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Dialing it in: Trek Dirt Series 2012

You can ride and ride and ride mountain bikes around your local haunt for years and be… pretty good. You know, good enough to ride decently fast, rail a corner here and there, and send a few drops, all linked together in-trail. You’re better than most; maybe in the “ripper crew” in your ‘hood. That’s cool…

And then you can go to Whistler Bike Park for a few days and come back—a shredder. Technical term.

The mother of all mountain resorts is the epicenter of mountain biking during the high season and has spat out its share of world-famous pros. It’s been called Oz, the Motherland, the Mecca of mountain biking. For reference, if you know anything about the mountain’s significance during winter, condense and multiply that energy for the summer mtb community. It’s the heart of the beast.

Now, you can go to Whistler for a couple days, ride its gnar with friends and become a shredder pretty fast. Or… you can go there and take a skills clinic from the renowned  Trek Dirt Series, a long-running mtb camp that pumps out shredders in two days, and bypass that huge learning curve of wrecks, OTBs and broken bones with proper coaching and technique.

I’ve attended three sessions as of this past weekend, and wrote about the first two here, here and here.

The Dirt Series has been perfecting the group coaching thing for 12 years now and has it down to a science. (Most camps are all-women; a few camps co-ed.)  I attended the first as media—and came back and paid for the next two. They’re good.

The clinic produces serious results. For one, because they break down bike and body movement, technique, body position and terrain response; they teach you how to operate that big, complicated steed beneath you. And two, because they do it all it in a fun, relaxed environment where they instill that most important tool in your riding bag: confidence. You can go a lot of places with confidence leading the way. Like over the infamous A-Line rock drop and the high-profile GLC drops, and other iconic, scary Whistler name-drops. Or, you don’t have to, if you’re not ready.

The point is, it’s all about progression and with a camp like the Dirt Series, you progress—faster than you would any other way. So you can go back to your local stomping grounds and attack those trails as a true, legit shredder… proper technique and all.

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