What have Single Speed World Champion Ross Schnell, Sea Otter Super-D Champion Kelli Emmett (pictured) and 2009 Downhill and 4-x Champion Mitch Ropelato done this year to stay faster than you?Â They’ve hooked up with Gene Hamilton in one of his Better Ride coaching clinics and camps.Â Here is what 2009 Pro 4x and Jr. Cat 1 DownhillÂ US National Champion Mitch Ropelato said in a interview in the Oct. 2009 issue of DIRT Magazine (after just 3 BetterRide camps, he has had two since):
Dirt Mag: “You seem to be able to turn amazingly, what do you put that down to? Got any special tires on there?
Mitch Ropelato: ” Ya, Gene Hamilton is to thank for that, I took is clinic last December in Bootleg Canyon and he was able to show me the correct technique I needed to pull them off.”
If this surprises you it shouldn’t, most mountain bike pros have little if any formal skills coaching, which, when compared to athletes in other sports seems crazy given the speed at which they’re careening through trees and over rocks.Â In ski racing, tennis, golf, martial arts, etc., the best athletes spend less than 20% of their training time actually doing the sport, the other 80% is spent doing structured drills to master the core, fundamental skills of the sport.
Better Ride has clinics throughout the U.S. all year long, most of which sell out quickly.Â They’ve added a few new camps with head coach Andy Winohradsky.Â Their first two-day women’s camp is May 1-2 in Lakewood Colorado, a co-ed camp May 21-23 in Indianapolis June 11-13 and SE Michigan on June 18-20.
They’ve also added more 2-hour BetterRide Light Clinics scheduled in Lakewood and Durango Colorado, Northern California, Southern California, Baltimore, Oregon, Idaho, Salt Lake City, Bellingham, WA.Â Full schedule is here.