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Brian Danz

2,173 REVIEWS – 5 STAR RATING ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Brian has been riding and instructing for over 15 years. He has a love of teaching beginners and a knack for breaking down skills into simple terms to make them manageable to newer riders as well as refocusing those with experience. He brings a strong understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the human body to his lessons, and his background as a yoga instructor lends a unique, relaxed, and fun style to his teaching.

Home Base

Portland, ME

Other Gig

Service Manager & Instructor at the Portland Gear Hub // Owner & Aerial Drone Pilot at Arrow-Straight Enterprises

Favorite Type of Terrain or Feature

Steep rock rollers in dense woods

Favorite Post-ride Food or Drink

Plantain chips & hazy IPAs (after the protein recovery drink, of course.)

Favorite Riding Tip

Get off the saddle and get more weight over the front wheel

Favorite Riding Partner

My dog Arrow, of course! He’s an excellent trail dog and can go all day long. The best rides are when the pack of dogs outnumbers the pack of humans!

How did you get into mountain biking?

When I was 14 – freshman in HS – my friend and I joined the school cycling club… we hated riding the road, too boring! So we saved up and bought real mountain bikes, bar ends and all, and started our own club. It still exists at the school 20+ years later!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

I wouldn’t live in any one place. I’d travel constantly!

Follow Brian on Instagram @rideportlandme.

Want to ride with Brian? You can usually find him instructing at one of our many clinics in Maine and Massachusetts

I swallowed my pride and signed up.

This past fall I finally broke down and upgrade my mountain bike.  I was riding a hard tail bike mostly...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2014-03-19T14:37:51-07:00
This past fall I finally broke down and upgrade my mountain bike.  I was riding a hard tail bike mostly for the workout.  After racing in an Xterra, I realized that a new bike was in my future. ( I could tell a huge story about the process of purchasing a new MB and the massive amount of miss information you can obtain from bike shops. Especially when you know nothing about bikes. )  Not long after I purchased the new MB, I had my first over the handle bars wreck.  I still cannot remember the actual crash.  I can see the rut that I am about to hit on the downhill, and then I remember waking up on the trail barely able to breath.  The crash gave me some time to catch up on email.  One of those emails was a beginners MB clinic hosted by Richard and the Ride Like a Ninja crew. I swallowed my pride and signed up. To date I have done everything I was taught.  I made every adjustment to my bike that was recommended.  I then had the bike fitted.  The skills taught that day are priceless to me.  For the first time I understand what position my body needs to be in for each type of terrain.  I am not perfect by any means, but in my mind I am shouting the word NINJA to remind myself. I practice the techniques ever time I ride. ~ Hal N.  

The Big Bear Mountain Bike Camp was AMAZING!

I have been riding for 1.5 years and still have a lot to learn but Richard and the team are...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2016-06-16T21:57:49-07:00
I have been riding for 1.5 years and still have a lot to learn but Richard and the team are great teachers. I have been a bit apprehensive about jumping in the past but after two days of instruction with Richard, Aaron, Daniel, Ivan, and Erin I feel much more confident and won't be afraid to take on jumps anymore. The instructor staff are all very experienced riders and it showed. They are all also very friendly and most importantly patient. They aren't afraid to share stories of their mistakes while trying to explain why not to do things a certain way. You truly are part of the Team Ninja family when you are at the classes and I can't wait to go back to another class! Thank you Richard and all of the other instructors. ~Jonathan R

Well worth your time if you want to improve!

We attended the 2-Day Mountain Bike Skills Camp in Denver CO. I'm a beginner to mountain biking and the class...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-06-05T14:16:17-07:00
We attended the 2-Day Mountain Bike Skills Camp in Denver CO. I'm a beginner to mountain biking and the class exceeded my expectations. The first day was basic fundamental training from bunny hops to cornering your bike. The second day we put those skills to the test by climbing and downhill at all different skill levels, Richard and Aaron even took video to help improve our skills. Well worth your time if you want to improve! ~Russ Anderson

Highly recommend this class for all ages/skills. I will definitely be taking more classes!

Great class! I wish I took this class seven yrs ago when I started mountain biking. Richard and his team...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-08-07T07:20:39-07:00
Great class! I wish I took this class seven yrs ago when I started mountain biking. Richard and his team was awesome. I learned how to approach uphill switchbacks, how to "pre-turn", and most important, how to descend with confidence. Bottom line: I am more efficient and safer rider. As another review said, "best money spent on mountain biking." You can have an expensive bike, but if you don't know how to ride, what's the point? Highly recommend this class for all ages/skills. I will definitely be taking more classes! ~Rean

Everything you need to learn to fully enjoy mountain biking.

Mountain biking is a relatively new sport compared to road biking. So the opportunities to find a good mountain biking...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2014-03-19T14:39:15-07:00
Mountain biking is a relatively new sport compared to road biking. So the opportunities to find a good mountain biking skill clinic are quite scarce. Richard La China and his team offer such clinic! Richard has the training as a Coach from USA Cycling and the experience as an expert racer to develop in you the skills and therefore the confidence to negotiate the treacherous obstacles on your path as a mountain biker. His clinic has several levels from beginner to expert and is organized incrementally to facilitate the learning of more and more difficult skills. In addition to his and his expert team's demonstrations, I also like his verbal explanations about the why of a specific position or skill to have. Richard and his team have the dedication and patience to teach you anything you need to learn to fully enjoy mountain biking. ~ Anne-Catherine

Probably the best money I’ve spent on mountain biking …

I took the Ninja intermediate / advanced course here in Denver the weekend before last, and it was probably the...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-05-04T08:01:31-07:00
I took the Ninja intermediate / advanced course here in Denver the weekend before last, and it was probably the best money I've spent on mountain biking in quite a while. Aaron tuned the clinic to our skills and needs, putting in extra time and attention where we needed more work and covering a wide range of skills. After mountain biking for almost 20 years, there were still missing pieces (and some bad habits) to my riding that he picked up on, explained, and then showed me how to improve, correct, and practice. Aaron was knowledgeable, patient, and progressed through skills in steps so there wasn't too much to digest at any one time. As the day progressed, he rolled them all together as we moved through different trail features, so I really got a good sense of how to put things into practice. He was also very familiar with the venue, Village Greens Park, so he knew exactly which sections to hit to practice particular skills - it was a great combination of drills and very watchful instruction, then honing those skills on real trail features. And, as we talked about with him during lunch, even experienced riders should consider the "fundamentals" course - I really had no idea that I needed work on some of the basics, like braking. I'm heavy on the rear brake just as a long-established habit - who knew? (Well, apparently Aaron did...) ~Jon Gotow

I would highly recommend it to individuals at a wide range of skill levels.

I attend the 3-day mountain bike skills camp in Mulberry Gap Georgia and it was a great experience.  We spent...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-06-05T14:19:17-07:00
I attend the 3-day mountain bike skills camp in Mulberry Gap Georgia and it was a great experience.  We spent the first day going over fundamentals and doing drills and the second and third day riding trails.  The combination of instruction and practice was very useful.  Our instructors, Randy and Erin, are expert riders and wonderful instructors.  The explained and demonstrated skills wells and provided helpful feedback.  The Mulberry Gap resort was also a wonderful location to hold this event.  I would highly recommend it to individuals at a wide range of skill levels. ~Armand A.
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Ninja Mountain Bike Skills