Embrace Outside with Molly Hurford

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On Learning and Practicing Mountain Bike Skills

August 11, 2016

On Learning and Practicing Mountain Bike Skills

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Learning new skills on the bike is a big thing for me. I’ve been riding for about 10 years now, but there’s still so much to learn and so much to get better at, especially as a relatively new mountain biker (and one who hasn’t put in that many trail hours, if we’re being honest). So, it’s been a summer of skill-building.

I’ve been working a lot on my mountain biking lately—really working, with a daily routine and everything!—and it’s been a revelation. I’m going to write about that a lot more in-depth in coming weeks, but I’m really stoked about the progress I’m finally making on log-hopping. I’m not talking about my typical riding style of slightly-unweight-while-hoping-for-the-best, I mean really getting back to basics and working on mastering the skill so I can actually get over bigger stuff on the trails. It’s been going really well!

Peter Glassford (Smart Athlete coach, excellent skills teacher, marrying me in 10 days) just did this great video with Canadian Cycling Mag about a five-step progression in log-hopping that really helps explain the process.

Watch the skills video here.

I’ve taken his advice and when I sent him the video of my practice session (I’m in NJ while he’s in Ontario this week), he was psyched that I finally have the positioning right, and told me I should share it. So… here it is!

How do you guys practice/master new MTB skills? 


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