Learn the Skills to Get Faster Guaranteed

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.”

With over 28 years of coaching experience including 19 years coaching downhill mountain biking, BetterRide Head 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.

What You Will Learn

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 FounderGene Hamilton did not learn many of these skills until his sixth through tenth seasons as a pro racer. My BetterRide coaches really get the rider to understand these techniques with our explanations, demonstrations,  drills 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.

Core Mountain Biking Skills Learned In Camp

  • 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
Camp Overview

This is the most effective and informative downhill/enduro skills coaching you will ever attend

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. Once you understand the skills we then apply them on the trail. Here at BetterRide I really enjoy helping others and would love to share these techniques and the drills for practicing, getting good at and eventually mastering these techniques with you.

Day 1

  • How to ride in balance, in control and efficiently. Learn correct body position, balance and weight placement for descending
  • How to set-up your bike for optimal riding: tire pressure, tire type, stem length, bar height, seat height, brake level reach/adjustment, suspension set up to riders weight and riding style
  • How to look ahead correctly- Everyone one knows to look ahead but few actually do it! No matter how rough and rocky the trail you need to be looking ahead with both the trail and your goal in focus. This is easier said than done! I will teach you where and how to look ahead, how this effects your riding and how to improve your vision skills.
  • How to manual
  • How to fall safer
  • Break for lunch and hit the trails to work on morning skills
  • Wrap up and review of the day’s skills

Day 2

  • Review of day 1, questions?
  • How bikes corner, how to corner just like Greg Minnaar, in balance, using vision to corner faster, easier with more control
  • Advanced cornering with drills
  • How to brake effectively (no skidding!)
  • how to use your brakes to go faster
  • Break for lunch and hit the trails to work on morning skills
  • Wrap up and review

Day 3

  • Review of both days and questions, review drills
  • How to pump and gain speed and control all over the track
  • How to pump corners for added speed
  • How to balance on a bike, how to improve your balance, how to trackstand
  • How to do downhill switchbacks in balance and in control with my 100% technique (as opposed to the popular momentum method that works well 50-60% of the time)
  • How to clear larger obstacles, lift your rear wheel correctly and easily (not yanking up with your cleats), clearing logs/log piles, doing drop-offs safely and smoothly
  • The bump jump to smooth out the rough sections and take the fast line smooth
  • Campers’ choice, skills the campers want further work on
  • Break for lunch and hit the trails to work on morning skills
  • Wrap up and review
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. 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.

Pro Racers Review

“Wow, after years of racing professionally in the US and on the World Cup you (Gene Hamilton) really improved my understanding of cornering. I am cornering faster and with more confidence”. Chris Van Dine – Cannondale factory team, after just one 6 hour session

“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.” Chris Canfield-Canfield Brothers Bikes