Frequently Asked Questions

You could try to learn mountain biking skills from a friend, but just because someone is a better MTB rider than you doesn’t mean they’ll be a very good teacher of mountain biking.

And if you’re married, and want to stay that way, you probably shouldn’t ask your spouse to teach you. It doesn’t usually work out so well.

Thinking of trying to teach your children?  Especially if they’re teenagers, chances are they think you don’t know anything about anything before you even begin.

So cut down on your learning curve, keep your relationships intact, hire Coach Margie and you’ll become a better MTB rider!

You’ll be in good hands with Coach Margie because she…

  • Breaks down the skills and explains what, why and how to do them
  • Builds up your confidence through progressions as you start to get it
  • Knows what to teach, in what order, and how to explain it different ways
  • Knows what to look for if you’re not getting it
  • Is patient and understanding of the learning process
Honestly, it drives me crazy when I hear people say, “You just need to ride more!”

Yes, just riding more can help improve your endurance, but if that’s all it took to improve the many skills you need, everyone who had the time to ride would be an awesome mountain biker.

Want the truth?  Mountain biking skills aren’t always that intuitive.

And if you keep practicing bad technique, well, you’re just going to build muscle memory in bad form that you’ll have to fix later if you want to become a better MTB rider.

  • A mountain bike in good working condition and fully functional (a hybrid/comfort bike is NOT a mountain bike)
  • A good level of fitness (mountain biking can be challenging and strenuous)
  • A helmet that fits snugly to your head (required to participate)
  • Gloves and glasses are a good idea as are knee/shin/elbow pads (can’t hurt; might help)
  • Clothing layers appropriate for the conditions (check the weather before heading out)
  • Flat pedals are strongly encouraged for all clinics and coaching (see next FAQ for more info)
  • The shoes that work with the type of pedals you have
  • Fuel:  a hydration pack or water bottles and snacks (and lunch for the longer clinics)
  • Basic bike tools, spare tube, pump (we can generally help out with these if you don’t have them)
  • Tissues, cell phone, and anything else you think you may need
  • A can-do attitude!
Let me count the ways…

  1. We do a lot of slow-speed maneuvering drills and this affects balance.  Over the years I’ve witnessed so many clinic participants become distracted because they’re anxious about being able to get out of their clipless pedal system in time to avoid tipping over.  This distraction negatively affects their ability to learn.  And if they do tip over and get hurt (physically or ego), it’s not a very positive learning experience.
  2. In order to develop certain skills properly you cannot depend on being attached to your bike.  You’re welcome to go back to clipless pedals once you’ve learned the techniques and proven to yourself that you can do the skills properly on flats.  In fact, once you learn the proper techniques on flats, you can transfer those skills to riding clipped in and you’ll ride even better than before, as long as you don’t revert to cheating and pulling up on your pedals because you’re attached to them.
  3. The larger flat pedal surface is an advantage because you can place your feet a little further forward so your feet have a better platform and support.  This foot position enables the body to put more power to the pedals because the body can move in a more natural movement pattern.  Need more convincing?  Think about how much weight you can squat/deadlift (or how much power you can generate) by standing on the balls of your feet compared to having your feet flat on the floor.  If you just tried it you likely found that you’re not very balanced and wouldn’t be able to push anywhere near the weight as being flat footed.
Unless told otherwise, clinics and coaching sessions will take place in one of several locations in the Burlington/Harwinton area of Connecticut. See map on Contact page.

We hope you don’t have to cancel, but if you do, here’s the policy…

Full payment will be charged to your credit card upon registration for your skills clinic. Cancellations made 30 days or more prior to the start date of the clinic will be offered a full refund less a $25 administrative fee. Cancellations made 15-29 days prior to the start date of the clinic will be offered a 50% refund. Cancellations within 14 days of the clinic start date will not be offered a refund.

MTB Skills Training reserves the right to cancel activities due to inclement weather, insufficient bookings or any events beyond our control. Alternate dates will be arranged in this case or a full refund will be provided.