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  1. #1
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    Coaching/Skills

    Trying to find a coach for MTB skills in the Charlotte NC area.

    Anybody have any recommendations??

    Thanks much for your time.

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    Our local (Greenville) has a Meetup group that meets at a small bike park just for skills building, might want to check out your local groups.

    There's always youtube, also, for basics like cornering, bunny hops, drops, etc.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

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    thanks much for the suggestions

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    YouTube is definitely not a replacement for a qualified and experienced coach, not by a long shot. In fact, most coaches I've worked with argue that they spend more time in their first few sessions correcting mistakes people learn online.

    I've had an enormously difficult time finding good coaches in the southeast. It seems most are out west. The majority of the coaches I've worked with either lacked the level of riding diversity needed (e.g. were XC oriented or all DH oriented), the teaching ability, or pushed people too far too quickly (e.g. body position to jumping in 2 hours). This is, IMO, one of the best articles I've read on finding coaches, although it's motocross, the same applies:

    Choosing A Motocross Coach - Racer X Virtual Trainer

    So all of that said, be careful with people that advertise themselves as coaches. I've worked with 6 or 7 and only 2 stood out as having the true ability to break down skills in a way that I was able to learn, teach them, then drill them over and over until they became part of my everyday riding. There may be a coach like that in Charlotte, but be prepared for a difficult search and be skeptical of them. It's not against them personally, they may be great riders, but as the article above says, great riders do not always make good coaches.

    Since you are only ~5 hours away from Harrisonburg, I realize it's a haul, but Harlan Price (takeaimcycling) is the best coach I've ever worked with. He has a vast riding resume and has been on a number of podiums for different events (downhill, endurance, cyclocross, etc) and has a phenomenal ability to break down skills and teach them. It's a haul, but the riding in Harrisonburg is awesome and Harlan is a great guy to learn from (The Harlan Price Interview by briceshirbach - Pinkbike). If I didn't live 8 hours away, I'd plan trips up there every quarter or so.

    While not as "recognized" as coaches, the guys at The Bike Farm have also been really good for me. I've only worked with them on skills stuff a few times, but every time I walk away with something new and more confident. They are a lot closer to you and would be great for repeat trips. I think you'll find a deeper level of coaching with Harlan, just because of his experience and background, but the guys at TBF can cover any of the skills you would want to work on, as well.

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    Thanks much for taking the time to write this..
    Much appreciated.

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    You should buy the book "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills" by Brian Lopes and Lee McCormack.

    I am very much able to apply to motion what I learn through reading or watching and this book was invaluable for that. I still read it from time to time to brush up.

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    I will also add that the Fluidride videos have been really good for me, also. They seem to really take the time to get into the details and teach in a progressive manner. You have to pay for most of them, but you can get them on Amazon Instant and it's worth it IMO.

    Still not a replacement for a coach, but the content is a lot better than you'd find on YouTube.

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    IGMBN on youtube puts out a lot of content for contents sake but I think their skills breakdowns aren't too bad. They had one with a Neko Mulally doing a guest spot and he seemed to explain downhill line choice pretty well. I believe Neko does skills clinics on occasion up at Bailey but I'm not sure when he'll start doing those again.

    I too live in Charlotte and consider myself to be a pretty advanced rider but I would also definitely be interested in a coach so I could break some barriers in my skills or potentially fix bad habits I may not be aware of. I'd also like to find a coach for my girlfriend who is new to the sport who may do a better job of explaining things than me.

    If you have a good experience nearby please keep us posted. I'd personally want to leave Charlotte and go out to Pisgah to learn with a coach but it would be cool if there was a local option too.

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    will let you know

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    A friend of mine used to ride with dirt divas. They do skills clinics for ladies just an idea for your gf.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post

    If you have a good experience nearby please keep us posted. I'd personally want to leave Charlotte and go out to Pisgah to learn with a coach but it would be cool if there was a local option too.
    You should definitely contact Caroline Washam Spoked LLC. She is a great rider and coach based in the Charlotte area.

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