Off Road Skills clinic - Highly recommended!!
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Thread: Off Road Skills clinic - Highly recommended!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member ToolmanJohn's Avatar
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    Off Road Skills clinic - Highly recommended!!

    I just got back from a 3 day Cross Training Enduro skills clinic boot camp in Calabogie Ontario Canada. For anyone interested in learning to ride slowly but having the knowledge to perform better, more safely in the trails, this is a great way to do it. They had a fleet of rental bikes, either 2 or 4 stroke, they were all woods machines. Slow tight turns, on uneven grass fields, static balancing ( I did my first track stand on the first attempt! Over a minute, then stopped to assist my buddy ). Tight figure eights, body position, small practical wheelie (basically weighting the suspension and using a (very) little throttle to clear the front tire over a small obstacle). Last day we practiced the "log punch" on a 8 inch and 12 inch log.. I did not do a good one in 5 attempts, but I did clear each time anyway.

    Each morning at 7am we would have breakfast, then at 9am ride to the practice field, and for a few hours we learned and practiced at the clinic, then at noon we would ride back to the resort and have lunch, then fuel the bikes, water the hydration packs and head out on guided trail rides of varying difficulty with experienced guides and sweeps. Level of trail difficulty was easy to very technical and difficult (I did NOT go on the A level rides- they rode faster and much harder trails from what I heard). Each day, the leaders would go to progressively harder trails to challenge the riders skills. Loads of fun. Calabogie had so many trails, it would be impossible to ride it all in a week. Getting lost would be a huge issue if not with a knowledgeable guide, it is REMOTE.

    I especially enjoyed the slow riding and turning instructions. Body position and having direct feedback from the couches was important. Sometimes I would know exactly what went wrong and other times not, but the coaches would explain what was wrong and send you back out to do it correctly. Some of the skills do require a LOT of practice, so basically you are being taught HOW to practice, no one will go here and become an instant trail god. But it may allow people to undo bad riding habits, especially not using the clutch enough, or how to do a small slow wheelie pop to get over small obstacles without simply riding over it standing.

    I wish I had video of my one minute static balance!! I must have looked like a competent trials guy LOL!! I have to look around home to find a suitable spot to practice. It is HARD to stand up on the pegs from a standstill and do it!! It was easier to have someone holding the bars while finding the balance point, at which time they let go and it's all you. A load of fun. Almost everyone could do it inside of 5 minutes.

    If anyone has seen the Cross Training Enduro Skills videos on YouTube, then you would be familiar with Barry Morris. He was head coach (Gumby). The clinic was based on the skills he tries to impart on the videos. What was taught applies to ANY motorcycle riding, even for the road, riding in control slowly really can improve your riding and safety.

    I do wish there had been some teaching about how to ride 30+ mph on gravel forest road. There was a lot of it to ride on from rail to trail. And I was not comfortable with the sliding feeling on each turn. Spooky. I was way happier in the single and double track, although the third day ride was nearly all single track and a few spots really rocky, and steep as well. I loved it. I am thinking of doing the 5 day clinic next year.
    2017 Beta Xtrainer 300 - Suspension modified for height
    2013 Yamaha TW200 (Sold but not forgotten, possibly in the future when space permits)
    2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R (sold) Fun for a year, then mega garage DUST collector
    1985 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk (sold) FUN - but became a dust collector
    1984 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk (sold) Primary transportation for almost 5 years
    Various other 2 wheel rolling junk not worthy of mention....

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good way to learn alot. Report is so good I will refrain from teasing about any " direct feedback from the couch".giphy.gif
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    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
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    Senior Member Trail Woman's Avatar
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    "Mr Gumby" is awesome. I attribute most of my off road skills to watching his videos. I've watched most of them. Some of them several times over. Graham Jarvis can ride but his videos are horrible IMO by comparison.

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    Senior Member ToolmanJohn's Avatar
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    The most frustrating part of the clinic is knowing that I do not have an appropriate place to practice most of these skills nearby here at home. The only ones that I can try are the static balance and slow tight figure eights on the road. At low speed my bike is pretty quiet Far less exhaust noise than a typical walk behind mower or weed trimmer.
    2017 Beta Xtrainer 300 - Suspension modified for height
    2013 Yamaha TW200 (Sold but not forgotten, possibly in the future when space permits)
    2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R (sold) Fun for a year, then mega garage DUST collector
    1985 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk (sold) FUN - but became a dust collector
    1984 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk (sold) Primary transportation for almost 5 years
    Various other 2 wheel rolling junk not worthy of mention....

  6. #5
    Senior Member ToolmanJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Woman View Post
    "Mr Gumby" is awesome. I attribute most of my off road skills to watching his videos. I've watched most of them. Some of them several times over. Graham Jarvis can ride but his videos are horrible IMO by comparison.
    Yes, Barry was one of the coaches for all 3 days. The second day I was with the intermediate group for the afternoon ride and he was also there the entire time with a GoPro on his chin mount. He got each one of us to ride in front of him during the first half of the ride. It was pretty cool. He also went OTB, lol!! I wasn't present but there was witnesses. He's mortal after all. Luckily I did not have any issues during that ride, even though it was technically challenging. I think a well prepped TW200 could have done all of it. There weren't any hero climbs or jumps. Our guide Paul sure as hell knew his way around and rode pretty fast. Freaking amazing for a 78 year old!!
    Trail Woman and Xracer like this.
    2017 Beta Xtrainer 300 - Suspension modified for height
    2013 Yamaha TW200 (Sold but not forgotten, possibly in the future when space permits)
    2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R (sold) Fun for a year, then mega garage DUST collector
    1985 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk (sold) FUN - but became a dust collector
    1984 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk (sold) Primary transportation for almost 5 years
    Various other 2 wheel rolling junk not worthy of mention....

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