Tag Archives — skills

Learn How to Hop Cyclocross Barriers! (VIDEO)

I am very excited for this polished video highlighting 5 steps to learn to bunny hop over Cyclocross Barriers. I also share the key training tool you can use to learn to flow over things (and eventually jump, unweight and bunny-hop too!)

Want More?

Don’t forget to refine your Dismount and Mount Skills as those skills are still imperative for Cyclocross = Check out previous free videos here or take the intensive Cyclocross Mounts & Dismounts Course from RLC HERE


Let me know what you think and if you are having trouble feel free to reach out via the contact form -OR- check out the Bike Skills Sessions page 

Cyclocross Mounts & Dismounts Course Goes Live Thursday Sept 6th 2018

I am so excited for the launch of the ‘Cyclocross Mounts and Dismounts course’. It consolidates many of the drills I use to help clients learn to get on and off their bikes for cyclocross, mountain biking and other disciplines. It is also meant to help overcome bad habits and compensations that might be slowing you down after years of racing cyclocross.

Learning to Dismount and then Get back on your bike smoothly, is something that changes cycling profoundly. Mounts and Dismounts are essential skills that I believe transfers to many other areas of riding, such as cornering and wheel lifts.

Check out the Preview video below and Click Here to sign up for notifications of its release and to get more information

3 Drills to Improve Balance on the Bike

This post will provide you with 3 drills to improve your cycling skills and balance. While they are not presented in the order I would always use and certainly a step (or three) beyond what a beginner may be comfortable doing they do provide you with some ideas and variations to scale back from, work towards or challenge yourself with today!


Covered today
1) The Outrigger – Putting a Foot Out for balance and to ‘dab’ versus falling over or putting out your arm
2) Ratcheting – use a partial pedal stroke and move your body around while STANDING
3) The bump and run – a fun challenge that progresses your ratchets and moves you towards the track stand

Let me know what you think of these 3 drills!

Learn to Log Hop – Three Drills to Try


This is a video with three drills to try that I find help riders break through plateaus in their progression towards Log Hops, Bunny Hops, and Jumping.

The Three Drills include:

  • An off-bike drill that helps you feel what it is like to push into the handlebar and front wheel
  • A manual practice focused on moving your hips down then back in an L shape
  • A front wheel ‘tap’ drill that is functional for getting over logs but takes the first off-bike drill and applies the concept of pushing into the bars into this ‘level 4’

For a progression of the 5 stages of log Hopping check out my video that Canadian Cycling Magazine produced HERE


Cyclocross Burnout


Cyclocross is Hard – Racing twice a weekend and Cleaning it all up is REALLY HARD


As cyclocross season (or what we used to call Fall) starts looking more like winter in many areas it is normal to start feeling your energy for cycling decrease. Where is all the #CXISCOMING? And who stole those fresh September legs!

Regardless of where you live and how you built or failed to build your fitness for cyclocross season, it is a bold goal to take on 1, or 2  (or more!) races for 1, or 2 (or more!) months. Most of us come out of a mountain or road season and neglect to take a mid-season break or rebuild our endurance. We jump into one or two (or more) cross practices (which are races) a week plus the early season races to test our legs, get the intensity and those coveted early points.

The problem is we get tired from the repeated back to back weekends of racing.  We miss our weekend fun rides, our endurance decreases, and the weather starts requiring more work to get motivated and prepared for. 1 or 2 (or more!) bikes need to be prepped before each race and repaired after each race. Then work comes Monday. This is tiring just to type!

Are you just racing too much? Re-Focus on The Goal


If your goal was to race until a certain race then that may still be possible. Take a week off hard efforts. That includes cross-practice, zwift, weekly races, and group rides. Go to bed early and do only easy workouts all week. If you have to race on the weekend consider doing only one of the days. If you can get a weekend off. Stay home and get a hard workout in focused on your limiters but not so hard that you are very fatigued. Finish knowing you could do another. The other day should be a longer (whatever that means for you) workout perhaps 90-180min as a rough range. This should make next week and next races go much better. If there is no obvious reason to race twice weekly (including weekly races) than stop doing that and focus on the key races remaining on your calendar.

Getting your indoor training environment setup to make workouts quick and get to sleep earlier will help with short days. Many athletes forget that they can ride indoors and outdoors and don’t put the preparation work in to make sure they have options. Riding outdoors all fall means a lot of cleanups and, eventually, a loss in quality if the weather is always cold and rainy.

Keep focused on recovering from the weekends, perhaps add an extra day easy and reduce intensity days to one mid-week workout plus the racing on the weekend. Skill workouts, especially if limited by your mounts/dismounts or cornering can still be done but, again, watch adding too much intensity. Mud/rain preparation is valuable BUT don’t overdo it, especially after you have done a few of these workouts and races.

Are you racing without a goal?

If you did not have a big goal race or end date for the season then this may be part of why you are feeling slightly off/tired/sad/unmotivated.

How would you feel if you ended the season now?

What are the positives of doing this?

Are there any downsides?

Why race yourself into deep fatigue and low motivation for no reason?

When You do call the season make sure you give yourself a break

Take a week, or two off (or more in some cases). Ease back into some fun rides (as weather permits) and ease into your strength and cross-training. Consider getting blood tests and some testing/assessment for your bike fitness and movement quality. 

As a busy, working person you likely don’t need an extended offseason but simply going back to light and varied workouts without racing, competition and travel will have you feeling better and provide for mental recovery quickly.

Start looking towards NEXT YEAR and planning training for that big goal. I have a few more posts on covering ‘When to start training for your big goal’  and this one on Setting Big Crazy Goals to Motivate Fun Training . You may also like to consider picking goals/races based on the training you want to do and things you will enjoy, which I cover in this post on ‘Can You Prepare for the Goal You have Set? 


How has your season Gone? Book a phone consult to tell me about it!

3 Common Mountain Bike Mistakes That Steal Your Speed

3 Places I see clients loosing ‘free’ speed are found below.

Too often I get to see clients too late. At the race site in the days before the race is a tough time to make change in your trained movements (good or bad).

Our skills are very much connected to our end performance but it is ‘easy’ to over-look how much a daily focus on skills can change our performance, enjoyment and safety on bike.

These are 3 of the most common areas I see clients loosing speed and efficiency on trail.

peter vertical on hardwood rock by ivan rupes

A crazy photo but demonstrating that as the hill gets steeper we need to shift forward to stay upright and powerful

1) Hills are Hard

              -> Does Client understand (and use) shifting to optimize cadence and carry speed?

              -> Standing up balanced and powerfully ? (need to do this in training to do it in races)

              ->  shift forward on the saddle. Often riders will have seat slammed back and sit on back of saddle. As hill gets steeper shift your butt forward to stay upright – train to avoid ‘boobs to the bar’

2) Frequent Flats, Wheels busted, trouble in bumpy-tech sections

              -> Work on front wheel/ rear wheel lift (related videos) – Start today w. a stick on ground and on curbs

              -> Work on pump track / not pedaling in sections that have whoops and berms to practice generating speed without pedaling *in practice … keep pedaling in races!

              -> Ensure maintain centered position on bike (attack position) when ‘pumping’ terrain and on downhills (rarely need to be BEHIND saddle)

              -> How to fix flats and setup Tubeless 

3) Stopping pedaling when terrain flattens

               -> Most people loose time at the top of climbs where we can still pedal but the terrain does not ‘force’ us to. Power drops, speed stays SLOW. We need ‘spin out the gear’ to get back up to speed.

               -> use those ‘spinups’ and high-cadence drills from the trainer and road to motivate your MTB performance. Get back up to speed at top of climbs before taking rest

               -> use downhills to recover and pedal hard when you can pedal. Practice this on road and mtb by keeping steady power on ups, downs and flats

Feel free to reply with Questions or ideas !  Or comment on facebook!