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!
Woohoo! As good as it gets is appropriate! Richard is not only a great rider, he is a great teacher!...
Woohoo! As good as it gets is appropriate! Richard is not only a great rider, he is a great teacher! I would encourage everyone to stay away from the mind trap that buying a more expensive mountain bike is what you need to ride better. Spend the money on lessons instead, and I know you will be happier (and safer) in the long run. I can't say enough positive things about the Bike Skills clinics. ~ Chris G.
Within one hour we we clearing a 5 foot jump easily and with confidence!
Wow, a friend and I just did a one day private lesson with Richard and I can’t believe how much...
Wow, a friend and I just did a one day private lesson with Richard and I can’t believe how much we learned. I’ve been riding for over 10 years but with all self taught skills. We wanted to learn fundamentals the right way and Richard took us through all of that (along with critical bike setup) and the intermediate stuff that they teach in one day plus he spent an extra hour at the end to teach us jumping which I had always been nervous about. Within one hour we we clearing a 5 foot jump easily and with confidence, we even learned to move the bike in the air on a crossed take off and landing. I think my favorite part though was riding fast on the very gnarly technical descent. We will be booking up more private lessons during the summer at Big Bear. Thanks Richard you are a very good teacher! ~John U.
I took a Fundamental Skill clinic last weekend and learned so much! I've been riding for a few years and...
I took a Fundamental Skill clinic last weekend and learned so much! I've been riding for a few years and felt stuck and was not improving at all. Aaron was a great instructor! Very patient and broke down everything step by step and we repeated the skills until we felt comfortable. I look forward to mastering the skills I learned and taking another clinic in the spring. ~Jody Hachenberger-Amend
Special thanks to Santa Fe Fat Tire Society for bringing you in!
My wife and I had the privilege of attending the skills 2 day camp in Santa Fe New Mexico August...
My wife and I had the privilege of attending the skills 2 day camp in Santa Fe New Mexico August 20th and 21st. Richard and Aaron and Catherine where fantastic trainers and teachers they brought new light into basic skills of riding each person in the group was able to excel in what we were doing before we moved on to some other awesome skill or task individual attention was felt by all in the group and visible Improvement was seen in all Riders when we have you back next year you should plan on doubling or tripling the number of riders thanks for a super fun weekend and special thanks to Santa Fe Fat Tire Society for bringing you in and of course thanks to Richard and Aaron and Kathryn. ~Bruce Hamby
This past fall I finally broke down and upgrade my mountain bike. I was riding a hard tail bike mostly...
This past fall I finally broke down and upgrade my mountain bike. I was riding a hard tail bike mostly for the workout. After racing in an Xterra, I realized that a new bike was in my future. ( I could tell a huge story about the process of purchasing a new MB and the massive amount of miss information you can obtain from bike shops. Especially when you know nothing about bikes. ) Not long after I purchased the new MB, I had my first over the handle bars wreck. I still cannot remember the actual crash. I can see the rut that I am about to hit on the downhill, and then I remember waking up on the trail barely able to breath. The crash gave me some time to catch up on email. One of those emails was a beginners MB clinic hosted by Richard and the Ride Like a Ninja crew. I swallowed my pride and signed up. To date I have done everything I was taught. I made every adjustment to my bike that was recommended. I then had the bike fitted. The skills taught that day are priceless to me. For the first time I understand what position my body needs to be in for each type of terrain. I am not perfect by any means, but in my mind I am shouting the word NINJA to remind myself. I practice the techniques ever time I ride. ~ Hal N.
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.