Skill Practice Jam - Canmore, AB - Q&A with Ryan

What the heck is a practice jam?! On June 3rd, 2018, I'll be offering one in Canmore, AB, and here's a short interview where I share the philosophy behind it. 

How does the Practice Jam differ from a Skills Clinic?

In this new jam format you choose what you want to practice based on your skill level and goals and my coaching will be personalized based on where you’re needing assistance or are stuck. A standard skill clinic typically moves everyone through the same drill sequence. The only group coaching I’ll be doing at the jam will be centered around the philosophy of practice and progression. The social aspect is a fun addition - usually a clinic is coach to student, but in a jam format I’m encouraging student to student interaction for sharing tips, guidance and encouragement.

Will we be going on a trail ride?

No trail riding as that usually takes a lot of time with a low amount of coaching opportunity whereas it’s amazing how much practice,...

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Risk's Role - Select Quotes for Collective Learning

Uncategorized May 04, 2018

Over 300 thoughtful quotes were submitted in response to my question: 'What role does risk play for you while mountain biking?'

I've highlighted a few below, it's a potent dose of wisdom on the topic. Having read through each submission and taken notes, I've begun work on a more in depth blog post on this topic. So for now, I hope you appreciate this lovely range of perspectives.

If you decide to read through all of these, please share any patterns or themes you notice in the comments below. Ride ON!


Risk to sport is like spice to cooking.  Without a little to flavor the stew the result is awfully bland.  That said, the difference between “a little” and “too much” is very small and extremely worthy of our careful consideration. M.S.

...I ride today in a manner such that I know I will be able to ride tomorrow. K.G.

I'm 71 and love the rush, but always consider the recovery time that will take away future riding time. It's a...

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Dealt a Band Hand - A Year Off the Bike... & Counting (Part 2)

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2018

Devon Balet shares the secrets to surviving an extended period off the bike

492 days since I’ve ridden my mountain bike.

Spread out on a large concrete picnic table, everything is within reach: cameras, water, coffee and food. A cool breeze blows over my laptop as I punch away at the keyboard with a canyon-edge view above the Colorado River and Ruby Horsetheif Canyon. Over the past 500 days I have learned how to slow down.

I still haven’t put my leg over a mountain bike for one simple reason; my body wasn’t ready. People would ask me when would I get to ride again, as if there was a defined date. The bone that I broke, the scaphoid, is one of the smallest in the body, and one of the most crucial for a proper functioning wrist. I put hours into rehab and therapy for my hand daily.

During the 500 days I also withstood two more bouts of hand surgery. My wrist is now held together, and totally immobilized, thanks to a titanium plate and eight screws that...

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[Video Lesson] A Perfect Rear Wheel Lift

tutorial Apr 11, 2018

Having reliable access to the rear wheel lift technique, which is the ability to lift your rear wheel off the ground without any slope or front brake influence, is crucial for confident technical trail riding. This is lesson 13 of 36 from the new Tight Switchback & Front Wheel Nose Pivot course.

Bowl theory is at work here, which is the muscular tension felt by connecting your hands and your feet. This fluid but secure connection prevents your feet from flying off the pedals when you jump upwards.

  1. Start tall and then rise up by straightening your legs and even doing a small ‘calf-raise’ to prepare for the compression.
  2. Drop down quickly by bending your legs, moving your hips slightly rearward and dropping your heels. The goal is to compress your suspension and tires.
  3. The rebound cycle is next and it begins with an abrupt end to the compression cycle (they actually blend into each other). At the bottom of the compression become strong in the ankles and legs and turn...
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Dealt a Band Hand - A Year Off the Bike... & Counting (Part 1)

Uncategorized Apr 05, 2018

Devon Balet recounts his first year off the bike after a minor accident. The reality of an unexpected injury can suddenly change everything. 

As the anesthesiologist wipes my neck with an antiseptic wipe, I pull back slightly. The sudden cool catches me off guard, making me jump.

“Oh, sorry Devon. I should have warned you it would be cold,” replied the caring doctor, but I say nothing.

Looking past my outstretched legs, I watch as my parents walk out of sight towards the waiting room of Vail Surgical Center; the assistant draws up the Versed from a vial. This medication would in essence wipe my mind clean of what was about to happen. The anesthesiologist continues to prep my neck and shoulder for the nerve block to be implanted in my shoulder.

As I watch the assistant flick the full syringe, clearing it of air bubbles, everything suddenly rushes down on me like the crash of an imploded building. Every emotion and feeling comes to light. Every...

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Vertriders - Ambassador Gianluca Spini's video selection for February 2018

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2018

Each month the RLC Team of Coaches & Ambassadors selects the best MTB videos from YouTube. Each selection comes with a thoughtful write-up about why the video fits with the RLC motto of Trail-Bike-Body-Mind-Flow. A new collection is published monthly exclusively for members of Ryan Leech Connection, but we wanted to share a sample of what it's all about here.

So grab a cuppa, and enjoy some amazing scenery and stunning landscapes from the February selection, courtesy of Ambassador, Gianluca Spini.

"These places are my mountains: the Alps. And the protagonists are from Innsbruck (Austria) and belong to a group called Vertrider. It is a different way of understanding the Mtb, which they call Alpine Freeride, where the key is a combination of technical challenge, mountain experience, the accurate estimation of risk, and of one's own abilities. The challenge is to be able to descend from the top of a mountain as far as possible, without setting foot on the ground on paths not...

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Roam Finishing School

Uncategorized Feb 19, 2018

#RoamEvents bring women together to experience the awesome adventure and community of the mountain biking lifestyle. Their festivals totally rock and they’re clear that skills coaching is not part of their magic formula, which is why they created a referral system called the #RoamFinishingSchool. 

My online coaching service made their cut and to get this endorsement alongside some of the most talented coaches in the business is really special. Check out their thoughtful Roam Finishing School page to check out all the awesome offerings.


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Winter Survival as MTB Fanatic

Uncategorized Jan 22, 2018

How do you survive Winter as a mountain biking fanatic? Leave your tips in the comment section below!

This video features Russ Risdon from Bend Oregon who is one of our coaches and a self proclaimed MTB fanatic. We produced this video to give members some ideas about how to make the best use of their membership through the dark winter months. Ride ON!

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RLC Member Success: The Flat Pedal Challenge and Mal Schulstad

Are you still flat pedal curious? From enjoying the benefits of comfortable shoes to an increased sense of freedom, more flow, confidence and fun all while not losing pedal efficiency, member Mal Schulstad shared, in a Facebook post, his enthusiasm for flats after finishing the last ride of the 12 Ride Flat Pedal Challenge course. Mal is also an accomplished photographer and provided these photos to help illustrate his experience.

Share your experience with flats in the comment section below, or complete the course and go have fun on Flat Pedal Challenge Ride #12, then answer the nine questions after your ride!

Here is what Mal said: 

So yesterday was what I'm calling my celebratory flat pedals ride - 32km and 1000+ meters of climbing (and naturally descending) on rarely used trails and fire roads that I'd never been on with a fairly fit group.

Throughout the ride I kept up with everyone on the ups - no loss of pedaling efficiency, rode over unfamiliar technical terrain...

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Meet Coach Elaine - Our new Community Liaison

Uncategorized Jan 18, 2018

It’s with excitement that I announce coach Elaine Bothe is taking on the newly created role of Community Liaison, designed to further improve the RLC member experience throughout the site. Part of her role will be to maintain our Facebook Group as a unique and safe space for members to share their riding experiences and post practice videos. She will monitor the FB comment stream to ensure member-inspired advice, which we highly encourage, is inline with RLC’s core teachings and safety standards. She’ll be working hard on many fun projects to help everyone gain maximum value from their skills practice!

Learn more about Elaine and the rest of the RLC team here!

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