18 Play Habits: How to Go From Average to Awesome MTB Skills 10 Minutes at a Time

Hi Groover,

This post is all about simple, fun, quick and effective ways you can boost your MTB skills and confidence, ten awesome minutes at a time.  It is International Awesome Week after all.  Well, not officially, but let’s just make it that.

Start by giving yourself ten minutes of awesome in the backyard, or to and from the trail, a couple of times a week.  And even when you’re on the trails, make it a habit to play with the trail and your environment to boost your fun and tune your skills.

Already got skills?  The list below can help you keep them.  (as the saying goes: ‘Use It, or Lose It’)


How to Go From Average to Awesome MTB Skills 10 Minutes at a Time:

On the Trail:

It’s all about Playing and making a Habit of it.  Don’t just stand around or roll past the opportunity.  Play!   Who cares whether you’re 14 or 48?  You’re never too old to play and have fun.

To and From the Trail:

  • ride a long line, curb or edge to tune your balance and log-crossing skills
  • manual
  • bunny-hop or side-hop the curbs, even when you don’t need to
  • ride figure eights or tight circles while waiting for others to arrive (two hands, one hand, slow, fast, off the saddle)
  • track stand at the pedestrian crossings (balance on the spot)
  • find some drops to ride off, or steep slopes to fly down

Backyard or Park:

‘You Have All That You Need, Right Now’.  Think outside the box and create your very own Awesome Obstacle Course with whatever you have.

Show Me Your Awesome Play Habit or Obstacle Course?

If you’ve got a great idea, or a photo of your backyard obstacle course or fun trail-side detour, post it on the MTBtips Facebook page.  I’d really like to see how you’re making your week awesome.  AND, it might just be the inspiration another rider needs to kick-start their own Play Habit.

Enjoy!  ~ Chris


PS.  Please do your bit for International Awesome Week and Like or Share this article with a friend to boost their MTB skills.

6 Responses to 18 Play Habits: How to Go From Average to Awesome MTB Skills 10 Minutes at a Time

  1. Imenk says:

    All of the trainers will hnldae anything from a 24-29 inch wheel and the axle doesn’t matter. Some come with a heavy duty skewer to replace the original one for a better fit. I have a mountain bike with a threaded axle and it works just fine.

  2. Susanne says:

    Great inspiration! Practising track stands while waiting for my friends before a ride is my favourite :)

  3. Connor Hurley says:

    I trained a lot doing mountain biking but there’s mtbtips are amazing i learned a lot thanks for helping my out with all of the tips because i do downhill mtb

  4. lisa Honeychurch says:

    Hi chris, love your tips wondering if you can help me found awesome new track today and it had tight off camber turns and some amazing tight jumps and bridges got any tips for these kinds of obstacles. Cheers

    • Chris Carter says:

      Apologies for the delayed reply, Lisa. A few tips: Keep that outside (downside) pedal down and your foot planted hard on it on the off camber turns and ride them low off the seat if you’re not pedaling. Ride dynamically, that is: off and on the seat as needed. Don’t ride locked to the seat, but rather maximise your time off it when you don’t need pedaling efficiency so that you can let the bike move under you. It’s easier and quicker to turn/change direction between tight turns and obstacles when you ride off the seat, cause you can tilt the bike for steering, not just turn the bars. Counter-steer. Lead the bike with your eyes. Start finding the corner exit fast from mid corner, so you can adapt sooner to whatever’s coming next, be it another turn, a jump or bridge. Cheers. ~ Chris

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