We always need to learn more. Dylan Renn is one of our newest ambassadors with unprecedented ambition for helping all ages learn more and broaden their horizons. We got a few minutes with Dylan in his busy day to ask him about coaching and biking. And it’s real good stuff.
KRF:What’s your iconic bike moment, trail, or experience, that continues to fire you up still?
DR: For me the daily stoke is what brings me back every time. Just being able to ride my bike really makes every time that iconic mountain biking moment. Mostly it’s being able to overcome the challenges a trail or feature may throw at you, and knowing that next time it may be a little easier but there will always be a step above, another plateau so to speak. The trail would be my home town (Bear Valley, CA) all of the above, not just one but the network that hooked me on the sport.
KRF: Coaching is a complicated job, regardless of the sport. Why do you do it?
DR: The coaching itself is not usually the complicated part, it’s reading the student or client. Finding the right way to get people engaged in the lesson and keeping them there. Also making sure that the points are being conveyed in a way that everyone in the group understands what is expected. The main reason I coach is to Share the Stoke. Getting more people enjoying their time on a bike makes me happy. I had never really thought about why, it just seemed like the right thing to do.
KRF:What have you learned about coaching? Do you think there’s connection between coaching, biking and trying to get a start-up off the ground?
DR: Well most recently I have learned that finding people to coach may be the most difficult part of coaching. Although, especially in a sport that is so new relative to all the other sports, i/e Tennis, golf, Skateboarding even. I think that setting up a start-up is a lot like learning to ride a bike. There are a lot of steps to it and you can never fully master it. Both require a lot of patience, commitment and focus.
KRF:It it hard to have your passion also be your source of income?
DR: It can be a challenge at times to spend the whole day on a bike but not actually get a full ride in or do anything that exciting. Although there are times that the demo of a skill can be exciting. And we often go for a group ride after the clinic which is always fun. The bonus is every time I get to work with someone, I learn a little more about myself. It helps me set aside time to actually focus on doing things right and even being a little bit more self analytical than I would be, if I were to practice on my own.
KRF: Has there ever been “Aha” moment as a coach as to how communicate with your students?
DR: I have those here or there, when trying to explain something for the third or fourth time or even just demonstrating something. I’ll notice some key component that I have either left out or have found a better way to explain in a more appropriate way for the group to understand more easily. Often hearing myself explain something to my students gives me that ah-ha moment. Understanding what you are actually doing and being able to convey the concept is huge. Finding a way to do it better is always a bonus.
KRF:Who needs to go to bike camp, kids or should adults sign up for camps and why?
DR: Everyone who rides a Mountain Bike. I tend to try and coach young adults and up. Most of my scheduled clinics are 2 day events. Which for younger riders can be a little long to focus on riding. Someone who is a rider looking to improve or just have a better understanding of how the bike rider connection works. The information provided can give a new rider confidence in what they are doing on the bike and give a veteran rider the knowledge to improve and ideally jump up to that next plateau.
KRF:What are some tips that folks that factor into their rides?
DR: Check out the A Singletrack Mind blog. Just recently, I have been talking about body position. But there are tips about position, gear, and more there.
KRF:What are the basics your bag is always carrying?
DR: Well of course some Kate’s Real Food bars. I usually carry two sets of tools, two tubes a pump CO2 cartridges, spare cleat bolts extra brake pads, a couple different master links, a torn tube to use as a tire patch or to plug tubeless holes and my own little trick of a cut of cable head with about 6 to 8 inches still attached. You can run the cable through the rear derailleur only and the set cable stop at the gear you want I have carried a cable adjuster before to make it a little easier to adjust and set the gear.