I knew it was coming around the corner. I was feeling strong, my usual fear of climbing up single tracks subsiding. But the obstacles still got my heart pounding. I mentally prepared for it chanting, up and over, up and over, up and over, trying not to think about the consequences of not making it over the tree stump in the middle of the trail. Turning the corner I clicked up a gear and pedaled faster. Putting on the tiger I roared over it and reached the top. Success!
We were standing on the trail, my friends all giving me high fives when a couple cruised by, jumped over the stump, gave out a loud whoop and continued on the trail.
Running into them again further on down the trail I shared with them my frustrations and my fears, I just want to have that same level of comfort on my bike that I have on my skis. That was when they suggested I take a clinic with betterride.net telling me that it was the best thing that they have ever done for their relationship. Now they spend their days bonding on the trails.
BetterRide claims that they will, teach you how to conquer the trails, ride with more control, descend and climb the technical sections with more confidence, and have more fun, I signed up.
Gene Hamilton founded BetterRide in 1999 and is a licensed USA Cycling Expert Coach with over 20 years of coaching experience. In 16 seasons as a pro racer he has won a Silver and two Bronze medals at the UCI World Masters Championships. Impressive, but what really convinced me to sign up is the other pro racers who have signed up for the camp. Clearly Gene is admired and trusted in the sport.
After enrolling I received a questionnaire to decipher what kind of rider I am. I also received links to mental training articles, videos to watch, and bullet points on ways I can maximize my time at the camp. It was suggested to practice ride routine imagery (picture a ski racer with closed eyes running through the course with her hands). Gene also suggests to work on getting in shape before the clinic but to not work on skills that may create bad habits.
Bad habits? Thats me! Throwing myself onto the trail and learning through experience, not by reading pamphlets or standing around a tree stump analyzing the many ways to approach it. I carry the misconception that it is better to not know what is ahead, hence ending in numerous crashes. I need the skills drilled into me both audibly and visibly.
Since I signed up I have been getting out there as often as I can. My legs burn less and my fear is getting diluted through my ability to power through things more efficiently but I am still petrified when attempting to conquer steep hills and corner sharp switchbacks as well as tricky obstacles. The problem is, as my confidence grows I am getting thrown off of my bike more and my legs are covered in road rash. Sexy? Probably not.
In August I head over to Winter Park to partake in the camp and to sharpen my skills. My goal? To ride with vigor, passion and determination, with little fear and to do it all with an enormous smile on my face! Join me? There is still room!
To find out more about the camps click here.
BetterRide provides structured skills coaching, designed to get you riding at your best. Coaching sessions range from two hour clinics to three day camps across the US and abroad. BetterRide was founded by pro racer and USA Cycling Expert Coach Gene Hamilton who has over 20 years of coaching experience including 12 years coaching mountain biking skills. BetterRides coaching highlights include coaching many top pro racers (Chris Van Dine, Brian Buell, Mitch Ropelato, Joey Schusler, Graeme Pitts,) and over 1,900 riders who just want to get better. Gene and his certified coaches are passionate about coaching, riding and helping others reach their goals. All mountain bike clinics, camps and private lessons are guaranteed to improve your riding or your money back.
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