Select Page

Downhill/Enduro Skills Coaching

 

Dirt Magazine to 2009 Pro 4x and Jr. Cat 1 Downhill US National Champion Mitch Ropelato in a interview in the Oct. 2009 issue:

Dirt Magazine: “You seem to be able to turn amazingly, what do you put that down to? Got any special tires on there?

Mitch Ropelato: “Ya, Gene Hamilton is to thank for that, I took is clinic last December in Bootleg Canyon and he was able to show me the correct technique I needed to pull them off.”

 

Learn the Skills to Get Faster. Guaranteed.

 

I have to thank you again for everything that you did for me. In a matter of three days your clinic had a profound effect on my riding! And I assure you that I am going to practice my drills as I have no intention of loosing any of what you have taught me.  I am so eager for the race at Bootleg on the 23rd of this month. I have never in the 5 times that I have ridden Bootleg been so relaxed and not fearing for my life and yes I think I know exactly why. You will definitely see me at another clinic this season as I want to keep learning as much as I can and practice makes a Better Rider (no more by the seat of my pants stuff).

Chris Shelley
January, 2004

With over 28 years of coaching experience including 19 years coaching downhill mountain biking, BetterRide founder and coach, Gene Hamilton knows how to get you riding at your best!

He has coached many of the best US racers  (National Champions Mitch Ropelato, and Jackie Harmony, EWS stars Cody Kelly, Shawn Neer, and McKay Vezina, Olympic BMX Sliver Medalist Mike Day, National Dual Slalom Champion Luca Cometti and just over 100 more pro downhill and/or enduro racers).

Gene was a pretty good racer too, in 16 seasons as a pro downhill racer he has won a Silver (2002) and two Bronze Medals (2006, 1999) at the UCI World Masters Championships. He also won the 2019 US National Championships.

CORE MTB SKILLS LEARNED IN CAMP

 
In all of the BetterRide Camps you will be taught the core skills as well as drills that you can take home to help you master the skills and end the frustration of not riding to your full potential:

  • Correct Body Position, so you can ride smoother, faster and with more control
  • Vision – How to Look Ahead Correctly! We all know to look ahead but few racers do it as well and consistently as Greg Minnaar, we will teach you how your vision works, how to look ahead and give you vision drills to master your vision
  • Bike Set up for Optimal Riding and Control
  • How to Corner like a Pro! With Take Home Drills to Master your cornering
  • Advanced Cornering Technique
  • How to Brake to Go Faster!
  • How to Use Your Brakes for Speed
  • Correct Technique for Downhill Switchbacks
  • How to Manual
  • How to Clear Large Obstacles
  • How to Interpret the Trail to Ride Fast and Smooth
  • How to Pump the Trail for Free Speed
  • How to Clear Obstacles and Smooth out the Trail with Bump Jumps
This is the most effective and informative Downhill/Enduro Skills coaching you will ever attend!

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

Starting in a safe learning environment I EXPLAIN the skill, DEMONSTRATE the skill and have you PRACTICE the skill utilizing drills that you will continue to use long after the camp.

You will learn the core, fundamental skills of downhill mountain bike riding and racing.
These core skills are not intuitive, unless someone taught you them it is unlikely that would know, understand and most importantly consistently do them.

Few US racers know the core skills and even fewer can do them well.

I, BetterRide Founder, Gene Hamilton did not learn many of these skills until my sixth through tenth seasons as a pro racer. I really get the rider to understand these techniques with EXPLANATIONS, DEMONSTRATIONSDRILLS and then ON TRAIL APPLICATION of the skills. You will also learn the drills that you will take home with you for further practice to master these skills.

Here at BetterRide we really enjoy helping others and would love to share these techniques and the drills for practicing, getting good at it and eventually mastering these techniques with you.

CAMP GOALS

I have designed my Downhill and Enduro Mountain Bike Camps to help you with both the mental and physical sides of downhill mountain biking.

My goal is to help you reach your potential whether you are an just getting into the sport or an experienced pro racer.

You will be taught the core skills of mountain biking and the drills to master these skills.

Once you understand the skills we then apply them on the trail.

Learning and becoming proficient at these skills will allow you to ride in BALANCE and in CONTROL making you a more EFFICIENT and CONFIDENT rider.

3-DAY OVERVIEW

A typical day runs from:
8:45 am until 3:00 to 3:30 pm.

Each day starts with 3-4 hours of skills instruction and drills in a local park followed by 2-3 hours of on trail practicing and riding on trail.

Starting in a safe learning environment we:

  • EXPLAIN the skill,
  • DEMONSTRATE the skill and have you
  • PRACTISE the skill utilizing drills that you will continue to use long after the camp.

Once you understand the skills we then apply them on the trail.

Here at BetterRide we really enjoy helping others and would love to share these techniques and the drills with you so you can master the core skills!

REVIEWS FROM PASSIONATE RIDERS

Wow, after years of racing professionally in the US and on the World Cup you really improved my understanding of cornering. I am cornering faster and with more confidence.

Chris van Dine
Cannondale Cut Factory Team

I now know just what I need to do to go to the World’s in 4x and downhill.

Mitch Ropelato
2009 Pro 4x and Jr. Cat 1 Downhill National Champion

Thanks so much! Me, my dad, Cole, and Chase had so much fun! I’m so much more ready to tackle the race season and put all my new techniques to use on the courses up here! Defiantly the best coach I’ve ever had in any sport and the most I’ve ever learned in 3 days.

Keenan Charlton
March 12, 2012

Just wanted to let you know that I just completed my first DH enduro race (Wolf Mtn., UT) this past weekend with great results.  1st in Cat 1, 19+ and 4th overall.  For 6 hours I treated every turn like I was practicing your lessons and I feel like that much of a better rider for it.  I can’t wait for my first MSC race in 2 weeks where I plan to relax my mind and turn every corner into its most basic components.  Thanks again!

Graham Wagner
June 15, 2010

I just wanted to thank you again for the camp. Ive been doing drills 4-5 times a week and wow its amazing how much it helps. Never have a felt this confident in all situations. Its completely changed my riding and im lovin every second of it.
My friend used to race world cups before he got old and started a family, i can now drop him on the trail, its mind blowing for me cause it doesnt even feel like it, it all just feels so natural.

My first race is coming up in a couple weeks so i can let you know how it turns out.

I hope things are doing good for you, thanks again!

Danny
March 30, 2010

I have to thank you again for everything that you did for me. In a matter of three days your clinic had a profound effect on my riding! And I assure you that I am going to practice my drills as I have no intention of loosing any of what you have taught me.  I am so eager for the race at Bootleg on the 23rd of this month. I have never in the 5 times that I have ridden Bootleg been so relaxed and not fearing for my life and yes I think I know exactly why. You will definitely see me at another clinic this season as I want to keep learning as much as I can and practice makes a Better Rider (no more by the seat of my pants stuff).

Chris Shelley
January, 2004

I’ve worked on and off with Gene my entire career. In fact, it was partly on his urging, ten years ago, that I commit to racing pro full-time and quit my silly “real job” thing.  After Gene started coaching, he helped me at some of the Nationals. Together we worked on going over lines, race strategy, and especially my mental game. Gene’s got unbelievable energy and enthusiasm for the sport of mountain biking, unmatched by anyone I know.  As a pro rider himself he understands racing and training in this sport, which is very rare.  Many riders don’t understand the importance of having a coach like Gene. But when they do, they will finally be able to reach their potential. This is the edge to get them out of their plateau and go much faster…

Marla Streb
2002 National Champion

We have just gotten back from an awesome trip of downhill riding in Boulder City, Nevada. As a team, we had been talking about heading out there to do a skills camp with Gene Hamilton (www.betterride.net) for quite some time: over the New Year we got the chance to do just that. We arranged to meet up with Gene in Boulder on the 29th for a one-on-one, three-day, Go-Ride team coaching session… boy were we in for a surprise. In the past, when we had talked about doing this camp, we had no idea what to expect. It was a “Gene is a very smart guy and a damn good rider, but most of us already beat him at every race… what does he know that we don’t?” type thing.  And to tell the truth, he knows a lot that we don’t. The guy is genius; in just that one camp he completely revised all of our racing skills. From pumping to cornering, vision to breathing, course inspection to eating right… he didn’t miss a beat. Never have we learned so many applicable techniques to mountain biking than riding with Gene for that one three-day span. We here at Go-Ride would like to give Gene a big thank you; you don’t know how much you have helped us.

G0-Ride Team

Me and Craner talk about your coaching all the time. I am riding so much faster since the camp. I am so much more confident and I can’t believe how fast I am cornering, thanks man. I love how you have broken it down to science. From course inspection to the mental game to how to practice at a race you have all the details figured out. I am so excited right now! I am going to hit as many World Cups as I can in 2009 and between what you taught me and my F1 Jedi I am going to tear it up. Lets get together for some training in Bootleg this winter.

Canfield Brothers Bikes
World Cup Racer

I have been riding Mountain Bikes for over 25 years, started racing Downhill 3 years ago, and thought I was doing well with 12 Podiums in 19 races to date, BUT, after spending just 3-Days with you and the crew at Northstar for that DH Camp, I learned more about how to actual ride with more control, more skill, and more SPEED than all that riding and racing COMBINED !! By the end of your a I was doing, not pretending to do things on a bike I did not even think were possible!

Tom Judy
August,
2009

Just an update from the Utah/Idaho crew: It turned out to be a great season for all. Randy improved to get the 2nd overall in the Utah State Series DH (40+ sport). Clint finished a close third, after missing a race, and with his new V10 he should be smoking next year. Rolf keeps getting faster and faster and just got back from Worlds in France where he finished 4th in his group. As for me, I finished 2nd overall in the Utah DH series (30-39 expert) which was a great feeling of accomplishment. I have improved mentally and physically, allowing my times to increase by more than 30 seconds. We are talking about another clinic this winter to keep us tough and prepared for next season. Thanks again for all your help Gene, your guidance has made a real difference for all of us.

Tony Sams
October,
2007

We all owe a great thanks. Several times during the weekend Chris and Mary mentioned how much the clnic helped them. I personally gained so much from it. It was tough sitting down and visualizing that course twice a day for a week, but it paid off. I really hope that you will become an integral part of CU cycling in the future. You were a key factor to us all wearing a bars and stars jersey this weekend, thanks again!

Lisa Myklak
2006 US Open Champion, 2002 Collegiate National Downhill Champion

 

I just wanted to thank you for a great camp this past weekend – I really learned a ton, and a bunch of my questions since the last camp were answered, I can’t wait for the next camp!

My goals have changed over the past few months – I’ll be racing Cat 2 this year and I’m hoping to move up to Cat 1 if it looks realistic.  I plan to qualify for and race at Masters Nationals next year – the highest level I can compete at!

Rich
April, 
2011