The Best Mountain Bike For Learning Skills?

BetterRide Head Coach Andy Winohradsky’s take on long travel “trail” mountain bikes:

Recently, a friend of mine rode one of the latest “longer travel” trail bikes (around 160 mm of rear wheel travel) and was blown away by the bikes capabilities on the trail. He couldn’t come up with a reason why he shouldn’t have one and he asked me what I thought.

I told him that I may not be the best guy to talk to when trying to make the decision on whether or not to buy a new bike – of course you need one of those! Who doesn’t!
But I actually feel that the opposite is true: the bigger bike is more likely to give the rider the tools necessary to learn proper technique while the smaller bike may actually inhibit the learning process.
Why?

First, we don’t learn very well when we’re scared or in “survival mode”.
And, if we put an average DH racer on an XC bike and point her downhill, she’ll ride the wheels off the thing, only slowing because of the perceived limitations that the bike imposes on her – but not because of perceived limitations of her skill!

So, if you were on the fence about getting into a longer travel trail machine, jump off and grab that credit card! Not only will you have a blast, but also you’ll own a great new tool for developing skills that will transfer over to you XC race bike very nicely!

For Gene article on finding a confidence inspiring bike click this link: http://betterride.net/blog/2010/the-ideal-confidence-inspiring-mountain-bike/

Are You Safe on Your Mountain Bike?

BetterRide Head Coach Andy Winohradsky discusses protective gear for mountain biking:

Summertime is in full swing and that means its downhilling season! Even if you’re a not full DH racer, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve at least entertained the idea of going to a resort; renting, borrowing (or buying…he he), a DH bike, and having a day of chairlift accessed good times. If not, I highly encourage you to do so.
However, there can be a little trepidation with the whole downhilling thing, and rightly so. Downhilling can be dangerous (just like regular trail riding), but there are a few things we can do to minimize those dangers. First and foremost: wear protective gear.
Lately, I’ve gotten a few questions from riders fairly new to the downhilling game about what gear to wear, how much, “do I really need a full-face helmet …”, etc.
So I’ll try to shed some light on the whole body armor thing, but let me first say that all this gear is made for a reason, and WHEN you crash, you’ll be glad you had it on (or wish you did!).
… And, yes, you do NEEEED a full-face helmet!
Here’s my gear list when I get on a DH bike
So there you have it. I’ve been DH’ing for a long time and I really wouldn’t feel comfortable riding with any less gear then the stuff I listed above. Have fun, be safe!
Of course learning the in balance and in control mountain bike techniques we teach in our camps would also go a long way to keep you safe. Less falls equal less injuries!

Five BetterRiders Selected for U.S. Team for MTB Worlds!

Congratulations to the following BetterRide athletes who have made the US Team for the World MTB Championships!

In the pro downhill Jackie Harmony (who is BetterRide athlete and coach!) earned her automatic nomination by virtue of being ranked 11th in the UCI rankings! Mitch Ropelato was chosen for the team for his high placings at many of the World Cup races in his first year as a pro!

In the Jr. Cat 1 Downhill Trevor Trinkino was the fastest among a qualified pool of athletes at Colorado Crankworx to earn his automatic nomination. Christian Wright was selected to the team for his overall performances so fa this season.

In 4 cross, Lear Miller was selected as one of three men to represent the US.

Making the US Team is quite an honor, congratulations! Create a great World Championship and we will be cheering for you! For the whole story click on this link: http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=6910

BetterRiders Rock Crankworx MTB Competition! Video!

While I was busy enjoying a social life that all my racing and coaching doesn’t allow BetterRiders were tearing it up at Crankworx!

What a weekend for Jackie Harmony! She won the Air Downhill, the unchained downhill and the UCI C1 downhill! She was definitely the queen of the event!

Brian Buell had a great week, second in slalom, third in the Air Downhill, fourth in the UCI C1 downhill!

Jen Hanks, BetterRide MTB Student of the Month

BetterRider of the Month! A new feature I am adding to introduce you to some our students that I am inspired by!

The July 2011 BetterRider of the Month is Jen Hanks. Jen took a camp from us last October in Fruita and her life has changed a lot in the last 9 months. A few months after the camp Jen faced a huge challenge and overcame it in stride. Her courage, passion and dedication to the sport inspire me.
I am very proud of my cycling achievements, my career, and most recently my blog about my story as an athlete with cancer.

I also hope to show that a return to high-level athletic performance is possible after breast cancer treatment. Look for my return in 2012!

I will be checking her blog for updates and look forward to hearing of her continued successes both on and off the bike!