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Pinkbike Poll: Who Taught You How To Mountain Bike?

Dec 14, 2022 at 11:05
by Eric Olsen  
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Levy recently talked with coach Joel Harwood of Blueprint Athlete Development on a recent podcast. Is formal coaching becoming more common?

In sports like skiing it's commonplace for riders to take a lesson to get the hang of things. Most ski resorts offer rental / lesson combos that ease the barrier to entry. More traditional "lifelong" sports like swimming or tennis offer coaching from a very young age all the way into adulthood. In mountain biking, there are far fewer opportunities for formal lessons and mountain biking is still a relatively young sport so only the luckiest of us were introduced through our parents.

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Maybe we can learn from sports like skiing and make lessons more common? Maybe online learning is the ticket?

This begs the question, who taught you how to mountain bike? Did your friend loan you a bike and say "Lean back, don't pull the front brake too hard," or did you dive into the overwhelming world of online tutorials? Maybe you actually worked with a coach? Answer the polls then tell us about the riding buddy who got you hooked on mountain biking in the comments.

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We're starting to see youth mountain biking develop worldwide. Did you get into the sport this way?

How old were you when you started mountain biking?



How did you initially learn mountain bike skills?




Do you continue to work on your mountain bike skills?







Author Info:
ericolsen avatar

Member since Aug 10, 2014
14 articles

298 Comments
  • 662 9
 I learned mountain biking from my BMX background
  • 9 1
 Plus one to this.
  • 7 1
 Plus two to this.
  • 18 1
 For real though.
  • 35 1
 me too, hitting jumps at 10, mtb at 20 now 51 and only ride park..
  • 20 1
 Yep, me too. Bike skills were already there but fitness.. well that's another thing...
  • 21 2
 Ditto, I knew how to mountain bike before I had a mountain bike...except for the shifting part and staying seated to climb...and understanding why a bicycle needed suspension.
  • 13 1
 Remember the Freeride movement in the early 2000's? Yea, I was doing a miniature, way less impressive, version of that on a Schwinn Predator Pro... I broke a lot of parts.
  • 4 3
 Started in 2019. Could jump an mtb on basically any bike i could jump a bmx on in a year. Cornering downhill? Nearly over the bars every time. Apparently there are these thingies on the bars called "brakes". And you need to use them very moderately...
  • 5 1
 Ages 5-8 I rode pull start minibikes (the kinds with a centrifugal clutch, and a piece of metal plate smashing against the tire as the brake). Racing those in the backyard is a total hoot.

Ages 10-12 yrs old one of my heros was Dave Mirra (RIP). I did my lame attempts at "street" BMX riding. However I was in the suburbs, and no one else around me rode. So I was mostly limited to practicing bunnyhops, and hopping up/down curbs, stuff like that. Fun, but not a "BMX Background" Razz .

Teenage years I did dirt biking (trail, not moto) with my dad.

Out of college I commuted by bike, and enjoyed it. But it wasn't until I moved to the PNW 5 years ago and learned about mountain biking that I tried it. Its got the cardio improvement aspects of commuting by bike, with the fun of dirt biking on the downs Smile .
  • 8 1
 Yep, BMX was my intro into proper riding on dirt, well, that and motorcycles.
  • 12 3
 I learned mountain biking from my... mountain biking background.
  • 14 1
 Riding old forest trails under 9 on anything with wheels.

First Mt bike mid 20's

When did i start mt biking?
  • 6 1
 As cliche as it is, this is pretty much true in my case. I try to pay attention to learning skills and whatnot, but most of the time I'm just relying on instincts learned during my childhood.
  • 4 1
 that really should have been an option.
  • 5 16
flag 2pi (Dec 16, 2022 at 12:37) (Below Threshold)
 BMX background alone will never make you the complete package.
  • 2 2
 @watchtower: Yeah, I ride BMX like most before going into MTB.
  • 7 8
 Seriously, who didn't ride BMX before riding MTB? Not many.
  • 10 2
 I did MTB first. Then picked up BMX to get better at MTB.
  • 3 1
 10k miles of moto racing gave me a decent base.
  • 3 1
 i rode my bmx bike around town and to school and stuff when i was in middle school. mountain bikes (geared bikes) were dumb and bmx was cool and a similar scene as skateboarding.

i rode my dad's mountain bike down to the river one time and got arrested. i didn't ride mountain bikes again until college and i could by my own entry level bike.
  • 1 1
 THIS….
  • 3 2
 When I was 8 my neighbor let me ride around on his brand-new Haro for about 5 minutes. Does that count as a BMX background?
  • 5 1
 @bocomtb: *T-pain voice* "Still Counts"
  • 4 1
 Exactly. It was 1980 and my 20” wheels with a coaster brake were bleeding edge!
  • 2 1
 Man do I wish that I did....
  • 7 2
 Came here to say the same. BMX taught me how to mountain bike. In a way, Taj taught me.
  • 4 0
 Same, how is this not an option?
  • 2 0
 @bat-fastard: remember redbull moonrider 2002 at glenarm? unfortunately hasn’t returned
  • 3 0
 yeah how could Eric have not included this as an answer in the survey? Pfffttt..
  • 6 1
 It would be interesting to see how many came from Moto/road biking. I was really into Moto years back and all the top MX guys would get in shape for it by road biking, so that’s what I did. Trail/Enduro/Dh mountain biking seems to be a combination of the two sports.
  • 4 0
 @PHX77: I came from moto as do my sons. If you are a good MX rider you can shred immediately on an MTB. From my experience anyway. I can’t ride with my knees all spread out though if that’s the way you’re “supposed” to ride.
  • 2 0
 Lol tru tru. When I could actually afford a decent bike. I can from bmx-dj-mtb in that order.
  • 1 0
 Yep, bmx from 6 to 20, mtb since.
  • 2 0
 True! We rode our bmx bikes in the woods. Road trails and built jumps.
  • 3 0
 Came here to say exactly this. Learned 90% of my MTB skills at the local skatepark.
  • 2 0
 Samesies
  • 2 0
 This the way
  • 2 0
 Dirt bikes, bmx racing as a kid, skatepark, my whole life has taught me. I was born in the dark
  • 2 0
 Ironically, I was a total wuss as a kid. So my "BMX background" was only my ability to bunnyhop, nothing more. As a middle aged adult I was WAY more fearless.
  • 2 1
 I learned MTB during dental school.
  • 2 0
 @robdpzero: the good old days when it was just fun and slagging. Racing was like mates races for bit of crack and a pissup at awards at end of year. Everything far to serious now so I only ride park is me, I even bought their t-shirt lol.
  • 3 0
 @bocomtb: my laptop screen saver is a photo of Matt Hoffman - bmx background ;-)
  • 1 0
 Same
  • 1 0
 @Mrtonyd: a plot twist i didn't see coming.
  • 5 0
 Came to mtb from BMX back in 89..and still BMXing at 48..
  • 2 0
 This. Started riding BMX at 8, still ride BMX today but picked up a MTB about 6 years ago.
  • 2 0
 I looked for this response. It wasn't there, so I up voted.
  • 1 0
 That's how my neighbor started not sure if you've heard of him but his name Jim Tharp
  • 3 0
 BMX and Moto background. I think 2023 is the year of moto background riders
  • 3 1
 Like many of the commenters here, I initially started out just riding mostly alone or with one or two buddies. This was about 2002 or so, and soon after, I had a bad crash and broke my arm. I sort of shelved the MTB thing for a while. I picked it back up when I moved to Colorado, and in 2006 I stumbled on a video of the Iron Horse DH team, and the Sam Hill segment blew my mind. The inspiration I got from that video in particular is why I chose the option for “online videos.” Ever since then, I think I’ve learned as much from watching pro riders as anything else. For sure I also learned a lot from riding with faster guys, but that was more of an every once in a while thing. Philosophically, I think we are advanced apes, and apes can learn skills just from watching others do things. That’s why we have the verb “ape.”
  • 2 0
 I'll started mtbing to train for bmx racing. Then quit racing.
  • 1 0
 Yes. But with a 25 year gap inbetween.
  • 1 0
 Right?! - Should have been option 1. I just choose to translate the survey from mountain biking to just biking.
  • 1 0
 This
  • 6 1
 Its interesting how many people responded that they started with BMX but the article doesn't mention this. I had this conversation with a fellow MTB who also rode BMX as a kid. I think we are seeing more and more riders that don't have that pool of experience as a kid, where your bike was what you did, it was your transportation, your hobby and your escape. Today kids would rather stare at a screen all day. On the good side, it makes for an endless supply of Friday Fails material.
  • 4 0
 Same. Got in to BMX when I was about 10 after watching ET. I still want to jump over a cop car!
  • 3 0
 Yep, BMX all the way. A natural transition.
  • 3 0
 Seems like there’s “I rode a bmx bike” vs “I raced BMX”. Personally, I rode a BMX bike before MTB. I didn’t race until recently, in my 50’s. There’s something to be said for what can be learned in the track.
  • 2 0
 BMX and then racing dirt bikes
  • 4 0
 BMX. The best basis to learn all the skill.
I see too many Jerry’s who never rode BMX earlier on and most of ‘em suck on their MTB.
  • 4 0
 It's very cliche but also true. A lot of my bike control comes from trying to avoid death doing stupid stuff on a twitchy little BMX bike. Railing berms is like carving a bowl corner. Jumping skills are the same. Cutties are like trying to scrub off speed on a brakeless BMX. The only "mtb specific" skills I had to teach myself were when to shift gears, and line choice and body positioning when riding fast through rough stuff as most BMX riding is done on smooth surfaces. Everything else transferred over just with more exaggerated body movements and in some cases more pre-planning of weight distribution, body position, pedal position, etc, to get the bigger bike to respond in a similar way.

Fitness on the other hand. That's a whole new level. I used to ride around all day on the BMX from spot to spot but the hard work was usually in short bursts trying a trick or line. Cruising around felt effortless. In my experience (and laziness since passing my driving test a decade ago) MTB requires a lot more endurance and works different muscle groups (seated climbing for example). Not to mention being halfway down a long, technical descent and feeling your hands locking up and arm pump setting in after a few runs down it.
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: yea this ^. At age 10, we built 20 inch bikes to look like BMX bikes if you did not have a YZ. We played stupid games and won stupid prizes on coal banks and ash piles. First hard-tail MTB, umm 25? First full sus maybe 49-50? Who taught me, gosh I dunno. 70-80’s Dirt Bike Magazine? Now, GMBN is good for a review of all the mistakes I survived.
  • 1 0
 I actually used to race BMX as a little kid, but I found MTB way more free, so now I do that. Feel honoured to have a BMX background though
  • 2 0
 only got an MTB when my knees really said no to 20" in my mid 40s...
  • 179 0
 For 'How did you initially learn mountain bike skills?', why is there no "dicking about in the woods with equally clueless mates' option?
  • 48 10
 Because its a shit poll designed to work out whether they can sell you something and ‘doing your own thing’ does not make money.
Everyone knows that its a progressive sport where you learn by riding with people better than you. Or doing stuff that you hope makes you better than them….
  • 10 0
 100%, back then they were just “bikes”. These whipper snappers today…
  • 4 1
 @ilovedust: This, so much this. In the early '90s I slid down the hills head first on my helmet almost every ride while I tried to just keep up with guys better than me. I remember my first ride I pushed my bike uphill all the way around the loop, well, except for that one last blast down the craziest, pine needle covered single track. I was hooked (except for the pushing, so much pushing).

25 years later when I thought I was pretty good but had no-one to ride with, what did I do. I found some guys much better than me, pushed my way up steeper and steeper stuff, walked down stuff that was unwalkable (and at the time unrideable by me) and got better and better again. Now luckily there is great depth of skill in the group I'm riding with so the next step up is trying to keep the front runners in sight (although broken bones seem to happen when I push that hard).
  • 92 1
 My parents forced me into it because they liked to bike and didn't want to find a sitter every day.

I guess that qualifies as "friend with no coaching experience."
  • 2 1
 Exactly!
  • 11 9
 Torger TORGER my friend... my pal. perhaps you would like to ditch these accessories and step out of your comfort zone to ride with me and my family? I'll have you know that my grandfather started the nudist ride outs in 86 and still leads them out today. We are very welcome to be hangin and swingin with more folk if ya know what i mean. #staynudepb
thank, carl
  • 3 1
 Tough love.
  • 2 1
 carl here dishing out the long-game lulz

the jeans of a hardcore nudist (thank jeebus for them) www.pinkbike.com/buysell/3292382
  • 2 4
 @chrod: UHHHHH THOSE ARENT MINE!!!!! It is simply marketing, don't be fooled by the smoke and mirrors of the illumination. Get woke or go nude that's what I've always said. @100percent knows by what I speak.

Thank, Carl
  • 3 0
 This is basically what happened to me. My parents would take me and my brother and sister out on their weekend fire road rides and I hated it. My dad found out about Northstar when I was in 5th grade and started taking me there. I wasn't into pedaling back then so I loved it. Soon after I discovered NWD and Kranked videos at my LBS and started to explore that side of the MTB world. By the time I was 12 I was faster than my dad and he would take me to Northstar and read in the lodge while I rode. My parents definitely get the credit for my love of riding
  • 84 5
 I started MTBiking in 1989. Ain't no thing called a coach back then. Your coach was yourself, learning things the hard way. Skills progressed as technology progressed.
  • 2 1
 ^this
  • 3 1
 I started around that time as well, picked up tips from better riders who had Bmx backgrounds lol.

Recently have done professional instruction to make up for bad habits/blind spots and it has been amazing how quickly a coach can help you progress. Wish I had done it sooner.
  • 6 1
 1994. Got my first instruction from magazine articles. That survey question really made me feel dated!
  • 4 1
 1990 for me - on my brand new GT Avalanche. Rigid fork, XT trigger shifters - which were a new idea back them, and an indestructible triple triangle chromoly frame. I miss that bike.
  • 4 0
 Yup, me too. Started in 1988 and I still have the bike to prove it.
  • 1 0
 1989 Specialized Hardrock; my first MTB. I was roadie before that. Every time I rode it, either it broke or I got banged up. Until I won and it broke permanently. Learned a lot of riding and a lot of mechanicing on that bike.
  • 2 0
 In 1985 a friend loaned me his chrome Ross MTB and I rode an abandoned rail line from the mountains to the Santa Cruz Wharf. He also introduced me to weed, so a very good friend indeed.
  • 3 0
 1987 for me. I bought - no, I financed at 9%, my 1st ever MTB which was a 1987 GT Avalanche.... It's the bike in my profile that I'm racing at Mammoth CA in 1991.
  • 3 0
 Try something new, biff it hard into the dirt.
Lesson learned, that didn’t work. Repeat.
  • 1 0
 Not to mention spending a good part of every ride trying to put your bike back together well enough that you didn't have to walk home
  • 48 0
 Like sex, I'm self-taught, so I'm not that great at either.
  • 3 0
 Gold.
  • 14 0
 Maybe you should see a professional to improve your skills
  • 7 0
 If you want a good laugh, substitute this for mountain biking in the poll questions above. hahaha
  • 34 2
 Forgot a super common answer for "how initially?":

"Just riding with friends"

I didn't learn anything specifically from "a friend with no formal coaching skills", but it also wasn't in a vacuum because we all taught each other stuff just by doing and trying.
  • 6 0
 When i started, my friends all rode better than me and my lessons were trying to keep up with them Smile
  • 1 0
 >because we all taught each other stuff just by doing and trying.

This is what the "friend with no formal coaching skills" medans tho?
  • 1 0
 @mtb-jon: I dunno it, seems to imply someone actually coaching you, despite not knowing how to coach, as opposed to just riding and trying to keep up with each other's antics.
  • 24 0
 Outside Magazine Mountain Bike Skills training program coming soon. Super Premium Subscription needed.
  • 22 0
 Where's the option for going out with your dad and just figuring it out together?
  • 1 0
 Only thing is junior now goes bigger than me and he's eggin me on lol
  • 1 0
 Dad is “Friend” with no formal training. Same. Early 90’s.
  • 14 0
 "Nobody, I learned to mountain bike in a vacuum"...dismissive, but yeah- that's how some of us figured out the basics of off-road riding.

For me it was riding down progressively harder parts of the random footpaths that ran through the forested area of a local park.

Wasn't until I had a base that I started going out/observing other riders at the real MTB trails, getting magazines, buying DVDs etc.
  • 8 0
 i chose that option because i learned by myself then used books like Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. i self-teach most of my hobbies, obviously not in a vacuum but i like my own exploration.
  • 11 1
 So , results as of now, 20ish percent have not taken a lesson, 65ish percent want to take a lesson in the future. This should show the MTB coaching world that they have outpriced themselves. When you are looking at paying someone in the realm of $100 an hour for MTB coaching, it begs the question...Would they make more money if they were more reasonably priced and able to run more clinics?

I am a teacher by trade, college degree, professional certifications, etc..., yet I charge $40-$50 an hour for tutoring depending on subject(Math with Calculus bringing the highest hourly rate.) I fail to see how MTB coaching brings with it more value than what people are willing to pay for tutoring, etc...

I would love to take classes and clinics, but it is outside the realm of what I am willing to spend per hour.
  • 2 0
 I agree, but it also seems like you might be undercharging for tutoring (not that there's anything wrong with making it affordable). I was charging $40 an hour as an undergrad student several years ago and got plenty of business. Very location-dependent of course!
  • 1 0
 The cost is what is keeping me from getting coaching. I find other ways to improve (like BMX and just plain riding every chance I get), but it would be cool to have personalized instruction.
  • 4 0
 I just signed my girlfriend up for a coaching session. I feel like it's worth it for her at a beginning level. But the amount I would have to spend on myself is hard to stomach, and while I am sure I will improve, I'm not sure the outcome is worth it.
  • 8 1
 As an owner of a coaching company this is something I struggle with. One answer is to offer cheaper clinics. Privates are hard to justify reducing the price of.

Reasons prices might seem high are that my company has to pay for......

Insurance (last year it was about $6000 because I run instruction at a bike park as well in other xc locations)
Workers Compensation
Unemployment Insurance
Land usage fees/ permits (often 10-20% of gross)
Advertising
Equipment such as pop-up tents, ramps, gopros, timing equipment, coach jerseys.
Bike maintenance for being on it 5 days a week. (brake pads and suspension maintenance alone!!)
Travel
Wilderness First Aid up keep.
Continued education and certifications add up. I spend at least a week every year doing some version of these.
Physically and mentally teaching more than 6hrs a day reduces the quality of the lessons so doing full 8hr days is not great.

Not to mention that in order to stay a good instructor it's important to be teaching as much as possible. If you are a part time instructor teaching every couple weeks or a few times a year you're kind of learning to teach each time. But there isn't necessarily enough business to keep you busy 40hrs a week. So in order to be available 5 days a week you have to charge accordingly. I'd say search out local companies that stay available and aren't just showing up in your area a couple times a year to provide instruction!

I haven't raised my prices in a few years. I'm currently looking for ways to charge less and still provide the quality I want!
  • 10 1
 Online videos? Oh, you kids today.

There was none of that when many of us "initially learned". But the beauty and joy of the sport (like so many sports) is that learning is ongoing. While videos had nothing to do with mastering my 1982 Stumpjumper (in 1982), now they help show me what's possible and how much I actually suck.
  • 1 0
 no tutorials, no air matresses, no manual machines, no ebikes hahaha
  • 9 0
 Started in 1989. Still remember the exact moment when I realized what mtb bikes were capable of. Riding a steep granite slab and realizing how much grip it had and how much control I had over the bike. After that it was charging down Kamikaze at Mammoth on a fully rigid Bridgestone MB-4. Modern mtb bikes are so freaking good.
  • 2 0
 MB-4! My first was a purple MB-6 with STX-RC mech upgrades and Onza bar-ends. And a Flex-Stem at some point.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: Awesome. Riders today do not want anything to do with fully rigid bikes. lol. Bikes too good now. I still secretly like bar ends, but would never rock them now. haha. Climbing is good with them.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy: oh I fully love modern bikes, too. 150mm trail bikes all day. But I also appreciate the stuff of the times: it wasn't crap or shitty, it's just old.
  • 8 0
 I started mountain biking before Al Gore invented the internet, so I learned through trial and error. I now coach a highschool MTB team, and have learned more doing that than I ever learned on my own.
  • 7 0
 I took a paid lesson from a “pro” at Trestle Bike Park a few years ago and the only thing that I learned, was that he was faster than me. The lesson was pretty much me following him/getting dropped by this local pro while he rode all the trails he wanted to ride.
  • 7 0
 I had a similar experience, though not at Trestle. I took a group clinic a few months after starting to MTB with a specific focus on learning to jump. It was 5 minutes of "just pull up dude!" with most of the time dedicated to showing off whips to the loan female in the class (his whips were proper, I will grant that).

One month later I shelled out $500 bucks for a one-on-one session with a well-known, credible, non-bro-pro instructor. He had my tires off the ground within an hour. Turns out you can't pull up on the bars when your torso is basically vertical the second you ride more than about 10 miles per hour.

Point being, pick your instructors wisely. Get a good one and it'll be game changing. Get a bad one and your spending money for nothing at best, bad habits at worst.
  • 13 0
 This is a symptom of a bad coach, not that coaching is bad all around. There are a lot of awful mountain bike coaches and there are a few really good ones. They don't have to be a pro rider to be an excellent coach, but they do need to be a great teacher. The problem is a lot of people think that just because they can ride, they can coach, which is very very wrong. You need riding skills AND teaching skills, which is a rare combination. So don't write off coaching because you had one that sucked. There are a lot of bad ones, but good ones are worth it.
  • 6 1
 Professional mtb coach speaking here, (phd in sendology) I’ve been working with riders for 35 years, and I’ve developed a foolproof 3 step guide to get you in the air in no time:
1. Go fast
2. Pull hard (and/or “just send it”)
3. Crash
4. Go again
5. Don’t crash
(Repeat until going huge)
  • 2 0
 Being a pro rider doesn't mean you are a good coach, and being a good coach doesn't mean you are a really great/pro rider.

The best riders in the world still have skills coaches. I know pros still work with Keith Code on motorcycle handling.
  • 2 0
 We did the same, morning lesson. Was a great experience, he showed us the best way to link trestle for maximum runs. If i had to learn the mountain i feel i would have wasted a couple hours
  • 1 0
 Ive done numerous coaching sessions over the years. Most of them have been useless through to detrimental. It is only really now that understanding good riding technique, and how to teach it, is really getting decent; and it is still far from universal
  • 2 0
 @bocomtb: That reminds me of a ski lesson I had in France years ago. The instructor took a shine to my sister in law and kept on making inappropriate comments about her chest to me in French. I sat there cringing and hoping that she'd forgotten enough French to not understand.

In the end he went up to her and told her in English that when she was there he couldn't ski straight as she was so beautiful...
  • 8 0
 Advantages of riding in a vacuum is there is no air resistance to slow you down
  • 5 0
 I am old, there were no coaches or tutorials when I started mountain biking...we were just riding bikes in the forest...before suspension, disk brakes and clipless pedals we just rode bikes....I had to explain to people what mountain biking was in those days..lol. I did a coaching session a few years ago and it really helped...I had some very bad habits, mostly around cornering that I am still working on. If you aren't moving forward and learning, your not going anywhere!
  • 5 0
 I stumbled across ‘mastering mountain bike skills’ by Brian lopes when I was about 12. Read it cover to cover and became obsessed, I begged my parents to help me get a Schwinn ranger from Target. 30 years later I still just get just as stoked as ever, and I still have that book in my bedside table.
  • 1 0
 Scrolled for so long to find this answer!
  • 7 0
 fun fact, I bought my first mtb with my hard saved money at age 12, early '90s. That was my one and only brand new mtb.
  • 8 0
 They missed 'Were there mountain bikes when you started mountain biking? '
  • 7 0
 People are taught how to MTB?
  • 4 1
 Love the where did you learn.
I learned off road riding in 1978/79 from my mum and dad, dad was a legend to me, cycled more in a year than I will in half my lifetime. The riding wasn't called mountain biking back then and they had been doing it for 30 years by then (some of the best mountain bike trails in Scotland are to old hostels which they went to in the 1960's on their touring (xc) bikes. It was safer to ride off road in Africa when you were in the forces from the UK than drive, dad started off roading on a bike with some gears and flat bars in around 1958/59!
  • 3 0
 I had such a weird intro to the sport. Never really biked until I came to college and started hanging around a community bike shop in 2015- most of the dudes there were retrogrouchy and super into steel rigs from the 90s with moto bars and thumbies. My buddies and I built up those frames and rode them as hard and far as we could till our poor wrenching resulted in a mechanical. We would walk the bike back, learn some more and get better (at riding AND wrenching). Gained an incredible appreciation for 80s/90s frames and components- at 26 I find myself shooting the sh*t with old timers about deore deerhead and pretty lugs.

Whenever I see folks post on here about their first 90s mtb and cantilever brakes and skinny bars and how shitty bikes were I feel some kinship, even though I wasn’t even alive yet hahaha
  • 5 0
 Question 3 needs another answer option: Not satisfied with current skill level but too lazy/can't be bothered with coaching.
  • 5 0
 You should throw the book “Mastering Mountain Bike Skills” on the where did you learn section
  • 2 0
 1988 on a fully ridged Raleigh. Ground zero for a 13 year old who was totally clueless as to how to ride a bicycle off-road ! With road bike influenced geometry.. my 3rd bike was a Zinn, with a tiny ass headtube, and a 150mm stem..

Things changed a year later. My next bike was a fully ridged 1994 Kona Kilauea.. the numbers were so different it was a total game changer. Did my first DH race on it, then via Dirt mag.. my (riding) life changed forever.

13 years later I was on the start line on the Megavalanche.. but that’s another story..

(Actually it was the year after, I knocked myself out first try)
  • 5 0
 Where's the option for Dad following you while yelling "You're doing wrong!"
  • 2 0
 1993 / 1994 Czech Ore Mountains / about 6 of us teenagers started wrecking ourselves on fully rigid steel machines frequently welded back together by one of our friend's dad ... No lessons, just once a month seeing pictures in new release of German Mounting Bike magazine which always made us to go try even scarier stuff, also Chainsmoke was pretty good motivation. Ended up building jumps, skinniness and illegal trails in the woods ...
  • 2 0
 At the end of our dead end street just before the woods started, there was a hill down to a big drain that takes this old canal that was behind all the houses out to a creek about a half mile away. There was a somewhat flat clearing down there.

When I was a kid (10 or so) a bunch of us got Redline BMX bikes and started "a BMX track" down there. But we didn't have work ethic, so the jumps and rollers were about 10 inches wide and 8-12 inches tall. The berms were right angles and the whole thing was maybe 15 by 20 feet. But we had the hill to get up to speed before the first berm. Needless to say the right angle berm stole all our speed and we just pedaled over the tiny bumps in the dirt.

Eventually got my dad's Rockhopper to ride my bike to high school (circa 1994) but sadly never put it together to take it into the woods.

Fast forward 20+ years and my parents bring that bike up to my place when my kids first got bikes (way too old) and I see an opening in the woods and I experience my first single track. "Where has this been all my life?" My ignorance about what mountain biking was is astonishing and I grew up outdoors and road cycling. Within a month, that bike was stolen but not before I almost drown myself trying to do a creek crossing by losing my front wheel and hitting my head on the shale creekbed (...twice).
  • 2 0
 I learn to ride from the best ,three’s,rocks,sand,roots,water,sun,mud,clay,crashes,people saying you got this ,just jump,watching others,watching dvd mtb films,lack of suspension,lack of brakes,lack of skill,they who’re so many (excuse me for the ones I don’t recall now),oh yes some beers to much,those who’re hard lessons ,the bike just didn’t obey me ,and with all those masters I’m still learning some new stuff ,like where is the trail?I only see a fire road with ramps and berms ,when is the trail starting?.I just love riding my bike ,it’s is my n1 sport of all time ,it’s just amazing ,so “simple”and yet it stills drives me to continue to do it (without a motor),and yes I did ride a bmx when younger :-))))))))
  • 4 0
 In "How did you initially learn MTB skills ?", I saw "online videos", and instantely started to feel old. To feel like "I started MTB before Google was even an idea".
  • 6 0
 Online videos? I think you meant to say VHS tapes
  • 2 0
 I started Hart Highway PG DIRTLAND. late 70s on a regular bike with ape hangers. My buddies and i would build jumps and ride the shit out of those trails around there. Remember seeing Norco MTBs in Northern ski 1985. Couldnt believe how cool they looked.
  • 2 0
 They left out "How old are you now" or "what year did you start" - Started in 1987 with a "Montagna" from Corvallis Cyclery, so 35 years on an MTB and a good bit of the trails I learned on are still being ridden (Mac and Dunn *OSU Research forest outside of Corvallis ~ Lewisberg Saddle) It's never gotten old riding Endo & Extendo or Dan's trail. My hope is 2023 I'll get more time on my bike, at 60 I'm not getting any younger Smile
  • 2 0
 Get 'mountain bike' for birthday/ Christmas, ride around with mates in woods/BMX tracks/moto trails until bike inevitably falls apart and breaks, fix or get slightly better bike, find better trails, break self, study magazine articles, find better riding buddies, repeat for the next 20+ years with the addition of video guides at some point. Seemed to be the most common route into the sport for my generation.
  • 2 0
 Forty-one years ago most mountain bikes were klunkers, and Specialized was just starting mass production. Fat Tire Flyer was it for news, and races were few and far between. NORBA was just being formed. That's how I learned MTB. Friction shifters, flex Mafac cantilevers, 15 gear combos, 26" wheels, and lots of tube patching.
  • 1 0
 100% on my own but also 100% online videos that help push me and guide me mentally. Videos from Sam Pilgrim gave me confidence to send my first jump attempts, and Ben Cathro's how-to-bike series has great tips and mental approach to breaking down riding in detail.
  • 1 0
 1984. Affordable mountain bikes had just started to appear in shops. Friends who lived near the Don Valley trails talked me into getting an MTB and riding with them. They taught me how to ride down steep chutes and how to climb with the granny gears, all that stuff. I got more into it than they were. By late 1987 I'd bought my first serious bike (Rocky Mountain Avalanche) and entered my first race. Started reading magazine articles on technique, did more racing (along with courier work) and went from there.
  • 1 0
 Rode bikes for most of my life, didn't start MTB seriously until I was almost 30 (the trails I grew up around are awful, I rode ONE narrow trail that had actual rocks, roots and not to mention TREES. That was all it took and I have been hooked ever since.
Took a skills class in late 2020 and it made my riding much better and safer. I still practice the same drills I learned that day every time I get on my bike. #HipHinge.
  • 1 0
 I'm glad they added the vacuum portion. My brothers skated and I liked bikes, we did a lot of drainage trenches (My tires never left the ground). Then I learned on my own riding through the hills to visit friends. I did learn to dirt bike from my dad, but just the basics, how to use the clutch and twist the throttle, trail etiquette and some basic body movements, maybe some elbows out type stuff. He taught me what he knew, which he learned by himself. I've taught my daughter what I know and have paid for a lot of instruction to fill the vast gaps in my knowledge. I've learned a lot from my kid and the few instruction classes I've taken. Many years to undo what I taught myself over a few decades.
  • 4 0
 How is it possible that question 2 has no option for "learned to ride mtb from my parents" ?
  • 1 0
 I'm 61. I grew up riding 24" and 26" knobby-tired bikes in rural New York on trails, through the mud, off jumps while everyone else was on Stingrays. Never stopped. Dreamed of having a bike with a suspension and now I wish I had kluged one together in the late '60s or early '70s.
  • 1 0
 Had always ridden a "mtn bike" around the area as a kid. Dirt roads, gravel pit, commuting to the local lake, etc. Kid stuff. Wasn't until many years later in highschool times that a friend said "theres this trail, lets go", and we rode our first "mtn bike trail". Proceeded to destroy our bikes and ourselves. Immediately found and watched our first bike film (NWD2)and that was that, we were hooked. Looking back as kids we were riping down steep lines at the local gravel pits, not unlike modern big mtn just much smaller. That was 28 years ago. I think it was an inevitable outcome.
  • 1 0
 It goes like this... Theory, practical practice, theory, practical practice... Realise you don't have a BMX background and you always going to suck at MTB, cry in pillow. Seriously though I suck which is why I'm always trying to get better!
  • 1 0
 Started 1986 at age 10. I didn't get much better over the next 20 years until I deployed to Iraq with a copy "How to master mountain biking skills". I read it cover to cover at least 5 times in 6 months, when I returned I was immediately at Black Diamond level without ever touching a bike. Thanks Brian Lopes and Lee McCormick!
  • 1 0
 Same here! I slowly picked up and improved on fundamentals from great book by Lee McCromack - Mastering MTB skills.
  • 1 0
 When it comes to potential lessons in the future, my "yes" solely is based on the assumption that once i manage to get a uk riding trip in, Ben "Line Guy"" Hightower" Cathro would have time to show a fellow 2m man how to bike...
  • 1 0
 My younger brother introduced me to mountain biking when I was around 35. Prior to that I had very little biking experience. I was given 2 bike growing up and both got stolen within months. It was like learning all over again. If video on phones was available then I would have easily made several of the Friday Fails. I’m now 59 in a month and a month ago I did the whole enchilada with my son. I’ve come a long way!
  • 1 0
 i was late to the mtb scene got shown a few unofficial trails everything was trial and error learning experience for myself having left the roadie scene completely. claim to fame, my cousin michael white did pra loup dh mens 55-59 number 421 came 7th.
  • 1 0
 Self-taught on a rigid frame Specialized Stumpjumper in the 80's. We rode in Victoria BC - Mt Tolmie, Mt Doug and Mt Work. Bear hill, Bear mountain (Skirt Mtn in Millstream). Anywhere there was a trail (even rode down trails on the observatory lol).
  • 1 0
 I lived in Ohio in 1988 when I got my first MTB. There were a few pictures in magazines, but in reality we just rode our bikes and figured it out as we went. No suspension, 1 or 2 flats per ride, rim brakes barely worked... I really mean barely, chain fell off all the time, no indexed shifting, 3 front chainrings, super narrow handlebars, WTF is a dropper post? That was mountain biking and it kind of sucked. Don't know why I stayed with it but glad I did.
  • 1 0
 By "kind of sucked" do you mean it was so awesome you kept riding in spite of all the pain/injuries ?
  • 2 0
 I ask my buddies on my first ride if they think I can handle the trail, they reply “you ride BMX you’ll be fine” as I follow them into Dirt Merchant… 18 years later I’m still riding
  • 1 0
 Got my first MTB back in 198f*cking&!
There were ZERO MTB coaches then lol!
But still riding at 50, and going faster than ever. Partly from the amazing bikes and partially from all the years of learning. I love taking a lesson here and there to really get focused.
  • 1 0
 1987 12 years old lived in Burnaby and Rode to Seymour, found a map at bottom of old buck, rode up rode and started finding trails, usually lied to my mother where I was going because she would worry too much. The Eatons department store bike North Country brand didn’t last too long and in 1990 in was the Nishiki Barbarion. The advancements in biking wow!!!!!
  • 1 0
 I went from road motorcycle riding to road motorcycle racing to MTB. Not sure if that is a normal path. But I spent a lot of time trying to study faster motorcycle riders and read a lot of skills building books, so the habit kinda carried over to MTB.
  • 1 0
 I was a skateboarder in middle/high school and refused to ride BMX. I skated; that was that. I devoted all my time to skating. Snowboarded in the winter. Then at 30 I got into mountain biking and realized I’d been missing out the whole time. Son of bitch. You mean I could have been bombing hills on bikes this whole time? I wish I would have been more open minded when I was younger.
  • 2 0
 I rode dirtbikes (poorly) as a teen. When in college there was a mtb club jibbing off rocks in the quad. I thought they were dorks. I wish I had been more open minded and gotten into it when I was 19 and skinny.
  • 1 0
 Who the f*ck taught anyone how to mtb?
I think that the people who mtb are exactly the same people who got a buzz and feeling of accomplishment from learning to ride thier bike the first time to riding with no hands on the bars to the first time to hitting thier first drops and double blacks. Progression is the best and addictive. An mtb is just a bike after all.

I’m still working on riding one handed…… some day….
  • 1 0
 I put my mountain bike beginnings up to two specific moments, the first being when I was brought to a ski resort that inexplicably was open in the summer, and you could ride bicycles down it, which absolutely blew my mind and began my love of mtb knowing “I could do this the rest of my life”.
The second moment was being shown a real mtb movie at school, and seeing that kind of bike riding was actually an established sport being pushed to the limits, ironically I saw Pinkbike.com as a sponsor and followed the rabbit hole and this website is actually how I exited the “vacuum”
  • 1 0
 I earned my stripes racing motorcycles, all types, up until age 39 when I was done with that. I started mountain biking at age 40 to augment my running. I carried much of my motorcycle skills; motocross, drag racing, observed trials, road racing, into mountain biking. I took a skills class 15 years ago and it was a worth while course. I continue to practice my skills set to this day. Oh, Randy, my childhood friend, and I rode nature trails back in 1966 too, no mountains but plenty of slick stream crossings, we called it riding our bikes. I'm 69 now and it's been my sport for 29 years.
  • 1 0
 I was born into a cycling family. My mother was carrying me in snuggie at 8 months old, in the 70's, while ripping her ten speed on the upper levels highway in North Van. I was riding a bike by the time I was 2. Got my first MTB in '87... I never learned how ride... It's all I've known.
  • 1 0
 friends got me into mtn biking many years ago, and now none of them ride at all. Years of racing motocross helped me pick things up, and never looked back. 59 and riding harder and faster than i think i ever have. Never stop learning .......when ya stop.....shit will start to go sideways
  • 1 0
 I rode bikes as a kid but couldn’t generalise it into mountain biking, just biking. I didn’t really start “mountain biking” until I was injured and a forces charity bought me a mtb to get back to health. After that moment I was hooked and learned through getting it wrong, some races and online videos.
  • 1 0
 My brothers and I would ride bikes on the bike paths "near" our house on our Walmart bikes. I would see little dirt paths occasionally going off to the right leading somewhere... unknown. I told my little brothers "I'm gonna see where this path goes!" Biked for the first 20 feet got off and hiked up about 15 vertical feet as I was in the wrong gear and on a $30 drivetrain. I got to the top and realized it lead right back to the bike path, but there was about 15 feet of vertical drop over about 45 linear feet. This was my first "chute" and my first real mtb experience. I said, "I think I can do it! I'm gonna do it!" My loving little brothers responded, "Don't you idiot!" My first send. My hands trying to lock up the cheap cable actuated tiny stoppers. Tires slowly accelerating over what then appeared to be a boulder field. Going to fast for comfort towards the end and rolling out onto the bike path with my heart rate unreasonably high. What a rush. Little did I know that got me hooked.
  • 4 1
 I'm old enough to say VHS tapes ---- Dirty Tricks and Cunning Stunts, Chainspotting....
  • 3 0
 Came to the comments to look for this. Tricks and Stunts was my absolute go-to back then and is probably the reason I'm more comfortable on the more tech stuff today. I just wish I'd learned to jump back then too because I'm definitely not comfortable at that.
  • 1 0
 Not seeing moto being mentioned here. BMX racing and moto as a kid and teenager made renting a mountain bike and riding blacks on first day at the bike park natural in my 20's.
  • 2 1
 BMX racing in 1979 to freestyle in 1981 skateboarding 84-91 MTB in 1991 until present with skateboarding and BMX splattered in there a whole bunch so I'm really bad at bowling
  • 4 0
 Early 90s: MBUK was all we needed!
  • 1 0
 Pretty big difference between "Yes I continue to practice my skills" and "No I'm happy with where I'm at and don't practice"

Where is the option for "I'm not happy with my skills but don't practice to get better"?
  • 1 0
 90's with my old man. Me on a Giant Iguana him on a Bridgestone MB-3 with a MAG21. Then he got a Santa Cruz Tazmon and I inherited the MB-3. We rode all around Tahoe and it was the greatest trial by fire ever.
  • 1 0
 Most of the options for learning how to mountain bike did not exist in 1991 when I started. I think I was the first person I knew to get an MTB, so it was definitely a self-taught process.
  • 2 0
 I learned at 14 during the lock down and taught myself and have progressed very quick, but i believe there would have been less injury's if i took a class
  • 2 2
 I learned the hard way. Old school Shore starting 1980. Feet wet or butt kicked. Or you go home. On a fully rigid bike. Bad brakes. Bald tires and NO armour. No helmet. But the skills developed you take with you for life.....

And I look at the new crop of riders and think how much is done to placate to low riding skill and low intestinal fortitude. And instead of rising the rider we lower the bar. Ever lower. Smoothe flow on the Shore didn't exist in the past for simple reasons: it is costly to build, maintain and doesn't hold up with use and rain (which happens here a lot). But the simple fact is: riders today are not nearly as skilled as the past as having not had to build the basic building blocks from riding in a simple form. There are riders today that have never known a rigid bike or questionable braking. If everyone had to (and even starting with a hardtail would be a good start) it would make for a more sustainable sport. If eventually everyone wants (and expects) smooth trails guess what.....adapt or die. But it seems that applies to trails not riders. Sad evolution.
  • 1 0
 Watching vhs videos and the big breakthrough was reading "mountain bike like a champion" by Ned Overend I think that was in 02 I decided to get serious and read a book about it.
  • 2 0
 If you're in WA get lessons from Simon at Fluidride.com. I spent countless hours with him in 2012 an it's still paying off today.
  • 1 0
 I watched Sam Hill ride in Quebec in Earthed 5 hundreds of times and picked up absolutely nothing. Years later as a decent rider I watch it agian and cringe at how little I picked up about what he was doing lmao
  • 2 0
 I learned to shred and schralp berms before i could walk. My first word spoken was "radical" and i wore vans sneakers before they were made fashionable by hipsters.
  • 1 0
 I learned before there was such a thing as mountain biking. We took our crappy Huffy BMX wannabe bikes out on any dirt trails we could find. Learned the hard way about when not to brake, etc... good times then and now.
  • 1 0
 I worked at a place with a bunch of mountain bikers, in the beginning they loaned me a bike and took me out. Later they helped me piece together a bike with mostly extra parts the had laying around. Those guys were rad!
  • 1 0
 Down, Double Down and the NWD videos taught me how to huck to flat. Took me years to slowly learn the rest. The stuff Ben dishes out in his videos is gold that took me half a life time to learn.
  • 1 0
 Lucky enough to have a dad who was into it and just dragged me along. 20 years later still having fun but have gotten a few coaching sessions in the last few years that really helped me get to the next level
  • 1 0
 I got my first scar at the age of 3 1/2 when doing nose wheelies on a tricycle by pedaling backwards - went over the bars and landed on my chin. True story.
  • 3 0
 Hans Rey videos. Thanks for the broken tailbone, Hans
  • 1 0
 First ride on the Kuwahara mtb in 1991, I had never had a front brake or seen anyone use one. Promptly locked up those cantis, ejected head-first. Next day, I got my first helmet.
  • 1 0
 pretty much just a buddy who has been biking for a much longer time looking up at me on any trail and being like 'ehhhh i think you got it' over and over and over again
  • 2 0
 The rocks on the trail taught me, they still do, whenever I get it wrong they smack me about. Very stern teachers rocks.
  • 4 0
 Is this THE Eric Olsen?
  • 2 0
 I learned by accidentally taking my commuter bike onto a trail, it was fun so I kept doing it.
  • 1 0
 We rode BMX bikes in the mountains before there were mountain bikes, and when mountain bikes came out I couldn't afford one.
  • 1 0
 Back then we mainly taught ourselves.
My riding took a nice leap when I ran into a video called "pumping for speed and control".
Wish I had learned that way earlier.
  • 2 0
 @Blindsider420 girlfriend taught me... and I still haven't figured out her PB account name
  • 1 0
 I prepared for MTB by riding Motocross for 30 years first,only got an MTB to improve fitness for MX,MTB has now taken over my life
  • 3 0
 Chain smoke …if you know you know
  • 1 0
 There were no Mountain Bikes when I started mountain biking.
sorry -no BMX background here ( my parents said I would destroy it anyway, so they bought me none)
  • 1 0
 Started on a BMX but then later "progressed" to mountain biking on a bike with cantilevers held together with string. Mainly self taught but riding with friends also helped.
  • 1 0
 Watching various MBUK VHS tapes, and the Sprung serious, tried to copy that on Kona Hahanna then some Univega Y-Framed thing with RSTs
  • 3 0
 Is there a , My Evel Knievel stunt bike made me do it option
  • 1 0
 Mongoose 26” Kos Kruiser, TA triple cranks, Bullseye hubs, Simplex derailleurs, Suntour thumb shifters, Oakley 3 grips. Showing my age.
  • 1 0
 Never will be a MTB Wizard but my skill set comes from racing Enduro and Hare Scrambles, wheels on the ground.
Riding bikes for 55+ years, proper MTB'ing for 23 yrs.
  • 1 0
 I took a weekend BetterRide course at Keystone back in 2011. No BS, the best investment I've ever made in my years of mountain biking.
  • 2 0
 Great to hear that your course had a big impact! Keep on doing those drills! Gene
  • 1 0
 Moto BMX and MTB since I was 6. Dad raced BMX in the late 70s early 80s. Born into 2 wheeled sports. Started racing at 16 pro Dh license at 20.
  • 2 0
 How did you initially learn mountain bike skills?

From Mountain Bike Action magazine articles. The '90s were wild, man.
  • 2 0
 I got my first mountain bike in 1989. Coaches? That's laughable.
  • 1 0
 I started riding with friends in 1996. My skills peaked in 98. It’s been a steady plateau since.
  • 1 0
 What if I am not satisfied with my skills but also don't spend time practicing and progressing?
  • 1 0
 A friend who I later learned that had a golden rule “never follow Jules”
  • 1 0
 "I'm not telling you where to go, but don't follow them/me."
  • 2 0
 So this one time, me and my buddy Wayne....
  • 1 0
 We turned our BMX cruisers into mountain bikes back in ‘84. Haven’t stopped either disciplines since.
  • 1 0
 Lucky Fail Friday wasn't a thang back in the good ol'days! I had my fair share of epic fails!
  • 1 0
 Missing answer from how did you learn mtb skills: “just messing around with friends and learning off each other”
  • 3 0
 Your mom!
  • 3 0
 nwd 8
  • 1 0
 When mtb was merely dirt roadies, bmx was king. When mtb got more capable and playful is when I made the switch.
  • 2 0
 I taught myself, that's why I suck at it.
  • 1 0
 there are always super good people at my jump park that tell me how much im messing it up lol
  • 1 0
 I learned back when there were top Mounted shifters, no suspension and cantilever brakes and toe clips.
  • 2 0
 How come there is no option for i learned from My Moms new Boyfriend?
  • 1 0
 Funny as I helped teach my GF's daughter how to ride a motorcycle, and let her teenagers ride my MTB. There was no riding experience in the household until I entered.
  • 2 0
 Poll didn’t include the option of coming from Moto background
  • 1 0
 So I’m not aloud to learn all by myself?
I started in the early 80’s. By myself.
  • 2 0
 You're allowed to learn as loud as you want.
  • 1 0
 I ride behind people that are better than me and simply copy what they do to improve. So far this has worked out quite well.
  • 2 4
 You don't need coaching. Just ride. The more you ride...the better you get. All those high prices coaching sessions are a waste of money. Just like Cushcore and the other bullshit the bike industry attempts to push on us.
  • 2 0
 If “just riding” is working for you then yeah, don’t waste your money.

But IME, paying good money for good coaching is the best way to break a skill plateau. Been crashing on the same jump or rock roll for 2 years? Might be time to ask for help.
  • 1 0
 Joining a local club, often associated with a store, is a great way to meet local shredders and really improve your skills
  • 1 0
 I learned to mountain bike by riding with people who are faster than me. (That means pretty much everybody, lol.)
  • 1 0
 i watched kranked 2 over and over and over while working in an XC and road shop in ohio as a kid lol
  • 1 0
 Started because of a family friend, but I learned everything I know from New World Disorder and Drop In!
  • 3 0
 I ate dirt as a kid.
  • 3 0
 Falling taught me
  • 2 0
 I learned MTB during dental school. Wink
  • 1 0
 Had some coaching from Geoff the Aussie Smile

And then of course the usual YouTube videos, tips from friends, etc.
  • 1 0
 Learned how to ride by eating sh*t over and over again until I didn’t have to anymore.
  • 1 0
 Your mom taught me how to ride the village bicycle and the rest is history.
  • 1 0
 As long as there's kids, bikes and woods. Kids will be riding bikes in the woods.
  • 1 0
 Mountain bikes didn't exist when we started dicking about in the woods on "tracker" bikes in the 70s.
  • 1 0
 I usually learned new lines by following someone else. But also I remember getting tips from Zap Espinoza articles.
  • 1 0
 I started off as a roadie. Took up mountain biking. My friends joke that don't need an ebike because I have elegs.
  • 1 0
 I did what felt natural for 18 years, then I watched an Aaron Gwin cornering video.
  • 1 0
 Nobody taught me I just made a lot of mistakes until I kinda learned and now I flatter myself that I’m pretty good
  • 1 0
 When I learned to mountain bike, there was no one to teach — showing my age
  • 1 0
 I did my first MTB race in 1990. got my first MTB in 1989. we taught ourselves.
  • 1 0
 I read and watched pinkbike for a couple years while not having anough money for a bike... it worked!
  • 1 0
 @EricOlsen you should check people's ages. When I learnt there were no classes or Internet!
  • 1 0
 Sold my TW 200 when I was 15. Bought a Trek 920. Been progressing with the sport for over 30 years.
  • 2 0
 i started at 31 because before than i could not afford a bike.
  • 2 0
 i learnt MTB from "friday fails"
  • 1 0
 "Do you continue to work on your mountainbike skills?"

No, I gave up years ago. Just riding around for the scenery now.
  • 1 0
 Leant from mountain bike summer camp
  • 1 0
 GTA because anything is possible
  • 1 0
 Back flips are strangely challenging in that game
  • 3 1
 Chuck Norris
  • 2 0
 riding dirtbikes
  • 2 0
 BMX was my coach
  • 1 0
 my mtb background helped me to be good on a bmx!
  • 2 0
 The Streets taught me
  • 2 0
 your mom
  • 2 0
 i only ride park
  • 1 0
 Riding a YZ250 as a 13year old taught me how to MTB
  • 1 0
 I learned from crashing. 40 years later, I still do.
  • 1 0
 I taught myself and that's why I suck mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 I half-cabbed outta the womb.
  • 1 0
 Dad and three older brothers. No option not to ride.
  • 1 0
 i learned to ride by following whoever was in front of me on the trail
  • 1 0
 Looks like outside is about to create a MTB coaching clinic
  • 1 0
 That's a stupid fucking youngster-biased question.
  • 1 0
 borrowed bike 1986. just keep riding
  • 1 0
 Your mama taught me how to mountain bike!
  • 1 0
 I’m late to the party but I’m pretty sure it was your mom.
  • 1 0
 Where’s the learned “from Dad” option
  • 1 0
 Who says I know how to mountain bike!!??
  • 2 0
 Nobody. It was 1986.
  • 2 0
 I started in 1985. Used to just ride all over the place sticking mostly to dry creek beds. People though I was a nut out riding 8 hours a day.
  • 1 0
 MTB clubs for the win! (literally)
  • 1 0
 Self taught rider here and it shows.
  • 1 0
 No family option? I can't be the only one with a cool uncle!
  • 1 0
 "online videos" LOL

more like NWD and KRANKED
  • 1 0
 The School of Hard Knocks.
  • 1 0
 What's mountain biking?
  • 1 0
 i'm here for it
  • 1 0
 Me, myself, and I.
  • 1 0
 Shout out to vacuum.
  • 1 0
 Never. Stop. Learning.
  • 1 0
 poe jatterson







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