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I've plateaued...what to do about it?

March 4, 2020, 2:21 p.m.
Posts: 1188
Joined: May 4, 2006

I've been riding for many many years and my "skills"  have had their ups and downs over that time. However, I seem to be less comfortable when the wheels aren't on the ground.

I'm more at home on janky, techy stuff than fast/flow trails 

I used to be comfortable doing drops of a couple of feet though I've never liked gap jumps and Im not very good at clearing tables either. 

I can't bunny-hop properly and I can't manual either though I'm not that bothered about doing those for "showing off" purposes but would like to be able to improve my flow by using these skills.

So, where/how to learn?

Would a day at Coast Gravity Park allow me to session stuff enough to get my confidence up?

Or would I be better getting private/small-group lessons? If so, who would you recommend?

Objective: ride the whale bone on Entrails and nail the rock drop at the entrance to Boogie Nights would both be good starts!

March 4, 2020, 3:44 p.m.
Posts: 11899
Joined: June 4, 2008

Can't speak for CG, but I used to be scared of Crank It Up and now the jump-world is my oyster at WBP.

I took my time and spent a lot of effort learning how to ride flow trails.  If you find yourself coming out of berms slower you'll find yourself pedaling into jumps... if you aren't good at jumping, you've just made it harder.

Can't recommend anyone as, like golf, I get worse before I get better when I take a lesson.  It's OK with golf, but not with riding, so I'm only good at focusing on one, maybe two things max for however long it takes me to learn them.

March 4, 2020, 6:28 p.m.
Posts: 131
Joined: Feb. 8, 2016

I've heard good things about Ryan Leech's program. He's probably got some great resources for working on bunny hops, manuals and drops.

March 4, 2020, 6:34 p.m.
Posts: 1612
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

do you ride by yourself a lot? are your riding buddies at the same level? sometimes having a riding partner who's at a higher level than you can help you to up your game.

March 4, 2020, 7:38 p.m.
Posts: 898
Joined: March 15, 2013

Posted by: SixZeroSixOne

I've been riding for many many years and my "skills"  have had their ups and downs over that time. However, I seem to be less comfortable when the wheels aren't on the ground.

I'm more at home on janky, techy stuff than fast/flow trails 

I used to be comfortable doing drops of a couple of feet though I've never liked gap jumps and Im not very good at clearing tables either. 

I can't bunny-hop properly and I can't manual either though I'm not that bothered about doing those for "showing off" purposes but would like to be able to improve my flow by using these skills.

So, where/how to learn?

Would a day at Coast Gravity Park allow me to session stuff enough to get my confidence up?

Or would I be better getting private/small-group lessons? If so, who would you recommend?

With the exception of the bunny hop part this post could have been written by me.

March 4, 2020, 7:50 p.m.
Posts: 891
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

Yeah me too!

I think that, at least for me, riding alone almost all the time plays a big factor, as does age. As does simply changing priorities - I couldn’t give a rats ass about going big anymore - what I want is a great ride! That mentality has not been great for my progression. 

I’m thinking about a day or two with a private lesson just to raise confidence on some things. It’s all about the confidence for me not even the skills. 

Endless for a day with a focus on specific goals should get me headed in the right direction again -perhaps the same for you?

March 4, 2020, 9:34 p.m.
Posts: 1188
Joined: May 4, 2006

Yeah, riding alone isn't helping! Particularly night rides when I'm out exercising my dog!

When I'm out with riding buddies there isn't a huge difference in skill or fitness levels amongst us but it's very rare that we stop and scope out or session anything. 

I know that Endless runs various training courses but just wondering whether there is anyone else locally (North Shore). I know Ryan Leech does on-line training but I'm sceptical about how effective that would be (for me, at least...)

March 4, 2020, 9:38 p.m.
Posts: 1612
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: SixZeroSixOne

Yeah, riding alone isn't helping! Particularly night rides when I'm out exercising my dog!

When I'm out with riding buddies there isn't a huge difference in skill or fitness levels amongst us but it's very rare that we stop and scope out or session anything.

I know that Endless runs various training courses but just wondering whether there is anyone else locally (North Shore). I know Ryan Leech does on-line training but I'm sceptical about how effective that would be (for me, at least...)

ask your buddies who wants to improve their riding and then commit to taking some time on a ride to scope stuff out and session some things. also ask around to see if you know someone with a higher skill set who's willing to come out on the odd ride and show you how to pull off some of the moves you're looking at. it often doesn't take a big push to start to elevate your riding and having a buddy or two who wants to do the same things can really help create a positive riding atmosphere and help you progress.


 Last edited by: syncro on March 4, 2020, 9:41 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
March 4, 2020, 11:25 p.m.
Posts: 898
Joined: March 15, 2013

I remember back when I used to skateboard a lot, and I mean a fucking TON, I would practice the same trick for hours, like I'm talking try the exact same trick on the exact same rail at the exact same speed in the exact same way for 2-3+ hours trying to get it perfect.

Funny how I never do that with my bike. Occasionally I'll session a cool jump or drop 2-3 times in a row but that's what, 15 minutes max?

I wonder what kind of progress you could make if you hiked up the same 30 second section of 3-4 berms or jumps for 20 minutes straight and focused only on foot position, then another 20 on hand position, then another 20 on fore / aft weight distribution, then 20 on high / low weight distribution, and on and on...


 Last edited by: thaaad on March 4, 2020, 11:26 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
March 5, 2020, 7:58 a.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: ReductiMat

Can't speak for CG, but I used to be scared of Crank It Up and now the jump-world is my oyster at WBP.

I took my time and spent a lot of effort learning how to ride flow trails.  If you find yourself coming out of berms slower you'll find yourself pedaling into jumps... if you aren't good at jumping, you've just made it harder.

Can't recommend anyone as, like golf, I get worse before I get better when I take a lesson.  It's OK with golf, but not with riding, so I'm only good at focusing on one, maybe two things max for however long it takes me to learn them.

Very good points. Had my buddy who was a DH pro back in the day me some things I was doing wrong. Position on the bike in corners, braking....Made a huge difference, I'm still a chicken on the gaps tho.

March 5, 2020, 8:20 a.m.
Posts: 34
Joined: May 17, 2013

For jumps, repetition is huge. I had taken a few bike park lessons, but overheard some guys talking on the gondola saying if you ride jump trails for 10 days, you'll be good at jumping. Started just lapping jumps all day. Went from not clearing 60% of Crank it Up to comfortably riding Dirt Merchant pretty quickly (pre Pro-Line). I still can't bunny hop FWIW. It's pretty hard to beat the progression of the Whistler park given the amount of runs and predictably built jumps. It's just built for progression with Crank It Up (More)/A-Line.

I'm hoping to get some cornering coaching this summer if anybody can recommend somebody in Whistler/Squamish/Pemberton.

March 5, 2020, 9:56 a.m.
Posts: 456
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

I'll echo all of the comments above. I have done a cornering session with Endless and it was a game-changer for me. We sessioned Bobsled 5 times and did some video analysis where I could see what I was actually doing vs. what I thought I was doing. I'd like to book them again for one focused on "finding the flow on tech trails". 

A bike-park day always improves my riding. Flow trails on repetition (i.e. Crank it up, etc.) will let you tune your jumping as long as you are willing to try a few things (more weight forward, more/less pre-load, suspension tuning, try a whip...). After a few hours, you should see an improvement with either jumping itself and/or your willingness to carry speed. When you come back to the shore, you will have a new confidence level with speed and air. 

Riding with friends or hitting up a race (NSMBA/Sorca Fiver/Cinco). There are some fast folks around, and following one (and getting passed by one) will push you a bit which can be a good thing.

Alternate options is group rides: NSRIDE or Vancouver Trail Shredders (facebook group) are good spots to start.

March 5, 2020, 5:23 p.m.
Posts: 201
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: luckbox

For jumps, repetition is huge. I had taken a few bike park lessons, but overheard some guys talking on the gondola saying if you ride jump trails for 10 days, you'll be good at jumping. Started just lapping jumps all day. Went from not clearing 60% of Crank it Up to comfortably riding Dirt Merchant pretty quickly (pre Pro-Line). I still can't bunny hop FWIW. It's pretty hard to beat the progression of the Whistler park given the amount of runs and predictably built jumps. It's just built for progression with Crank It Up (More)/A-Line.

I'm hoping to get some cornering coaching this summer if anybody can recommend somebody in Whistler/Squamish/Pemberton.

If you want to tune up your cornering, book a session with Matt at ride hub in squamish. I took a course with him last year, and will probably take another. He really focused on basic fundamentals. The stuff you think you are doing correctly but aren't.

March 5, 2020, 9:10 p.m.
Posts: 998
Joined: May 11, 2018

20 years ago when I started to MTB from a background in road, I was really disappointed with my lack of skill compared to people I was riding with. I started doing trails as it is a low speed way of developing skills. Got to the point where I could do a fair bit of cool stuff. Those skills have served me well on the trails for the past two decades but I also notice that I am chicken on gaps. Drops have always been fine but I never spent time doing gaps and the idea of casing the other side is not appealing.

There is a coach in the states I heard about on a podcast https://fluidride.com/

Sounds like a really cool approach to teaching mountain biking. Might be worth looking at as well.

For some perspective on your goals. I suspect you already have the skills to ride the whale back and to do the drop on boogieman. Those two moves aren't more difficult than most of the other stuff on the shore/squamish, just more committing. The cost of screw up is bigger. Doing gaps at Whistler is not going to help with those IMO. Learning to do committing lines is more about dealing with risk. The question is, is it worth it for you.

As for WBP, it is known in the medical community as a bit of a meat grinder. grinds up riders all day that we put back together. ER docs never wanted summer shifts in Whistler as they didn't make any $ but that has changed since the bike park. Now summer shifts are just as busy as winter. I personally have had an acquaintance become a quad riding in whistler. I have also treated several severe injuries from the bike park. IMO, it's not worth it for me. I'm too old to crash at those speeds. I leave the gaps to the young folk who grew up casing jumps at WBP. I make it back up when I drop them in the tight technical jank, or when I send the double black line on my rigid single speed. Lots of ways to earn respect without putting your life/livelihood at risk.

March 5, 2020, 10:15 p.m.
Posts: 11899
Joined: June 4, 2008

I didn't start riding the bike park till my mid 30's, and didn't hit crabs until two years ago.  If you love it, and if you take it slow and keep an honest appraisal of your abilities you can ride the bike park every day for four years and come out with five to ten days of scrapes like I have.

The biggest problem is that people try to push it too quickly.  Just learn how to say, "Nah, not today."

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