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Richard La China

Coach Richard La China is a Professional mountain bike racer, IMBA Certified Skills Instructor and a USA Cycling Certified Coach.

Richard works with beginner to pro mountain bike racers as well as non-competitive recreational riders seeking to become their best.

Tahoe 100 2015

He is great coach for a mountain biker looking to improve their skills and fitness.  Richard has been racing mountain bikes for the last 24 years.

Leadville 100 2015

Richard’s experience on the mountain bike, his race results, as well as his dedication and understanding of training principles and riding skills,  show that he knows what it takes to help you achieve your cycling goals.   When Richard isn’t coaching, training or racing,  he loves to spend time with his kids, fly airplanes / helicopters, listen to live music and play his  guitar.

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 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...
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

The Ninja team (Richard & Aaron) were great instructors!

The Ninja team (Richard & Aaron) were great instructors! The training was in Soquel Demonstration Forest & being able take our time to session sections of Braille & Flow while having experts help fix any dysfunctions in our riding technique was priceless. I know I've always had to brake-check a...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-06-05T14:43:17-07:00
The Ninja team (Richard & Aaron) were great instructors! The training was in Soquel Demonstration Forest & being able take our time to session sections of Braille & Flow while having experts help fix any dysfunctions in our riding technique was priceless. I know I've always had to brake-check a lot before hitting the corners, but now I actually feel more planted while carrying more speed around the berms just w/ a slight change in hip position. I can't wait to actually hit Flow again at speed just to see how my time has improved. As for Braille, I know I need to session some of the jumps & drops a few more times before I hit them at speed (instead of bypassing around most of them as I have in the past) but now I should have the tools to know what I need to practice. Technical instruction aside, they also talked about efficient uphill pedaling, gearing choices as well as techniques to build up more mitochondria in your body... all stuff I'm interested in since I know I need to build up my climbing legs. ~Carlo F.

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 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...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2014-03-19T14:31:08-07:00
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.  

The course was very fluid, engaging, and I would highly recommend it.

I took the intermediate/advanced course in Balboa Park after having ridden for just over 2 years on my own. It covered a wide breadth of skills, some of which I already felt aquatinted with and others I had little to no experience with. I found all of the material useful....
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-06-05T14:21:32-07:00
I took the intermediate/advanced course in Balboa Park after having ridden for just over 2 years on my own. It covered a wide breadth of skills, some of which I already felt aquatinted with and others I had little to no experience with. I found all of the material useful. I was able to improve skills I already had and was able to learn new skills. I also feel confident leaving the course that the instructors have provided all of the information for me to practice and improve outside of the course setting. The environment of Balboa Park was perfect for learning and sessioning the skills covered. The instructors were friendly, fun, and attentive to all of the participants. They spent more or less time on certain skills based on how the entire group was grasping them. They also gave individualized attention to participants that required more help with technique. The course was very fluid, engaging, and I would highly recommend it. ~Heather B.

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 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...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
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.

My speed and confidence going down steep descents have been SIGNIFICANTLY improved!

I just had my first race (XC endurance) since I did the camp and both my speed and confidence going down steep descents have been SIGNIFICANTLY improved. I would not have attempted 50% of the drops and jumps on the course prior to participating in the clinic, and my overall...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-05-04T08:06:22-07:00
I just had my first race (XC endurance) since I did the camp and both my speed and confidence going down steep descents have been SIGNIFICANTLY improved. I would not have attempted 50% of the drops and jumps on the course prior to participating in the clinic, and my overall time would have been much slower. The first two hours of the class (int/adv Sedona) made the whole thing more than worth it, and the rest of the two days seemed like a bonus. Both Courtney and Richard were encouraging and patient, and both had that classic mountain biker charm and humor ready when the moment called for it. Overall a very enjoyable and valuable weekend. For reference, I participate in amateur XC endurance races (with no hope of ever coming close to winning anything) and have been riding for about two years. I was worried before taking the class that I would not be skilled enough, but the int/adv was appropriate for my skill level. If you're worried, just go for it anyway. There is a good mix of people and everyone was very friendly! ~Alana Bencivengo
5
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Ninja Mountain Bike Skills

The clinic with Aaron was great!

Took the mini clinic on jumping skills because I can't resist the urge to get in the air even though... read more ...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-06-05T14:29:02-07:00
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.

Bottom line: I am more efficient & safer rider.

Great class! I wish I took this class seven yrs ago when I started mountain biking. Richard & his team... read more ...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-08-19T13:50:55-07:00
Great class! I wish I took this class seven yrs ago when I started mountain biking. Richard & his team was awesome. I learned how to approach uphill switchbacks, how to “pre-turn”, & most important, how to descend with confidence. Bottom line: I am more efficient & 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

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... read more ...
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.  

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... read more ...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
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.

I feel more confident and safe …

I took the fundamentals  1/2 day works shop in Orange County this weekend and l learned way more than I... read more ...
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills
5
2017-06-05T14:27:44-07:00
I took the fundamentals  1/2 day works shop in Orange County this weekend and l learned way more than I thought possible.  Richard and his team of instructor reinforced all the information with practical application on the mountain.  Thus, I was able to put these new skills to practice immediately after the workshop with a post workshop ride and a follow up ride today.  I feel more confident and safe to try more technical routes now.  I have already signed up for a intermediate/advanced workshop and recruited 3 friends to joint me! ~Eric R.
5
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills