Frustration to Fun

Frustrated by a lack of progress with your MTB skills practice? It might be time for a mental reset. RLC Ambassador, Carl Roe explains... 

We live in a society that idolises success and frowns on failure. This can result in an all-or-nothing approach to life that poisons our MTB skills progression. It’s not at all unusual to feel like you’ve ‘failed’ if you don’t complete a course, or master that skill you’ve been dreaming about – this judgment is built into the very fabric of our culture. 

Mental Reboot

If you’re frustrated with your lack of progress, or have let your practice sessions slide for whatever reason, a metal reset can really help. To perform a mental reboot consider the following:

  • Success is not defined by how many skills you master, or courses you complete, but by one measurable metric: showing up. If you show up, success is inevitable. 
  • Every course has at least one or two crux points where riders...
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RLC's library is IMPROVING so YOU can too!


We've been busy behind the scenes creating new content for our members, both updates to existing courses and exploring new topics. We've got loads more in the works, but in the meantime here's a list of our latest lessons with links for easy access to them. What will you practice next? 

Troubleshooter Tutor - Series

Troubleshooter Tutors are new lessons added in strategic places within current courses. These lessons provide additional new information, or remind riders of key aspects of earlier lessons, and appear at choke-points where riders typically struggle or stall. It’s all about lubricating the wheel of progression. Coach Griff has produced a couple of lessons, the first being TRACKSTANDS - RIDING ACROSS A SLOPE and the latest release being WHEELIE SIDE BALANCE. Many more lessons are in the works, both Coach Griff and Coach Jeffrey are busy filming as we speak.


Rider Height Considerations - Series

Did you know that shorter riders face unique...

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Tutorial: Classic Front Wheel Lifts


The classic front wheel lift is a beginner level skill to learn and has many useful applications on the trail. RLC Head Coach, Ryan Leech, shares the secrets. 

Manual Versus Classic

The first distinction to make is between the manual front wheel lift and the classic front wheel lift. Many riders are familiar with the manual front wheel lift, where the rider uses body weight to suspend the front wheel in the air as they roll along on their back wheel. It looks totally boss, however, it’s a difficult skill to master, which is why I developed a 30-lesson online course, Manual Masterclass


In contrast, the classic front wheel lift is much easier to learn. It’s a compact movement where the front wheel is lifted briefly using the arms. It’s not as stylish as the manual, but a super useful skill to have in your toolbox. It requires minimal energy to perform and can be done over a short distance, making it possible to use where a manual would...

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Learning to Mountain Bike Over 50: Member Highlight

 

Ryan Leech Connection (RLC) has been teaching people mountain biking skills online since 2015. This article was written by long time member, and now official RLC coach Jeff Neitlich.

I was a ‘late bloomer’ when it came to mountain biking. I bought my first mountain bike at age 48, and hesitated to get on it for almost a year for fear of getting hurt.

At my age, and with people depending on me to provide for them, I was reluctant. I rode it on the street, but avoided ‘real’ mountain bike trails.

When I turned 50, I finally got up the courage to hit a local Washington State trail, and had a total blast. Bouncing over roots, climbing tight switchbacks, going over small drops— who knew!

However, I quickly learned that I had a LOT to learn, and I still wanted to be safe. I started scouring Youtube for ‘tutorials.’ I didn’t find many of them all that helpful to me.

Learning to do a ‘skill’ from a 5 - 10 minute video of a pro...

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A DIY Guide to Building Backyard MTB Practice Obstacles

 

Written by: Patrick Mitzel - RLC member since 2017

Over the years I’ve put a lot of effort into creating MTB skill features to help me progress through certain skills and progressions found throughout Ryan Leech Connection's online courses.

I find it hard in my usual work week to take the time to drive to a park to session MTB skills. Having MTB features in my yard allows me to have quick practice sessions whenever I feel the urge.

Some of the features have been heavily modified as I have increased my skill level or realized the design could be improved. For each of the feature types, I have provided the path to the RLC lessons that could make use of that feature.

I put this article together because I thought it would be helpful to other MTB skill enthusiasts and hopefully it can inspire some feature builds and help you save some time. 

Want the complete guide? Download it here

 
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Indoor MTB Skills

 

Balancing in the living room - hopping off a curb - manualling down the street - bunnyhopping ledges at the park - ummm tight switchbacks down your stairs?!

 

In times like these, it's important to have a fun focus, a challenge, and one that you can do close to home - or even IN your home!

 

This is where my online skills coaching website can help :-) Change your perception, even if just for 20 minutes a day, from fear and worry, to belief in your ability to learn some fun and useful new MTB skills! Then allow these good practice vibes to spread...

 

Here's a list of skills and attributes you can practice to keep yourself occupied in a positive way:

  • Balance skills like Track Stands, Hopping and Rocking
  • Bunny Hops
  • Manuals and wheelies
  • Front wheel pivots

Along with these mountain biking skills, our website offers valuable MTB specific physical and mental skill practices, such as:

  • Physical fitness (strength training, pilates, and mtb specific workouts)
  • Yoga
  • ...
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Practice strategy: spontaneous wheelie visualization while walking the dog and pushing a grocery cart

 

[Author: Griff Wigley, RLC Coach]

During Ryan Leech's recent Facebook Live broadcast, New Year Visions (video excerpt below), he gave a little tutorial about 3 types of practice areas:

  • Mental
  • Driveway/home
  • Trail

Within the mental category, he detailed 3 types:

  • Conscious reflection on practicing the skill/technique,
  • Spontaneous visualization
  • Subconscious practice

I started working on the RLC 30-Day Wheelie Challenge course a couple of weeks ago with a very different approach than when I first attempted the course 3 years ago. I'm using an in-depth practice regimen that includes rigorous video review during and after each session, as well as extensive journaling and pre-session planning.

And I just experienced spontaneous visualization in two different settings, featured in the above 30-second video.

  1. Walking the dog
    While out walking our dog on a snowy paved trail near our house recently, it occurred to me that come spring, I'd be doing some of my wheelie practice...
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Top 9 Tips for Improving MTB Skills

Adding new MTB skills to your quiver looks so easy in the videos. Yet some riders struggle to make real progress. RLC Ambassador, Carl Roe shares the secrets. 

When I signed up for my first MTB skills clinic in 2014, I’d been mountain biking for 7 years and thought I had the sport pretty much figured out. But I quickly discovered that a high level of fitness, a good bike, clipless pedals, and familiarity with my local trails was masking a dark secret: My technique was terrible.

I’d fallen into the trap of thinking that the more I rode, and the fitter I got, the better I was. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Here are my Top 9 tips to developing better skills:

Pre-skills training: all speed, no technique

1 - Come Back to Earth

Step one: Acknowledge your actual ability level.

Have you noticed how new riders are beginners for only a ride or two, before promoting themselves to “intermediate”?

This is where the illusion begins. But...

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New Year Visions - LIVE Broadcast

 

The RLC Team is pumped for 2020!

This is from Ryan's first LIVE broadcast - a test for future live events from the trail, where Ryan will be providing coaching based on specific trail features and situations.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Advice for Beginner MTBers

Mountain biking is a sport that takes many years to master, so seeking skills coaching early in the journey is important for later progression and safety. But there's so much to learn and so many courses on the RLC website that it can be a bit overwhelming. New members often ask me "where should I start?"  Let's answer that question: 

Suggested Course Order

1. A great place to get started is exploring the Welcome Riders section. Introduce yourself to other members and learn about how the site works. This section will answer many of your initial questions.

2. The first course I would suggest looking at is Trailhead Tip Traps. These lessons offer advice on how to avoid the tip traps you'll encounter when taking advice from well-meaning riders at the trailhead. There's no practice exercises to do, just lots of thought provoking concepts. Don't be led astray by generic trailhead advice! 

3. The first course...

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