DCMTB-City Bikes host Clinic #3 at Fort Reno Park in Washington DC

DCMTB-City Bikes host Clinic #3 at Fort Reno Park in Washington DC

Last week DCMTB Elite Team Members Chris Clarke and Marc Gwadz lead the charge for the second DCMTB-City Bikes cyclocross clinic at Fort Reno Park in Northwest Washington, DC while yesterday evening Mike Birner of Mid-Maryland Coaching was invited to lead our third cyclocross clinic of the season. A wide range of cyclists were in attendance. I am not sure of the exact count but it appeared to be roughly 20 non-DCMTB members and maybe 10 DCMTB team members in attendance. There was a wide variety of cyclocross experience in the group and no one disagreed with Mike Birner's effort to get back to the basics.

If my memory servers me correctly the clinic was broken down into three basic sets of drills.


-Off Camber Turns



Coaching is Mike Birner's native language. Mike was good enough to break everything down and explain them in a way that everyone could understand. The drills benefited cyclists of all levels. This was the first time I ever attempted the classic cyclocross dismount with the right leg sneaking in between the left leg still clipped
in and the bicycle frame. Learning the proper methods is as much about building good habits as it is about breaking bad habits. Similar to Marc Gwadz's instruction the week prior, Mike Birner broke down the Dismount/Remount skills into stages. Allowing the participants to understand and practice each step/stage then build them together until the dismount/remount was practiced with barriers. It is all very humbling, but not as humbling as tripping and falling on race day!

After working on dismount/remounts with and without barriers Mike took
the group to small hill on the other side of the park. On this slight grade grassy hill Mike had laid out a series of cones. The riders lined up and tried to snake their way down the hill making tight turns going down and across the hill. It must have been an unusual thing for someone to witness from the outside. The task looks so simple from the onlooker's perspective. But after I skidded out and nearly fell a few times I withdrew from that set of drills so that I did not risk injuring anyone or myself. Making a mental note that this is another thing that needs to be practiced on my own.

With the rapidly setting sun drifting off the horizon Mike then freed things up from the structured drills to HOT LAPS. Which was basically an effort for peop
le to ride their bikes on an abbreviated course at a pace that each participant felt comfortable moving at.

It was a great gathering of cyclists from in and around the District. The cross clinics have been met with a very positive response. The clinics are aiding to bring cyclists from other disciplines of cycling towards cross as well as bringing non-racers into the race scene. This is a good thing for the cycling community. It builds better cyclists as well as a better cycling community.


PEP said...

Thanks Mike and DC-MTB. Learned a little about how much I need to learn. Made it through the off-camber switchbacks only twice in maybe eight attempts. Very difficult.

I'll miss the the next clinic, but recommend it to all.

Brian said...

Yeah man, clinic was way rad! Thanks!

12th Woman said...

loved the clinic last week and going again tonight...just wish I had had some time to practice this week :/ Oh well, live and keep learning!