LandCruiser wrote:Beginner Clinic & Skills Clinic FAQs
Go to the DORBA Meetup.com website to find out about upcoming clinics: http://www.meetup.com/DORBAorg/
There are 3 kinds of Clinics here in North Texas....
-DORBA Beginner Clinics
-Other Clinics (put on by bike shops, the annual Womens Camp, FWMBA, bike manufacturers etc)
My name is Chris Mann (I used to have the handle "chainsaw") and I have been in charge of the Beginner Clinics for over 10 years, and I created the Skills Clinics about the same time. I retired from creating, organizing and teaching the Skills Clinic series on my 100the Skills Clinic in March of 2014. I hope someone picks up where I left off.
Beginner Clinics FAQs (frequently asked questions)
Who are the Beginner Clinics intended for?
The Beginner Clinic is recommended for riders new to the sport. If you have never ridden a Mountain Bike before or have just started out riding, then this is for you. Currently, I am leaving the minimum age up to the parent. The parent must be with his child and responsible for the happiness, safety, and well being of his or her child. Children will not be allowed to hold back or distract the clinic. They are not given preferential treatment, unless it is a special kids clinic. But well behaved children are very very welcome.
What are the requirements?
You do not need to be a member of any club. You do not need to RSVP. You do not need to pay anything. You are required to sign a liability waiver, and to wear a bicycle helmet in good condition.
What is covered in the clinic?
Beginner Clinics will consist of basic instruction including bike setup, safety, trail etiquette, bike handling skills such as climbing, descending, cornering, obstacles, etc. There will be a ride after the instructional portion of the clinic.
When are the Beginner Clinics?
Beginner Clinics are held either the 2nd Saturday or the 2nd Sunday of each month. In the summer, they start early to avoid the heat. In the winter, they start later, to avoid the cold. This clinic is dependent upon good weather and trail conditions. If a clinic is cancelled because of rain or muddy trail conditions, we will attempt to hold a make up clinic, the following weekend. If we can not, then it will postpones til the 2nd weekend of the following month.
Where are the clinics held?
Clinics are held at the easier trails in the DORBA system…. River Legacy in Arlington, LB Houston in Dallas/Las Colinas, Horseshoe in Grapevine, Rowlett Creek Preserve in Rowlett, and rarely, at Harry Moss in Dallas, Arbor Hills in Dallas, and Boulder in Dallas, and Gateway Park in Fort Worth.
Skills Clinics info:
Mountain biking is, essentially, learning how to overcome obstacles like dips, fallen trees, rock gardens, climbs, steep descents, roots, ledges, low branches, tight turns, switchbacks, mudholes, log piles, sand, water crossings, switchbacks, and so on. And on another level, it is also about learning how to overcome the obstacles in your head: the inner obstacles called fear and intimidation.
These clinics are designed for two kinds of riders:
1. riders who have taken the beginner clinic, or equivalent, who are still new to trail riding, have ridden trails at least half a dozen times (preferably more), but are somewhat athletic, ambitious and eager to learn how to handle more obstacles.
2. people who have been riding for years and are very fit and quite experienced, but still can't seem to get past specific obstacles, or types of obstacles, on our local trails. They have developed a mental block with certain obstacles because they fell attempting them in the past.
How many times have you failed to clear a log pile... or a notorious obstacle like Glen's Wall, because:
a. you never attempt it and always walked your bike
b. you attempted it but failed because you held something back or had poor technique
All it takes to clear an obstacle on the trail are 3 things:
a. some knowledge about technique
b. a lot of repetition, allowing you to learn from your mistakes, adjust, and try again. and...... a 3rd thing to make it even easier to overcome the mental obstacle to overcoming the physical obstacles:
c. group support
the group support from fellow attendees (and other volunteers) not only offers moral encouragement, but just as important, your classmates and volunteers will be standing on the side of these obstacles offering physical support by reaching out to grab you should you start to lose it just before the crest of a dip, for example. The group will be your safety net and your cheering section.
I used to fail at obstacles like "No Brakes" and "Glen's Wall". So after a while, I wouldn't even try them any more. I resigned myself to never being able to conquer them. Then someone suggested a gearing or handling technique, and I went out there and did that obstacle over and over till I could clear them 4 times out of 5. It is a GREAT feeling to beat into submission an obstacle that has been intimidating you for a long time!
"Caution: This clinic will be geared towards a more experienced rider with more advanced skills. Mountain biking is an inherently dangerous sport. Please consider this carefully before attending."
What are the requirements for attending a Skills Clinic?
1. You must be at least 12 years old to attend. If you are under 18, you need to be accompanied by a parent.
2. You need to sign a liability waiver
3. You must wear a bicycle helmet in good condition when you are on a bike.
4. At some clinics you need to RSVP and be a DORBA and FWMBA member, but not at most skills Clinics. This is a different requirement than the Beginner Clinics. This is because some clinics tend to attract too many people.
When are these clinics held?
I try to have one clinic per month, but it is very difficult to keep that pace up in the winter, because of the weather and trail conditions. So there are usually more clinics in the summer than the winter. The most difficult part of organizing these clinics is dealing with postponements.
As with the Beginner Clinics, the Skills Clinics will be postponed or cancelled due to inclement weather, or muddy trail conditions. Don't ask if they are still going to be held. I will let you know if they are going to be cancelled. As long as you don't see that they have been cancelled, then yes, they are still planned to happen.
I try to have half of these clinics on Saturday, and half of them on Sunday.
Download a copy of the required DORBA Event Waiver here, fill it out and bring it to the clinic. Saves time! Just click this link to download it: http://files.meetup.com/3841722/NEW-WAIVER.pdf
These clinics can not happen, unless I get:
a. volunteers to assist me and the other Skills Instructors when we have a clinic. We need people to help control traffic on the trail, to help teach one on one, and to demonstrate how the skill is done while the instructor points out what the demonstrator is doing.
b. I am always looking for people who want to be Skills Clinics Instructors. I am not capable of teaching most of them. I am just not good enough, and, I don't have the time to teach all of them. If you would like to teach a clinic, please let me know by emailing me at mannphotoATmeDOTcom
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