Winter MTB Coaching Report: So, you think you can ride?

By Mary Rose Balao

That’s what I thought! I didn’t realised that I was doing everything wrong until I started attending the DoC MTB Skills Clinic for adults this year. Here are just a few of the examples of what I’ve learnt from my coaches about the art of mountain biking:

Learning from the experienced… real experts. DoC has highly qualified coaches – not only do they have years of saddle time and coaching experience, but they also bring along a strong history of racing. They certainly know their stuff!

Learning the basics…all the time. Whether you’re a novice or an intermediate rider, classes always begin with foundation skills – that is, the correct body position: heels down and arms bent. Some coaches call it the ‘attack’ position, others call it ‘sumo’ or even the ‘chicken’ position – I think I prefer to attack than to do the chicken!

Lastly, learning to dismount…when in doubt. The most recent skill that I’ve learned is dismounting on a steep narrow trail. Dismounting is not just for the faint of heart (like me), even experienced riders do it, albeit with proper technique. This is a very useful skill for me as I sometimes hesitate riding down an unfamiliar downhill track or stop midway and end up in the bush! Now I am able to dismount with grace and end up standing tall.

So, whether you’re riding for fitness or planning to join upcoming MTB events, the DoC MTB Skills Clinic is a great way to improve your riding skills and learn new techniques to make your mountain biking an even more enjoyable experience.

Happy trails!

*A little about me:

I’ve always wanted to have a bike but never really had one until I could afford to buy one as an adult. So you can say that I’m a very late bloomer in this sport. I ride for fitness and all the time, I end up having fun too! I may not be the fastest but I enjoy joining summer MTB races as they keep me on the saddle as often as possible.

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