also let us know what you are brining for tools so we know what we need to try and locat and borrow so we don't have tons of people standing around!
We will need or would be nice to have:
round shovels (spades)
flat shovels
garden hoes
miners ax
push broom
5 gal buckets
watering cans with sprinkler heads
spray cans
hand tampers
--- that is all I can think of just bring what ever you can that you think will help move or shape dirt!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

and it continues

Sorry I haven't been blogging as much as I probably should. Been busy building and trying to rally the troops to help and donate to the cause!
We have made the first track smoother, faster and better! We have also started on the second track. Next scheduled build day is the weekend of 4/13-4/15 I'm hoping for a big turn out!
here are some pictures