Thanks to the global pandemic, 11 year old Tessa has found herself with more free time to pursue her passions this year. Tessa really enjoys writing AND mountain biking, so we decided to put her skills to the test. We hijacked her English homework this week with a very important writing assignment; a Ninja Q&A.
Keep reading to get to know Tessa and be sure to checkout the video clip of her cornering with textbook bike-body separation! Ready to be inspired?
Without further delay, please meet the incredible Tessa.
How old are you and how long have you been mountain biking?
I am eleven years old and I have been mountain biking since I was four years old. I started on a balance bike, but now I ride my mom’s old 26inch bike that she has upgraded for me.
Why do you like mountain biking?
I like mountain biking because I get to be in nature, and I get to practice my skills.
What is your favorite type of trail (or feature) to ride?
I like downhill trails and really flowy trails. I am not as much as a daredevil as my brother, but I enjoy bike elevators, teeter totters and small wooden jumps.
What is one mountain biking skill that you are really good at?
I am really good at corners. I like to call the move the “puzzle piece”, because your body fits perfectly with your bike. My mom uses the puzzle piece saying in her classes now (she’s a Ninja Instructor) , and she says I taught her something new.
What advice would you give to a friend who wants to try mountain biking for the first time?
I would tell them to take it one step (or pedal) at a time. Work your way up, and don’t stop trying hard.
Why do you think other kids should consider going to a skills clinic?
I think a good reason to go to a skills clinic is so you can learn something new, and improve your skills. If you’re a pro mountain biker or a beginner, Ninja skills clinics has something for you.
If you could design your dream bike, what would it look like? (Colors, designs, decorations, grip colors?)
If I could design my dream bike, I would first start off with a midnight blue frame. Then, I would add galaxy stickers to it. I would have iridescent wheels, and black grips. My bike would be called “The Star Shooter”.
If you could ride your bike anywhere in the world, where would you ride and why?
I really want to ride in Canada and Ireland. Sometimes I watch YouTube videos about biking in Canada, and it looks pretty sweet.
What is your favorite riding snack?
I like to keep it original and have some trail mix. I would put in M&M’s, raisins, almonds and peanuts. Maybe some skittles if I want something fruity.
Who is your favorite person to ride with and why?
My favorite people to ride with are my mom and dad. My mom is always helping me with my skills and pushing me to try new things. My dad is always there to compliment me. He talks to me while we’re riding, and gives me good advice.
We’d like to thank Tessa for taking the time to write out these incredibly thoughtful responses. We can’t wait to see where Tessa’s writing and riding take her. The future is most definitely bright.
Tessa would love to read your comments – leave a message for her below!
Enrolling in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic was the best thing I’ve ever done to improve my speed and ability on the bike.
Hands down, enrolling in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic was the best thing I've ever done to improve my speed and ability...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
Hands down, enrolling in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic was the best thing I've ever done to improve my speed and ability on the bike. I am so much faster on singletrack and through technical sections/jumps that even if people are more fit than me, I still keep up with them (and kind of love watching them do a lot more work than they need to). Richard and Kris are fantastic and break things down in a way that makes sense and is manageable. By the end of my first clinic, I was jumping off ledges and power climbing up sections that I couldn't drive a car up. You could buy a $5,000 carbon bike and do 10,000 ft rides every day, but you will get the best return on any investment you make in your riding by attending a Ninja Skills Clinic. ~ Regina J.
My 14 year old son and I (I'm 43) went to the Intermediate/advanced skills clinic at Malibu Creek State Park....
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
My 14 year old son and I (I'm 43) went to the Intermediate/advanced skills clinic at Malibu Creek State Park. We both race and ride at a very fast pace. Getting faster for us is about making sure our fundamentals are solid and we can continue to use those fundamentals to smooth out our flow to increase our skills and confidence. Richard has a way of breaking down all the information to make it very understandable and usable. My son and I have been to other skills classes before and knew what to expect, mostly. Richard was able to coach us to better form riding high speed flat corners! We brushed up on and cleaned up some less helpful habits. We really worked to understand the how and why behind some skills that we already had but didn't know we that we did. All in all we had a blast! Richard was fun and informative. Taylor was helping Richard out for the day. It was fun to watch her demo some skills at speed. Her input throughout the day was informative and light hearted. It was a fun day on the bike with some great people and coaching. This will not be our last Ninja training clinic! Thanks for everything Richard and Taylor! ~Eric Zubick
I have, like many cyclists, been riding bikes since childhood. Feeling like I hit a plateau in my technical riding...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
I have, like many cyclists, been riding bikes since childhood. Feeling like I hit a plateau in my technical riding skills (because I had), I began searching for a mountain bike skills camp. I wanted to attend a camp that would push me to be a better rider, but I needed it to be in a great location on actual trails. After a fair amount of searching, I decided that spending a weekend at a Ninja Mountain Bike Skills camp would be perfect. It didn't hurt that the camp was in Big Bear. The condensed review: It took only a few hours of trail riding with Richard and Daniel to drastically change my riding for the better. The long review: The camp was broken into morning and afternoon sessions, separated by an amazing lunch on each day. The morning sessions were, in general, based on technique and riding isolated technical features. The afternoon sessions functioned more like a capstone; we rode incredible trails, like Fall Line and Skyline, and put our newly-learned skills into action. Richard and Daniel were attentive to both the class as a whole as well as each individual. The pacing of each individual lesson (I'm a teacher, so I viewed each piece as a lesson) was wonderful. There were constant checks for understanding as well as incremental assessments of our skills on the bike. We were never once, all weekend, bogged down in repetition, nor were we rushed through a skill or concept. I was blown away by the sheer volume of skills that were taught in such an easy-to-grasp manner. Of course, we were not standing by our bikes the whole time listening to a lecture: we were actively riding while Daniel and Richard looked on with critical eyes. Richard was clear in his introduction...
G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area.
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know....
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know. It's a non intimidating environment where mistakes are welcomed so corrections can be made. I own G2 Bike is Aliso Viejo and this clinic has been ran out of the Aliso Woods area and when I interviewed the clients they had all but great things to say. None arrogant instructors and easy to follow steps. The biggest bang for many was meeting new area riders at their skill level, gaining confidence, and getting the bike set up and fit properly. G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area. Thanks Richard for all you do for the MTB community! ~ AJ S.