As the world faces drastic lifestyle changes to combat the spread of COVID-19, it can be easy to lose a sense of normalcy. That loss can be incredibly unsettling and challenging. We are here to help! Chances are, if you’ve found yourself on this post, “normal” to you involves bikes in some way, shape or form. So today we’re hoping to offer a break from the news and instead, provide suggestions for keeping some “normal” (aka BIKE) in your daily routine.
We hope these bike-tastic ideas will help you have some fun as you adjust to your new (socially distanced) normal.
1. Practice Your Skills
If on-trail rides aren’t in the cards for you right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t work on your skills. Do you have a living room, driveway, cul-de-sac or dirt road you can access? Great! You have everything you need to do practice your skills. Here are our favorite skills you can practice just about anywhere:
Unless you live in a really big house, we probably don’t recommend doing this one in your living room. Head out to your driveway and start by practicing your bunny hop over a small obstacle such as a stick or stuffed animal. Master the small stuff before building up to bigger logs and challenges.
The Rock Dodge, will allow your front wheel to pass on one side of the obstacle while your back wheel passes on the other side. This allows obstacles to pass under your down-tube between your tired, while you ride away without losing momentum or puncturing a tire.
The wheelie is really a useful riding skill, particularly for getting over trail obstacles, as well as a great way to practice balance and bike control. But maybe even more importantly than all that – it looks cool.
2. Build Mental & Physical Strength
Don’t forget the importance of maintaining and building mental and physical strength through times of great change. If you spend any time on social media right now, you’ll see lots of resources for online yoga classes, at home workouts, meditation apps and mindfulness tips. Here are a few additional resources we’d like to throw in the mix:
We have a multitude of skills articles available for free on our website where you can read easy to follow, step by step guides to improve your skills on the bike. Homeschool for mountain bikers is now in session!
You know that list of bike related projects you’ve been meaning to tackle but just haven’t had the time? No time like the present! Consider tackling that deep clean of your bike that you’ve been meaning to do. If you happen to have a few power tools and some scraps of lumber in your garage, why not build yourself a manual machine? Or, perhaps you want to do a quick bike-supply inventory. When’s the last time you did an inventory of that first aid kit buried at the bottom of your bag? Do you have a spare tube and tubeless sealant? Make a list of things you need to resupply on.
And with that, we hope you can find some bike and joy in your new normal as the worldwide battle against this virus unfolds. On behalf of everyone at Ninja, we hope you are able to stay safe, healthy, and inspired. If you have ideas for bike related projects or activities to keep busy with, we’d love to hear them in the comments below!
I felt so confident that I recently signed up for the Catalina MTB Gran Fondo!
I participated in the beginner skill clinic at Malibu Creek last Saturday, because I'm truly a beginner who couldn't stop...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
I participated in the beginner skill clinic at Malibu Creek last Saturday, because I'm truly a beginner who couldn't stop falling down during each mtb ride. The class was small and super fun...and the instructors (Richard and Kris) were informative and dynamic. The clinic was small enough for each member to practice each learned skill and receive immediate feedback. I learned many new skills on that day and felt much more confident with my bike-body connection. I felt so confident that I recently signed up for the Catalina MTB Gran Fondo...the 55 mile route! Woohooo!! The next day, as I was road biking (training for the Solvang Double Century), I dodged a bullet on the Snake/Mulholland by applying my learned mtb skills--a long towing truck went over almost half of our lane on a blind turn as we were descending. Instead of fixating on the truck, I remembered the importance of looking for a clear path and keeping my eyes on where I want to go....Now I understand what people meant when they said that mtb will help improve my road riding skills too! I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn, and I look forward to the next clinic! ~ Uyen N.
I was so happy I could transfer what I learned in Sedona to my own trails.
I just rode on my local trails today after taking the Ninja clinic in Sedona. I was so happy I...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
I just rode on my local trails today after taking the Ninja clinic in Sedona. I was so happy I could transfer what I learned in Sedona to my own trails. There is one drop and one off camber downhill section I never have had the courage or skill to ride until today. It was so fun to ride them and not get off and walk. Richard La China and Courtney Cowan were fantastic instructors. Not only did I up my technical skills in Sedona it was also a ton of fun! ~Patty Elliott
Took the mini clinic on jumping skills because I can't resist the urge to get in the air even though...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
Took the mini clinic on jumping skills because I can't resist the urge to get in the air even though I always knew I didn't really understand the mechanics of it, so it was a kind of "huck and hope" affair. The result was that I didn't land about 1 in 5 attempts. The clinic with Aaron was great! He explained the mechanics of how the bike is handled coming into, through and out of the jump and starts with individual small skills progressing step by step in a very manageable way (even for me, and I started this stuff at 45 and I'm not very coordinated). What I feel sets Aaron apart is his ability to communicate his explanations and demonstrate movements in a way that makes them easy to learn even for someone with little experience. He is also very patient and encouraging, which helps when one is starting out and struggling a little with some movements. I definitely intend to do more clinics with Ninja MBS. I feel like it will save me a lot of time and frustration as well as possibly a lot of money in medical bills! ~Jill M.
I would encourage anyone of any ability to take a class with these guys.
I recently attended one of the Intermediate/Advanced Efficiency and Flow clinics. Even though I have been riding for many years...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
I recently attended one of the Intermediate/Advanced Efficiency and Flow clinics. Even though I have been riding for many years I learned a lot from this clinic. The techniques covered ranged from reviewing basic skills such as basic body position to practicing more advanced techniques like switchbacks, bunny hops, and cornering. I was able to recognize, get instruction, and practice some skills where I was weak and instantly improve them. Even skills I thought I was pretty good at I was able to pick up useful tips. I also realized that deliberate skills practice is not something I incorporate into my riding, but now that I understand what I should be doing I will make sure to add this in! After taking the course my comfort on the bike has improved and I am more aware of my body position and movement of the bike. I would encourage anyone of any ability to take a class with these guys. The instructors are knowledgeable and easy to work with. There is a lot of one on one help and they will make sure you understand the skills being taught and are able to perform them successfully. Plus the clinic was lots of fun! I highly recommend and hope to work with these guys again soon. ~ Michelle A.
We are a group of passionate, dirt-loving, community oriented, world-class mountain bike skills instructors committed to helping you reach your personal riding goals through clinics and camps. We are excited to work with riders of all ability levels and share the joy (STOKE) of mountain biking.