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Mountain Bike Skills Camp

 

Hi Gene,

Thank you for creating what has been one of the best learning experiences of our lives.  We traveled all the way from Australia to attend your camp in Golden, Colorado and it was worth every penny! Andy was a fantastic teacher with great personal skills. He has our highest commendation for creating a safe, exciting and fun environment for learning.

 

It is refreshing to find someone who understands their field well enough to be able to deconstruct difficult and often hard to pinpoint concepts. This is a rare talent. We appreciate all of the careful thought that you and Andy have put into creating the mountain bike skills curriculum. The content was well-organized into different sections, and logically progressed from foundational skills (like body position and braking) to more difficult skills (like cornering). It is obvious that you have spent a lot of time not only thinking about how to mountain bike, but also how to teach it to others.

 

Learning these mountain biking skills has truly made us “betterriders”.  Thank you for the opportunity to attend your camp and we look forward to attending a core skills camp #2!

Tracy and Matt
from Canberra, Australia,

BetterRide Mountain Bike Skills Camps, Clinics and Coaching, have been designed to teach you how to ride
FASTER, more EFFICIENT, BALANCED, in CONTROL and of course how to have more FUN!
Are you ready to create a BetterRide?
COME JOIN US!

Thanks Coach Gene for your time the last 2 days! Your coaching is spot on! I’m so lucky to have had the chance to spend this time learning from the most passionate mountain biker out there – one who cares about the sport and all the techniques that go into it! Total respect! That’s all I have to say! If anyone is questioning or “thinking” about signing up for his camp- DON’T , just do! Thank you Gene!!!!

Gretchen Wavro

CORE SKILLS LEARNED IN A
MOUNTAIN BIKE SKILLS CAMP

The Core Fundamental Skills of Mountain Bike Riding and Racing are NOT INTUITIVE.

In a BetterRide Mountain Bike Skills Camp 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 ride everything on the trail consistently, jumps, drops, off-camber, roots, etc.)
  • Balanced Weight Placement
  • Vision, how to look ahead correctly. Everyone knows to do it, few actually do
  • Bike Set up for Optimal Riding and Control
  • Cornering Technique with Take Home Drills
  • Advanced Cornering Technique
  • How to Brake effectively
  • How to Use Your Brakes for Speed
  • Correct Technique for uphill and downhill switchbacks
  • How To Clear Large Obstacles
  • How to Interpret the Trail to Ride Fast and Smooth

CAMP GOALS

We have designed our Mountain Bike Skills Camp to help you with both the MENTAL and PHYSICAL sides of mountain biking.

Our goal is to help you reach your potential by teaching you the core skills of mountain biking along with the drills to master them.

These are the non-intuitive skills that eluded Gene Hamilton, BetterRide Founder and Coach after 15 years of riding and kept me from reaching my potential.
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.

When you take a Mountain Bike Skills Coaching Camp from BetterRide it is not uncommon to find yourself with a diverse group ranging from Pros to enthusiastic riders looking to take their riding to the next level. We teach everyone the same core skills.

These core skills of mountain biking are not inherent and are not learned from experience.
Sports are not learned by doing, they are learned by practicing core skills using drills.

If sports were learned by doing, top level professionals like Tiger Woods or Bode Miller would never have coaches, much less work with them on a daily basis throughout their careers.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN IN A
MOUNTAIN BIKE SKILLS CAMP

Spend a three day weekend with us in a
Mountain Bike Skills Camp and we will teach you the
PHYSICAL and MENTAL skills on how to ride – BALANCED, EFFICIENTLY , FAST and SMOOTH.

We teach drills for each skill so you can practice after the camp and master these skills, ending the frustration of not riding to your potential.

  • FIRST we teach you the goal of the skill and explain – HOW to do it so you understand the skill & WHAT it should feel like.
  • THEN we demonstrate the skill, so you can see it done and know what it should look like.
  • NEXT we have you practice the skill using drills in a safe learning environment (so you don’t resort to old habits and/or survival instincts) while we encourage and assist you.

Once you have a good understanding of the skill and some practice we apply the skill out on the trail.

This is the most fun and informative mountain bike school you will ever attend!

3-DAY OVERVIEW OF THE
MOUNTAIN BIKE SKILLS CAMP

A typical Mountain Bike Skills Camp 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

Thanks again, you were a great part of my succees for 2005. I had the best year of my life. Part of which at the age of 52, I entered numerous mtn bike races, podiumed 5 times and won the Texas Mountain Bike Racing Association series for my division.

Your instruction, professsionalism and emails went above and beyond all expectations.

Kent Wells
2016

Thanks Coach Gene for your time the last 2 days! Your coaching is spot on! I’m so lucky to have had the chance to spend this time learning from the most passionate mountain biker out there – one who cares about the sport and all the techniques that go into it! Total respect! That’s all I have to say! If anyone is questioning or “thinking” about signing up for his camp- DON’T , just do! Thank you Gene!!!!

Gretchen Wavro

This was by far the best use of both money and time in regards to my mountain bike training.
Its 3 days of my life I will never forget.

Jim, BetterRide Camper

The results are starting to trickle in as I have the time to ride some of my local rides that I track my times on.  I’m astonished!

My descending time from the summit of Chimney Gulch to the Beaver Brook cross over dropped from a personal best of 6:51.0 to 5:46.0, for the bottom section it went from a personal best of 13:42.0 to 10:12.2.  Considering that I really haven’t had enough time to practice a lot yet, I’m stunned at the improvement.  I can also say that I felt more in control than I used to and I cleaned a section I’ve never had the balls to even try before.

Again Gene, I can’t thank you enough.  The camp was great.  Your ability to break skills down into digestible parts, watch riders and help them refine techniques, your humility and sense of humor make you a world class coach.  I’ll be taking your next level two clinic this year and probably a refresher next year.”

 Mark Forgy
Expert XC racer, Mountain Bike Fanatic

Just wanted to give you an update and let you know that I am starting to experience the delayed effects of your camp.  I knew when the camp ended that I was leaving with some new skills that were helpful immediately.  But I also knew there were other skills that were going to take more practice, patience and time.  Well, I’m starting to see them.  

I’ve been practicing descending the way you instructed us but until the last couple of weeks, I knew I was still faster descending the way I always had – I was just more comfortable that way.  But in the last couple of weeks, it all kind of clicked.  

I’m not winning any downhill races – yet – but all of a sudden (and it really did seem to happen pretty suddenly) your techniques took over and instead of just using them at low speeds only when I thought about it, I was using them all over the trails and feeling pretty comfortable.  Now I find myself only reverting to my old techniques when I come into a corner already off balance.  Anyway, thanks, it’s a great feeling – can’t wait to use them on race courses this year!

Sarah Kaufman
Top Pro Endurance Racer

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve had big improvements in my racing this year after taking the betteride course (about 10 minutes improvement from last year).  I got 2nd place in the beginner category at Eldora, then placed 15th out of 35 in the Sport category at Winterpark in my first ‘sport race’.   I passed people on the downhill for the first time in these two races, and am feeling much more confident on the downhills (I hit 31.5 mph max on a tight singletrack in the Eldora race).

Jonathan Jones

Tonight was the first night of practice cyclocross races.  The cornering techniques I learned in you camp last weekend rock on the cross bike.  I was able to carry speed through the corners and off cambers that I could only dream of last year!

I actually found myself cranking up the speed before the corners instead of braking. Nobody else is using this technique.  I found my self keeping pace with stronger riders just on cornering skill alone.  Imagine after I’ve a had a few weeks to practice.

I had best time of my life on a mountain bike at your camp, and look forward to doing another one next spring.

Chris Cornelison
September 24, 2010

I took your Neshaminy clinic in June.  I wanted to fill you in on my race results.  I raced all season in the Midatlantic Super Series in Women’s Sport. I won the overall championship!  I am so happy that I won!  I will be moving up to Elite next year.

I’ve been doing the drills you taught for 20 minutes, twice a week.  I almost always preride my race courses.  I work on hard sections to figure out the best lines.  Since the clinic, I have noticed that my balance has improved tremendously.

So, Gene… thank you for the clinic.  I still tell all my riding buddies about it. Especially how you break down the mechanics of everything that you teach.  I let them know how you explain the physics behind the techniques.  I tell them that the learning environment you provide is the perfect way to learn something, practice it, and really get it. I’d love to do a refresher course.

Angie Wallace
September 15, 2009

Attending Gene’s camp in Sedona was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. You can read skills articles and watch the youtube videos all day, but these will never engrain the skills needed to become a good mountain biker.

Gene’s course teaches you all of the primary skills, and then he drills them into you. You repeat these drills under his watchful eye until the become engrained. It’s been about 9 months since I attended the course and I still hear Gene correcting me if I’m going about an obstacle or turn in the wrong position.

I still make every ride a learning experience because of what he taught, and my riding has improved immensely as a result. Thanks Gene!

Steven Peyton
August, 2018

Just wanted to show you what your lessons made me do this past weekend!  If you click on the photo or link to the photo album look through the album and on the 2nd page, bottom row, there’s a great shot of me doing what you taught me to do with my elbows-totally Brian Lopes style. 

I was impressed to see myself doing that-a big change in my riding style and I know it’ll make me faster in the long run.

So thanks and I may have some time coming up where I can make it to one of your camps-I’ll let you know.

Amanda Riley, Kenda, Titus, Hayes Team
Winners of 2008, 24 hours of Old Pubelo

Thanks again for holding the camp last weekend.  I was finally able to get out and ride yesterday on the falcon trail (loop that goes around the Air Force Academy).  There are two sections that I have had problems with in the past.  One is a tight turn with two drop offs that are oddly spaced and the landing slopes off into some bushes.  I’ve ridden the trail a dozen times and walked that section most times.  Once I tried it and endo‘ed into the bushes.  When I rode it yesterday, I cleared it with confidence.  

I kept repeating to myself “Do or Do Not – There Is No Try”:-) I relaxed, saw the line I wanted to take, found my balance and went through the section very controlled – it was great!

The next section is a steep switchback climb with a ton of sand.  I have never made that turn, although I have tried to every time I’ve ridden the trail.  This time I approached the switchback using the techniques and strategy you taught us.  The result – made it!  No problem!

The last thing I noticed is that the whole ride was smoother.  I focused primarily on the vision techniques  – and body position skills.  The ride felt slower than what I normally ride, but it was actually six minutes faster!  Absolutely amazing!
Brad
Oct. 8, 2008 (5 days after his 3-day coaching session)

My son took your camp in winter park at age 14. He is 16 and just completed the Laramie Epic (30 miles) last weekend. He placed 2 in the age bracket 0-29. He continues to use your techniques and tips. Smooth is fast! Your worksheets are worn out and weathered from continued use! Worth it….you bet!!!

Sheila Palmer
July 2019

Your camp gave me the confidence to go out and try a few races this summer.  My first race was in the beginner 40 to 45 age class in the “Point to Point” cross country race in Winter Park.  While I certainly did not break any records – I at least had a respectable finish and more importantly had a total blast.  

My second race was a Super D (much more my style in that there is MUCH less uphill cranking) at Winter Park where I got a second place finish in my age group.  3rd race was a Mountain States Cup Super D race in Copper where I came in tenth.  Again no records but still having a total blast.  

My friends the same age as me think I am crazy doing this stuff but I think they are crazy to be sitting on their arses.  Again, thank you for giving me the confidence to go out there and try some racing and hopefully in the near future I will be in another one of your camps!

Will Edgington
September, 2009

Thanks for the e-mail.  By the way, after completing your camp in Arizona, I dropped 5 minutes off my previous best lap time at the 12 hours of Temecula mountain bike race (59 to 54 minutes).  Obviously, this was a significant breakthrough.  

I’ve also noticed that by being a smoother and more efficient rider and by decoupling my body from the bike, I exert less energy and travel faster.  “Looking to victory” works like a charm.  Most importantly, the basic skills I was exposed to in your camp (and continue to develop) have made mountain biking more enjoyable.

Keith
January 2008

I’ve been wanting to pass on a personal success story.  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! 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.

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 Schmit
April 2011

Gene and fellow BetterRiders!
I have been smiling all day long today, thinking about our rad weekend together! I taught 4 of my kids how to do wheelies today and they thought I was super cool for a solid 5 minutes until they had it completely mastered and were smoking past my on their rear wheels. 

 
Thank you forever, Gene, for sharing your passion and deciding to teach. An empowering, motivating, completely exhilarating weekend. I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning with my new toy. It was a total honor to cross paths with you all!

Currently standing on one leg while I brush my teeth and dictate this email…
Jen  

Friends took the 3 day a while ago and really enjoyed it.

I didn’t think I was ready for that but I hired him privately for most of a day. Best experience going. It helped my skiing also. Eyes, eyes and balance via movement on the bike. 

Steamboat in the rain…..

John Rostenbur

MTB Skills Camp in Fraser, CO. It was amazing. Phenomenal skills coach, Coach Gene Hamilton, literally broke down the fundamentals of mountain biking in 3 days. Super fun fellow campers. Enjoyed every bit.

Now I need to practice and strengthen some new neural circuits. If you want to improve your MTB skills, no matter your level, take a course from Better Ride.
Patricia George

Thank you, Gene! I thoroughly enjoyed your skills camp. One of the most effective learning environments I have experienced to date. Now it is all about due diligence!

 I am interested in a “day with Gene in Moab” and future course offerings.

Ryan Bertram

 

Gene, The first thing I did was buy some cones. My drive way is pretty steep so can do switch backs there. My pedal wheelies are coming along. Yesterday I had a bit of a breakthrough ride with my vision. On a ride with some small drop offs I realized by using the vision technique I was more balanced, more comfortable and jumped further without trying. 

That was the best clinic I have ever done. Thanks for the reading list. I’ve read a number of those books but I now have more to read.

Don Leet

 

 

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