Category Archives: Instruction

Photos: MTB instruction soon available at Welch Village’s new bike park

Video: riding up and down an icy corner

MTB coach Elaine Bothe is the first featured guest expert in the Mountain Bike Skills Network Facebook Group starting Feb. 13

I’m pleased to announce that MTB coach Elaine Bothe will be our first featured guest expert in my Mountain Bike Skills Network (MTBSN) Facebook Group starting Monday Feb. 13 and continuing through the week. I’ve asked her to focus on two topics: 1) Fear; 2) Jumps.

Elaine Bothe, mtb coach with students

I’ve never met Elaine in person but I’ve gotten to see her work as an online Ambassador and Coach for Ryan Leech’s online courses and community, as well as a regular contributor to his blog. She’s an Associate Coach for Wenzel Coaching​, based in Portland, Oregon and is an Affiliate Instructor with Simon Lawton’s Fluidride in the Seattle, WA area.

Elaine Bothe, mtb coach with student

See her Facebook profile and follow her @elainebbikes Instagram feed.

To participate, join the free Mountain Bike Skills Network (MTBSN) group.

FREE until midnight on New Year’s Eve: Ryan Leech’s 12-Ride Flat Pedal Challenge online course.

I’ve been riding with flat pedals since Aug, 2011, about 6 weeks after I began mountain biking. I don’t evangelize about them too much in part because I’ve not delved deeply into the flats vs clipless debate. I just had more fun riding with them. And although I’ve always believe crashing is part of learning, I wasn’t willing to suffer injuries caused mainly by not getting unclipped in time to put my feet down.

So I’m thrilled to see that Ryan Leech, pro rider and elite instructor, has released his 12-Ride Flat Pedal Challenge online course.

It’s FREE until midnight, 12/31/2016 (New Year’s Eve).

Since he announced it a few weeks ago, over 6,000 have signed up.

Here’s his short description of the course:

“A drill-filled guide designed to help you discover the technique and style gifts of flat pedals. I’m NOT trying to convert you to flat pedals. Though if you ride clipless, then you’re missing out on the refinement that logging time on flats can have on your technique. You can then carry this style back to clipless at any time you like! Following my curriculum will speed up the acquisition of these, dare I say, transformative flat pedal benefits.”

Here’s the course overview page with the entire curriculum, testimonials, and link to register, NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED:

(Full disclosure: I’ve been collaborating with Ryan on a few aspects of his online venture for the past year or so. I’m also a marketing affiliate, which means I get a small commission for referring people.)

Video: dragging the rear brake with low tire pressure to ride a sheet of ice

We had a lot of rain on Xmas here in southern Minnesota that completely ruined our several inches of fluffy snow. But as the temps dropped, the melting snow froze, creating some unusual ice. I found this mini-skating rink near my house that coated a sidewalk, curb, and access street. The gradual slope made it an ideal traction challenge. I kept tightening my approach to make it more difficult. I'm using ratcheting, track stands, and rocking skills. And you'll see the difference between tires inflated at 10 psi vs 1-2 psi. But the main technique I deployed was to constantly apply the rear brake with just enough pressure to prevent any wheel spin. I call it 'dragging' the rear brake since that seems to best describe it, ie, applying steady power/pedaling while the brake is engaged just the right amount. I learned this technique riding mototrials, most typically on slippery off-cambers where steady power via the throttle while dragging the brakes could help prevent the rear wheel from slipping out underneath you. 1-min video, no slowmo:

A post shared by Mountain Bike Skills Network (@mountainbikeskillsnetwork) on

Video analysis: logover drop

Last week, I posted the question (to my MTB Geezer blog, my MTB Geezer Instagram feed, my MTB Geezer Twitter feed,  & my MTB Geezer Facebook page):

A big tree came down along a segment of our local mtb trail recently. We got it trimmed up a few weeks ago and last week, it occurred to me to try riding over the fat end where it hangs over a concrete block lip. So it’s a logover but it’s also a drop. Can you predict from these video stills whether or not I endoed?

Here’s my overly-detailed (5.5 minutes!) video analysis of my ride over that logover drop.