Care and Feeding at Civic Field Dirt Jump Park August 13th

Care and Feeding at Civic Field Dirt Jump Park August 13th

August 12th - Civic Field Build Day


We're lucky enough to have a jump park in town. And not lame one either! Right in the middle of beautiful Bellingham are some of the biggest, steepest jumps around. All that dirt needs to maintained though. This past August 12th, Intrinsic Flow was at the park to give back. Below is the trail report from that day.

The park has been pummeled by lots of direct sunlight, 8 plus hours of wind per day (pretty normal) and a complete lack of rain. Wet stuff hasn’t fallen from the sky in like 3 months!! Dry conditions make for an ideal breading ground for weeds and it showed at the park. Rampant weed growth was everywhere. It was pretty obvious what would be the best way to spend our time. 

I showed up with tools and all the accutraments to make burgers and hand out treats. Well, I showed up with all of it except for charcoal to actually cook the burgers. Argh! Dang it all! I try. I really do, but there is always something. Anyway, Zoae Spackman was nice enough to grab some charcoal from the local connivence store and we were in business. Thanks Zoae!

We started work at 9am in the morning and ended up with a huge turn-out for your typical park workday.  We made a ton of progress in the planned 3 hours worth of work, clearing the two biggest jump lines and several sections of the pump track, as well as the mid-size jump lines. Weeds were removed or tamed and jump faces/landings were buffed. It’s pretty amazing what you can get done with a group of people that are properly motivated. It really is.

Then at noon, I started dishing out burgers and chips and then we played in the dirt a bit, enjoying the fruits of our labor. I really have to tell you, the best jumping ever is done on freshly buffed jumps. If you haven’t experienced it, then you should definitely seek it out. We got plenty done this day, so there was plenty of freshness to be had, so the riding was really, really good. Good people, good times and a good day.

If you missed this workday, not to worry. We’ll be having another one on October 14th. Work will be from 9am till noon and then we eat and ride. Thanks to everyone that came out to help! We couldn't do this without you! And thanks so much to the WMBC for covering the expenses. And if you don't know who the WMBC is check out there web and Facebook pages. They're extremely busy in this area doing the good work that needs to be done to get access and maintain it. Thanks all!


The August 14th volunteers:

Derek Chaney, Dash Willis, Trevor Ledain, Joel Spackman (and crew), Peter Spackman, Zoae Spackman, Asa Spackman, Leto Spackman, Mike Snoval, Ethan Sperry, John Bontrager


Ready Position and Why It's Important

Ready Position and Why It's Important

The importance of being comfortable with this can not be underestimated. Take a look at this video about Ready Position and practice, practice, practice. The sooner this becomes as natural and practiced as brushing your teeth the happier you will be. For more info take my Fundamentals BASICS clinic.    Thank you!          -Mike

P.S. Don't worry. The "How to Practice" post is coming. Stay tuned!

The Bumpy Road to Progression

The Bumpy Road to Progression

It can be a bumpy road learning new skills on the bike. It seems like it would be so easy, right? After all, there's that whole, "It's just like riding a bike" thing people say, but this is a bit of an over-simplification. When we look back as adults on first learning to ride a bike, we often forget how hard it was and how long it took to learn. It just seems like it all happened in a day. A friend of mine actually described it this way, "I was at my grandparents house. There was this bike there and I just made up my mind to do it and then I did, the same day. I guess I was just ready." If that sounds too easy, that’s because most likely it is. As a kid, it is easier to learn to ride, for sure. The brain is hungry for information and new skills. It’s still in a very plastic, moldable state. But even with the advantage of having a new brain, it’s still hard. We just forget how hard it was. Time erodes away the days or weeks spent before the day linked to the emotion, until all we have left in our memory is the exciting part - the day we actually did it.


Riding a bike isn't a natural thing. Then again, most of the things we do as humans are not. We cultivate skills and develop mastery of a huge variety of pursuits. None of this comes easy. If it does, we’re often not remembering it right or we actually don't know what we think we know. Have you ever shown up for a book report at school and realized that you've forgot a few key points? Or worse yet, maybe you forgot it all? The brain is funny like that, it can feel like we know it, even when we don't.


The people that make things that are hard look easy, have put in the time. They’ve practiced hard and they've done it deliberately. Practice is not just about repetition. It's about quality of the practice. It's thinking about what you want to accomplish, consciously trying to make the change and then assessing what you did. This may seem hard at first, but you can shorten the time, by practicing in the most productive way. I will talk about this more in future blog posts, but for now, I will give you one example of what NOT to do.


I call this the “just go ride” approach. This is simply where you go ride where you usually ride and do what you normally do.  I won’t tell you that you'll never benefit from this, you will, but in the process you run the risk of teaching yourself as many bad habits as new skills. If you really want to improve - and ultimately make riding much safer and easier - think about what you want to learn and practice it. And do it deliberately. A little practice with how to practice can be a game changer. And it can change a beginner into an expert rider in a very short period of time. So spend the time. Learn how to learn. It’s worth the effort.


Thanks for reading!





Next Blog Post - How to Practice