I'm Griff Wigley, one of several online coaches for Ryan Leech Connection, and like many of my RLC colleagues, I'm taking some of the courses while coaching in others. Currently, I'm doing both in the Jump With Confidence course.
I've progressed to where I'm a solid beginner on small tabletops. When members pose questions or post videos of their practice sessions for the initial stages of the course, I've not only got the lesson material fresh in my brain. I've got my own recent struggles and practice session experiences to draw on when I respond to them.
Here's a recent example from the course, about 1/3 of the way through. The student was having trouble getting much lift jumping a small gap with a rather steep launch ramp. He submitted a video, with his questions focused on his body position as his rear wheel left the lip of the ramp.
Looking at his approach, however, it seemed to me that part of his difficulty began much earlier. So I took a screengrab of the...
Every month, the RLC ambassadors and coaches scour the web looking for quality mountain biking videos that really reflect the Trail - Bike - Body - Mind - Flow ethos of the Ryan Leech Connection. This was our favourite edit this month...
Following your dream is never easy, but cliche or not, if you want it bad enough, you CAN make it happen. This is the amazing story of young lad from Nepal who wanted to be a mountain bike racer and guide - a big enough deal if you’re based in Vancouver let alone Kathmandu - grab a brew or a beer and check out Rajesh’s amazing story here...
Practice - Patience - Persistence. What do these individual words mean to you? What does the combination of these words elicit for you?
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, PATIENCE is mandatory when PRACTICING technical mountain bike skills. And without PERSISTENCE over the long haul, those individual practice sessions won’t get you very far.
Living up to this combo of words was the bedrock of my professional riding career, and the same is necessary for you to make progress within my courses, watching the tutorials won't magically endow you with skills.
The up-front effort required from you to make even small gains in your abilities is large, that’s why most riders never master many of the more challenging and enjoyable techniques available to mountain bikers.
So please continue adding a healthy dose of Practice, Patience and Persistence to your riding, and keep our coach and ambassador team posted with your progress!
Last year I did a trip from Barcelona to Innsbruck with my friend Thomas. It was a 10-year reunion for the trials film 'CRUX' that we released on DVD, just before YouTube came on strong. It was popular in mtb circles and cutting-edge riding at the time.
I had mixed feelings about doing this trip - I was VERY busy running RLC and I also had low desire to take risks to do cool things in front of a camera for others' entertainment (and inspiration), which had, of course, been the basis of my 20 year pro career.
But as you can see from the film, it was a beautiful journey, with loads of fun riding spots, and Thomas is an incredible rider to behold. I learnt a lot about myself as a rider on this 'pro' gig and it really confirmed my purpose and passion for running RLC. This is definitely the right place for me to be investing my time and energy. Hope you enjoy!
Manuals are on every mtn biker’s wishlist. Probably why the Manual Masterclass is one of our most popular courses. So we’ve recently slotted in this awesome little exercise, which integrates all the components of the initial lift. It’s a great drill, and one that will hopefully get you experiencing that crisp, smooth feeling described. Give it a go!
Focus: Reviewing all the components of a manual front wheel lift
Action: Isolate and experience each of the key movements that trigger a manual front wheel lift.
Curiosity: How can each of these be blended so you're not relying too much on just one - for example relying too much on pulling the bars.
Graduate: Once you've experienced the blending and crisp timing of the stomp, the leg extension, the hips shifting rearwards and the hands pulling on the bars.
There are three components to a crisp manual front wheel lift
We choose to mountain bike, it’s an awesome elective in life. It’s a risky sport, on a spectrum from low to high. We [can] choose, moment to moment, where on the spectrum we ride.
“The risk drives a little nervousness before every ride - and associated excitement of being immersed in a zone where nothing else exists and all my stresses in the world fade away.” SB
Risk is a complex topic, it begs for respect, attention and honestly. How you experience and deal with risk is personal, and can be a powerful teacher not only for your approach to riding, but for learning about yourself as a human navigating life. *Of note, all quotes are from students of my online skills courses.
“Risk and MTB riding go together and risk is part of living and creating a meaningful life.” RW
If the signals that risk attempts to communicate are ignored then there is a big price to pay. In my experience, risk wanted me to wake up, not just for clearing a section of trail,...
If you've been on your bike a lot, chances are your hips are tight! Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. To open up those hips we're gonna use a 1-2 combo of ball pressure and targeted stretches to truly make space. The benefits are enormous: with open hips you'll be able to fully lean that bike into corner, enjoy more freedom in your spine, and simply feel more mobile. Are your tight hips looking for relief? Then get them ready for some pressure! - Jeff Mah
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,...
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...
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...