There are two main causes for getting injured mountain biking, lack of skill to do what you are doing and lapses in focus.
95% of mountain bikers, certainly me for the first 12-14 years that I rode, are not riding in balance and in control and this is often the cause of their crashes.
Now that I understand how to ride in balance and in control and have been racing professionally for 16 years (the first 4 of those still out of balance and out of control) I still manage to crash once or twice a year but now the reason for the crash is different. Now most of my crashes come when I lose focus.
There is an old saying, “Never say “last run”or “just one more”", and for 12 years now I have explained that it isn’t superstition, it is true.
So to stay safe:
1. Learn to ride in control and in balance in all situations
2. Progress with baby steps
3. When tired call it a day
4. Always ride with a purpose
5. Never say “one more” or “last run”
Great exercises from James Wilson!
Top 4 Exercises for Better Body Position
One of the most important movement skills for any mountain biker to posses is the basic “hip hinge”. This is your ability to bend at the hips and not at the lower back and it is directly related to your ability to get into good body position on the bike. Without this movement skill you will always struggle to find balance and flow on the trail.
No matter where you are on this exercise continuum, practicing the appropriate level of exercise for you will go a long way to helping you gain better command of this all important movement pattern. Without it you will struggle to apply all other techniques to your bike and quickly hit the ceiling on how fast you can go while maintaining balance and control. Add these exercises into your training routine and you’ll see a marked increase in your balance and flow on the trail.
Check out this short write up with photos from our San Diego camp with certified coach Dylan Renn!
Dylan has been getting great reviews and a lot of experience coaching this summer! In his third season with BetterRide he has aced all of our coaching courses, assisted me (Gene) at 5 camps, taught more than 10 mini-camps and now is only the 4th coach certified to coach our signature 3 day camps. Congratulations Dylan! I know it took a lot of work, practice and dedication on your part!
In 12 years of coaching mtb skills I still cannot get over how closed minded mountain bikers can be! “Oh, he is a single speeder, they always…”, “damn downhiller’s with 8″ of travel, of course they can ride that section, no skill, the bike does all the work, bet he can’t climb to save his life”, “look at that idiot on that fully rigid bike doesn’t he know…”, etc. Well, we are doing the exact same spot! Riding bicycles off road and guess what? The Core, Fundamental Skills are All The Same no matter what kind of mtb you are riding!
Why is this important to you? Because if you want to improve you can learn a lot from riders that are different from you. The skill it takes for Greg Minnaar and Mitch Ropelato to corner so well is the exact same skill all mountain bikers need, regardless of the bike they are on or the label they give themselves.
So open your mind and stop labeling people/riders/things. You can learn from our examples/videos/coaching even if the example we us is on a much different bike that yours. We are fortunate enough to coach many of the best races in the world in all disciplines of mtb racing and we teach them all the same core skills (although in our downhill camps we don’t teach climbing skills as climbing on a 40lb bike isn’t much fun!).
Yes, we taught singlespeed World Champions Ross Schnell and Sue Haywood the exact same cornering skills we taught World Cup downhill racers Mitch Ropelato and Jackie Harmony.
Check out this video from the Dual slalom at Crankworx! Great to see 3 BetterRiders in the finals and one of them winning the event! Bummer to see two of them going up against each other in the first round, Cody Kelly is a ripper and he had to face Mitch Ropelato in the first round! They are good friends and I have had the pleasure of coaching both of them, great kids as well as great mountain bikers.