The Value of a Riding School or a Riding Clinic

Recently we had one of the most talented trials and enduro rider, Tim Coleman, teaching us various techniques and sharing his tricks.

Although being relatively young in his earth years he is a sage in the world of trials and enduro boasting an impressive 15+ years of experience. And he doesn't stop at that. He still actively participates in trials competitions and enduro races around the world and constantly refines his art of two wheeling in the most gnarly and technical terrains one can possibly ride in.

Tapping into that goldmine of practical knowledge and sharp skills Tim developed over his riding career is priceless! While most of us, weekend racers and hobby riders, would love to acquire such amazing offroad skills as well, we are faced with the common reality of going to work, paying bills, raising kids and taking care of our families in general. So how can we possibly grow our offroad riding talent and learn new techniques?

Enter a riding school or a riding clinic!

While a riding school may not be your silver bullet that will turn you into a top dirt bike rider overnight it will save you a lot of time and energy in improving your offroad riding and developing new skills. Watching top enduro riders demonstrating various techniques is one of the key ingredients of a riding clinic. Seeing it on a TV or on YouTube is one thing, but actually being there to see Tim Coleman breaking down the sump technique or the angled log hop is a vastly different experience. If you are passionate about offroad riding and eager to learn from the top rider as much as you can then seeing him perform will have a lasting imprint in your mind which you can always "replay" at later times to boost your confidence and recall how it is done. No video or textual how-to will ever be able to substitute your own personal eyewitness account of the top rider demonstration.

But attending a riding clinic is not only about recording in your mind how the top dogs do it. If this riding clinic is being taught by a person who is as passionate about riding as much as he is generous in sharing his knowledge and skills then what you get is the highest possible value out of your studentship. If your teacher spends time with you, helps you do the technique the right way, points out your mistakes and gives you tips on how to improve – your learning experience will be a lot shorter and more enjoyable. When you have that feeling "that you are getting it", the smile on your face and the joy in your heart will be hard to hide!
So this is the real value of any riding clinic: saving time, learning to do it the right way in a shorter time period and having a great teacher by your side to help you grow.

Below are just two examples on how Tim Coleman helped his students improve their skills during Freeriding with Tim Coleman schools.

Angle Lop Hop Tip

By Jak & Tim

After watching many videos of top riders jump over log at a sharp angle and spending hours practicing it, we obtained a basic idea on how to do it. Some of us were doing it great while others not so good, but most of us understood the steps: make the front wheel go over the log first, then help to unload the rear wheel by moving your body forward when the front wheel passed the log. And it was fine and all until we met a really slippery log or when it rained. And that's when just a small tip from Tim Coleman saved us so much frustration and time!

His comment, although being a common sense tip, was to shut off the throttle right before the rear wheel touched the log to avoid a rear wheel spin that some of us were getting. And boom! All of a sudden students that struggled with that wide rear wheel slide cleared that log like it was nothing! Some students couldn't believe how the simple tip to shut off that throttle right before the rear wheel went over the log would produce such a significant improvement and they kept on performing the exercise until it became the second nature to them.

Of course, Tim provided a lot more individual feedback during clearing of that angled log for each student. Some students were going too fast, while others were going to slow. Some students gave too much throttle to lift the front wheel, while others were struggling with unloading the rear wheel. He helped all of us by working with each student to find that right balance of throttle, timing, speed and a level of confidence needed for the successful execution of the exercise.

The Sump Technique

By Hawk & Tessa

Some students that were attending one of Freeriding with Tim Coleman classes had quite a long experience of jumping logs. However, most of these students were at loss on the safest technique to be used when crossing relatively large super slippery logs in the muddy and raining conditions. They have heard of the double-blip technique, the rolling-over-the-log technique and "just-throttle-your-way-out-of-the-any-situation" method, but all these approaches seemed to be useless in muddy and raining conditions. Besides it was unsafe and unwise to try them when even a little pull on the throttle produced an immediate rear wheel spin. What was the right way in the given context?

That's when students learned the sump technique or the skid-plate technique. Although it sounded simple, students struggled with it. So Tim broke it down into several “building blocks” and helped his students to master them first. The first building block was to roll to the log slow, lift the front wheel enough to help it touch the log and roll over it slowly until the bike would stop and rest on its skid-plate. The second step was composed of rocking motion (rock-on, and rock-off) while standing on footpegs and the skid plate (sump) used a pivot to put the bike in a position where the front wheel would touch the ground (or would be close to it) and the rear wheel would touch the log. Finally, the third step was moving your body all the way back and slowly releasing the clutch and giving a little throttle to get the rear wheel a bit of traction and to help the bike clear the log.

After 30 minutes of practicing these building blocks most students were able to perform the technique almost like Tim showed to them. Their eyes radiated with unbelievable levels of joy and their smiles brightened the soggy training day like sun rays piercing throught rainy clouds!

And these are just two of so many examples on how a riding school with a great offroad coach can give you so much value in such a short time!

Would you like to learn from Tim Coleman? Then come to any of our three schools coming September 2016 to Mt. Motorcycles @ Rock Camp, WV.

This article is written by Hawk of Poisk Adventures.

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