6:51 AM and 63° in Sedona, AZ
I’ve been mountain biking in Sedona for a long time, over thirty years now. As time has passed I’ve had the good fortune to be able to ride with a very diverse spectrum of riders from all over the country and the world. World Cup racers to random people that turned out to be some of the most extraordinary riders I’d ever seen, but no one even knew of them. From all these people I learned a little something.
Sedona really started getting known as a super challenging place to ride about 30 years ago, and it became home to some serious local talent. Each Sedona rider brought different strengths on the trail and I feel we all learned so much from each other every ride. We all fed off each other and the level of the local riders skyrocketed.
It was a sheer stroke of luck that I ended up learning to mountain bike in Sedona. So all I ever knew when it came to mountain biking was riding super technical stuff. Sedona is known for being very technical and learning to flow over this rugged terrain had a lot to do with some of the people I rode with back in the early days. One of my early mentors, Rama Jon Cogan, opened the first full on Mountain Bike Shop in Sedona. Rama was not only a great rider but an avid Thai Chi practicioner and showed me how it was possible to flow gracefully and in complete control through some of the most technical terrain, especially slow technical climbs. Many of the original trails were just dry river beds, strewn with boulders, river rocks and gravel. Mostly there was only one speed through them and it was slow! These super slow speed skills are often overlooked, but I feel they are a key element of the skill building process.
Through all of this I’ve developed short cuts that have compressed the learning curve for my coaching clients. Keeping your balance and continuing to move forward over these rough, loose and rustic trails is an art. You’re constantly counterbalancing and your fast twitch muscles are getting a full workout as you maintain balance no matter the angle of the trail bed. It’s similar to learning to walk on a slack line. These slow speed skills help you with your high speed skills. I still to this day spend a lot of my time working on slow speed technical riding including trackstands. The slower your speed is the more your fast twitch muscles are needing to work to keep you balanced.
The first weekend of May I’m putting on The 48 Hour Mountain Bike Transformation here in Sedona. It’s designed to give you a deeper understanding of the physics and mechanics of mountain biking and a chance to learn some of the techniques I’ve accumulated over the years. It will be intimate, no more than 8 students and geared towards the advanced beginner to advanced intermediate riders.
The main objective for me as a coach is to teach proper technique, which will minimize injuries, get you fluid on the bike and unlock your potential.