Are you looking to improve your mountain biking skills this summer? Looking to develop additional skills and make friends along the way? Consider a weekend mountain biking skills camp! 303 Cycling Ambassador Erin Trail talked to Alison Dunlap about her Adventure Camps.
Erin: Who can benefit from your camps?
Alison: Anyone, from skilled to beginners can benefit. The only requirement is that you know how to ride a bike and we’ll take it from there.
Erin: What do you learn in the camps?
Alison:Saturday is a drills and skills day, where we work on a variety of skills in a grassy park setting. This day is all about confidence building and understanding core concepts and fundamentals of mountain biking. Sunday we take those skills to the trail! The benefit of this second day is that as a group, we’ll session every section until each person gets it right. We also record video of people as they ride, so they can see their form as they ride through obstacles. The video analysis makes a big difference in understanding body positioning.
Erin: What makes a camp better than a private lesson?
Alison: The group setting makes it more fun. As the clinic progresses, friendships develop and people really rally behind the other riders as they conquer challenging sections of the trail. The camaraderie that develops during the two days really enhances the overall learning experience.
Erin: What do you love about these camps and teaching people mountain biking?
Alison: It’s fun knowing you have an impact on people that can change their life, with overcoming fears and making friends.
Alison offers a variety of camps and dates:
Beginners Clinics (Level I)
Women’s Only: April 29-30, 2017
Co-Ed: June 10-11, 2017
The Level I clinics are designed for the person that rode a mountain bike years ago or rides on a regular basis, but lacks the confidence and technique to feel comfortable on single track. If you’re completely new to the sport and don’t know the first thing about mountain biking, then this clinic is also for you. In the Level I clinic, riders learn the basic fundamentals of riding a mountain bike:
• Basic bike set-up
• Positioning, balance, maneuvering, braking and shifting
• Mounting/dismounting your bike on steep terrain
• Riding up and down curbs
• Climbing and descending
• Riding varied trail conditions
You’ll also learn about vision; how to read a trail and make quick, split-second decisions on what you can and cannot ride. We’ll also spend time on trail etiquette, safety, and basic on-trail bike repairs. You’ll leave your clinic with an arsenal of new skills, a razor sharp eye for technique, and confidence that will stay with you for years to come!
Intermediate Clinics (Level II):
Women’s Only: June 24-25, 2017
Co-Ed: July 8-9, 2017
The Level II clinics are for riders that are comfortable on singletrack and regularly ride mountain bikes off-road. A Level II rider likes technical trails but may not have the skills to feel comfortable and safe. A Level II rider should be comfortable with the following skills:
• If using clipless pedals (although not required) being able to get in and out of the pedals quickly and safely on both sides
• Riding single track with moderate technical sections
• Riding for 2-3 hrs at a time
A Level II rider will learn the following skills at the clinic:
• Basic bike set-up
• Positioning, balance, maneuvering, braking, and shifting
• Line selection
• Enduro techniques
• Riding up and down ledges
• Riding off 2-3 foot drops
• Tight exposed switchbacks with obstacles
• Loose rocky climbs and descents
• Cornering on loose tight singletrack
• Off-camber cornering
• High speed descending
All clinics are held in Colorado Springs, which is Alison’s home base. To sign up for one of Alison’s Camps, head to her website.
All clinics are listed on the 303Triathlon calendar here