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  1. #1
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    Mountain Bike Skills Camp

    Want to have more fun on the trails, be more efficient and mountain bike with more confidence? Just like any other sport, to ride with skill you need proper technique. BetterRideís team of professional coaches is dedicated to teaching riders of all levels the skills to ride in balance, in control & have more fun on their bikes!

    The BetterRide structured skills progression has under gone 13 years of evolution to become the most effective mountain bike skills coaching in the US. With the help of World Champions, top coaches from other sports and 21 years of coaching experience BetterRide founder Gene Hamilton has taught his certified coaches to get you riding at your best.

    In a BetterRide camp you will learn the core skills that over 2,000 mountain bike enthusiasts of all experience levels (including two World Champions and many National Champions) have already invested in.

    Camps are filling up fast, reserve your spot today and start riding up to our potential! Get all the details, read student reviews and register Mountain Bike School, Mountain Bike Camps, coaching by Betterride


    Upcoming Mountain Bike Skills Camps in Utah:

    March 23-25 Hurricane, UT Mountain Bike Camp

    April 20-22 Moab, UT Core Skills 2 Mountain Bike Camp

    April 27-29 Moab, UT Mountain Bike Camp

    May 18-20 Moab, UT Mountain Bike Camp

    June 16-17 Park City, UT Mountain Bike Mini-Camp



    Thanks, Gregg for permission to post these events.
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

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    What is the difference between the April 20-22 and other Moab camps? Core Skills 2 means what compared to a regular camp?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nord1899 View Post
    What is the difference between the April 20-22 and other Moab camps? Core Skills 2 means what compared to a regular camp?
    Thanks for your interest in BetterRide. Our Core Skills 2 camp is for riders who have already attended a BetterRide camp and want to continue their skills progression with further professional instruction. If you have any other questions feel free to check out our FAQ page or shoot an e-mail to Info@BetterRide.net
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterRide View Post

    March 23-25 Hurricane, UT Mountain Bike Camp

    April 20-22 Moab, UT Core Skills 2 Mountain Bike Camp

    April 27-29 Moab, UT Mountain Bike Camp

    May 18-20 Moab, UT Mountain Bike Camp

    June 16-17 Park City, UT Mountain Bike Mini-Camp



    Thanks, Gregg for permission to post these events.
    Do you know who's lead instructing at the camp highlighted above?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Do you know who's lead instructing at the camp highlighted above?
    That is yet to be determined, but no matter which certified coach is there, be assured that they will be fluent in the BetterRide curriculum, meticulously trained by Gene, and will have demonstrated to Gene that they can conduct a thorough camp properly. You can read about our coaches here: Coach Bios - BetterRide.net
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

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    How much is the average cost for a 3 day? I am deployed and get home around the time of the June one in Park City

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ipalmer13 View Post
    How much is the average cost for a 3 day? I am deployed and get home around the time of the June one in Park City
    Thank you for your service. Pricing and other details about the camps and be found at the bottom of this page. The camp in Park City is a 2 Day Camp and is $537. Feel free to e-mail us at Info@BetterRide.net if you have any other questions.
    Skills coaching loved by passionate riders of all levels and trusted by the pros.
    www.betterride.net

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    Wow, I read the title and thought this would be good for my kids but I definitely have sticker shock. How does your orginization justify $547 for a 2 day clinic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by championp View Post
    Wow, I read the title and thought this would be good for my kids but I definitely have sticker shock. How does your orginization justify $547 for a 2 day clinic?
    My wife and I took the 3-day in Hurricane last March and it was worth every dollar. Even though some of the skills drills were direct crossovers from moto schools I used to teach and which I wrote text for, I gained valuable skills and techniques which have heelped me and the wife become faster, smoother riders while decreasing risk.

    Let me repeat. I ride faster, smoother and do it with less risk. How much is that worth? It's different for all of us.
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  10. #10
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    I agree with STT. I took one of the downhill camps in Bootleg and I was amazed at how much I learned and was able to ride and race faster. Gene and Andy will teach you the skills but you still have to go home and practice them so they really set in. Can't wait to do it again this year!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    My wife and I took the 3-day in Hurricane last March and it was worth every dollar. Even though some of the skills drills were direct crossovers from moto schools I used to teach and which I wrote text for, I gained valuable skills and techniques which have heelped me and the wife become faster, smoother riders while decreasing risk.

    Let me repeat. I ride faster, smoother and do it with less risk. How much is that worth? It's different for all of us.
    Or you can just go on youtube watch some how-to-mtb videos and then find some more experienced riders in your area to ride with and save yourself a lot of money. $500 + is a bit ridiculous, unless that includes 6 meals and your hotel.
    Last edited by N8R; 01-17-2012 at 05:29 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    Or you can just go on youtube watch some how-to-mtb videos and then find some more experienced riders in your area to ride with and save yourself a lot of money. $500 + is a bit ridiculous, unless that includes 6 meals and your hotel and even then that's not a fair deal.
    I heard the same sort of talk when I spent a decade as a certified ski instructor. The fact is, whether you realize it or not there are a lot of things you can learn from a skill based clinic no matter what level you are. I could take any non high level racer skier and teach them something to change the way they ski and I assume the same would be true for these bike clinics.

    Looks like the only people who can't see the value in the clinic are the ones that haven't taken it. Shouldn't that tell you something?
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    I heard the same sort of talk when I spent a decade as a certified ski instructor. The fact is, whether you realize it or not there are a lot of things you can learn from a skill based clinic no matter what level you are. I could take any non high level racer skier and teach them something to change the way they ski and I assume the same would be true for these bike clinics.

    Looks like the only people who can't see the value in the clinic are the ones that haven't taken it. Shouldn't that tell you something?
    I agree with you 100% as far as teaching a non-pro something. But the reality of it is that most people aren't ever going to be pro's and won't be riding at that level. Most of the top extreme bikers are self taught and never took "clinics". Many (including myself) are naturals and can just feel how to ride. You can learn pretty much everything you need for non professional riding just by doing it and sharing/comparing stuff with other good riders, for free. Now if you are set on being a Pro and want to ride at the highest level MAYBE it's worth the cost. Some people just naturally are able to pick up skills and feel what it is they need to do. Others will never get to the top level no matter how much they practice. For example, one of the hardest basic skills to learn on a bike is manualing. There are many many Proffesional riders who can't do this and probably will never be able to. For others, it was pretty easy to learn how to do. For me to learn how to manual I just started trying to do it, fell on my back once. With practice I learned where the balance point was and after that could manual downhill as long as I cared to or until my arms and brake finger got tired. These skills camps are a product/service like any other. If someone comes to me and tries to sell me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for $100, I'll say no thanks, and just make one myself for like $0.50. Now if I was hungry, feeling lazy, and they offered me one for $1, I think I would by it. It's all about fair value.
    Last edited by N8R; 01-17-2012 at 05:30 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I agree with you 100% as far as teaching a non-pro something. But the reality of it is that most people aren't ever going to be pro's and won't be riding at that level. Most of the top extreme bikers are self taught and never took "clinics". Many (including myself) are naturals and can just feel how to ride. You can learn pretty much everything you need for non professional riding just by doing it and sharing/comparing stuff with other good riders, for free. Unless your a rich yuppie, spending $500+ on a skills camp is a rippoff when you can learn the most important basics for free. Now if you are set on being a Pro and want to ride at the highest level maybe it's worth the cost.
    I'm not really interested in a heated debate, but I will say that unless you've actually taken a clinic like this that you really don't have a leg to stand on. I will admit that I also don't have enough familaity with bike skills clinics to say for certain the level of help they provide but I would very confidently say that it doesn't matter how good you are as a "natural" bike rider, you have plenty to learn no matter what your actual level of riding is.

    I don't know you personally so I hesitate to say that you're too arrogant or ignorant to admit or recognize this, or perhaps you've simply never ridden with people of a really high level, or maybe you're truly a world cup level rider who would have little to learn from a little movement analysis. But I guarantee that even the highest level riders work constantly on their skills, never thinking they are as good as they could ever been and never satisfied with where they are.

    If someone has the money it's not a waste. I wish I had the money to give a skills camp a try, I know there's plenty I could be working on getting better at. I'm sure a few days down at Bootleg would learn the living hell out of me or maybe a few days at Whistler getting more comfortable in the air. And while I'm no pro biker, I can hold my own with the majority of people on any trail that doesn't go uphill too long; that doesn't mean I can't get better.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    Quote Originally Posted by championp View Post
    Wow, I read the title and thought this would be good for my kids but I definitely have sticker shock. How does your orginization justify $547 for a 2 day clinic?
    I read that price and had the same initial reaction. Economics dictate that if they can charge $547 and fill the roster, it simply makes good business sense to charge that much. However, in my mind, a price tag like that means that only A) Rich people who can afford it easily, B) Dumb people who think they will get something here that they can't get elsewhere, or C) Extremely passionate people who have very specific improvement goals that can be obtained only through this clinic are going to be willing to pay that amount. You and I are obviously not within any of those categories.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    I'm not really interested in a heated debate, but I will say that unless you've actually taken a clinic like this that you really don't have a leg to stand on. I will admit that I also don't have enough familaity with bike skills clinics to say for certain the level of help they provide but I would very confidently say that it doesn't matter how good you are as a "natural" bike rider, you have plenty to learn no matter what your actual level of riding is.

    I don't know you personally so I hesitate to say that you're too arrogant or ignorant to admit or recognize this, or perhaps you've simply never ridden with people of a really high level, or maybe you're truly a world cup level rider who would have little to learn from a little movement analysis. But I guarantee that even the highest level riders work constantly on their skills, never thinking they are as good as they could ever been and never satisfied with where they are.

    If someone has the money it's not a waste. I wish I had the money to give a skills camp a try, I know there's plenty I could be working on getting better at. I'm sure a few days down at Bootleg would learn the living hell out of me or maybe a few days at Whistler getting more comfortable in the air. And while I'm no pro biker, I can hold my own with the majority of people on any trail that doesn't go uphill too long; that doesn't mean I can't get better.
    I'm not into heated debates either so I will keep it civilized. I never said I had nothing to learn or that my skills couldn't improve. What I said is that you don't need to spend ridiculous amounts of money to learn stuff that you can learn for little or even free. If someone was offering a skills course for say oh $50 or so I might be willing to check it out and try to learn something new but $500 is ridiculous. That's been my point. I'm not above someone showing me a thing or two. I'm above being ripped off ( well willingly at least). I'm not an arrogant person, incase that's how I came across. By saying I'm a natural I was merely stating that riding comes to me naturally and was trying to demonstrate a point that I've been able to learn the most important skills on my own but also by just getting out and riding with other good riders and being aware of riding techniques. You feed off of each other and learn by seeing what the other guy is doing. I guess technically you could say that every time we go out riding with other people it's a skills camp. Always learning and always trying to improve. No need to pay $500 for it. ( By the way I have ridden with world class riders and I don't care to ever be one. It's not worth it IMO )
    Last edited by N8R; 01-10-2012 at 08:11 PM.

  17. #17
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    Several points:

    1) I would love to do this...It sounds fun.

    2) I can think of a hundred bike related items I would rather buy for that price.

    3) Do you know how many skilz building races I could enter for that price?

    4) At that price...

    This is definitely a disposable income type event and in this economy there isn't much of that going around. The organizers of this clinic have got to compete for those meager dollars with other things. I'm sure this is pretty hard to justify for well over 99% of MTB'ers.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in South West Utah

  18. #18
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    And many days later, the guy who posted the ad and the price is nowhere to be found... Its bad enough for business to post such a ridiculous price, even worse to not get on and defend it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpalmer View Post
    And many days later, the guy who posted the ad and the price is nowhere to be found... Its bad enough for business to post such a ridiculous price, even worse to not get on and defend it.
    We have been too busy registering stoked students into our camps! My research indicates that reputable organizations that coach other sports charge a similar amount for 19-21 hours of field-based training. We offer a money back guarantee to riders who take the camp and are not satisfied. We coached over 500 students in 2011 and had zero ask for the refund. We don't "defend" it because we don't want anyone to take the camp if they don't feel it is worth the price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I'm not into heated debates either so I will keep it civilized. I never said I had nothing to learn or that my skills couldn't improve. What I said is that you don't need to spend ridiculous amounts of money to learn stuff that you can learn for little or even free. If someone was offering a skills course for say oh $50 or so I might be willing to check it out and try to learn something new but $500 is ridiculous. That's been my point. I'm not above someone showing me a thing or two. I'm above being ripped off ( well willingly at least). I'm not an arrogant person, incase that's how I came across. By saying I'm a natural I was merely stating that riding comes to me naturally and was trying to demonstrate a point that I've been able to learn the most important skills on my own but also by just getting out and riding with other good riders and being aware of riding techniques. You feed off of each other and learn by seeing what the other guy is doing. I guess technically you could say that every time we go out riding with other people it's a skills camp. Always learning and always trying to improve. No need to pay $500 for it. ( By the way I have ridden with world class riders and I don't care to ever be one. It's not worth it IMO )

    You might want to check out our blog article about "Why Our Instincts Fail Us" - it relates to the idea of Natural Athlete and figuring stuff out by "feel" alone. Just some food for thought. Totally agree that you are learning every time you ride - the question to ask is: What are you learning (skills vs bad habits further ingrained)?

  21. #21
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    Gene's camps are worth every penny. I did one back in 06' and the things I learned fundamentally changed the way I ride for the better. Although I have no intention of ever being a pro, you learn things in those camps that make you go faster. Faster = more fun for me. Since I coach for a living (in another sport) maybe it's easier for me to "get it" that good instruction in a small group setting is the best way to get better. For me, the small group is the best part because you get plenty of attention but you also get to see up close the same or similar instruction applied to others and what they do with it. Seeing another rider do something wrong, then get something right is sometimes easier than seeing your own mistakes.

    As others have mentioned, you could do a lot component wise for $500, but there's no $500 part, besides an engine, that's going to add as much speed to your riding as one of these camps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    I'm not really interested in a heated debate, but I will say that unless you've actually taken a clinic like this that you really don't have a leg to stand on. I will admit that I also don't have enough familaity with bike skills clinics to say for certain the level of help they provide but I would very confidently say that it doesn't matter how good you are as a "natural" bike rider, you have plenty to learn no matter what your actual level of riding is.

    I don't know you personally so I hesitate to say that you're too arrogant or ignorant to admit or recognize this, or perhaps you've simply never ridden with people of a really high level, or maybe you're truly a world cup level rider who would have little to learn from a little movement analysis. But I guarantee that even the highest level riders work constantly on their skills, never thinking they are as good as they could ever been and never satisfied with where they are.

    If someone has the money it's not a waste. I wish I had the money to give a skills camp a try, I know there's plenty I could be working on getting better at. I'm sure a few days down at Bootleg would learn the living hell out of me or maybe a few days at Whistler getting more comfortable in the air. And while I'm no pro biker, I can hold my own with the majority of people on any trail that doesn't go uphill too long; that doesn't mean I can't get better.

    That pretty much sums it up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    Or you can just go on youtube watch some how-to-mtb videos and then find some more experienced riders in your area to ride with and save yourself a lot of money. $500 + is a bit ridiculous, unless that includes 6 meals and your hotel and even then that's not a fair deal.
    Not even close to the same transfer of skills and coaching. That's like saying "watch a few porno's and then you'll kow how to f#ck..." LOL!!!
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideBetter View Post
    You might want to check out our blog article about "Why Our Instincts Fail Us" - it relates to the idea of Natural Athlete and figuring stuff out by "feel" alone. Just some food for thought. Totally agree that you are learning every time you ride - the question to ask is: What are you learning (skills vs bad habits further ingrained)?
    I wouldn't call the way many natural athletes learn, learning by instinct alone. I have never relied on feel alone. The natural athlete just has a heightened awareness, feeling, connection, and balance. Sometimes our interpretations can be off or we can miscalculate what our bodies/minds feel, but the majority of the time a skilled natural athlete is doing what works best for them. However, sometimes walls are hit, or problem areas show themselves. The intelligent athlete, in addition to feel, also analyzes what he is doing, and conducts trial and error experiments, as well as consults with peers. There is no such thing as a perfect rider. Even the best of the best have bad habits and less than efficient techniques "ingrained" that they further ingrain every time they ride. They just have less of them than lesser riders. This is an accurate statement because all riders can always improve. If they didn't have "bad habits" they couldn't improve and they would be perfect. And it is guaranteed that there are even some bad habits that are being taught in your skills camp. How can I say this? Because riding, or man's interpretation of the most efficient way to handle a bike, is always evolving. Some techniques have stuck around, but others are yesterdays tech when a better way is developed and learned. I have nothing against Skills camps or professional instruction as I am doing the same thing they are doing. The main difference is I am doing it for myself and those I ride with ( just as they are doing it for me also) and we aren't paying a lot for it. We are not professional riders and don't need to ride at that level and therefore don't need the extra little tweaks and ideas in training that they use. How do I know that I don't need these? Well, I've been riding since 1993, have been having a blast doing it, and have never had any cycle related injuries because I always try to ride within my limit. I ride and do what is fun for me and I am safe about it. There is no value for me to pay a huge sum to learn things that I don't need. It might be nice to learn a few new things or correct a couple bad habits, but that is not a need. It's a luxury at best, and I am not uncomfortable in anyway with my riding. What it comes down to is each person has to decide for themselves where the value is. The fact is most people don't have a lot of money and can find much cheaper ways to become a skilled and sufficient rider. I will read your article though.....
    Last edited by N8R; 01-17-2012 at 05:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    That pretty much sums it up.
    What pretty much sums it up is that most people don't have an extra $500 to use unwisely

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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Not even close to the same transfer of skills and coaching.
    What I suggested was a pattern of how to obtain the skills you need for very little money or even free. Everything you need is all around you. Not everything you need to know is on youtube but there is a lot of good stuff ( and bad stuff too) on there. You just have to sift through it and compare it to what else is out there. What I suggested was learning from multiple sources, not just youtube. After a while you'll realize what works and what doesn't.
    And as far as this way not being even close to the same transfer of skills and coaching, well you'll have to take that up with people like Danny MacAskill, as well as some of the top freeriders and mountainbikers in the world cause this is how they learned.

    " I started riding bikes from a young age on Skye doing skids and wheelies, like all kids do. Iíve always just ridden for fun and progression is quite slow with trials so itís just a case of sticking at it and youíll get there in the end." Danny MacAskill
    Last edited by N8R; 01-17-2012 at 05:14 PM.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideBetter View Post
    We have been too busy registering stoked students into our camps! My research indicates that reputable organizations that coach other sports charge a similar amount for 19-21 hours of field-based training. We offer a money back guarantee to riders who take the camp and are not satisfied. We coached over 500 students in 2011 and had zero ask for the refund. We don't "defend" it because we don't want anyone to take the camp if they don't feel it is worth the price.
    I'm not opposed to the skills you are teaching and I believe in free markets. Markets will regulate themselves. It's pretty obvious that there is a lot of marketing involved in selling your product/service to make people feel they need it. If people will pay what you ask and you are filling your camps, looks like you are successfully marketing yourself. But what you offer is a luxury for lazy people who don't want to make the effort to find the knowledge that is all around them at very little cost or free and also for people with lots of money to spend that feel they need to take your course to be competitive at a pro level. While you have every right to teach these camps and charge whatever you like, my message to those that will hear is to not feel like you need to pay this kind of money to become a skilled, safe rider or even to be competitive at pro levels.
    Last edited by N8R; 01-17-2012 at 05:40 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideBetter View Post
    My research indicates that reputable organizations that coach other sports charge a similar amount for 19-21 hours of field-based training.
    How much of the "field based training" time is just wasted time standing around or people paying to practice the material? It's like a university charging you tuition for your classes at an hourly rate and including the hands on time of showing you how to do your homework as well as other students how to do theirs. This method of teaching is very inefficient for the consumer, but extremely efficient and profitable for the teacher. The best way to learn is to have well explained material in an anytime reference-able format so that the person can have maximum value by condensing paid for instruction time. Perhaps someone will put together a course that offers this for those that need it. All the theory of proper technique etc. can be condensed into demonstration videos which the student can go through at their own pace. Then the student could pay for effective and minimal time with a teacher to supplement the video training. I doubt anyone will ever put together such an efficient and maximum value course because it is not in the teaching institutions benefit. The bottom line in teaching institutions is money profit. I have spent considerable time studying the methods of education systems. They are a scam and people are getting ripped of. It is industry and how industry works. Why do universities charge ridiculous prices especially for text books that they only slightly change and then make mandatory for the current year and you can't reuse the old one that has identical info? Because it is a multi billion dollar industry and they can get away with it because they "control" the education system. There is incredible inefficiency and waste in the education system and the consumer pays for it. Your mountain bike camps follow a similar method of inefficient teaching. You don't seem to be corrupt to the extent the education system is, but your bottom line is making a living, and your prices reflect this. My views may sound radical but the education system is in dire need of reform. Some may say what the hell does the education system have to do with this? I say take the time to educate yourself properly and you will see. My main point is to help people become aware that you don't have to buy into the system and that there are alternate ways to reach your goals and achieve the skills you need.
    Last edited by N8R; 01-17-2012 at 05:42 PM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideBetter View Post
    You might want to check out our blog article about "Why Our Instincts Fail Us" - it relates to the idea of Natural Athlete and figuring stuff out by "feel" alone. Just some food for thought. Totally agree that you are learning every time you ride - the question to ask is: What are you learning (skills vs bad habits further ingrained)?
    So I read your article. It makes valid points. I appreciate the fact that I didn't have to pay to read it. I would however clarify a few things. Riding by "feel" is a vague term. Although it can, it doesn't necessarily mean riding by instinct, or by what "feels good". When I say I ride by feel, I mean that I am in a heightened state of awareness of what is going on. I am connected and feeling what is happening both mechanically and mentally. I am paying attention and am searching for the best way to do something. It's actually very scientific as well as artistic and fun. Sometimes my goals are based on efficiency and other times they are based on the fun factor. When I am riding by feel in the sense that I am consciously trying to develop skills, there is no fear driving me into instinct. In fact I am making an effort to be aware of and avoid tendencies that are fear based instinct. However, not all fear based instinct is bad. Some of it is hardwired into us for protection. The important thing is to analyze everything and take all the good stuff and use it. Sometimes what "feels good" is inefficient and even dangerous, but other times what "feels good" is in fact the right way and it feels good because you were in the zone and did it properly. When you see very skilled riders that are self taught, they are not necessarily riding blindly by instinct or what feels "natural". They have a natural ability to adapt to the best way of doing things and usually are able to achieve the desired results by trial,error, and practice with observation and analysis being included.
    Last edited by N8R; 01-17-2012 at 01:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    How much of the "field based training" time is just wasted time standing around or people paying to practice the material? It's like a university charging you tuition for your classes at an hourly rate and including the hands on time of showing you how to do your homework as well as other students how to do theirs. This method of teaching is very inefficient for the consumer, but extremely efficient and profitable for the teacher. The best way to learn is to have well explained material in an anytime reference-able format so that the person can have maximum value by condensing paid for instruction time. Perhaps someone will put together a course that offers this for those that need it. All the theory of proper technique etc. can be condensed into demonstration videos which the student can go through at their own pace. Then the student could pay for effect and minimal time with a teacher to supplement the video training. I doubt anyone will ever put together such an efficient and maximum value course because it is not in the teaching institutions benefit. The bottom line in teaching institutions is money profit. I have spent considerable time studying the methods of education systems. They are a scam and people are getting ripped of. It is industry and how industry works. Why do universities charge ridiculous prices especially for text books that they only slightly change and then make mandatory for the current year and you can't reuse the old one that has identical info? Because it is a multi billion dollar industry and they can get away with it because they "control" the education system. Your mountain bike camps are following this same method of inefficient
    teaching. Perhaps you are not corrupt to the extent the education system is, but your bottom line is making a living, and your prices reflect this. My views may sound radical but the education system is in dire need of reform. Some may say what the hell does the education system have to do with this? I say take the time to educate yourself properly and you will see. My main point is to help people become aware of institutions that make a living of taking knowledge and selling it in less than efficient ways.
    Hi N8R! Thanks for your question. The answer is that none of the time spent at camp is wasted just standing around or practicing alone. We've worked to refine our camps and curriculum for the past 13 years to be as efficient as possible and we continue to do so. As we say in our camps, improvement takes time and work (we put in both!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RideBetter View Post
    Hi N8R! Thanks for your question. The answer is that none of the time spent at camp is wasted just standing around or practicing alone. We've worked to refine our camps and curriculum for the past 13 years to be as efficient as possible and we continue to do so. As we say in our camps, improvement takes time and work (we put in both!)
    So why is your course $500 + and why does it take 2-3 days to teach the basic core stuff?? I could probably learn a few new things and correct a few techniques that i could do better, but it shouldn't take 19-21 hours. In a well produced video series It should only take a few hours at most to present the core basics. To properly learn skills, one needs to be able to continually reference and go back to the teaching material as they practice and develop the skills. This is best accomplished by videos seeing as it is not practical or cost effective to have an instructor with you at all times. With well produced instructional videos, hands on time is greatly reduced and one can put their money where it really counts. It is still greatly beneficial to interact with an instructor in person, but the need and cost is greatly reduced by efficient delivery of learning materials to the student. How do your students retain the "massive" amount of information you present during your 19-21 hrs of instruction? Do you let them record the camp presentations so they can reference it later as they practice the skills? Surely they don't have to rely on memory do they? I have no plans to spend $500 to attend your camp, but if I did, I would feel ripped off if I didn't have a way to document every single skill that was being sold to me for future reference seeing as there is no way i would be able to remember everything. Then once I learned all the skills I would be a certified instructor of the skills I learned at your camp because I paid to learn them. This would give me the right to teach others what I have learned and I would gladly do so in a way that I was compensated for my time, yet also able to help others learn the skills in the most efficient way for them. So I would end up producing videos with the material and sell them for a reasonable fee to compensate me for my time making them. I would restrict and license the use of my actual videos seeing as I made them, but not the information in them seeing as knowledge of this nature is not owned by anyone and is the result of many years of efforts by the whole cycling community. If someone wanted to compete with me they could do so as long as they made their own videos with the same information and didn't use mine without licensing them. If someone doesn't want and idea known they need to keep it secret and not share it. Once it is shared, it becomes the property of society and the public. No one invents an idea. They just tap into universal truths and discover something that already exists but nobody else has discovered yet. If someone discovers something and tries to say I can't use the idea, I will then sue them for taking away my opportunity to discover and use that thing for myself. It's not the same thing as say having a material object or even a spouse that is exclusive to you. Ideas and principles are universal and to be used by everyone. The way you get ahead in life is by doing something better than the next guy, not by saying he can't do what you are doing. So my question is still this, how is paying $500 for a skills camp an efficient way for someone to learn these skills? Are they allowed to record and document the contained material? I looked on your website to see if there were some videos I could buy for a reasonable price that contained all the skills you teach. I found none, but I might have missed them somewhere. I also looked to see if you offered instruction by the hour at a reasonable rate maybe somewhere between $30-50/ hr to supplement my video purchase. I didn't see any offerings of this on your website, but perhaps I missed that too. If you don't offer these things, perhaps it might better help your students and clients to do so. Although offering these might work against your financial profits from the camps, but then again you might reach a much larger audience going the video route if it was done in an entertaining and professional manner.

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    Well, after searching I did fid a few very short videos by RideBetter on Youtube. Not a ton, but the info is good and solid. I will say that Gene is an awesome rider and knows his stuff. I actually learned some new stuff but realized that I was already doing most of what he was saying. For example, I ride both dirtbikes and mnt bikes and I have never liked leaning my body in turns. I've always tried to stay directly above the bike and keep neutral body weight. I'm no pro, but it's always felt wrong for me to lean in turns. Anyway, like I said these guys do know their stuff, but the issue was never whether they knew what they were doing. I just don't see a highly efficient/value of instruction course being offered at the time. Too much money for basic principles that could be offered in a much more condensed system of delivery than paying for a skills camp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    So why is your course $500 + and why does it take 2-3 days to teach the basic core stuff?? . . . How do your students retain the "massive" amount of information you present during your 19-21 hrs of instruction? . . . Do you let them record the camp presentations so they can reference it later as they practice the skills? Surely they don't have to rely on memory do they? . . . how is paying $500 for a skills camp an efficient way for someone to learn these skills? Are they allowed to record and document the contained material?
    Wow, lots of questions to answer here!
    1) Our courses are priced to maintain a sustainable business model and serve our customers the best we can. Costs that go into offering a reliably amazing camp experience include: Curriculum development, coach training and continuing education, equipment, coach travel (rental cars, hotels, flights), coach compensation, bike shipping, printing, customer service (answering questions like these!), web development and maintenance, permitting, insurance (more than you might think).
    2) Why does it take 2-3 days? Check out our curriculum and camp daily details on the website. We walk students through execution of drills that are key to mastering each concept listed. It just takes that much time to get through an exhaustive curriculum effectively.
    3) Student retention of information is key to all education. The best way for our students to retain what we teach them is to do the drills we teach frequently. We provide printed materials students can use to review afterwards. Many students come back for more coaching from us as well. Students don't record the camp.
    4) Our camps are designed to be the MOST efficient way to teach core skills. That's the whole idea of BetterRide!! Literally thousands of students feel passionately that we accomplish that with every single camp. Videos can be a great tool, but knowledgeable athletes in ANY sport will tell you there is no substitute for good live coaching.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideBetter View Post
    Wow, lots of questions to answer here!
    1) Our courses are priced to maintain a sustainable business model and serve our customers the best we can. Costs that go into offering a reliably amazing camp experience include: Curriculum development, coach training and continuing education, equipment, coach travel (rental cars, hotels, flights), coach compensation, bike shipping, printing, customer service (answering questions like these!), web development and maintenance, permitting, insurance (more than you might think).
    2) Why does it take 2-3 days? Check out our curriculum and camp daily details on the website. We walk students through execution of drills that are key to mastering each concept listed. It just takes that much time to get through an exhaustive curriculum effectively.
    3) Student retention of information is key to all education. The best way for our students to retain what we teach them is to do the drills we teach frequently. We provide printed materials students can use to review afterwards. Many students come back for more coaching from us as well. Students don't record the camp.
    4) Our camps are designed to be the MOST efficient way to teach core skills. That's the whole idea of BetterRide!! Literally thousands of students feel passionately that we accomplish that with every single camp. Videos can be a great tool, but knowledgeable athletes in ANY sport will tell you there is no substitute for good live coaching.
    Good Answers! That makes sense. However:

    1) Your business model is based on mainstream less efficient teaching methods (IMO) that necessitate the extra costs that then get passed on to the consumer. With more condensed and efficient training programs and tools the cost would be drastically reduced.
    2) I'm still convinced that your curriculum should take no longer than a few hours to demonstrate. Walking all your students through it looks to be part of the reason it is stretched out to 19+ hrs. Also, I imagine you get a lot of questions that you have to answer which further lengthens the time.
    3) Practice is the best form of retention, but the retention I was referring to was short term retention, not long term. How can I do a drill if I've forgotten how to do it? Written material is a step in the right direction, but video encompasses a much broader and dynamic range
    of information and is therefore much more efficient in many cases and especially in cases involving visual information such as proper body positions etc. I would not feel satisfied to leave the skills camp with only a written record. I would want to be able to see what it was I was trying to learn and to be able to see what it looked like after I had forgotten the next day. I don't think thats too much to ask as part of the $500 cost ( i have terrible memory )
    4) I am still convinced that a video based curriculum would be a far more efficient way to teach than 100% live coaching. 100% Live coaching is an outdated and less effective method of teaching in many instances. When video did not exist it was the MOST effective way. With new technology comes greater advances in teaching aids. Using video to teach allows the teacher to get 90% or more of the curriculum efficiently to the student. Live coaching helps with the 10% or so of problem areas or issues where the student has difficulty grasping what the video is demonstrating and also to answer questions. But a main feature of well made instructional videos should be they are very easily understood and explained.

    I believe that live coaching should be supplemental to a good video/media based coaching program. An athlete could reach the highest levels of performance by getting the bulk of their "Drills and curriculum" from videos/media and then still having a live coach but for a fraction of the time. Of course this works against the career of a live coach, which explains the reluctance of this method being used. But in the interest of superior and MOST efficient teaching methods it is clear to me that Video/media self coaching with the supplemental aid of a live coach is better as far as value and efficiency for the dollar go. I realize that by promoting this I am going against a whole industry that is based on making money by doing this for a living. Regardless of my opinions, I admire that you are at least teaching awesome principles and techniques and helping people to ride better. Your curriculum looks like it contains good stuff. There are worse things that big corporations are doing at screwing consumers. Perhaps my expectations are high, but the majority of mtb riders will never pay for a course such as yours but there are alternate ways to obtain the same information and become a great rider.
    Last edited by N8R; 01-17-2012 at 05:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    Good Answers! That makes sense. However:

    1) Your business model is based on mainstream less efficient teaching methods (IMO) that necessitate the extra costs that then get passed on to the consumer. With more condensed and efficient training programs and tools the cost would be drastically reduced.
    2) I'm still convinced that your curriculum should take no longer than a few hours to demonstrate. Walking all your students through it looks to be part of the reason it is stretched out to 19+ hrs. Also, I imagine you get a lot of questions that you have to answer which further lengthens the time.
    3) Practice is the best form of retention, but the retention I was referring to was short term retention, not long term. How can I do a drill if I've forgotten how to do it? Written material is a step in the right direction, but video encompasses a much broader and dynamic range
    of information and is therefore much more efficient in many cases and especially in cases involving visual information such as proper body positions etc. I would not feel satisfied to leave the skills camp with only a written record. I would want to be able to see what it was I was trying to learn and to be able to see what it looked like after I had forgotten the next day. I don't think thats too much to ask as part of the $500 cost ( i have terrible memory )
    4) I am still convinced that a video based curriculum would be a far more efficient way to teach than 100% live coaching. 100% Live coaching is an outdated and less effective method of teaching in many instances. When video did not exist it was the MOST effective way. With new technology comes greater advances in teaching aids. Using video to teach allows the teacher to get 90% or more of the curriculum efficiently to the student. Live coaching helps with the 10% or so of problem areas or issues where the student has difficulty grasping what the video is demonstrating and also to answer questions. But a main feature of well made instructional videos should be they are very easily understood and explained.

    I believe that live coaching should be supplemental to a good video/media based coaching program. An athlete could reach the highest levels of performance by getting the bulk of their "Drills and curriculum" from videos/media and then still having a live coach but for a fraction of the time. Of course this works against the career of a live coach, which explains the reluctance of this method being used. But in the interest of superior and MOST efficient teaching methods it is clear to me that Video/media self coaching with the supplemental aid of a live coach is better as far as value and efficiency for the dollar go. I realize that by promoting this I am going against a whole industry that is based on making money by doing this for a living. Regardless of my opinions, I admire that you are at least teaching awesome principles and techniques and helping people to ride better. Your curriculum looks like it contains good stuff. There are worse things that big corporations are doing at screwing consumers. Perhaps my expectations are high, but the majority of mtb riders will never pay for a course such as yours but there are alternate ways to obtain the same information and become a great rider.
    Some people do not desire effeciency and value rather they want the best they can afford.

    You do realize that we all learn differently, right? A good teacher/staff is able to adapt to the students best method(s) of learning. A VCR/DVR can't do this, never will be able to either.

    I was wondering why the US Navy and Airforce spend all that money on actually putting pilots through those hundreds of hours of flight training? I mean, why start them in a small prop plane and then work up to jets. A bad ass video program (and maybe watching Top Gun a few times as well..) and then straight into the Raptor/Hornet seems much more efficient and a better value.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Some people do not desire effeciency and value rather they want the best they can afford.

    You do realize that we all learn differently, right? A good teacher/staff is able to adapt to the students best method(s) of learning. A VCR/DVR can't do this, never will be able to either.

    I was wondering why the US Navy and Airforce spend all that money on actually putting pilots through those hundreds of hours of flight training? I mean, why start them in a small prop plane and then work up to jets. A bad ass video program (and maybe watching Top Gun a few times as well..) and then straight into the Raptor/Hornet seems much more efficient and a better value.
    Your analogy doesn't apply very well. They put them through all that training because thats what flying at that level requires. One could learn to fly a jet by watching videos for the basic stuff and then with hands on training with an instructor for the more advanced stuff. However the military is very strict and there is a lot of liability with expensive equipment so they have set guidelines how one has to become a pilot. This is hardly the case with riding a bike. The difference with mountain biking is that a bike is not an advanced piece of equipment like a jet and anyone can hop on one and operate it at a safe level with little training and advance at a rate they are comfortable with with very little danger. The resources are out there to get as good as you want at your own pace. This is not so with jets. Also, I haven't been addressing the 1% of mountain bikers who are willing to spend that kind of money. The other 99% are looking for other options. Video doesn't need to adapt to people. All it does is demonstrate simple basic principles that are easy to understand. Sure there are a few slower people with special needs that might have a hard time getting the video to play or understanding what exactly what it is the video is saying, but most people will be able to learn 90% of the stuff they are trying to learn just by having the principles laid out in front of them. Virtually every biking skill I have ever seen anyone teach is very simple in principle. It's just a matter of knowing the principle exists and then getting out and practicing it until it is second nature for you. There is nothing complex about learning to ride well, but some peoples body and mind are better built for it. It just takes some people more practice than others.
    Last edited by N8R; 01-17-2012 at 07:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    Your analogy doesn't apply very well. They put them through all that training because thats what flying at that level requires. One could learn to fly a jet by watching videos for the basic stuff and then with hands on training with an instructor for the more advanced stuff. However the military is very strict and there is a lot of liability with expensive equipment so they have set guidelines how one has to become a pilot. This is hardly the case with riding a bike. The difference with mountain biking is that a bike is not an advanced piece of equipment like a jet and anyone can hop on one and operate it at a safe level with little training and advance at a rate they are comfortable with with very little danger. The resources are out there to get as good as you want at your own pace. This is not so with jets. Also, I haven't been addressing the 1% of mountain bikers who are willing to spend that kind of money. The other 99% are looking for other options. Video doesn't need to adapt to people. All it does is demonstrate simple basic principles that are easy to understand. Sure there are a few slower people with special needs that might have a hard time getting the video to play or understanding what exactly what it is the video is saying, but most people will be able to learn 90% of the stuff they are trying to learn just by having the principles laid out in front of them. Virtually every biking skill I have ever seen anyone teach is very simple in principle. It's just a matter of knowing the principle exists and then getting out and practicing it until it is second nature for you. There is nothing complex about learning to ride well, but some peoples body and mind are better built for it. It just takes some people more practice than others.

    First, perhaps you can search the web to find and watch the paragraph video, learn how to use them then practice using them. Hell, maybe you can even use some in your next post.

    Emergency rooms all over the world disprove your "anyone can hop on and ride" theory daily. If this stuff is so easy why do so many people crash and why do so many get hurt?

    Personally, Iím a big believer in learning how to perform a task slowly and correctly from those proven to have mastered them and then practicing it until perfected. A video and my ďbrosĒ donít seem to support me in this pursuit in most cases. YRMV.

    In closing, it seems odd to me that those here who have actually taken the BetterRide camps have found them to be excellent values and it is those who have not that are poo-pooing the program with no knowledge of it. I have no dog in this fight except I enjoying seeing folks become more competent and safer riders who end up reaping more enjoyment from our sport.
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  38. #38
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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    First, perhaps you can search the web to find and watch the paragraph video, learn how to use them then practice using them. Hell, maybe you can even use some in your next post.

    Emergency rooms all over the world disprove your "anyone can hop on and ride" theory daily. If this stuff is so easy why do so many people crash and why do so many get hurt?

    Personally, Iím a big believer in learning how to perform a task slowly and correctly from those proven to have mastered them and then practicing it until perfected. A video and my ďbrosĒ donít seem to support me in this pursuit in most cases. YRMV.

    In closing, it seems odd to me that those here who have actually taken the BetterRide camps have found them to be excellent values and it is those who have not that are poo-pooing the program with no knowledge of it. I have no dog in this fight except I enjoying seeing folks become more competent and safer riders who end up reaping more enjoyment from our sport.
    We're not talking about writing here we're talking about riding, but thanks for your interest in my sub par writing organization. People that get hurt on bikes are either 1) riding above their level of competency 2) careless and/or distracted and not paying attention 3) some one else interferes with their riding and causes a crash 4) or just plain unlucky and something unexpectedly breaks, etc.etc. 3 and 4 are rare, and the majority of cycling accidents are caused by 1 and 2. Riding is easy. Exercising self control and using good judgment sometimes isn't. There is nothing hard about riding if you have knowledge and practice. Knowledge + Practice/application = experience. Experience + self control= safe and fun riding. So yes anyone can hop on a bike and ride safely if they 1) learn the very easy and simple principles of operating a bike 2) pay attention and 3) don't ride above their level of competency. The problem as you see demonstrated by all the accidents you are talking about, is that in general people are often stupid and make poor decisions, not that riding is some mysteriously hard thing to do. Like I said before, 90% of what the "masters" are teaching is really simple stuff. The hard part is having discipline to put the principles to practice, put your time in, and slowly progress at a safe and comfortable level. If you feel good about paying big bucks to learn simple stuff, well good for you. I don't need to go to a camp to know what it will be like. I know for a fact that if I paid that kind of money for the skills camp I would be pissed off for what i get in return. But that's just me. I have no problem paying a "master" to show me a few things. But not $500 for 20 hrs of time full of stuff that they could easily make into a few hours of video demonstrations and I would learn the exact same things.
    Last edited by N8R; 01-20-2012 at 07:36 PM.

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    In my "sticker shock" post earlier inthis thread, I in no way was insinuating that clinics aren't a great way to improve ones riding ability (usually immediate improvements). I have enrolled my 3 children in bmx racing clinics and watched them get better gate starts, better turns, and better results at the finish line. Unanimously they had a good time and were greatful for the lessons. They were coached by Bmx world champion Heather Allred and olympic medalist Mike Day. They received four hours training including one on one time for $20.00 each. When I asked how they "justified" their prices i was expecting answers more along the lines of meals, lodging, and one on one drills addressing individuals weakest points.
    Insead the response was more or less -well, we charge that much cause we can get away with it. That's lame in my eyes.
    Before I read the price i was sincerely iterested in attending with my sons. But i think i'll steer clear of the better ride/ride better clinics unless the price comes down drastically.

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    In my opinion, nothing replaces expert advice, regardless if it is on fundamentals or the most difficult skills. In volleyball I consider myself mostly an expert hitter, and when i play with some of my friends, I notice things that can be improved. Something as simple as lifting your elbow up or taking an extra step can greatly improve your game. Usually these small things are hard to diagnose unless you know exactly how its supposed to be.

    But like all things in mountain biking, everything is inflated in price. Ive never done a skills camp so i cannot say that it is overpriced.

    25 dollars/hr really isnt that much....just look at ski/snowboard lessons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    Good Answers! That makes sense. However:

    1) Your business model is based on mainstream less efficient teaching methods (IMO) that necessitate the extra costs that then get passed on to the consumer. With more condensed and efficient training programs and tools the cost would be drastically reduced.
    2) I'm still convinced that your curriculum should take no longer than a few hours to demonstrate. Walking all your students through it looks to be part of the reason it is stretched out to 19+ hrs. Also, I imagine you get a lot of questions that you have to answer which further lengthens the time.
    3) Practice is the best form of retention, but the retention I was referring to was short term retention, not long term. How can I do a drill if I've forgotten how to do it? Written material is a step in the right direction, but video encompasses a much broader and dynamic range
    of information and is therefore much more efficient in many cases and especially in cases involving visual information such as proper body positions etc. I would not feel satisfied to leave the skills camp with only a written record. I would want to be able to see what it was I was trying to learn and to be able to see what it looked like after I had forgotten the next day. I don't think thats too much to ask as part of the $500 cost ( i have terrible memory )
    4) I am still convinced that a video based curriculum would be a far more efficient way to teach than 100% live coaching. 100% Live coaching is an outdated and less effective method of teaching in many instances. When video did not exist it was the MOST effective way. With new technology comes greater advances in teaching aids. Using video to teach allows the teacher to get 90% or more of the curriculum efficiently to the student. Live coaching helps with the 10% or so of problem areas or issues where the student has difficulty grasping what the video is demonstrating and also to answer questions. But a main feature of well made instructional videos should be they are very easily understood and explained.
    While I appreciate your point of view. I disagree. While your efficiency argument makes sense standing alone, when you combine it with the goals of skill acquisition and retention, it fails. I teach for a living and have a masters of education. So I spend a great deal of time and energy thinking and working in the arena you are discussing. I have also taught/coached/mentored several sports (tennis, climbing, skiing, mountain biking). My affiliation with Better Ride is as a paying customer.

    Video is a great instructional aid. I believe it is a vital part of kinesthetic learning. While I work on skills I benefit from studying video of myself and others. It is a fabulous tool. While I cannot speak directly to percentages, I believe the opposite to be true. More like 90% coaching and 10% video. (Assuming good instructors).

    A video cannot analyze the look on someone's face to gauge understanding. A video cannot provide instant feedback on skill development (this looks good, that could use a little more..., try doing this and thinking about that.....)
    I live among world class athletes in various sports and disciplines and see firsthand their training and methodology. If a mountain biker were to have the best training possible, it would be with a personal coach, video-classroom time, but the live training would play the biggest role.

    So having spent a lifetime working on this very thing, I could not disagree with you more. Mountain bike skills classes cost a ton of money, but they are worth every penny. I wish I could afford one or two a month. As things go, I will be lucky if I can afford one this year. They are worth it and there is nothing better unless someone is willing to do it for you for free.

    The issue concerning retention is a good one. It is a challenge for all good instruction and I know that Better Ride does a pretty good job with their ongoing free articles and emails. But a large part of that burden falls on the student. Could the bike skills people do a better job at it? ABSOLUTELY! And your video is a good idea towards that goal.

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