Shaums March Talks About Cornering Technique
Recently, long-time MTB coach Gene Hamilton wrote a blog post about cornering technique. He was overtly crtitical of the technique that the ICP program teaches, prompting many instructors and riders to send e-mails to the icp [at] imba [dot] com (ICP inbox) asking for more information about why we favor a level-pedal foot position, rather than teaching students to keep the outside pedal down.
The ICP’s methods are based off one principle: The rider must stay balanced at all times. ICP co-founder Shaums March has coached multiple World Cup riders using these techniques, helping them achieve several world championship titles (including Steve Smith, Danny Hart, Tracy Moseley, Georgia Gould, Jill Kintner, Kyle Straight, Lea Davison, Lauren Rosser, Richard Rude, and others).
"Dropping the outside foot to the the lowest point of the pedal stroke, or the six o’clock position, does produce pressure on the tire patch, but I do not consider this a balanced or stable position," says March. "The ICP philosophy is that a rider who maintains a solid stance will be able to control the bike under all conditions. We want our riders to stand on both feet using equal pressure, which goes beyond the simple notion of pedal position—good cornering technique is more complex and dynamic than that."
"Words and photos on a web page are not adequate to teach cornering—that's why the ICP offers in-depth instructor certification in real-world settings, with highly experienced coaches," continues March. "In essence, the rider's foot position will move, and should be level to the terrain and rider’s body position. To understand how this produces efficient cornering, and how to teach the technique properly, requires in-person instruction."
IMBA's Instructor Certification Program certifies individuals who want to teach other people how to excel at riding and guiding. We encourage anyone who’s interested in becoming certified through the ICP to begin with a private or group lesson from a Level 2 certified instructor, an ICP Instructor Trainer, or better yet Shaums March himself.