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Daniel Pitard

IMG_2527As the story goes, Daniel’s obsession with wheels started at the early age of two when he learned to ride his bike around the neighborhood without training wheels.

Fast forward through the years of street riding, bmx, dirt jumping and general adolescent mayhem to ten years ago.  Life got hectic and Daniel needed to burn off steam.  He picked up a road bike for the first time and never looked back.
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Several years ago, Daniel’s life changed when he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. After being poked, prodded and medicated, getting sicker and sicker, he realized the bike was his answer to staying healthy and feeling better. He was determined to not let this get the best of him. A self-proclaimed bacon and donut lover, he changed his diet and focused on riding, enjoying the peace and strength cycling gave him. Spoiler alert: he still loves bacon and donuts.
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On a whim, Daniel decided to join a group of friends on a mountain bike ride one day, and was instantly hooked. Daniel has been riding and training seriously for the last five years, actively seeking to improve his skills. It was his desire to hone his mountain bike skills that led him to Ninja Mountain Bike Performance. The positive environment inspired him to want to help others improve their skills. Daniel is a Certified IMBA Level I instructor, and is a huge MTB advocate and a member of the SDMBA.

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When Daniel is not ripping the local trails or climbing insane hills on his mountain bike, you can find him climbing even more insane hills on his road bike. When his legs have finally turned to jello, you can find him restoring his Grandfather’s classic car or spending time with his wife, Lara, and his cat, Tailpipe.  A huge fan of the Tour de France, Daniel was fortunate to travel to France twice recently to climb the famed Alpe D’Huez.

A native San Diegan, Daniel loves coaching and helping others “get it.” His goal, as a coach, is to share his passion and enthusiasm for riding. Daniel loves helping people gain confidence, working with them to further their bike skills and the enjoyment that comes with riding.  He looks forward to helping and working with all of you.

Who doesn’t want to be a Ninja!?

I'm a road Triathlete that lucked into a XTERRA World Championship slot via the lottery last year. Being a road...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
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2014-03-19T14:36:25-07:00
I'm a road Triathlete that lucked into a XTERRA World Championship slot via the lottery last year. Being a road triathlete, I had very little experience and no technical skills on a mountain bike. I took the Ninja beginner and then intermediate classes almost back to back. Richard is a great teacher, and taught the sequential skills that matter most. He does a great job of "breaking things down" with the what and the why, and illustrates the information well with his demonstrations, all the while, delivering it with a sense of humor and enthusiasm. Richard's instruction helped me successfully get through a very technical course in Maui without major injury! Yea, thank you Richard!!. Whether a complete beginner or an advanced rider, I promise you can take a lot away from his classes.... and, let's be honest ...Who doesn't want to be a Ninja! ~ Ray S.  

Team Eastlake Cycling Team thank you for your time, energy and expertise…

I’ve been coaching road & track riding for years. Got into mtn bike riding because of the terrain near our...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
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2015-09-28T07:52:14-07:00
I’ve been coaching road & track riding for years. Got into mtn bike riding because of the terrain near our home AND my daughters like to ride in the dirt. Took classes through the high school league to be more acquainted with the fundamentals skills and acquire more knowledge of the NICA league rules. Coach La China and staff broke down the skills for our team riders in a fun and engaging process. Team Eastlake Cycling Team thank you for your time, energy and expertise to bring our riders to a new level of confidence. ~Ron G.

My riding has definitely improved!

I really enjoyed the Intermediate/Advanced clinic with Aaron in Palmer Park, Colorado Springs. Aaron made sure that every skill was...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
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2017-06-05T14:12:03-07:00
I really enjoyed the Intermediate/Advanced clinic with Aaron in Palmer Park, Colorado Springs. Aaron made sure that every skill was practiced thoroughly. He was paying attention to every move and detail and was very patient. My riding has definitely improved since than and I have been practicing the skills a lot on single track. The best advice I received - visualize yourself doing it! I definitely recommend this class to bikers of all levels. ~Yana Brown

You don’t know what you don’t know …

I consider myself a strong intermediate MTB rider; I love highly technical downhill single track trails.  A friend suggested I...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
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2017-06-05T14:46:29-07:00
I consider myself a strong intermediate MTB rider; I love highly technical downhill single track trails.  A friend suggested I take a multi-day skills clinic to help get to the next level.  After a brief search I found that Ninja Bike Skills 3 day skills clinic up in Big Bear CA. If you have never taken a class then the old adage "you don't know what you don't know" probably holds true; it did with me.  While it the clinic started off simple, the skills taught build on one-another to ensure you have solid foundation basics needed to safely leverage the higher skill stuff taught at the back end of the class. Richard and Aaron brought two great perspectives as one is a XC/Edurance/Enduro rider and the other is dedicated to gravity downhill.  The teaching style was simple and actionable.  All the Ninja instructors are very knowledgeable and very passionate about MTB which is infectious and make the class fun. I would highly recommend to any level riders who have never had any instruction in MTB skills.  Plus if you take the class at a place like Snow Summit Big Bear, you get to ride amazing trails!! ~Greg A.

As good as it gets is appropriate!

Woohoo!  As good as it gets is appropriate! Richard is not only a great rider, he is a great teacher!...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
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2014-03-19T14:37:09-07:00
Woohoo!  As good as it gets is appropriate! Richard is not only a great rider, he is a great teacher! I would encourage everyone to stay away from the mind trap that buying a more expensive mountain bike is what you need to ride better. Spend the money on lessons instead, and I know you will be happier (and safer) in the long run. I can't say enough positive things about the Bike Skills clinics. ~ Chris G.  

Within one hour we we clearing a 5 foot jump easily and with confidence!

Wow, a friend and I just did a one day private lesson with Richard and I can’t believe how much...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
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2016-04-07T12:54:41-07:00
Wow, a friend and I just did a one day private lesson with Richard and I can’t believe how much we learned. I’ve been riding for over 10 years but with all self taught skills. We wanted to learn fundamentals the right way and Richard took us through all of that (along with critical bike setup) and the intermediate stuff that they teach in one day plus he spent an extra hour at the end to teach us jumping which I had always been nervous about. Within one hour we we clearing a 5 foot jump easily and with confidence, we even learned to move the bike in the air on a crossed take off and landing. I think my favorite part though was riding fast on the very gnarly technical descent. We will be booking up more private lessons during the summer at Big Bear. Thanks Richard you are a very good teacher! ~John U.

Aaron was a great instructor!

I took a Fundamental Skill clinic last weekend and learned so much! I've been riding for a few years and...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
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2017-06-05T14:15:04-07:00
I took a Fundamental Skill clinic last weekend and learned so much! I've been riding for a few years and felt stuck and was not improving at all. Aaron was a great instructor! Very patient and broke down everything step by step and we repeated the skills until we felt comfortable. I look forward to mastering the skills I learned and taking another clinic in the spring. ~Jody Hachenberger-Amend
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Ninja Mountain Bike Skills