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Great World Cup Video Showing 2 Very Important MTB Skills!

In our mountain bike skills camps we explain that we didn’t invent the skills that we teach we learned the techniques from the best (and then broke them down into easy to put together pieces that we can explain demonstrate and then get the student to do). We often suggest watching downhill race videos for great examples of the proper techniques that we coach (for all riders: recreational, cross country, endurance, free-ride, all-mountain, single speed and downhill).

Well Mid-West BetterRide coach Chris Cornelison found this great video. It shows Nathan Rennie doing two things that we coach rides to do. Both can be seen in the footage stating at :53 in. 1. Notice how no matter how crazy the trail Nathan is always looking ahead, he never even glances down at the trail. 2. Notice how quiet is chest and head are! He could put a glass of water on his head and not spill it!

Of course mastering these skills isn’t easy, you must first understand how to look ahead and how to stay smooth and in balance and then practice them using drills (just throwing yourself down a gnarly trail will just teach you how to tense up and ride defensively) which is why we are here!

Great Story and Photos from a MTB Skills Camp Student

Great email and story of success from student Rich Schmit!
Gene,
I’ve been wanting to pass on a personal success story. Before your mountain bike camp in Indiana with Coach Andy W. I participated in my first mountain bike race in Copper Harbor, MI. I placed 6th in my age group (over 6 min. behind 3rd place) on a very technical course. Considering the field, I was happy with the results. My goal after the BetterRide camp was to be in the top 3 in the same race with a similar field. With my new found skills I placed 1st this time with 2nd place over 7 min. behind. I tore it up! Attached are a couple of pictures. Thanks, I’m always telling people that no matter how much they think they know how to ride a mountain bike, they owe it to themselves to attend one of your camps. A year later I still practice my skills every time I’m out.

Rich Schmit on his way to victory

Notice how he is centered on the bike, arms bent and looking way ahead instead of at the bottom of the rock! Great riding!
BTW, a while back you suggested some reading material. I chose Body, Mind Mastery by Dan Millman. (in audio book form). Not only do I feel it helped my mountain bike skills with things like, how tension is counter productive and how the “opponent is not the enemy, but instead the teacher” it also helped me in my own personal life. Good recommendation!
Keep up the good job, Rich S

Rich Schmit on Top of The Podium

How to MTB Video: Using Strength Training For Better Body Position

My strength coach James Wilson has given me a great article to help you achieve better body position!

Touch the Wall Deadlifts for Better Body Position

Everything starts with good, balanced body position. Good balanced body position on your bike comes from being able to “hinge” at your hips and not your lower back. Being able to do this movement effectively will make a dramatic impact on everything you do on the bike.

The Touch the Wall Deadlifts have quickly become one of my favorite exercises in the facility. It is the best way I’ve found to teach the all important hip hinge movement pattern. Here are the progressions for this exercise, plus what you want to be learning at each stage of the progression. Don’t be afraid to replace your swings and/ or deadlifts with these if you feel you struggle doing them right.

You can download the Coaching Cue Handout for this exercise by right clicking on the link below and selecting Save as…

Touch the Wall Deadlifts

-James Wilson-

BetterRider Wins Pan American Championships in Colombia!

Jackie Harmony on her way to the Pan American Championship!

Congratulations to BetterRide coach and athlete Jackie Harmony on her Pan American title! Making this more impressive, she was on a new bike and suspension (Canfield Jedi and Marzocchi 888 fork) that was assembled just in time to make her flight! So she had to get used to and dial in a new bike and fork in practice, not a lot of time.

BetterRider Mitch Ropelato finished just off the podium in 4th for the highest placing US male in the downhill competition.

Other BetterRiders including Jackie’s husband Dante finished in 63rd place, Michael Buell was 30th and Heiki Hall was 44th.

Feels great to see students I coach doing well all over the world. Keep up the good work!

Two articles about the race:

http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/2011-Panamerican-Championships,2158/Jackie-Harmony-Womens-Panam-Champs-DH-Winner,17134/sspomer,2

http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=6084