We cordially invite you to celebrate the union of Kingdom Trials and Ninja Mountain Bike Performance. That’s right – another EPIC trail network added to our lineup of bucket list events.
It’s rare to find an area that truly has it all; stunning vistas, trails that take your breath away, and a supportive community with a sparkling personality to boot. When you find that place, you forget your commitment issues, schedule a skills clinic, and put a (chain)ring on it.
The Kingdom Trails is a non-profit organization with trails that are built and maintained by a full-time trail crew. The entire 88 mile network of 123 trails is on over 90 private parcels of land. If you make it into town early (highly recommended), head to the Welcome Center where you can purchase your access pass, pick up a map, and chat with a trail pro who will help you dial in the perfect route.
To kickoff your Ninja weekend, meet up at Village Sport Shop Trailside to pick up any last minute necessities for the weekend, rent a bike, or just sip an espresso from their coffee bar to get extra jazzed for the day ahead. You have a lot to look forward to.
The Kingdom Trails wind through a wooded and pastoral setting, startlingly tranquil surroundings in contrast to the ripping flow trails with a mix of rooty, rowdy singletrack. “To say they are scenic would be an understatement. It’s a bucket list destination for any rider,” says Susan Clifford, Lead Ninja Instructor based out of Vermont.
Enough talk. It’s time to start class. Let’s ride!
Kick off the weekend with a review of the foundational bike handling skills; effective braking, body positioning, wheels lifts, cornering and more. Dial in your technique with progressive drills and trail rides where you can put all your new knowledge to the test. Kingdom Trails is pretty much a giant playground where you can find just about any terrain your heart desires. Our favorite part? Many of the climbs are mellow which allows you to lap the “must-dos” like Troll Stroll for berms, jumps and high-speed cornering practice or Ridge to dial in your line-finding skills through webs of roots and rocks. As the weekend rolls on, you’ll find yourself tackling more advanced terrain, negotiating once-intimidating trail obstacles and finally understand what it means to flow on your bike.
Ninja Lead Instructor Sue Clifford shot by Mike Hitelman
Where do you wind down and refuel after a long day of soaking up Ninja skills knowledge? You can grab a brew at The Hub Trailside or head into town to relax at Mike’s Tiki Bar and order up a hot pizza from the local food truck. This is the post-ride hangout for every rider in the area so you can chat up the locals and get directions to the nearest swimming hole to rinse off the day.
Jonathan Emery // Mike’s Tiki Bar
As for where to lay your head at night, if you prefer traditional New England comfort between big days on the bike, there is a myriad of beautiful bed and breakfasts in the area so you can sleep easy and wake up ready to take on the trails.
Adam Lukowski of Adam Lukowski Visuals // Burke Mountain Campground & Scenic Toll Road
Burke Mountain Campground, managed by Burke Mountain Resort, has tent sites, lean-tos and even Wifi so you can upload all your clinic snaps to Instagram. Burke Mountain Resort also has 116 trailside suites that offer ride-in / ride-out access to both Kingdom Trails and the Burke Bike Park. Yes, Bike Park = lift-accessed riding. We highly recommend extending your weekend by one extra day to put all of your new skills to work on repeat without all that pesky pedaling.
Still not convinced this clinic destination is right for you? Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what top bike publications have to say about the area:
“Oh yeah, I said it. East Burke, in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, is home to the best mountain biking in the country. You get more than one hundred miles of rolling rocking ripping singletrack, every inch is fun.” – DirtRag Magazine
“The best trail network in North America.” – BIKE Magazine
Don’t let commitment issues get in the way of eternal singletrack bliss – Sign up today!
Highly recommended! Essential riding skills are thoroughly broken down making them easy to understand and learn. Coach Richard and Kris...
Highly recommended! Essential riding skills are thoroughly broken down making them easy to understand and learn. Coach Richard and Kris are some of the most professional and pleasant coaches/cyclist/people I have come across. Looking forward to one of their future clinics. ~ Tom T.
This was awesome. Having someone dissect your riding into a few skills that you can focus on is a great...
This was awesome. Having someone dissect your riding into a few skills that you can focus on is a great starting point in order to make you faster. I’m sure everyone including myself experienced a positive feeling in how to improve from this point on. — Don’t expect to be a world champ after this clinic but to learn what and where and most importantly how to improve your trail riding from now on. Richard gives you the tools but you have to put in the work.” ~ Michael A.
I’ve immediately seen an improvement in my riding …
I took the skills camp at Mt Laguna last weekend – it was GREAT. Ok, so I was a bit...
I took the skills camp at Mt Laguna last weekend – it was GREAT. Ok, so I was a bit of a nervous wreck when I realized I was the least skilled in the group – but the instructors didn’t give up on me and gave me plenty of tips, positive reinforcement and new ways to think about my riding. At the end of the weekend, I felt that I had a better understanding how to ride better. I’ve immediately seen an improvement in my riding, am a lot less timid and am looking forward to taking another camp soon! ~Quan Campbell
The Ninja team (Richard & Aaron) were great instructors!
The Ninja team (Richard & Aaron) were great instructors! The training was in Soquel Demonstration Forest & being able take...
The Ninja team (Richard & Aaron) were great instructors! The training was in Soquel Demonstration Forest & being able take our time to session sections of Braille & Flow while having experts help fix any dysfunctions in our riding technique was priceless. I know I've always had to brake-check a lot before hitting the corners, but now I actually feel more planted while carrying more speed around the berms just w/ a slight change in hip position. I can't wait to actually hit Flow again at speed just to see how my time has improved. As for Braille, I know I need to session some of the jumps & drops a few more times before I hit them at speed (instead of bypassing around most of them as I have in the past) but now I should have the tools to know what I need to practice. Technical instruction aside, they also talked about efficient uphill pedaling, gearing choices as well as techniques to build up more mitochondria in your body... all stuff I'm interested in since I know I need to build up my climbing legs. ~Carlo F.
My wife started mountain biking recently and while she enjoyed it, she was lacking some confidence and needed some skills....
My wife started mountain biking recently and while she enjoyed it, she was lacking some confidence and needed some skills. I knew Richard La China from the cross country racing scene and felt confident that he and the ninja team could help out. I bought a woman's beginner clinic for my wife and she really enjoyed the challenge and experience. She is a better mountain biker now with much more confidence and new and improved skills. Mission accomplished! I highly recommend Richard LaChina and the ninja skills clinics for any level. I bought my wife a clinic gift card for Christmas which she will use to take the intermediate clinic. I plan on taking an advanced course to improve my cornering skills. ~ Mark T.
We are a group of passionate, dirt-loving, community oriented, world class mountain bike skills instructors committed to helping you reach your personal riding goals through clinics and camps. We are excited to work with riders of all ability levels and share the joy (STOKE) of mountain biking.