They say you learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. But when it comes to Mountain Biking, can't we all agree that crashing is a hard way to learn? There's gotta be a better way than wrapping yourself around trees & getting trapped by the smallest root or rock. Too many of us learned the hard way.
The folks of COMBO are excited to introduce a new concept in rider education... a better way to introduce riders to the sport we all love. A safer way. More fun. Less crashing. Less frustration. We call it Dirt School.
Dirt School is a series of 2 hour courses geared towards riders who want to learn more and get started off on the right foot. In the Fall of 2014, COMBO recruited & certified a group of riders through IMBA's Instructor Certification Program to help lead these classes. A central component of the COMBO Mission is Education, so it made sense for us to, you know, do that!
Certified Ride Instructors
Let's face it, your buddy (or God forbid) your spouse might know more than you but that doesn't mean they know what they're doing. Unfortunately, that's how most people learn to mountain bike. We thought there would be a better way & we found it.
IMBA offers an Instructor Certification Program (ICP) that teaches & certifies instructors. In the fall of 2014, COMBO sent a few of our dedicated volunteers through the course to become Level 1 Certified Instructors in order to deliver quality instruction.
Stay tuned for a future blog post giving more details about Heidi, COMBO's Lead Instructor. Heidi is a perfection combination of rider and racer who understands as much as anyone what the typical 'learn by crashing' experience is like. By way of introduction, feel free to check out her one of her top Mountain Biking Adventures by clicking HERE.
Intro to Mountain Biking
Our 'beginner' course is a FREE, 2 hour session learning basic skills that can be applied to any trail. Many riders just getting started off-road are cursed by being so rigid on the bike that they fall easily. This class teaches basic bike/body positioning through a series of instructor led drills & on-trail experiences giving the novice rider an opportunity to learn at their own pace.
Bike/Body separation is a fundamental skill that experienced rider intuitively use to get over & around anything on the trail. They do it without even thinking... it's second nature. But if you've never ridden natural surface trails, it's not that intuitive at all. Have you ever, or ever seen someone you're riding with, encounter the smallest little obstacle & fall over? A small root or a tiny rock, something that an experienced rider hardly even notices can wipe out a novice rider before they even know it!
The second course offering at Dirt School is for those riders who have completed the Intro course, or those who might not consider themselves a beginner but want to take their skills to the next level. To be clear, this is NOT a beginner class! This course is capped at half the participation as the intro course to allow more instructor/student interaction so you get the most out of your time on the trail. This course is $20 per participant and a steal at that!
Check out more info at the Dirt School tab at the top of the page. If you're just getting into the sport & want to start off on the right foot, this would be perfect for you. If you have someone you've been trying to get on a mountain bike, this might just be the right opportunity. We expect these courses to fill so please don't wait to reserve your spot!
Hopefully you're excited to see this level of instruction being offered to the Central Ohio Mountain Biking community. Please help us spread the word about Dirt School. Like, share & forward to friends and family members who may be interested. Programs like this are only possible through volunteers generously giving their time & talents and we have some AMAZING volunteers! As always, thank you!
-See you on the trails soon!