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Ninja Mountain Bike Performance - Skills Clinics, MTB Jump Ramps and Bike Stands

By Kristen Gross

(the original post can be found at KristenGross.com so that the intro lines)

Please join us in welcoming a guest author to the blog! If you ride in North County San Diego, you have probably met Dee Folse–he is one of the friendliest, warmest (and coolest!) riders we’ve met, so when he asked us to help him help a friend, we were all about it.

Dee’s friend would like to remain anonymous, which I think is appropriate. Because given the topic we’re about to discuss, Dee’s friend could literally be any of us. 

This friend was recently dealt a crummy hand: an encounter with a tiny bug while out mountain biking in North County has turned the last 15 months into a living hell. Only recently—after almost a year of wondering if it was MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dementia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crazy, You Name It—were doctors able to help Dee’s friend understand what had happened.

Now, they are able to get the treatment needed to stave off the intense fatigue, clear their head and eyesight, and be able to pursue a normal-ish life where you can make plans like going out to ride your bike…or even go to work. Chronic Lyme Disease, delivered by the bite of an infected tick, is on the rise, and anyone who plays outside is at risk. 

The worst part is that getting treatment is far from cut and dry. In fact, the reason Dee’s friend has asked to remain anonymous is because until the CDC properly recognizes Chronic Lyme Disease, there is technically not an approved protocol for treatment. As I understand it, that means doctors who take care of you through this debilitating disease are at risk of professional repercussions.

Warning-over-lyme-disease-threat-as-plague-of-ticks-expected-to-swarm-into-Britain-this-summer

As an example, if you went to the doctor with strep throat, and your doctor prescribed chemotherapy to treat it, that is obviously against the protocol for strep throat, and that doctor could be reprimanded—even lose their license. With no approved protocol, or even the acknowledgement of Chronic Lyme Disease, any treatment of Chronic Lyme Disease or its symptoms with antibiotics or other therapies is against protocol. To add insult to injury, insurance companies are likely to deny the funding of these treatments. Thus, there is only a shadowy path available for those who need help to get out the other side. Please take the time to read Dee’s post below, and help us spread the word so we don’t have to watch any more of our friends get sick:

By Dee Folse: In the last 15 months I have come to know more about Lyme disease then I ever wanted to know. What I can definitively say is, tick-borne diseases are on an incredible rise. The CDC reports that in 2013, there were 30,000 cases reported. In 2014 the number of tick-borne illnesses including Lyme disease, has exploded to 300,000 cases.

I’ve also discovered that this is not a disease that is limited to certain corners of the United States. In fact, it is spreading down the eastern seaboard, across the Gulf and straight up the west coast through California, Oregon, Washington, and parts of Canada.

Despite the alarming increase in tick-borne illness, discovering a tick on you is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you suspect it has been there for longer than six hours, and it has attached or become engorged, that’s where there is a potential problem.

If you find an attached tick, the first thing to do is take a picture of it, and save it if possible. Second, Google “tick removal,” and become familiar with the many options there are to choose from.

Within the next three-to-six weeks, if you start to experience symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, cognitive failure, blurred vision, fever, chills, and/or muscle aches, see an immunologist immediately. An immunologist will be able to take the proper blood test and do a proper analysis to find out if in fact you’re carrying a tick-borne bacteria. This doctor should be a “Lyme Literate Doctor.” I know several—I can help.

It’s also important to know there is a difference between Acute Lyme Disease and Chronic Lyme Disease. Chronic Lyme Disease is the one that can easily be misunderstood. It can hide for years, then present when the body is stressed. Oftentimes pregnancy, divorce, death or stress can allow Chronic Lyme to take hold.

In my community, we live in the outdoors, hike on the trails and ride bikes. Lyme disease is out there, and it’s a very serious thing. We’re becoming more aware, but there is still a long way for us to go to catch up to the growing number of cases. I urge you to learn more by reading about it online, joining Facebook groups devoted to Lyme disease awareness and support, or you can call me and I can direct you to some videos, and some suggestions for Lyme Literate Doctors.

Even if you don’t remember being bit by a tick, or you never experience the famous “bulls-eye” rash, if something feels off, and you’re having those symptoms, pay attention to your body and seek out an immunologist. Trust yourself, and push on even if your doctor says, “You look great there’s nothing wrong with you;” or “If there is something wrong with you, it’s out of my area of expertise;” or my personal favorite: “Try to exercise more and eat right.”

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime; I would hate to see anyone go through what my friend has gone through.

I’m certainly not trying to spread panic—just awareness. I’m here to help.

-Dee [email protected]

howtoremoveatick

More on Lyme Disease and Ticks: 

http://pontiactribune.com/chronic-lyme-disease-new-era-ignorance/

http://www.bicycling.com/training/health-injuries/could-you-have-lyme-disease-and-not-even-know-it

http://www.bicycling.com/training/health-tips/keep-ticks-away-these-tips

http://www.outsideonline.com/1915071/rise-tick


 

About The Author: Kris Gross is a freelance writer, contributor to MTBR and TGR, and Pro-Cat Canuck in Cali. You may see me out training, racing and volunteering with Team Ninja or coaching with Ninja Mountain Bike Skills. Thank you for reading!

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Fundamentals Trail Application - Women's Only

Here’s What We’ll Cover

The specific skills taught in this clinic will depend on available trail features and will vary between locations. Skills covered may include:

  • Rock / Log Step-Ups 
  • Pedal Assisted Front Wheel Lifts
  • Steep Transitions, Roll-Downs
  • Reading trail and line choice
  • Using trail features for maximum flow
  • Turning (Low Speed)
  • Navigating Trail Obstacles
  • Switchbacks – Optimal Line Choice
  • Ratcheting application – how & when 
  • Track stands
  • Braking for Speed 
  • Shifting – Timing + Technique on Technical Terrain
  • Skinnies
  • Off-Camber Trails 
  • Berms 
  • Water crossings 
  • Roots 

The Schedule*

  • 1:15-1:30pm Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 1:30 – 1:45pm Fundamentals Skills | Rapid Review 
  • 1:45 – 3:45pm Coached Trail Ride | Sessioning & Skills Application
  • 3:45-4:00pm Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

Fundamentals Trail Application

Here’s What We’ll Cover

The specific skills taught in this clinic will depend on available trail features and will vary between locations. Skills covered may include:

  • Rock / Log Step-Ups 
  • Pedal Assisted Front Wheel Lifts
  • Steep Transitions, Roll-Downs
  • Reading trail and line choice
  • Using trail features for maximum flow
  • Turning (Low Speed)
  • Navigating Trail Obstacles
  • Switchbacks – Optimal Line Choice
  • Ratcheting application – how & when 
  • Track stands
  • Braking for Speed 
  • Shifting – Timing + Technique on Technical Terrain
  • Skinnies
  • Off-Camber Trails 
  • Berms 
  • Water crossings 
  • Roots 

The Schedule*

  • 1:15-1:30pm Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 1:30 – 1:45pm Fundamentals Skills | Rapid Review 
  • 1:45 – 3:45pm Coached Trail Ride | Sessioning & Skills Application
  • 3:45-4:00pm Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

Ninja Kids clinics

Here’s What We’ll Cover

Some of the skills taught and practiced in the Kids Fundamentals Clinic may include:

  • Ninja (Ready) Position
  • The Riding Rainbow: Body Position
  • How to use your gears
  • Front + Rear Wheel Lifts
  • Safely getting on/off your bike
  • Getting over trail obstacles
  • Turning + Switchbacks
  • Reading the trail: Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light
  • When and how to brake
  • The 4 Climbing Positions
  • Descending in control
  • How to have fun and be safe!
  • Safety check, bike care

Clinic schedule, time and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

2-Day CAMPS

Sample Camp Schedule*

Day 1 (Saturday)

  • 8:45-9:00 Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 9:00-9:15 Let’s get started | Introductions, camp overview, bike safety check, bike set-up review
  • 9:15-9:30 Warm-up ride | Head to skills area
  • 9:30-12:15 Mornings skills session | Ready position, bike-body separation, effective braking, fluid shifting, body positioning, wheel lifts
  • 12:15-1:30 Lunch break | BYO
  • 1:30 – 4:00 Intro to jumping | Manuals, bunny hops + how to safely jumping (and land) your mountain bike

Day 2 (Sunday)

  • 8:45-9:00 Meet at trailhead | Gear up for day 2!
  • 9:00-9:15 Review | Brief review of Day 1 skills
  • 9:15-12:00 Morning skills session | High-speed cornering, switchbacks, drops, rock dodge, technical climbing & descending
  • 12:00-1:00  Lunch break | BYO
  • 1:00-3:45 Trail ride + skills application | Put those skills to work!
  • 3:45-4:00 Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

 

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

After camp, you will see an immediate improvement in your riding and a boost in confidence on technical trails. You will be able to tackle rougher terrain and corners with greater control and flow through singletrack, switchbacks, and berms with more speed and efficiency.

Jumping Mini-Clinics

Here’s What We’ll Cover

Some of the skills taught and practiced in the Jumping Mini-Clinic may include:

  • Wheel lift Review
  • Bunny hops
  • Jumping body positioning
  • Anatomy of a jump
  • Speed vs. compression | How and when?
  • Landing with precision
  • Let’s get jumping! | Jump progressions

The Schedule*

Please note, clinics may vary according to location and terrain.

  • 1:30-1:45  Meet your instructor | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 1:45-2:00 Let’s get started | Introductions
  • 2:00 – 2:30  Intro to jumping | Wheel lifts, manual, bunny hop
  • 2:30 – 3:00 Reading the jump | Anatomy of a jump, speed vs compression, landings
  • 3:00 – 3:45 Let’s jump! | Jumping progressions on table tops
  • 3:45-4:00 Review and next steps | #ridelikeaninja

 

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

Intermediate / advanced clincs

Here’s What We’ll Cover

Some of the skills taught and practiced in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic may include:

  • Negotiating trail obstacles (i.e. rock gardens, roots, logs)
  • Steep transitions
  • Drops
  • High speed cornering
  • Technical climbing
  • Technical descending
  • Advanced braking
  • Reading the trail
  • Introduction to energy management & flow
  • Pumping for speed & air
  • Technical Switchbacks (where available)
  • Ratcheting & Trackstands
  • Visualization

The Schedule*

  • 8:45-9:00 Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 9:00-9:15 Let’s get started | Introductions
  • 9:15-9:45 Accelerated review of Fundamentals | With intermediate+advanced progressions
  • 9:45-12:00 Morning skills session | High-speed cornering, Switchbacks, drops, rock dodge, technical climbing & descending
  • 12:00-1:00  Lunch break | BYO
  • 1:00-3:45 Trail ride + skills application | Put those skills to work!
  • 3:45-4:00 Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

WOMEN'S ONLY Fundamentals Combo

Here’s What We’ll Cover

The specific skills taught in this clinic will depend on available trail features and will vary between locations. Skills covered may include:

  • The Ready Position
  • Bike/Body Separation
  • Intro to Steep Transitions
  • Effective Braking
  • Braking for speed
  • Wheels lifts – Step-Ups
  • Shifting, Timing & Cadence
  • Negotiating trail obstacles
  • Turning / Switchbacks
  • Climbing + Descending
  • Dismounting
  • Mind skills
  • Steep Transitions, Roll-Downs
  • Reading trail and line choice
  • Using trail features for flow
  • Turning (Low Speed)
  • Ratcheting – how & when 
  • Track stands
  • Skinnies
  • Off-Camber Trails
  • Berms
  • Water crossings
  • Roots

The Schedule*

  • 8:45-9:00  Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 9:00-9:15 Let’s get started | Introductions
  • 9:15am – 11:15 Skills & drills | Learn, learn, learn
  • 11:15am – 12:15 Take it to the trail | Apply what you’ve learned
  • 12:15 – 1:30pm Lunch Break | Rest & Refuel
  • 1:30 – 1:45pm Fundamentals Skills | Rapid Review 
  • 1:45 – 3:45pm Coached Trail Ride | Sessioning & Skills Application
  • 3:45-4:00pm Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

Co-ed Fundamentals Combo

Here’s What We’ll Cover

The specific skills taught in this clinic will depend on available trail features and will vary between locations. Skills covered may include:

  • The Ready Position
  • Bike/Body Separation
  • Intro to Steep Transitions
  • Effective Braking
  • Braking for speed
  • Wheels lifts – Step-Ups
  • Shifting, Timing & Cadence
  • Negotiating trail obstacles
  • Turning / Switchbacks
  • Climbing + Descending
  • Dismounting
  • Mind skills
  • Steep Transitions, Roll-Downs
  • Reading trail and line choice
  • Using trail features for flow
  • Turning (Low Speed)
  • Ratcheting – how & when 
  • Track stands
  • Skinnies
  • Off-Camber Trails
  • Berms
  • Water crossings
  • Roots

The Schedule*

  • 8:45-9:00  Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 9:00-9:15 Let’s get started | Introductions
  • 9:15am – 11:15 Skills & drills | Learn, learn, learn
  • 11:15am – 12:15 Take it to the trail | Apply what you’ve learned
  • 12:15 – 1:30pm Lunch Break | Rest & Refuel
  • 1:30 – 1:45pm Fundamentals Skills | Rapid Review 
  • 1:45 – 3:45pm Coached Trail Ride | Sessioning & Skills Application
  • 3:45-4:00pm Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

Ninja MTB Logo

Women's Only Fundamentals Clinics

Level 1 - Here’s What We’ll Cover

Some of the skills taught and practiced in the Women’s Only Fundamentals Clinic may include:

  • The Ready Position
  • Bike/Body separation
  • Intro to Steep Transitions
  • Effective braking
  • Wheels lifts
  • Shifting + cadence
  • Negotiating trail obstacles
  • Turning / Switchbacks
  • Climbing + Descending
  • Dismounting
  • Mind skills

The Schedule*

  • 8:45-9:00  Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 9:00-9:15 Let’s get started | Introductions
  • 9:15am – 11:15 Skills & drills | Learn, learn, learn
  • 11:15am – 12:00 Take it to the trail | Apply what you’ve learned
  • 12:00-12:15 Review and next steps | #ridelikeaninja
 

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

Ninja MTB Logo

Co-ed Fundamentals Clinics

Level 1 - Here’s What We’ll Cover

Some of the skills taught and practiced in the Fundamentals Clinic may include:

  • The Ready Position
  • Bike/Body separation
  • Intro to Steep Transitions
  • Effective braking
  • Wheels lifts
  • Shifting + cadence
  • Negotiating trail obstacles
  • Turning / Switchbacks
  • Climbing + Descending
  • Dismounting
  • Mind skills

The Schedule*

  • 8:45-9:00  Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 9:00-9:15 Let’s get started | Introductions
  • 9:15am – 11:15 Skills & drills | Learn, learn, learn
  • 11:15am – 12:00 Take it to the trail | Apply what you’ve learned
  • 12:00-12:15 Review and next steps | #ridelikeaninja
 

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

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