10/17/2013

Winter Ready?

It's been a bit and I find that we are now into a full-blown fall. Next week the temperatures at night will drop into the 40's and that's only a prelude to the dreaded 30ยบ morning rides. How are you going to prepare?

I figured I throw a few shoe suggestions your way and let you knock them around in your head. The first thing to remember is that winter boots require an investment, but it's likely they'll stick with you for many winters to come.

Boots!
My boots have been with me since 2007. I don't like them that much, but they work and I couldn't justify buying new ones until they fell apart. In the meantime I've watched my friends slip into many varieties of comfy boots and the general discourse has filtered out a few key pair of boots that are high on my list to buy.

Things to consider; None more important than the other.

  1. Temperature range
  2. Water resistance
  3. Fit: Here is a good chart to reference. http://www2.bsn.de/cycling/shoe-sizing.html
  4. Reputation
These come in regular and Wide. The MX145 are for milder winter riding, but the MXZ303 will be there for you when the temps drop into the single digits. 





Don't hesitate to get your shoes now before the weather gets real. It's pretty common for shops to sell out by the time the harshest weather is here.


8/02/2013

Video Analysis

Vision plays a big part in our riding experience. That's why it is so amazing to see people like Bobby McMullen, who was blinded by Type 1 Diabetes in 1993, riding his bike with a guide calling out obstacles. Bobby rides by feel and with verbal cues coming from his lead. 

I can't claim to know what it's like to drop down a rock face with my eyes closed, but on occasion I do like to ride through a wide open field with my eyes closed as long as my panic mode can stay in check. I encourage people I work with to do this because it's a very intense experience but teaches you a lot about the effects of relaxing and absorbing the terrain versus getting tense when you most want too! 

In skills sessions there are two main ways that the visual worlds come into play. One of course is Line Choice, which I often refer to as "Court Vision". The other turns the eye of the rider back on themselves. Like a mirror in the dance studio. Using Video Analysis is one of my favorite tools when working with people. 

Even though line choice is important the use of video analysis starts earlier in skills sessions. I can describe a skill and the techniques to implement in a multitude of ways, but there is nothing as to-the-point as playing back a video of the rider of themselves to see what they are doing. That visual connection makes an instant point. Here is an example of two rides back to back with a quick adjustment in between. The second video shows a rider who's head doesn't get jerked around and has more control on the bike because they are staying in a more balanced attack position with arms and legs engaged as suspension. Her riding skills have improved even more since this, but this illustrates an immediate change in form. 

video
video


Video analysis is an invaluable tool for me and the people I work with. Don't be afraid to turn a critical eye to yourself! 

A great video popped up today from Morocco Media today. They are a video sports analysis company and they are doing some really neat stuff. I highly recommend checking it out. 

http://www.morroccomedia.com/#!Blog/co4h/fort-william-world-cup-sports-video-analysis-2013---video

6/24/2013

Race Support at WhiteFace 100k: Prepping for Leadville

Weekend before last I spent at Whiteface Mountain doing race support for a group of guys planning on attending the Leadville 100 agin this year.
The weather was all over the map, but everyone finished a really tough course with style. They were all riding for Kase's Corner. A charity dedicated to raising awareness for those battling diabetes. Check them out!

http://www.kasescorner.org/

5/24/2013

Where does your suspension start?

When I'm scanning people's form to look for areas that could use corrections it's often easiest to start from the top and move down. Head, eyes, shoulders, chest, elbows, hands, hips, knees, feet.

The funny thing is much of my instruction starts from the feet, so why would I scan top down when the feet are often the foundation of the rest of a persons riding. Pressure control, wheel lifts, and descending  all are very dependent on happy and loose feet and ankles. Learning the importance of activating your bike riding or driving the bike from the feet can change your riding immensely. 

If you want an illustration of how the feet effect your balance and control try this. 

  1. Stand up straight with feet flat on the ground. 
  2. Keeping feet flat and on the ground, try to bounce.  not jump
  3. Now try with the heals a little off the ground. 
Does the second way feel more fluid? 

Here is another demonstration. 

  1. Standing with feet flat on the ground.
  2. Reach forward like you have you hands on your bars. 
  3. Start to squat. 
  4. Try pushing your butt back like you might have it going down hill. 
  5. Try to keep the balls of your feet on the ground.
It's hard isn't it? The heals naturally want to drop. Let them when riding! Especially when descending and braking!

How about another....

  1. Standing again with the feet flat on the ground.
  2. Try to jump off the ground without pointing your toes down. Keep the feet flat in the air. Activating from the knees and hips only.
  3. Now try allowing the balls of your feet to push you off the ground like a normal jump with knees and hips activated. Toes pointing to the ground as you jump. 
Hopefully you'll feel the difference between getting a smoother lift-off and a softer landing. For landing, when the feet are pointing down it's like your suspension is extended and you can absorb more. 

So what is the lesson here? Think of it like this. When you load the bike with pressure, allow the heals to drop, when you want to unweight the bike, push off with the balls of the feet. You don't have to go to extremes pointing or dropping every time you load or un-load the bike, just be aware of your range of motion and think how your feet effect your control over the bike. This allows greater finesse on the small stuff and bigger moves in the gnarly! It broadens your whole range of what is possible. 


When do you load
 Braking, Pumping, Adding pressure for traction, Pre-loading for logs, jumps...etc..

When do you unweight
Exploding to get over logs, absorbing terrain, jumps, floating rock gardens, transitioning between corners....

Happy trails!

*** A note: Not all have the same range of motion! Use what you got, and try to improve on it!

Notice the dogs feet as it takes off over the gate!


5/10/2013

So much going on! Skills, skills, skills....Some Training for me too!

This past month has been a busy one. People are really starting to catch on to the benefits of skills sessions.
I've worked with the Delaware Trail Spinners, the women of Wooden Wheels Racing, and several new clients getting solo lessons. Really exciting was the four days I spent in Ohio getting IMBA's International Coaching Program certification. I rode in a video for a commercial last weekend and just put together a three week skills session catered to the National Championships at Bear Creek.

Dirt Fest!
I'll be a Dirt Fest next weekend May 17-19th! There will be three days of great riding, friends and fun. It's on a lake and the trails are really different for Pennsylvania. For three day's I'll be giving one hour clinics.
Here is the schedule. http://www.dirtragdirtfest.com/schedule/

Friday: 
2 p.m. Skills clinic: Take Aim Cycling Hour To Empower: Cornering I. Meeting at the Skills Area. Note: these are co-ed clinics.
4 p.m. Skills Clinic: Take Aim Cycling Hour To Empower: Drops. Meeting at the Skills Area. 5 p.m. Skills Clinic: Take Aim Cycling Hour To Empower: Wheelies and ManualsMeeting at the Skills Area.
Saturday:

1 p.m. Skills Clinic: Take Aim Cycling Hour To Empower: Drops. Meeting at the Skills Area.
2 p.m. Skills Clinic: Take Aim Cycling Hour To Empower: Cornering II. Meeting at the Skills Area.
3 p.m. Skills Clinic: Take Aim Cycling Hour To Empower: Wheelies and Manuals. Meeting at the Skills Area.

Sunday: 

10 a.m. Skills Clinic: Take Aim Cycling Hour To Empower: Log Hopping. Meeting at the Skills Area.
11 a.m. Skills Clinic: Take Aim Cycling Hour To Empower: Wheelies and Manuals. Meeting at the Skills Area.


Bear Creek Skills Sessions for National Championships

First off I want to announce the three Tuesday's of skills clinics at Bear Creek Mountain resort. These will be on May 28th, June 4th and June 11th. Each clinic will focus on a specific skill that will benefit riders the most on the technical trails of BC. I scheduled them to be in the evening from 6-8pm so that people can get there after work or maybe leave a little early. 

On May 28th we'll work on Descending since Bear Mountain has a lot of rocks that require good line choice, staying light and balanced on the bike and good braking techniques. The last one might be counter-intuitive but it's important to remember that control is confidence and if you understand your braking power better that leads to great confidence for staying in control while going faster. 

June 4th will be dedicated to Cornering or more specifically the Switchbacks of Bear Creek. You'll encounter them going up and down and if you have problem with these it can slow your race down and frustrate your overall progress. By the end of the session you'll be able to enter and and exit these smoothly with confidence. 

The final session will be dedicated to Rock Gardens on June 11th. Line choice, a balanced body position and good pressure control add up to a smooth flow through those momentum robbing sections. Save your energy for the climbs by flowing through these sections. 

IMBA Instructor Training

A couple weeks ago I went to Ohio to take IMBA's ICP coaching program. It's new to IMBA and run by veteren skills instructor Shaums March. Last year I went to British Columbia to get instructor training through Endless Biking who were part of the PMBI organization. At the time I researched the various companies who were offering training for skills coaching and it seemed the four companies out there were on the same program. IMBA didn't have the ICP program then.

Endless was great and I'm glad I went, but it was a little disappointing to find out that IMBA was now offering a program very similar to the one I just invested in taking. I felt I now had to invest more time and money in something I already had. I knew there would be some variation but the difference seemed small enough to make it hard to justify the cost. Ultimately it was worth it. I learned more techniques for teaching I can bring to clientele and it made it easier for me to get insurance.

So now I'm certified by the Professional Mountain Bike Instructor program and IMBA's International Coaching Program.

Ultimately I like to learn and working with new instructors is always beneficial for expanding the knowledge set. I'd recommend anyone to go take these programs. Just because IMBA has a stronghold on mountain biking in the US doesn't mean you should ignore other options. If you want to coach a lot and have the benefits of IMBA insurance go to IMBA. If you want to learn how to ride and come away with a solid grasp on teaching techniques go to Endless Biking. You'll learn a lot from both programs.


I hope to see you out there! 

3/11/2013

Skills session with BikeSport

Saturday was a great day to be outdoors and have a skills session with one of the most well known mountain bike teams in the area. BikeSport super Woman Jill Newman go the ladies of the BikeSport team together and we spend half a day dialing in among other things, logs, turns, and drops. We had an honorary male, but it was okay cause he learned new things too! Thanks Jill, Audra, Kristin and Ryan!

Everyone improved and I even got a message after the session from Audra about her first ride out with her new skills.
"Today was EXCELLENT! Stop at VF to practice what I learned today and it was GREAT!!! Did almost every log over and did one three times to try to get the timing right; chainrings kept catching but I made it over!"

It's great to know people are getting more out of their riding after a few hours of work!

Thanks BikeSport for having me out!




3/08/2013

Two clinics with the Trail Spinners on the 16th!

On March 16th I'm putting on two clinics in Delaware.
One is a cornering clinic for two hours and the other I'm really excited about because it's a class on Racing Fundamentals.
It's for anyone interested in racing or racers with experience but want to hone some skills and strategy.

See below for full descriptions!
All classes can be signed up for on the MeetUp Site or contact me directly and I'll add you to the list.


Cornering!
http://www.meetup.com/cornering


The trails of the entire Trail Spinner territory are an amazing collection of corners coming at you in rapid fire. Let's do a 2 hour clinic to bring new joy to your experience of cornering. In the process you'll get more speed with less work!
Corners come in a variety of shapes and sizes and how you enter and exit them can equal free speed and more flow. In this clinic we'll work on all the parts that equate to fun and confident cornering.
1. Body position is critical to gaining maximum traction and control. Do you counter-balance your weight, look around the corners, carry the magic speed in and out of a corner? We'll work on that!
2. How are your line choices? Do you chop early and scrub speed resulting in needing more energy to get started again?
3. Always putting an outside foot down? Maybe what you do on the road doesn't equate to the trails!
4. Braking in that corner? Lets find that predictive braking intuition!
This will be a two hour clinic for anyone who's been riding a bike for more than a year and feels comfortable riding on the trails of the Trail Spinner region. The time will be spent doing cornering drills in a field and on a piece of trail. You don't have to be a hot shot racer or even a daily ripper. Both those people are welcome and can benefit but since we aren't going on a "ride" there will be no one getting dropped.

Class is limited to 10 people so don't hesitate!

Racing Fundamentals! 

Are you curious about racing or have been doing it for a couple years now but still haven't gotten comfortable with the start line nerves or the stampede when the gun goes off? Maybe you are just looking for an edge? This two hour session will not only increase your confidence at the races it will make the experience safer for everyone involved!
Racing a mountain bike is extremely exhilarating and few other sports can mimic it's feel of adrenaline while pushing yourself to new heights! It can also be dangerous when the mind is lacking oxygen and decisions need to be instinctual when things are happening quickly. Come out and let me guide you through some confidence building exercises that mimic different aspects of racing.
In two hours we'll cover a variety of topics.
  1. Race starts. From how to push off at the gun to how to deal with some rubbing of elbows and wheels!
  2. The advantages and disadvantages of the hole shot (aka starting as hard as you can)! When to stay and when to go!
  3. Passing on the trail. Calling your pass, letting the pass happen. This can be done so smoothly there is very little momentum lost for either rider!
  4. Marking your competition and pacing. Playing to strengths and weaknesses.
  5. How to use your peripherals with eyes and ears!
  6. Randoms: Eating, equipment to carry, clothing, bike set-up.
This class is limited to 15 people so sign up today!


3/06/2013

Starting to feel like a Trail Spinner


In the span of three days I drove down to hang out with the Trail Spinners. Sunday I was invited to give a clinic to their ride leaders and last night I got to give a meager presentation about teaching skills to see what the interest would be from the general membership. Despite my off-the-cuff speech the reception was warm and promising for future clinics with this great group of riders.

The Trail Spinners have a long history and an even longer network of trails that spreads out into many parks such as White Clay, Fair Hill, Middle Run, Brandywine, Judge Morris and the list goes on. These particular parks are so easy to connect it's hard to tell where they begin or end and you need some instinctive animal sense to know when you've crossed into another land managers territory.

If you are a Trail Spinner or want to become one, look for upcoming clinics at one of these great parks. On topic are clinics for Intro to Racing, Cornering, and more advanced racing. It can change topics, but chances are these will happen in the next few weeks!


2/05/2013

Don't let snow stop your ride in the woods.




Of course there is a limit to everything, but until it reaches a certain depth or consistency, riding in snow can leave you with some memories to carry through the entire summer. Maybe you'll even be excited for winter to return!


When it snows the traction can get better in some places but you will definitely have to up your game on riding with the bike sliding around underneath you. This seems contradictory but what you soon realize is that even though you might be sliding around in the corners, it's predictable and consistent. That consistency is key to being comfortable on a new surface. The more you begin to trust what will happen in given situations the more comfortable you can be expanding your comfort range.

How to ride the snow? Stay loose on the bike keeping the elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, and shoulders active. You have to be ready to let the bike choose it's own path sometimes and counter-balance becomes key to survival. Angling the bike underneath you is critical to keeping yourself out of the snow. For a good counter-balance drill go into a field and practice riding slowly around in circles changing directions to transfer weight and the angle of the bike. When I say slow I mean agonizingly slow. This might be best to do on flat pedals or without your mtb shoes so you can put a foot down easily. Try starting to slow down to a stop then pedal away without putting a foot down. Do all of this while staying out of the saddle.

A counter-balance drill that benefits snow riding!
1. Choose a gear in the middle front ring middle rear cog region.
2. Go flat pedals or non clipless shoes if you're afraid of falling over.
3. Choose a place with a small incline.
4. Pedal as slow as you can. I call it the slow game.
4.5. Be sure to do most of this out of the saddle.
5. Counter-balance your weight by angling the bike but keeping your hips above your feet.
6. Practice slowing to a stop, then starting again without putting a foot down. Try pausing at that stop longer and longer while staying balanced.
7. Change directions frequently.
8. Do this with a friend, playing slow follow the leader. Try to trick them into putting a foot down.

This is the philosophy behind doing skills and drills in parks. If we were to try and practice on the trail there are constant variables that effect your attempt to practice that one skill you are trying to dial. In a field we can set up an obstacle and eliminate almost all of the variables so that we can get down to the business of learning the key movements needed to perform certain skills. Consistency is key! The snow is a big variable, but you soon realize it's an equalizer that blankets your trail. Don't be afraid of the snow, ride it and learn new things you'd never have the opportunity to practice over and over again without it.

Why ride in the snow? There are several good reasons to go out when the conditions get weird! For one it's good to change up the routine and introduce our bodies to new problems and experiences. Without having to drive some extra distance the snow changes your regular riding trails into a completely new place. The corners have a different dynamic, snow has filled in some choppier sections and smoothed out those spots that normally suck your wheel into momentum blackholes. I often find myself taking new lines in the snow I would never use on regular dry days. Contrary to surface logic, traction can get better, depending on the snow conditions.

Two factors effect the possibility of riding in the snow on the ground. Depth and consistency. A light fluffy snow that's freshly fallen can be ridden in at depths up to 5 or 6 inches, sometimes more depending on your leg strength and tolerance. That fresh snow will part nicely for your tires as you plow through. As the flakes get bigger and wetter and the depth grows a fun ride can quickly turn into a slog.

On the far end of that consistency range is the deeper snow that has been through a warm day then frozen to form a crust on top that can actually support the weight of you and the bike. This is a rare but magical event you'll never forget. When the snow is like this you'll soon find yourself leaving the trail riding through the woods in places never imagined.

When the snow gets to deep, be happy because it's a good chance to play on the cross country skis. If you're a mountain biker and you haven't given the XC skis a chance you owe it to yourself to try. Imagine having the ability to go places your bike never went because there were no trails? A whole world of exploration awaits!


1/11/2013

Skills Clinics Coming Up

There are three skills clinics coming up. You can contact me directly or through the MeetUp site.


January 12th: Two sessions: Beginner-Intermediate Log Hopping: There are still spots left. 12-2pm and 2:30-4:30pm

January 19th: Cornering I: 12:00-2:00: Philadelphia: This will be the fundamentals of cornering. 

Corners come at you in many different ways. This session will start with the fundamentals of a balanced body position, corner initiating, and slow speed exercises. We'll work up to moderate speed corners by the end of the session.
Cornering is a constantly challenging skill. No matter how good you get, it always feels like there is room for improvement. The best thing you can do is get the foundation established and build on good technique for years to come.
We'll cover:
  • Tight Twisty turns
  • Slow direction changes
  • Ratcheting
  • Switchbacks
  • Front and wheel rear tracking
We will meet at the Belmont Plateau and work in the fields with some trail riding if it is not too wet. This session will be two hours and is limited to 8 riders. The price will be $30 a person.



January 19th: Log Hopping II: Intermediate: 2:30-4:30 We'll cover up and downhill logs, and step-ups with a pedal kick. In Philadelphia. Clinic size is limited to 7 riders $30

Welcome to another TakeAim Cycling Skills clinic on log hopping. This will be good for riders who took last weeks log hopping session or intermediate riders looking for the next step in getting up and over things.
This session will review initiating the front wheel lift through pressure control and move on to the front wheel lift through a modified wheelie/ pedal kick.
Once people start to understand getting over a log on a flat ground the need to move towards getting over logs on uphills and downhills is the next situation we often encounter on the trails.
Do any of these things happen to you when trying to get over logs? You jam your front wheel. Go over the bars. Slam your chainrings or rear wheel. Make it over a log but are no longer in control of the direction you want to be going. Come out and we'll work on the proper techniques that will make your log traveling smoother and more controlled!
Bonus benefits! The skills you learn from good log hopping techniques will translate to other areas of your riding experience! Skip along root sections and controlled technical climbing are just two of them!
We will meet at the Belmont Plateau and work in the fields with some trail riding if it is not too wet. This session will be two hours and is limited to 7 riders. The price will be $30 a person.


1/10/2013

Are you a lead weight.....

....... being dragged along by a bike?

     One of the most magical experiences we should all hope to achieve is that sense of floating on our bike over rough surfaces, especially when pedaling! Think riding cobbles at the Paris Roubaix. This past weekend I had that moment on a long winding cross ride that involved abandoned unused railroad tracks and other chunky terrain.

You might think that railroad tracks, washboard roads and cobbled streets are the worst thing you can imagine spending any amount of time on and you're probably right.

Growing up on a dirt road I remember how over time breaking bumps would form and I discovered that driving over them at different speeds produced unexpected results. At slow speeds it felt like your car was going to be knocked to it's breaking point while at higher speeds it seemed as if the car was floating over some mild rumble strips.

How do you make the bike float over these annoying surfaces that threaten to shake out your fillings? This refers to riding long flat sections where you have to pedal to keep going.

1. Stay loose. Keep your hinges active. Ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists. Sit in your suspension.
2. Stay off the brakes. Use only light skimming to slow down.
3. Look ahead, eyes forward.
4. Keep the front wheel light.*
5. *Let the bars float around in a loose half grip. No tight grips. Allow the upper body to relax.
6. Use a bigger gear. This is not a time to spin 120 cadence. Walk on the pedals. Like taking two steps at a time. Keep your weight in your feet.**
7. **Sit on the seat, but keep the butt ready to float by transferring weight to your pedals.
8. Keep your momentum up and find the rhythm that allows you to float on top and not sink into the square edges.


Here is a great slow motion video of the famous cobbles of Paris Roubaix.
Notice how the arm muscles are loose and flapping. If these guys had a death grip their forearms would be rock solid.
Look at the hands and see if they show signs of being relaxed or are transmitting tension? At 1:12 you can see how relaxed the index fingers of the rider. How many other body clues can you see?


More cool research:
http://perso.ens-lyon.fr/nicolas.taberlet/washboard/

http://extremesportsphysics.blogspot.com/2007/10/moguls-happen.html

Remember to get out there and get loose!






1/03/2013

North Florida Winter Training camp!

This is the first TakeAim Cycling Training camp. Come to the land of my winter training.
Register here.
https://www.bikereg.com/Net/18033

Escape the winter slush and head to North Florida with TakeAim Cycling for a three or four day block of mountain biking to kick off your 2013 season.

Included in Camp Package:
  1. Three or four days of riding. 2-4hrs each ride with guide and instructor Harlan Price. Ride any of the days Thursday-Sunday. You might use Thursday or Sunday as a travel day.
  2. Three nights lodging in a group house. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; http://www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster/cabinsandlodge.cfm
  3. Meals; Thursday (Dinner), Friday/ Saturday (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner), Sunday (Breakfast, Lunch). We will ask for dietary restrictions and every meal will emphasize healthy choices for endurance athletes.
  4. Two sessions of Recovery Yoga for Athletes at Suwannee River Yoga; http://www.suwanneeriveryoga.com/
  5. Skills sessions Friday and Saturday Morning with video analysis.
  6. Evening discussions on various topics related to racing, riding and trail performance.

Goals of the Camp
  1. Provide excellent winter base miles in a learning environment free of distractions.
  2. Improve skills on the trails.
  3. Teach recovery techniques for maximizing multi-day riding efforts to benefit stage races, training blocks, or your next ambitious mountain biking trip.
  4. Practice breathing techniques for a better riding experience.  

 

Why Florida for Mountain Biking?

You might question the idea of mountain biking in Florida, but the lack of elevation means you can work on steady aerobic output while honing mountain bike skills. That style of trail will help you to become a smoother, more efficient rider in any singletrack. Traditional training convention emphasises the importance of riding on the road to meet targeted training zones and to avoid the inconsistency of mountain biking’s terrain that forces you to spike your effort levels.

The unique hand built trails of White Springs kiss the banks of the Suwannee River and wind through the Pine and Oak tree forests draped in the spanish moss of North Florida. The trail surface is a combination of pine needles and oak leaves on top of white river sand. It’s not a sandbox! You won’t be slogging through deep loose sand. Instead you’ll be honing your cornering techniques as you learn body position, braking skills, and the act of being comfortable with choosing lines while letting the wheels slide around underneath you.

The trails are a series of singletrack loops connected by dualtrack, pavement, fireroad and dirt roads. If a rider is lagging behind, it will be easy to allow riders to split up and come back to those on a different pace. We will maximize the trails that are in the area and there will be times when we ride the same trails repeatedly to master a section or a skill. The emphasis will be to stay on the pedals and find a comfortable endurance pace.
We will be staying at the Stephen Foster Folk Center and State Park, located in White Springs Florida. There is one stop light in White Springs which embodies the ideal of a sleepy southern town. Resting on the banks of the Suwannee River this quite village used to be a bustling tourist destination at the turn of the century. Five large hotels hosted the guests who were searching for the healing waters of the natural springs that bubble up from the Florida Aquifer. Besides mountain biking, Hamilton County offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, canoeing, and spring hopping. 



View Larger Map 

What Skill level can show up to the camp?

Ideally the best candidates for this camp would be a group of riders who know each other and have similar skill levels. Otherwise this camp will be best for Cat 1 (expert) or good Cat 2 (Sport) riders. These rides are going to be steady not fast, but a rider needs to be in good physical shape to ride four hours non-stop.  Of course we will pause for mechanicals, emergencies, eating, and taking in a view or two. The entry is capped at five to keep the skill variance to a minimum. No rider will be left behind. If someone chooses to go back early or there is an emergency there will be maps and an emergency action plan. At no time will we be so far away from home base that it will be difficult to get home.

Lodging

The Cabins at the Stephen Foster Folk Center and State Park are more like full houses with all the amenities one could ask for. The maximum number of guests in each cabin is set at 6 by the park. I have limited the camp to five so we will be under capacity but space will still be cozy. There are two bedrooms. One has a queen bed and the other has bunk beds. The living room has two fold out couches that are very comfortable. Whoever gets the couches will get a $50 discount on their camp fee. If you need to have a single bed and you want to reserve it there will be an option to pay an extra $50.

The Cabin has a beautiful wrap around porch, has an outside, as well as indoor shower, and is within the park. Read more about it here. 

Recovery Yoga for Athletes
For two evenings we will be going just down the street to the Suwannee River Yoga studios to practice a style of yoga developed to enhance recovery from exercise while improving performance on the bike. TakeAim Cycling has been working to create a yoga practice that will help athletes in three different ways.
  1. Promote quicker recovery through relaxation techniques.
  2. Increase breathing awareness to benefit athletes trying to stay calm and efficient while at hard efforts on the bike.
  3. Increase body awareness to isolate and eliminate tension on the bike. 

Schedule
Thursday: A travel day with an optional ride.
  • 1:00pm:         Pickup from Jacksonville airport. (Roundtrip pickup has an additional $75 fee)
  • 2:30-4:30pm: Introductions and ride for 2 hours
  • 7:00pm:         Dinner and discussion

Friday:
  • 8am Breakfast
  • 9:30-11:30am:         Skills Clinic
  • 12pm:                      Lunch
  • 1-5pm:                 Ride!
  • 5-6:30pm:                Relax and eat
  • 6:30-7:45pm:           Recovery Yoga
  • Evening: Eat more, discussions about racing and riding.

Saturday:
  • 8am Breakfast
  • 9:30-11:30am:   Skills Clinic
  • 11:30am:            Lunch
  • 12-3:30pm:         Ride!
  • 4-5pm:                Relax, recovery drink, snacking
  • 5-6:15pm:           Recovery Yoga
  • 7:30pm               Dinner
  • Evening: Eat more, discussions about racing and riding.

Sunday: A travel day with an optional ride.
  • 7am:                Breakfast
  • 8-10am: Ride
  • 11am:              Checkout: There will be time to shower and clean up.
  • 12pm: Leave for airport: Arrival time at Airport should be 1:30

Fee: 
$375 a person
$1500 if you reserve the whole camp for your group.

Airport Pickup/Dropoff: $75 additional fee for roundtrip.

Pick up from Jacksonville Airport on Thursday: 1pm
Return to airport on Sunday: 1:30pm
We would prefer that you find your own way to and from the training camp but if you are coming from far enough away to warrant a flight we will be making one trip to the Jacksonville airport on Thursday and one on Sunday. We will be able to pick up and drop off an unlimited number of riders. Depending on when you arrive you might be sitting at the airport for a brief amount of time. Schedule accordingly. If the situation arises, we can alter the pickup to be earlier and the drop off to be later.

About Harlan Price

I am a North Florida native who began racing mountain bikes professionally after graduating from the University of Florida and moving to Pennsylvania. Specializing primarily in endurance racing I would often return to my warm southern roots for winter training and racing. I've always emphasized a deliberate training plan to get to the highest levels of the racing ranks. Highlights of my career included two endurance national championship titles and a spot on Team USA at the 2009 Marathon World Championships. I've always loved racing 100 milers and stage races but in recent years I have been exploring the world of Enduro racing. I've written for Dirt Rag Magazine, Bicycling and Bike Mag. Since 2006 I've been working with athletes through training camps, training plans, and skills clinics. Currently I concentrate solely on camps and skills training. I love giving people tools that get stronger the more they use them. Understanding good training techniques, and the foundations of mountain bike skills will benefit riders for years to come.  Learn more about me and my company TakeAim Cycling.