MTB skills training

Seems like these days most mountain bike training focuses on improving physical endurance, but few take the time to teach technical skills. Most people are either just born athletes or they spend lots of time riding (and crashing) until they get better. Some groups are starting to address this gap in training through clinics like the one hosted by SORBA in Aiken, SC a couple weeks ago.

Like most riders, I haven’t had any formal skills training other than a short mountain bike class at Boy Scout camp in the early 1990s. Back then we rode Trek Antelopes and learned about stuff like “full attack position” and how to use our shoulders to get through tight gaps between trees. The article about the Aiken clinic mentions the “M-box” and “figure 8 drills” which sound super fancy and make me feel kinda like I might be missing something.

Of course there are also books on mountain bike skills training but I haven’t personally read any of these. I can’t imagine books would be as helpful as hands-on instruction but something has to be better than nothing, right? What have you done to improve your technical skills?

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