Road biking is one of those deceptively complex skills. At first glance, it just appears to be your standard two-wheeled cruise; albeit with skinnier tires and tighter clothing. But there’s far more to the sport than sitting, pedaling, and soaking in the sun. In order to maximize your enjoyment out on the roads while maintaining the necessary level of safety, there are certain skills and techniques you must acquire.
That’s where Expert instruction comes into play. Sure, you can improve as a road biker without anyone’s help; repetition builds skill, after all. But if you’re repeating the same bad habits over and over, you’ll be looking at a long, uphill climb to take your riding to the next level.
Our White Pine Touring Guiding Service offers three levels of road biking lessons. Taught by our experienced and highly-trained instructors, these lessons are designed to help cyclists of all ability levels improve their riding, and ultimately, enjoyment out on the roads.
In addition to being one of the most accomplished cyclists on staff, Tim Matthews is also one of our most versatile road biking instructors. He’s as comfortable teaching a complete beginner as he is a lifelong cyclist; which anyone with education experience knows is far more difficult than it sounds. We hit up Tim with some of our customers’ most frequently asked questions regarding our road biking lessons.
What are the immediate benefits of getting out on the roads with an instructor?
TM: As the student you will have a wealth of knowledge at your disposal. I have a vast understanding of the Park City area and can tailor lessons to meet your specific needs and goals. Are you a beginner who wants minimal climbing? An expert ready to tackle mountain climbs? Your time is valuable and my experience riding in this area allows me to customize a lesson to make the most of your time.
In addition, mechanical malfunctions may happen while you are on your bike. It is my job to minimize those malfunctions and assist with repairing things like flat tires or derailed chains, so that you can fully experience what this area has to offer.
How do I tell which lesson is right for me?
TM: When choosing the right fit for your lesson, you should ask yourself, “What would I like to achieve?” If you are looking to advance your descending skills, we can customize a road ride through Brown’s Canyon to work on that particular skill. Perhaps you would simply like to take a scenic ride around Park City with some helpful pointers along the way. We can accommodate that. If you are unclear about your ability, don’t worry, we can adapt on the fly. Honestly, there isn’t a bad ride in this area. Your lesson can be challenging, beautiful, leisurely, and informative; all in one session.
Do you cover mechanics of the bike and how it functions before you ride?
TM: Absolutely. We will go through all the functionality of the bike before we hit the road, since we provide you with one of our rental bikes as part of the lesson. We want to ensure that you are comfortable with its operation and can operate the bike safely. Of course, I will be there to fix any malfunctions and perform any repairs needed to help us roll along seamlessly.
How long is the lesson? How far do you go?
TM: We offer several options to choose from. Individuals or groups can book lessons based on a desired length of time, technical experience, or even scenery. We can go as far as you would like, climb as much as you want, and go as fast as you’re comfortable going. You are the student and everything we do is designed to maximize your education while still having fun. I want to ensure that I have an understanding of your desired outcome for the lesson so that you can get out of it what you are looking to accomplish on the bike. As your instructor, it’s my job to help you get the most out of your lesson.
What if “my friend who rides a lot” tells me to do something differently than my instructor?
TM: That is completely fine. For the most part, there is no right or wrong way. With my experience, I am simply passing along techniques that I have found to work best for me.
What qualifications and/or certifications do your instructors have?
TM: I have been riding in the Park City area for over ten years and racing competitively all over the West for more than 25 years. I am also Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certified.
How do I sign up?
The goal of every lesson we teach is to equip you, the student, with the ability to take the skills taught by your instructor, and continue to improve upon them in your own time. In that sense, a road biking lesson with our White Pine Touring Guiding Service is simply the starting point for ongoing refinements to your riding.
Nate Tomlinson, Senior Content Writer, jans.com