Smithers McBike held their annual men’s clinic last weekend to help riders advance to the next level of downhill mountain biking.
“It was fantastic,” Greg Tamblyn said.
“I picked up four or five tips that are really going to improve my riding. It’s great we have all these exceptional riders here in the valley to learn from.”
Now that trails are fully accessible, more and more riders are cutting berms and dropping off jumps and McBike thought it was a good time for less experienced riders to brush up on their skills.
“We wanted to put on a men’s clinic just to help people get over the hump to feel comfortable doing some of the stuff out there,” McBike owner, Peter Krause said.
“We had a coach there to help them along and work on a lot of the basic skills.”
On Saturday McBike hosted the clinic with 10 riders taking part. They learned everything from balance and cornering, to taking drops and general safety tips to ensure everyone feels comfortable on the hill.
The clinic also invited one of the best riders in the valley, Wayne Goss, to help coach and pass on his expert knowledge.
However, the key to success down hilling is to just ride. The secret to getting better and feeling more confident down the trail, Krause said, is to get on the bike and feel as one. Arms bent and the upper body loose is part of the key to success when barreling down trails.
“It’s good to have peer riders, guys or girls that are better riders than you so that you have something to strive for but also to remain safe, only doing big stuff once they feel comfortable,” Krause said.
Over the past two years, with the creation of the Smithers Mountain Bike Association, many trails on Hudson Bay Mountain have been revitalized.
Now those trails are some of the best kept secrets in northwestern B.C.
Still, for many, riding can be a bit of a daunting experience, especially if you’ve never set foot on a mountain bike trail before. What McBike tries to do is set up the rider with the best possible skills and equipment to hit the trails, to become familiar with the area and what it has to offer. A key part, not only to the business aspect, Krause said, but for the growth of the sport.
“There’s sort of a motto out there in the bike business, ‘trails to sales,’” Krause explained.
“If you don’t have places for people to ride you’re going to have a hard time selling bikes.”
“So you need to provide places to ride but also giving them access to bikes and coaching them along.”
McBike hosts the 27th Annual Tour de Smithers Fathers Day weekend, June 17. September 9, McBike hosts the McBike Down Hill Race on Huckin’ Eh as well as continuing the Thursday night shuttle picking up riders at 6:30 p.m. in front of McBike. It’s free so come one, come all. If you need a bike or other gear, call ahead to make arrangements at 250-847-5009.