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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just took the adult two day class with Simon Lawton from Fluidride over the weekend at Duthie. It was super fun and I learned a lot. I highly recommend this class to anyone.

I usually don't do a lot of sessioning to learn skills--I usually just ride with buddies of a similar level or watch my more experienced friends take off and leave me in the dust. I have seen lots of classes (of all levels) going on at Duthie on the weekends and never thought it would be worth it. I was wrong.

I was surprised how much fun it was to do simple drills over and over once Simon explained how and why and demonstrated them (sometimes at warp speed--he can really rip!)

Simon is an awesome instructor who really is great at explaining the fundamentals.

I feel like I improved a ton on my cornering, on relaxing, on keeping my knees above my toes...

I've still a long way to go of course (I'm 55 and have been riding for 2.5 years--I would call myself an advanced beginner--did Lower Predator for the first time recently--made it without incident but now I think I could do it considerably faster and safer.) Having that solid foundation has really pumped me up to keep progressing. I can see taking more classes (cornering and jumping in particular) after I practice and progress a bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He taught a jump class right before ours--everyone was happy and no one crashed all weekend apparently. They all did Gravy Train, HLC and Semper D. I believe. They were stoked!

I am not ready for that level yet. After I can consistently hit the luna jumps, the jumps on Voodoo, etc... and can regularly snap corners (gotta keep my speed up!), I will take that class for sure. I feel pretty confident on drops and everything on Ryan's Line is easy for me now. I would be nuts to try to progress on jumping without coaching at my age--one good crash and I would be screwed--especially since I have to be healthy to take care of my disabled wife.

He said he has coached everyone from total beginners to Olympic athletes and Pro mt bikers.

It was interesting to see other groups running classes their as well. The Evergreen coaches seemed to all have graduated from Simon's classes and seemed to use his methods (for the brief moments I was watching them--one came over to talk to Simon), whereas the REI coaches had their own approach--it was weird seeing some of their students pedaling around the clearing in "attack position"--like anyone would want to stay in that position for more than a few moments.
 

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Big endorsement for Simon's classes here. I've take a couple over the years and never been disappointed. When I was getting more into FR (XC background) several years ago I did a 2-day class. I thought of myself as a pretty fit and fast rider, but was amazed at how many bad habits Simon identified and corrected. Like many I had a dominant and non-dominant direction when turning, and had never really figured that out.

Considering how much money we spend on gear, I definitely think these classes are worth every penny!
 

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I'm a believer in skills coaching. So much so, I went out and got my ICP level 2 cert and coach up here in Bellingham.

But it was a long road getting there, breaking bad habits and pushing myself to do more on the trails.

Paid off big time a week and a half ago. Went to CO to ride the Kokopelli trail; a ride I had done half dozen times before, but not since '14. This year, I cleaned so much more of the trail, was less fatigued because I was riding more efficiently and, generally, had a heck of a lot more fun! Mary's Loop especially, I cleaned almost all of it where last time, I walked many of the technical parts. Porcupine Rim? It was a great ride before but now? WOW!!!
 

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I like Simon. Cool guy and a good teacher. He took time between classes to help me out with my wheelie technique for a bit and that was really nice of him. But I feel like his classes are too large. That's my sense from having taken one and from watching them. Kat's classes are smaller and she seems to give people more 1:1 attention, so I generally recommend her over Simon. Just one rider's opinion.
 

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Been mtb'ing since 1989. Known Simon casually for years. About 3 years ago I took a private lesson from him. I think it was 1 hour but he spent 2. Took me 2 years before I felt like I was physically incorporating some of the stuff he imparted. It wasn't so much that he gave me the treasure chest as he gave me the key. Also went on one of his European Alps tours and during late night rap sessions he would drop knowledge bombs into the conversation. REally interesting to take that step back and think about riding rationally rather than physically.

Anyway I felt it was very valuable and one these days I'd like to do it again.
 
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