This question has been asked often, how did you guys come up with this stuff and why don’t more people know about it?
Well here goes...
James Dodds (Dodzy) has been racing mountainbikes downhill for a long, long time and as he describes it “had to work” at winning, e.g, it didn’t come naturally to him. What this meant though was that he put a huge amount of think time into why and how it all works. In 2004 he was riding very regularly and began noticing patterns emerging in his riding, things he was doing on good days and obviously wasn’t on bad days. He started playing round with some very basic principles for the handling of a two wheeled bicycle, researching any available information and then breaking things down so he could explore how things actually worked. These principles proved to be very effective.
Later in the year he was approached by some junior racers to give them some coaching - the coaching was a success and more and more people asked for help. In late 2004 Dodzy and partner Gabby started up MTB Skills Clinics offering skill based coaching to the wider public on a regular basis. The clinics have all stemmed from those basic handling principles and although MSC have refined and found better and better ways to explain and teach the concepts, those core skills are still true to the day they were thought up.
What this means for you...
You are being taught the most important skills needed to handle a bicycle which have been developed from riders who race and take an interest in developing specific mountainbike handling skills rather than a dude sitting behind a desk who has a qualification in coaching kiddies. These skills have also been developed in conjunction with bike frame and componentry improvements which have drastically changed the sport of mountainbiking. What was vaguely true in the ‘80’s is definitely not true now, yet 90% of the reading material out there is still dragging the chain. Here’s your chance to get up to date.
The MSC coaching pathway is a solid piece of detailed engineering research, and reflects the analytical approach Dodzy took to how best to coach and articulate how you can get the best out of your bike, while having an immense amount of riding fun. The specific skills MSC coaches are also backed by the reasoning and understanding of how they work, and that is a massive part of the value MSC provides.
Tragically, we lost Dodzy to a hunting accident in September 2011. He left behind many, many friends the world over, and he also left some wonderful legacy in many areas he was connected to. MSC is definitely one of those areas, and anyone who has been coached through any of our clinics now rides with the DNA that James built into this programe.
Gabby sold the business after establishing a network of highly experienced coaches across NZ who contnue spreading the good word. Gabs is still involved though, and we love having her home from Italy and coaching for us when she can.
Nelson based Chris Mildon now runs MSC - Chris was one of the original 'first draft' coaches Gabby and James bought in, and carries the same philosophy to coaching that MSC was based on from thse early days.