As someone who spends 12 months a year traveling the world coaching mountain biking, mountain biking and racing I have my favorite spots! I will start with the continental United States and deep winter (Mid-December through Feb.). When 90% of the country is freezing there are a few spots I love to ride in.
We will start with South Mountain. At over 16,000 acres (for comparison Vail Resort is the largest single mountain ski resort in the US a 5,289 acres) and over a thousand vertical feet it has great trails for advanced beginners to pros. South Mountain is my favorite place to ride in Phoenix as it has some of the rockiest, most challenging trails in the country that always keep me on my toes.
North of Phoenix off of I-17 is the Black Canyon Trail which has several trail heads and will one day go from Flagstaff to Tucson. It has quite a few fun sections all not for from I-17.
For late fall and late winter riding (Mid-November through December and mid-February through April) all of the above are great with Sedona and Boulder City warming up quite a bit.
Other favorite late fall and late winter destinations are Austin, TX, Albuquerque, NM, Saint George/Hurricane, UT and most of California.
I have purposely left out a lot of great trails and areas near those above has we live in a big, beautiful country, go out and explore!
We need more people like this guy in this world. Did you know we have a similar program here in the US? The organization it is http://www.tripsforkids.org/ and they take troubled kids mountain biking. I have volunteered for the Denver chapter before. As a snowboard coach I learned that sport is a metaphor for life and helping people over come challenge can really help their self esteem. I didn’t realize how much can be gained in a couple of hours though. This had a profoundly positive effect on the kids. Check the website for a chapter in your area or if you have the time start one!
How to keep motivated this winter! Whether you are a weekend mountain bike rider who just rides to get out in nature for some fresh air or a determined mountain bike racer it is tough to stay motivated to stay in shape during the off-season. He tells us that victory is fleeting and if we don’t enjoy the journey on the way to achieving our goals what is the point. If we do our best everyday we will not only enjoy our lives more we will likely exceed our goals. So whether you are training for a long ride in Moab next spring or the biggest race or your life, train hard and have fun!
Check out this video of Mountain Bike World Downhill Champ Gee Atherton on his downhill bike racing World Enduro Champ David Knight down a world cup downhill track! Sick split screen action.
One of our students just emailed me this link to a study on the effects of tire pressure and energy output from the rider. While this is a study on road tires they have an interesting section on rough surfaces which applies to mountain bikes. As we explain in our camps lower pressure tires absorb shock better (the tire simply flexes instead of having to go up and over the bump (making your entire body weight go up and over the bump when seated and pedaling) giving you a smoother and more efficient ride.