Skill Levels and Disciplines
How do you determine my skill level and decide which group I ride with during the weekend?
When you register for camp, we ask you to fill out an extensive skill and interest questionnaire. This gives us a good idea of where you're at with your riding, and what you're most excited to learn.
If your skills and interests change significantly between the time you register for camp and the actual camp date, you can submit an entirely new participant questionnaire. If you don’t remember what you previously submitted, or if you’d like to refer to your old questionnaire as you complete your new one, please let us know and we’ll forward you your previous answers.
We spend over ten hours pre-camp sorting out the groups, and use all the information you’ve given us to place you appropriately. Ideally, where we assign you is where you’ll feel happiest throughout your camp. If, however, you find that you'd rather ride and learn with a different group, we'll happily switch things for you.
If a camp offers cross-country and lift-assisted downhill options, do I get to choose between those?
Yes. At camps in Whistler, Mammoth and Angel Fire you can choose to spend both days riding the cross-country trails accessed from the valley, both days riding the downhill trails in the bike park, or one day in each area. The skills questionnaire asks you for your preference, so just let us know what you'd like to do when you fill that out.
There are more and more options in our program all the time, so if there’s a particular style, level, or skill set you want to focus on, now is your chance.
How do lift tickets work at camps with lift-accessed riding?
The procedure at each camp location is slightly different, but in every case we have organized special pricing so that participants wanting to ride the lift-accessed trails can purchase individual tickets at signficantly reduced rates. Please note that this is exclusive to camp days, and unfortunately cannot roll over to additional days should you wish to extend your vacation.
All camps offering lift-accessed downhill riding also offer cross-country pedalling opportunities, so there is no need to purchase tickets to ride the lifts if you don't want to. If you're at all inclined, though, then a guided instructional environment is a fantastic one in which to try it out.
Of course, if you have a season’s pass for the bike park we’ll be riding, please bring it with you.
Could it be possible that I am too much of a beginner for this camp?
Very unlikely. In order to enjoy the camp, all you need to be able to do is ride a bike comfortably on bumpy gravel terrain, shift your gears, and use your brakes. Our step-by-step approach and ultra-encouraging coaches will take it from there, and probably teach you a year’s worth of skills in one weekend.
There is a great group of beginner riders at every camp, and since we organize all the participants according to ability level and interest, you’ll be in good company. The list of skills you can look forward to learning is long. Here are some to start you off:
(1) A dynamic on-bike body position: neutral position, ready position, fore-aft movement and lateral movement.
(2) Front wheel lifts: getting up a curb and over a log with ease.
(3) Technical braking and descending: getting the most out of your brakes, choosing your lines, and making descents of all kinds more than manageable.
(4) Climbing: key techniques to minimize your exertion and maximize your success.
(5) Tight cornering: making your way through switchbacks and twisty spaces.
Beginner riders have a fantastic time at our camps. If you’re thinking of attending, you should.
Will this camp be challenging enough if I'm an advanced rider looking to focus on downhill skills such as steep descents, rough technical terrain, jumps and drops?
If you want to focus exclusively on advanced downhill skills then you should choose one of the camp locations featuring that style of riding.
Our camps in Whistler, Mammoth and Angel Fire all feature downhill bike park access, so those would be your best bets.
Our Park City and Fernie camps are more all-mountain focused, although we can spend the afternoon on the lifts at Fernie Alpine Resort, and incorporate some of the Trailside Park features at our Park City stop.
Calgary and Hood River offer shuttle access, which is great for technical descents, but if you’re focused mainly on advanced air maneuvers, the progressive set up in a bike park just can’t be beat.
Here are a couple of the advanced sessions offered:
(1) Line selection, maintaining traction, creating fluidity, and managing steep rock faces and successive technical drops.
(2) Gap jumps, wall rides, tricks, and incorporating air into more technical trail environments.
We do bring a truckload of stunts to all our camp locations, so we can always put together a labyrinth of planks and a-frames, create high speed cornering challenges, and set up drop ramps at varying heights too. If you’re at the top of the game and want the most challenging conditions around, look through the different locations and / or send us a note so that we can make sure you’re set up for success.
I'm an avid cross-country rider, but would like to get faster and more comfortable in technical terrain - going down drops, managing steep descents, clearing obstacles. Is this camp for me?
Absolutely. At every camp you’ll find heaps of options in between the beginner and advanced scenarios above, and often those with lots of miles under their tires are super quick to pick up new techniques.
We’ve had expert cross-country racers come to our camps and find that developing their technical skills allows them to shave all kinds of time off their rides. Plus, it’s fun for anyone to learn new skills, and incredibly useful too.