Photo courtesy of Momentum Mountain Biking
As a new mountain biker should you take a lesson or clinic? Here is the short answer - YES!
Long answer - yes, taking a lesson, clinic, or participating in a local group ride or skills clinic (sometimes these can even be free or for a small cost or donation) is a fantastic way to learn effective mountain biking techniques right from the beginning. It’s also a great way to meet friends, learn etiquette, and check out new riding trails. Lessons and clinics aren’t just for beginners either, even the most advanced riders take lessons and receive coaching regularly.
What You Will Learn
In a beginner lesson or clinic - you’ll learn body positioning for climbing and descending, safe dismounts (translation - how to crash and not get hurt!), braking, how and when to change gears, cornering, how to read terrain, and so much more.
As mentioned above, taking a lesson has a number of benefits including:
- Building proper form and preventing bad habits from the start
- Meeting other riders
- Learning new trails
- Learning skills auxiliary to riding. Often clinics and coaches offer sessions on basic bike mechanics, how to fix a flat, nutrition, what to carry in your pack etc.
- And learning trail etiquette (part 5 of this blog series will cover this topic. Stay tuned!)
All of this is important for your journey because it helps you first and foremost stay safe out there and just as importantly, have fun!
Need resources? Here are some of our favorite clinic groups:
Also, a google search will often generate a good local list as well as reaching out to your local trail organization. Enjoy! School’s in session!
Check out other posts in this series: