I just want to say I am not a beginner. I have been riding for 10 years now. I love XC riding. I love taking long rides. As a matter of fact if I go to a trail I want to keep riding long past when my friends want to quit…and some of them are 10 times the riders than I am when it comes to technical riding anyway. My best skill is climbing. I love climbing. I will go on insane climbs and smile doing it. I did not think I could improve on my peddling and climbing. My major weakness is technical riding. I considered myself a wuss when it came to that kind of stuff. So I decided to do something about it.
Like many people I would go online and watch video’s which helped a little but I would always go back to bad habits. I watched what they did but never really internalized it. Not to mention the fact that I am almost legally deaf and can not hear what comes out of the computer half of the time.
I read somewhere on Singletracks months ago to read [b]Mastering Mountain Bike Skills[b] by Brian Lopez and Lee McCormick. By far the best training partner I have had in 10 years. My technical skills have improved 10 fold since reading the book. My climbing and peddling efficiancy have improved as well. Why is reading a book better than watching an online video? Ask your kids…or yourself…are the Harry Potter books better than the movies? Of course they are. Why are the books better? They are so detailed and colorful. After you read a chapter Mastering Mountain Bike Skills on "Carve and Corner" and imagine yourself on the trail, than watch an online video and you will see how the hell they can do what they do. Then go out and do it for yourself and you will be stoked!
If you are a beginner or intermediate or even advanced; buy the book and read it from cover to cover. You will improve your skills beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Another great book is "Mountain Bike Like a Champion" by Ned Overend.
Also, if you want to go even BEYOND books, I highly recommend getting some live coaching from these guys: http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-tr … g-lessons/ EXCELLENT camps! Check out the comments section for thoughts from other people who’ve also taken their camp.