Steve Coss from Paradise Garage Racing:

I’ve owned a mountain bike for 5 years, but only recently did I consider really putting the time in to get faster, and learn more skills. I’ve raced cyclocross for 2 seasons and decided to branch out a bit. Essentially, this is my first season mountain biking seriously, and certainly my first season racing. I went into my clinic time with Rae with exceptionally high expectations. Riders in the Dillon area, as well as other members of Paradise Garage Racing had had mentioned her knowledge and skill at instruction completely unsolicited. I was not disappointed. I got way more than I was expecting.

Our day started out with something I did not anticipate. Each of us got a quick assessment of our setup. For some of the more experienced riders, it was as simple as adding a little air to their shock. Others, like myself, ended up with a stem that was an inch and a half lower, and bars rotated almost 30°s. As you might imagine, that made a huge difference in the way my bike handled, and for the better. Then we moved to all the simple stuff most riders assume they know well. Even our most experienced riders learned that there was something basic they could improve upon.

My major takeaway was that stopping with better posture and more quickly and with one finger. That’s correct, I learned how to stop, and it was amazing. I learned many techniques for turning, wheel lifts, descent, and small drops. What was special about the direction I received was that I have a newfound awareness of where my body tends to be while I ride. I also learned where it should be, why it should be there, and how I can change my habits to work with my body and bike. I got individual attention and recommendations catered to my riding style, with updates on each attempt at a particular skill (How Rae can keep a running tally of an entire group like this is beyond me). After several hours hitting the basics, we were off to the trail so that we could apply what we learned in real time.

Written by: raegandolf