On this Episode
Simon Lawton is the founder of Fluidride, a world-class mountain bike instructional school located in Seattle, WA. He’s helped riders all over the world in person and through his online videos. He’s also a tireless mountain bike trail building advocate and his nonprofit has helped disabled riders get back in the saddle.
I ask Simon about his overall approach to mountain bike skills instruction and he shares tips for cornering and manuals. We also talk about trail advocacy, favorite places to ride around the world, and how video is changing mountain bike skills instruction.
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Hello, fellow MTB rider, just a quick PSA: Follow advice from professionals (like this podcast) while taking MTB Youtubers, most of whom have next to no qualifications, with a grain of salt. There is so much awful (and dangerous) advice on Youtube coming from people who have no clue what they’re talking about, just be wary.
Anyways, some key points I really liked from this podcast:
1. Corning skills, with a focus on how you weight your feet. The whole “front and back foot,” is something I always wondered about (why does one way feel better sometimes but not others?) and it makes sense that we are more willing to weight our dominant foot which could lead to better cornering technique one direction as opposed to the other.
2. Trail manualing vs parking lot manualing. This is so true! I see way too many people who are focused on trick skills because they think they need to learn them to be skilled on the trail (and because Youtubers are constantly promoting trick skills), but the reality is it’s largely apples and oranges. Learning better bike control in any situation will help (assuming proper form), but jumping around on your rear wheel is 100x less important than understanding basic balance on your pedals over uneven terrain.
3. Off-bike work is wildly underrated. Activities like Yoga and breathing techniques like Simon talks about, as well as stuff like weight lifting, martial arts, dancing, or anything that promotes balance and strength can be hugely helpful to our on bike abilities. Because is a MTBing is a sport where we’re on our feet (just like running, soccer, tennis, etc.), any activities that improve balance on our feet translate directly to the bike.
P.S., Simon: Thank you for all you’ve done for the sport, and please consider coming to Arizona during your tour!