Have you ever taken a bike clinic or are your skills self taught?

Discussion in 'Racing and Training' started by krishno22, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. krishno22

    krishno22 New Member

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    http://www.bikeskills.com/clinics.php

    I'm really getting into biking and through my many web searches came across a clinic that is offered in Aliso Woods. I thought about doing it this past summer but never got around to it. Now there are no dates available but I'm guessing it will start up again this Spring.

    Has anyone ever done the Joe Lawwill class? Is it worth $89?

    I play golf and I always tell someone new to the sport to take lessons before they ingrain bad habits. You just don't hear that advice when it comes to mountain biking.

    Opinions?
     
  2. herzalot

    herzalot Well-Known Member

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    I rode mtbikes for 18 years before I took a DH clinic. I have now taken 6 DH clinics. Two with Julius Syvanen in San Diego, one with JD Swanguen in Corona and three different half days at Whistler. The Whistler ones were more to have someone to ride with and show me the trails (yes - a sort of paid riding companion - sad really). I enjoyed every one of the clinics. I can't say it made a profound difference, but it did confirm that I actually have some natural ability. Us old guys need as much validation as we can get.

    Take Lawwill's clinic. He'll show you some cool things.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2011
  3. sasquatch9billion

    sasquatch9billion Active Member

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    Golf and cycling are VERY, VERY, different. I think most cyclists learn through trial and error as well as riding with other riders of varying skill levels. If you are still interested in a clinic I believe Doug (Dirtvert) runs a beginner's clinic at Aliso-His is free.
     
  4. rojomas

    rojomas A.K.A The Oxx

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    The little bit of skill that I have is left over from when I used to ride BMX when I was a kid.
     
  5. Dune66

    Dune66 The Sleeper has Awakened!

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  6. polonia2

    polonia2 New Member

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    Man, I wish someone can teach me how to ride. Most of the time I learn from watching YOUTUBE. I guess its better to have teacher than self taught. At least, you learn it in the right way.
     
  7. Revalimage

    Revalimage Active Member

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    Have taken Joe's clinic and have known many others that have too. Highly recommended. Doug is great too.

    I ride alone mostly due to my schedule, so it's tough to learn on your own. When you ride with others and see them 'do that' the 'ahhh, so that's how you do it' or 'wow that's easy' happen all the time.

    So if you don't ride with experienced riders on a regular basis, yes take the clinic, the bike set up and basic skills are very much wort it.
     
  8. denmother

    denmother Gone riding....

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    Yes, it is worth it. Joe is a great rider and instructor and he also races. I talked to Leigh Donovan (Pro Donwhhiller) recently and she took the clinic. There was some technical uphill that she was never able to clear and after the clinic she was able to.

    Make sure you match the skills you want to learn with the instructor and the type of class he/she is teaching. I myself have never taken an XC type clinic (even though I need to). I have taken DH, DS and jump clinics from Julius Syvanen in SD (he is awesome), Gene Hamilton from www.betterride.net, Marla Streb, Leigh Donovan, Kathy Sessler, Kurt Vories, Eric Carter and Rich Houseman. I have taken away new skills every time I have attended. It also helps to have someone watch your technique and be able to tell and show you what you are doing wrong and how to correct it.
     
  9. whybother

    whybother New Member

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    No clinics for me... school of hard knocks! :)

    Clinics are probably a smart choice for many. Joe Lawwill is a cool cat!
     
  10. art23rockpile

    art23rockpile Minus Delta T

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    Clinics aren't necessary. I've learned everything i know about riding by surrounding myself with numerous skilled/experienced riders, and a LOT of trial & error.

    That said, Joe Lawill is a talented rider, and you'll be able to learn a lot from him.
     
  11. BigTex

    BigTex Member

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    I'm mostly self-taught, and that's not necessarily a good thing. I did Doug's Sunday morning beginner's class about a year after I started riding and learned a few things. Did the basic Bikeskils class with Bob Loeffler last fall and learned some more things (and realized I had picked up some bad habits that are proving really hard to break). Plan on doing Lawill's class in the near future.

    Short answer: I recommend it.

    My development as a rider might have gone differently had I ridden with other people from the beginning. But most of my riding isn't scheduled (I work from home, so whenever I hit a lull between switching projects or need to clear my head, I pop out and ride). Like others above, there have been a few a-ha! moments when I do get the chance to ride with others. But mostly on a group ride I'm just concentrating on keeping up, and it's hard to observe others that way!
     
  12. bikerider

    bikerider New Member

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    I have never taken a clinic in 21 years of riding, but it can't hurt. We've all learned things either the hard way through crashing or by watching more skilled riders. Ask yourself what you want to learn from a clinic. I'm a good XC downhiller, but not a good DH'er, so certain skills in nasty terrain would be nice. Riding a manual and learning how to jump properly would be skills that I should master. If you have the cash and want to shorten the learning curve, go for it.
     
  13. mfoga

    mfoga Intense Whore

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    I had not rode a bike really in like 10 years and a friend convinces me to start riding again, so I get myself a bike for Christmas and we go out and I felt so out of it on a bike. The trail wasn't probably the best to start on and I had no confidence anymore. I went and took Joe's clinic and it helped. Its nice as it more of a trail riding clinic and teaching you skills you need and will use in regular trail riding. Also all the info on bike setup was very helpful since I had no idea what I was doing on setting up suspension.
     
  14. onegymrat

    onegymrat New Member

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    Joe Lawwill's clinic is worth so much more than the $89. Took it 4 years ago with a buddy. Joe opened my eyes about what can be done on the trail and how using his tips is a SAFER and MORE EFFICIENT way to trail ride. Things such as going over an obstacle instead of around it, j-hopping, manuals, track stands, switchback cornering, etc. All these things beginners normally think are more dangerous are actually safer...if you master it. No way I will ever ride as great as Joe but I still apply his teachings on the trail to this day.

    On the entertainment side, when Joe demonstrates the skills, it is completely inspiring. We took the clinic down at Aliso & Wood and we made him j-hop that trench leading down from the park over and over again for kicks. He was a good sport!

    I've encouraged some newer riding buddies to take his clinic before but like most riders with egos...they don't think they will learn anything. I even suggested that I would take the class again just for fun with them. I suppose I can ask Joe how to finally do a manual.:?:
     
  15. jae2460

    jae2460 Active Member

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    I'm no expert, but I did take Joe's class and I was satisified that it was money well spent. I spent $2500 on my bike last December; I figured spending $89 to learn how to ride it was worth it. It was a year ago (Jan 2010). Joe's an amazing rider and a good teacher--it's worth the $89 just to watch the guy ride; he's a ninja / jedi knight with what he can do on a bike and the atmosphere of the class is really great. He's very encouraging and you're not afraid to fail, which everyone did at least once during the class.
    I had never ridden Aliso before, but he took us up Cholla and we worked on cleaning switchbacks--especially the one really tricky spot there (I clean Cholla nearly every time now) and he took us down Rock-It and he showed us different ways to clean the hardest parts of that trail--that was amazing part, the guy can put his bike wherever he wants to and land in a trackstand, then roll off when he chooses to. We spent probably close to an hour of upfront time on the bike--getting the fork and shock dialed in specifically for each rider, what tire pressure to run / how to tell if it's right. We spent time riding up some of the obstacles/boulders up on Westridge near the top of Cholla/Lynx and back down them, and he didn't let me give up--kept at it until I cleaned it at least once even though I did an embarassing Superman / OTB. And I didn't get hurt as he and one of his 2 assistant instructors (also great riders) grabbed me and kept me from flying off. Great class. It ran long, wound up being 5-6 hours or so. I've actually recently been thinking about it and may take it again or take the next level up.
     
  16. Falconer

    Falconer Who are you? who who

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    The Joe Lawill class is great it is usually limited to a small group(about 7) of riders.
    So there is time for some one on one training and more importantly he can critique
    your skills. I would also take any of the free classes you can as well. Because there
    are different styles and different opinions . There are some good Videos/DVD's out
    there also. I highly recommend Ned Overends book "Mountain Bike Like A Champion".
    It covers bike set up,riding positions,technique,nutrition and racing tactics and much more.
    I think most of us would agree Ned Overend is an absolute god of Mountain Biking.:bang:
    Riding with people more skilled than yourself is very good also especially if they will
    take the time to explain to you how and why they do this or that.
    Of course there is no substitute for time in the saddle and the school of hard knocks.
    There is nothing like a little PAIN AVERSION THERAPY to teach you that doing things
    the wrong way hurts and it is probably not a good idea to do it that way again!:lol:
     
  17. melster

    melster Member

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    I took the class with Joe Lawwill last January. I needed to overcome some of my fears since I crashed and broke my wrist in Sep '09. This class was what I needed. I had never gone down Rock It without walking, but by the time we got there, I was the first one down.

    I also learned how to do a trackstand and how to manual over obstacles. It was great. Worth more than $89, that's for sure.
     
  18. melster

    melster Member

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    I wonder if you were in the same class as me? I've personally thought about taking it again too, just to brush up my skills, maybe learn some new things. I've been looking at the calendar though, and I haven't seen any clinics posted.
     
  19. M.C. Gong

    M.C. Gong I am the motor

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    Is there a DJ clinic here in OC that I can look into? I want to learn more about jumping and hucking my bike here on the local trails.

    I'm going to look into Joe's class too.
     
  20. onegymrat

    onegymrat New Member

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    I forgot to mention this...Falconer is right. Joe is an expert and can see right away what you are doing wrong as far as positioning on the bike and such...which is of course essential when going through chunky stuff like Rock-It and Lynx. New (and old!) riders should not be too close-minded to think they are doing it right and need to accept criticism from pros.
     

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