Mountain biking offers a technical challenge that many find thrilling. However, riding down a rocky hill on a narrow trail is not the time or place for beginners to learn how to safely navigate over a slick boulder or cross through a dry riverbed. Riders who are new to mountain biking or looking to refine their skills now have a new course that allows for practice in a more relaxed environment.
At the Portola Staging Area in Irvine, staff and volunteers from Irvine Ranch Conservancy have constructed a skills course with areas for beginner, intermediate and advanced mountain bikers. The staff constructed features that mimic technical challenges found out on the land. Experienced mountain bikers will guide visitors through the variety of obstacles during regular, scheduled clinics.
In addition to technical challenges, the skills clinics will cover mountain biking fundamentals such as proper platform, braking, weight transfer, balance and targeting – the underlying skills that allow users to stay safe on the trails. The skills area is flexible enough that beginners can learn the basics while more advanced riders take on new challenges. There will be self-guided instruction panels at each of the features to help riders maintain proper technique.
The skills course was completed in September, after about 3 months of site preparation and construction. The site includes an instruction area with benches in addition to the many skill-set features. The course is open only during scheduled clinics, which are free with pre-registration. The clinics are open to participants 18 and older, and registration is available atwww.LetsGoOutside.org.