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I was wonder ing if anyone kew of any clinics or personal Downhill coaches in the baltimore/frederick area. I am going to start to race Downhill in the spring and i want to do as well as posible. I have a dh strength training program allready but i need some extra technique and skills coaching. Lastly is there anything else i can do to prepare?
 

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Watch Racing Videos such as F1RST, Earthed 1-5, Between the tape. Brian Lopes has a book out "Mastering Mountain Biking Skills" It has some good information in it on the proper ways to ride/race. I don't know of any clinics near your area and I doubt there are any. Most would be at a bigger resort. No downhill coaches...Find people in your area that race too, preferable people who are faster than you. I am guessing Wisp is the closest resort to you? Get a season pass to there or whatever bike resort is closest and go riding as much as possible.

Best Advice: GO OUT AND RIDE. The best way to learn is by doing.
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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Jettj45 said:
Watch Racing Videos such as F1RST, Earthed 1-5, Between the tape. Brian Lopes has a book out "Mastering Mountain Biking Skills" It has some good information in it on the proper ways to ride/race. I don't know of any clinics near your area and I doubt there are any. Most would be at a bigger resort. No downhill coaches...Find people in your area that race too, preferable people who are faster than you. I am guessing Wisp is the closest resort to you? Get a season pass to there or whatever bike resort is closest and go riding as much as possible.

Best Advice: GO OUT AND RIDE. The best way to learn is by doing.
riding and doing the same mistakes will not get you to the elite level.....
 

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Mojo0115
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SHIVER ME TIMBERS said:
riding and doing the same mistakes will not get you to the elite level.....
Agreed.

Riding for years will see you have fun and improve to a certain point. But if you don't mind paying for it then coaching is just incredible on how much you learn and how fast.

I am doing a Gene camp this weekend in bootleg and I am blown away at how much he has to teach you. I am just glad it is nearly 6 months before the MSC race season starts so that I have time to practice what I have learned, as at the moment my brain is in total overload mode.
 

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Interesting thread . . .

My son races XC and a bit of road but his passion is DH. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find DH coaches, especially in the east. Watching DH videos followed by practice can help with specific skills but watching faster riders through sections and riding with them will help you progress faster. A couple years back, my son attended a 2-day gravity camp in Whistler and spent quite a bit of it riding with Adam Billinghurst (former pro racer). Lots of runs chasing a faster rider and watching his/her lines can yield big improvements.

DH racing is often a 3+ minute sprint and every second counts. On many courses, acceleration is critical. If you aren't fit and can't sprint, you won't be able to accelerate optimally and will lose precious seconds. You can be strong but still not able to sprint . . . need to work on developing fast twitch muscles. Also, don't forget to work your hands, wrists and forearms . . . if you get armpump, you may not be able to get in as much pre-race practice as you'll need.

Some may disagree but I've found that XC riding helps your DH racing . . . improves your overall fitness, allows you to practice sprinting, and assists with reading terrain.

Best of luck next season.

Cheers,

Mike
 

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Shaman
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Jettj45 said:
Best Advice: GO OUT AND RIDE. The best way to learn is by doing.
This advice always cracks me up! As a matter of fact I was joking this advice in my downhill coaching session last weekend. What has this taught you? Are you winning pro races? How can you learn if you don't know what to practice? Why waste time and years of training to "learn" what a good coach can teach you in a few days. Mountain biking, like most sports is not intuitive so just riding tends to breed more bad habits than good. I know, I made it to the pro class surviving on daring, mastery of bad habits and strong mental game from snowboard racing.

I have a free mini-course that covers the 10 most common riding mistakes (many of which I made in my first 8 years as a pro) and a few "urban legends" about riding technique that are commonly passed on from rider to rider that are flat out wrong. Here is the part of my mini-course and it just happens to cover the above topic:

Common Mountain Biking Mistakes (and how to correct them)

Mistake #1 Confusing riding with skills training- Many riders think to get better all you need to do is ride more. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. I took this approach for years and got really good at going fast into corners and then braking in the corner. Getting really good at a bad habit like that made me a little faster at first but then I plateaued as I "mastered" my bad habit. I have spent the last 8 years working to change bad habits that I learned from practicing with out knowing the correct way to do things. As you may know, "practice makes permanent". So by practicing without a specific skill focus (and knowledge of how to do that skill, why you are doing it, what it should feel like and what it should look like) you will get really good at what you already know. To improve at anything you need to practice perfectly, which means you need to know what you are practicing and practice with a purpose.
 

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Equal opportunity meanie
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Proper form is key. Learn it, and practice/perfect it.

Like others said, practicing bad habits strengthens them. The 6 P's of any sort of skill development is Proper Practice Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
 

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BetterRide said:
This advice always cracks me up! As a matter of fact I was joking this advice in my downhill coaching session last weekend. What has this taught you? Are you winning pro races? How can you learn if you don't know what to practice? Why waste time and years of training to "learn" what a good coach can teach you in a few days. Mountain biking, like most sports is not intuitive so just riding tends to breed more bad habits than good. I know, I made it to the pro class surviving on daring, mastery of bad habits and strong mental game from snowboard racing.

I have a free mini-course that covers the 10 most common riding mistakes (many of which I made in my first 8 years as a pro) and a few "urban legends" about riding technique that are commonly passed on from rider to rider that are flat out wrong. Here is the part of my mini-course and it just happens to cover the above topic:

Common Mountain Biking Mistakes (and how to correct them)

Mistake #1 Confusing riding with skills training- Many riders think to get better all you need to do is ride more. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. I took this approach for years and got really good at going fast into corners and then braking in the corner. Getting really good at a bad habit like that made me a little faster at first but then I plateaued as I "mastered" my bad habit. I have spent the last 8 years working to change bad habits that I learned from practicing with out knowing the correct way to do things. As you may know, "practice makes permanent". So by practicing without a specific skill focus (and knowledge of how to do that skill, why you are doing it, what it should feel like and what it should look like) you will get really good at what you already know. To improve at anything you need to practice perfectly, which means you need to know what you are practicing and practice with a purpose.
You and everyone else are taking what I said the wrong way. I am aware of all of this, I have listened to Gene and Lee. Most people don't have the option of traveling across the country to go to a training camp. I was trying to be geographically sensitive in my advice. No, I am not winning Pro races, I only race Cat 1. However this is the first summer I am actually able to have a full schedule of races so that may change. I have a specified DH training program written up by a coach so I don't waste time doing things that are wrong.

Also when I first said no coaches I thought he was asking about like a personal one. And I was just saying no they don't really exist like they do for road or xc as provided by USA cycling.

Last time I checked most people race or ride because its fun, so how is go out and ride not good advice...I guess I would think most people who are very serious about racing are smart enough to know that going out and doing 20 runs at a resort without studying what you are doing in different sections make no sense.

Being told by a professional coach how to ride will only give you the knowledge, if you don't have the talent and skill...that knowledge is of no use.
 

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squish is good
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galbraithrider said:
The Fluidride Like a pro video helped my riding out a lot...Great shop too! http://fluidride.com/2008/06/25/fluidride-like-a-pro-video/
Word. These guys are local where we are from and they deserve the excellent reputation they have. This video has earned national recognition in many of the bike mags and I am very impressed with the stuff it contains. It has improved my riding for sure, can't recommend any coaches on the east coast though, sorry.
 
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