“Once you start acknowledging, and looking at, and being honest with yourself the role that the ego plays in the sport, and it’s a big deal in mountain biking… once that starts to be addressed, then some smarter decisions can be made.”
Ryan Leech is one of the world’s best Trials Mountain Bikers and has even performed with Cirque du Soleil. But what is trials? Trials is a discipline of mountain biking where you have to navigate an obstacle course at very slow speeds without putting your foot down. In his shows, you will see him hopping from a railing to a rock like he is on a pogo stick or jumping up onto trailers. To be a trails rider, you basically have to be a ninja on a bike.
Not only is Ryan one of the best technical mountain bikers in the world, but he is a meditation and yoga instructor and has an online skills coaching business called Ryan Leech Connection where he breaks down mountain bike skills into bite sized chunks. Most people who learn to mountain bike pick up the bike as a trial by fire, but we never learn the proper skills involved in a formalized coaching setting.
In today’s show, we talk about Ryan got into mountain biking, and it started with riding a bike as a paperboy and a mountain bike magazine! Trials demands a headspace where you have to be completely focused but also calm. Ryan has performed in many trials shows and he says his favorite thing is connecting with his audience. And he talks to you on a headset microphone while he rides along the narrowest railing you’ve ever seen and jumps 10 ft into the air to land on something else. We also talk about his online coaching program where not only does he have several other coaches and ambassadors with hundreds of instructional videos, but a mental fitness element. I can definitely relate to the need to work on mental fitness because it’s self-awareness that helps you move forward, and also helps you understand the ego. Sometimes people ride too hard or try things they shouldn’t be because they feel pressure to prove something.