Do I need an instructor?

Hey Lee,

I’ve been looking at your website a little bit, and you seem to really understand how to coach mountain biking. I live in the Bay Area (south of San Fransisco, CA), and was wondering if you know of any good instructors in the area. Also, if not, in your opinion do you think it is possible for me to teach myself using your book or do I really need an instructor?


Hey Caleb,

Thanks for the kind words. I’m really stoked with my teaching these days; everything is getting more and more dialed.

Now that I’m the skills development director for the national high school mountain bike racing league, I’m working to document my curriculum and get it out there. Hopefully some day instructors everywhere will be teaching my kung fu.

Sorry, I can’t recommend an instructor. But: I will be in the Bay Area this October to train the Norcal high school MTB coaches. I hope to teach public clinics while I’m there. Keep an eye on the site.

Do you need an instructor?
That’s a great question. Some thoughts:

– Nobody needs any of this. But we sure want it.

– Many people — 60,000 and counting — have learned a lot from the book. If you’re able to learn by reading and/or looking at images, definitely get the book. Study the moves. Practice them one at a time. Rip. The book is so inexpensive, there’s no reason not to get it.

– Everyone I’ve ever worked with — from first timers to pros — benefits from eyes-and-hands-on instruction. Every rider is different, and it’s valuable to have a qualified instructor watch you ride and give you the specific direction you need.

– As a matter of fact, expert riders tend to benefit even more than beginners. Experts have bases of fitness and skill, but they’re held back by bad habits that I identify and fix.

My vote: Get MMBSii and rip it up. Let’s clinic it up next time I’m in Norcal.


— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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5 replies
  1. Mr. P says:

    I got the book and can comment on how great it is. Clearly took my riding to the next level. I describe it as the best upgrade ever. I read it multiple times (it’s not often you read something that translates into instant results)

    After reading = Downieville DH, 1st in my class, Sea Otter Dual Slalom, 2nd in my class.

    The book helped me get those results.

    Sorry if this sounds over the top, but it really worked for me.

    I would imagine instruction would net similar benefits.

    On a side note, I found that instruction in BMX is common, but I guess us MTBers are too independent minded? Speaking of which, Lee, where is that BMX book? I look forward to reading it to my 6 year old (and he’s moving up to intermediates, yikes!)


  2. leelikesbikes says:

    Pro BMX Skills: I am about to make the final-final edits then generate the ready-to-print file. The proof I have here looks good (I think — I’m so ready to be done with this thing!).

    I have two options for printing:

    1. On-demand printing through CreateSpace, an Amazon affiliate. I use them for the print version of Pump track Nation. This is quick, and it costs me nothing out of pocket, but the profit margin is very low.

    2. Get 5,000 printed on a traditional press. This takes cash. I’m talking to investors now. While we’re working out the terms, I’m going to move ahead with CreateSpace so I can get the pre-ordered books out ASAP.

    I appreciate everyone’s patience. I think PBS is a huge game changer — even more than MMBSii.

  3. o says:

    I spent some time with Jiro Nakamura (former DH champ) in the El Corte Madera slopes last year. Definitely improved my skills, in particular the high speed turns.

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