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  1. #1
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    Ladies i need your help!

    My wife decided she wants to take up mountain biking so we can spend more time together. Im 110% all for this but Im having a hard time teaching her the ropes. Im lost on were I should start and I want to keep her motivated.

    I bought her a new kona.
    When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

  2. #2
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Find a women's group or skills clinic. Spouses do not ( most of the time) make great teachers. There are lots of threads on this particular subject.

  3. #3
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    +1 on professional instruction. My husband really wanted to help teach me how to mountain bike as an adult but he had no idea what I didn't know and struggled to help me. Examples:
    • Obstacles such as small ledges and rocks scared me. My husband didn't realize that I was looking only 5 feet in front of my wheel so even small obstacles seemed to come up too quickly for me to react to them.
    • I couldn't make it around switchbacks. My bike always seemed to head straight for the apex of the curve. My husband didn't realize that I was looking at where I didn't want to go rather than where I did want to go and, of couse, my bike followed.
    • I frequently felt like I was going to flip over backwards on steep ascents or that I was too far over the handlebars on descents. My husband didn't know that I wasn't moving my weight fore and aft to negotiate hills.

    Professional instructors teach skills that experienced riders may not even realize that new riders are lacking. Professional instructors are also more adept at identifying exactly what new and intermediate riders are doing wrong when they struggle to put new skills into action.

    I'm a big fan of women's skills clinics. Some women, (like me), learn athletic skills better from other women than from men.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJB85 View Post
    My wife decided she wants to take up mountain biking so we can spend more time together. Im 110% all for this but Im having a hard time teaching her the ropes. Im lost on were I should start and I want to keep her motivated.

    I bought her a new kona.
    Seriously awesome that she wanted to take it up, not you forcing her into it There's definitely hope, and you'll both have a great time together.

    You're in ATL: there's plenty of places there, and I would contact SORBA and see if they offer any regular clinics. That may help a bit. It's getting late in the year for any professional instruction, but remember to go at her place, not yours.

    The other thing: whatever trail you think is easy, go one step even easier. When you've been riding for a while, you forget what it's like to be a beginner.

    Don't let her be afraid to ask questions. Let her know that there's no such thing as a stupid question. Even though you may feel differently, patience is definitely key.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  5. #5
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    Find a women's group or skills clinic. Spouses do not ( most of the time) make great teachers. There are lots of threads on this particular subject.
    I will agree with the spouses do not make great teachers, as i know i suck when i am trying to help my wife and it doesn't help that i start getting frustrated with her from time to time( i try not to but it is hard, especially when you know they are capable of something but they don't want to see it) and then she gets mad at me because i offer advice at the wrong times. So i have over the last month and a half started pushing her to find some women that she can start riding with, but she is intimidated, she posted this thread:Intimidated on the trail.

    This weekend though there is a women's clinic at the local trail we ride every weekend and she is super excited as she has been wanting to do a women's clinic but they are few and far between where we live.

    Also as of late when we go ride we have been going to the trail together and riding some parts of it together but then she peels off at one point that cuts the trail a little shorter for her and i keep going and then we meet back at the car as this gets me out of her ear and lets her figure things out on her own, and at her own speed, while it allows me to go at my speed.

  6. #6
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    Here's how NOT to do it:

    So You Wanna Teach Your Girlfriend or Wife How to Mountain Bike? | Mountain Biking for Women ? MTB4Her.com


    But yes, another vote for professional clinic.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ladies i need your help!

    REI in Atlanta has one day clinics each month.

    Also, there's the women's cycling club, Sorella. Lots of women to ride with there for support.

    Sent from my Z10 using Tapatalk 2

  8. #8
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Ladies i need your help!

    My husband and I did a co-ed clinic and it was really fun, although they did make sure to put us in different groups.
    Last edited by formica; 12-10-2013 at 09:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    Motofix: Formica is cool and a well-respected member here. She's also a certified MTB coach, so it's your turn to go easy. Please respect that we're not all here to take advice on how to take clinics. This is the WL--the rest of MTBR is where the guys can go tell each other how to do things. Let us have our corner of peace here please.

    Your list IMO is very good over the course of YEARS, not weeks. It's very aggressive, and many riders--much less male or female--are interested in doing stoppies (nose wheelies for those unfamiliar with the term). Personally, that list for me is going to require years to get through and not everyone here is going to want to be that technical of a rider.

    I've been riding over 20 years. I have ZERO interest in doing a stoppy. Something tells me I'm not the only one.

    Quote Originally Posted by motofix View Post
    Easy there formica, this is not a list for beginners, just a list of skills in order to improve oneís riding imo. I wouldn't recommend people trying to jump around because the skills further down the list requires proficiency at previous skills. When I see people have poor form, it tends to stem from a lack of understanding or ability to do foundational skills. I rarely see someone with great foundation skills have bad form with hard skills. No one is perfect not even trainers and coaches, everyone does the very best they can and some are better than others at this. Iím not perfect and I donít claim to be, Iím just offering my experiences that have worked better than ok for more people than I can remember.

    For the lifts and wheelies, until you can do whatever you want on smooth surfaces, including steep up or down, you are probably getting ahead of the game trying wheelies and such. Most bikes can roll over 4-5Ē obstacles if you are positioned correctly and know what to do. So I think those skills are more intermediate level skills.

    I suggest people starting at the very beginning of the list and slowly work your way through the skills but only move to the next one when there is a good grasp and understanding and ability to do the previous skill both fast and slow. It doesnít have to be perfect but they should be able to do them. I would never try to teach a novice or beginner skills like wheelies or lifts with any serious effort unless they have proficiency in skills prior. There is just too much going on at the same time for most people to be able to put it all together.

    Agreed, most people that have good skills want to teach too much too fast and that is what over whelms lesser skilled people. That goes for men and women. The teaching needs to be at the students pace and not the instructors. We have also found teaching beginners on the trail is still information over load. There is just too much going on when on the trail for the rider to really focus on the skill at hand. Tips are great on the trail but teaching a skill requires just too much focus.

    Like I mentioned earlier, do one skill per week, that way the beginner has the time to practice and hopefully hone that specific skill before moving to the next one. Some people can learn a lot in one day some just need more time and attention.

    I have been to clinics and some of them have been very good and some poor. I also realize you are bringing this up to protect beginners from bad information and I applaud you for that as I do the same.

    P.S. Anyone caught trying to teach a stoppy to a beginner should have their bike taken away.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  10. #10
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    I think the list needs to include more fun, i.e., trails that reward what she can do and that show some challenges/things to achieve ahead. You can have a lot of fun without knowing all that stuff. As Ben & Jerry say, if it's not fun, why do it?

    Empty trails help a lot for learners too, just like if you are learning to drive you don't go out on the busiest road first, as that is stressful and dangerous.

    And try to tune in to what parts she enjoys, not just climbing vs. descending, but maybe a view, nature, perhaps a picnic, etc.

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