Improving your skills does wonders for your confidence. And mountain biking, like life, is all about confidence. There will be obstacles in your path. If you believe you can get over them, you can.
A little technique goes a long way in this sport. But so many elements of good technique are not intuitive. In fact, they feel downright counter-intuitive. That’s why we have created the region’s first team of certified mountain-bike instructors who’ve been trained to coach clinics. Our goal at MC3 is to build the sport by providing a caliber of instruction typically found only at big resorts like Whistler.
Last year MC3 convinced sponsors to invest a total of $7,200 to put a team of skilled riders—women and men—through a grueling, 3-day certification course through the International Mountain-bike Instructor Certification (IMIC) program, which was recently acquired by IMBA as the gold standard for training coaches. The course involved 8-hour days of lectures and instruction, written exams, coaching simulation, and on-bike evaluations. These individuals are excellent riders, but they all found the course extremely challenging. Each newly minted coach emerged with a sense of humility and a desire to use what they learned to help others.
We have three big clinics planned for 2013. Please mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details.
March 17: Spring Co-ed Clinic (Beginner/Intermediate)
(Oak Mountain State Park; full day)
This beginner-friendly clinic is aimed at new mountain-bikers, road riders who want to try trail-riding, and intermediate riders who wish to finesse a particular skill, such as cornering or wheel-lifts. It will be taught exclusively in a flat, grassy field where instructors break each skill down into basic steps, demonstrate proper form, and provide feedback to riders as they practice it. The setting is designed to build skill and confidence in a non-intimidating, non-competitive environment. You can practice what you’ve learned on the trail later. We will have male and female instructors. Appropriate for riders ages 12 and up.
June 29-30: MC3 Women’s Weekend
(Oak Mountain State Park; 1 day MTB clinic, 1 day ROAD and MTB group rides)Our first 2011 Women’s MTB Camp drew 60 women from 8 states for two days of intensive mountain-bike instruction. At the request of our women’s community, we have refined the format to include road riders in an event that celebrates women cyclists of all disciplines. Saturday will feature a full-day women-only mountain bike clinic taught by female instructors (with the possibility of a few well-curated dudes). Saturday night the roadies are invited to join the fat-tire femmes at a special party and camp-out. Sunday will feature group rides for both road and mountain bikers, plus more learning opportunities and some surprises.
October (Date TBD): Fall Family Clinic
(Oak Mountain State Park; 1 day of mini-clinics for kids, spouses, and families)
Cycling is a wonderful family sport that builds healthy families. We’ll focus this clinic on families, couples, and kids. From tips for encouraging your spouse or children to love cycling as much as you do (without inadvertently traumatizing them) to learning about local cycling outlets for kids, we’ll provide learning opportunities for families of all stripes. We’ll even ask a few local athletes to share secrets about how they manage to balance family, jobs, and training.
If you’re intimidated or “on the fence” about whether these clinics are for you, please come to our first co-ed mixer on the evening of Wednesday, March 6 at the MS Society. We’ll give a presentation that shows how our clinics work, and what you can expect to learn if you attend one. We’ll talk a little about how men and women learn and ride differently, and how we address that at our clinics. And we’ll give you a chance to ask all the questions you want. We won’t pressure you to attend one, but we do hope it will relieve any anxiety or intimidation and give you the information you need to decide for yourself.
Please feel free to download, print, and share the poster above (click on the photo and select “Save”). We are working to determine a price based on insurance rates and other clinic costs. We hope to have this soon. Photos courtesy Michelle Craig of 2PedalsPhotography.com