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After years of climbing uphill, mountain bike prices are finally expected to descend this riding season as shipping costs return to normal and shops unload the excess inventories they stockpiled to meet COVID-19-induced demand. But while the financial barriers may be lower, shredding singletrack isn’t something you should pedal into lightly. To avoid having to learn the hard (not to mention bloody and bruised) way, take your new steed to one of these four beginner clinics.
Kids Fundamental Skills Course
Ninja Mountain Bike Performance
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Founded in 2010, Ninja has assembled a bevy of certified coaches and one of the deepest course catalogs, including kid-specific classes. While this beginner-friendly, half-day clinic covers the same maneuvers as the company’s adult sessions, such as body position, turning, and descending, your groms will learn these skills—plus trail safety basics—through games like pool noodle limbo. May 20, Denver; $259
Mountain Bike Skills Course
If you prefer to know the physics behind cornering or the psychology of why your body isn’t listening to your brain, former professional racer Gene Hamilton is the coach for you. Over the past 24 years, he’s been perfecting a three-day, small-group clinic that focuses on the science of riding and dispels common cycling misconceptions. In practice, that means you’ll receive three to four hours of drills before you even hit the trail. June 2 to 4, Golden; $899
Vida MTB Series
In the decade since its first class, this women-only group out of Breckenridge has been building community and dismantling barriers to entry into the sport with initiatives such as scholarships for riders of color. Vida also keeps its private lessons affordable with rates starting at just $140 for two hours. Newbs can use that time to learn the basics without a crowd watching them, while experienced riders can get help sending specific features on their local trails.
Try It Clinic
Norco Dirt Series
While Norco Dirt Series offers multiday experiences similar to others on this list, true novices should wheel over to its three-hour Try It Clinic, which caters to the riders yet to be. You’ll learn a bit of terminology, trail etiquette, and foundational skills on flat ground that you can then take to your local singletrack. (If you leave wanting more, consider moving on to the company’s Progression Series, where you’ll gain new skills during four three-hour sessions.) June 10, Boulder; $95