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Mountain Biking: The Manual

If you ride bikes then you need to read this book.

UCI technical delegate, MTB coach and all round super knowledgable nice guy Chris Ball has written a comprehensive mountainbike book or manual as it’s called.

It landed on our desk this morning and I’ve just had a quick flick through the whopping 255 pager and reckon it’s worth it for the photos alone with top class images coming from Sven Martin, Victor Lucas and Gary Perkin.

But it’s more than just photos, this book covers a brief history of the various MTB disciplines & equipment, training & fitness, nutrition and psychology. The performance section includes basics like the wheelie to key techniques on how to handle flat corners, berms, roots and switchbacks. Flying through the air is included in the advanced performance section, with tips and stunning photos of big gaps, step downs, whips, flips and 360s.

And just look at the list of contributors: Steve Peat, Joe Breeze, Gee Atherton, Sam Hill, Greg Minnaar, Christoph Sauser, Josh Bryceland, Danny MacAskill, Tracy Moseley, Rene Wildhaber, Chris Kovarik, Cam McCaul & Ruaridh Cunningham.

Mountain Biking: The Manual costs £19.99 and you can buy it from bookshops, specialist shops and also from www.wave-finder.com.

Here’s the Press bit:

Mountain Biking: The Manual is a skills and technique guide drawing insight from over a dozen of the world’s best mountain bikers, including world champions Gee Atherton, Greg Minnaar and Steve Peat.

Peat, who is regarded by many within the MTB world as a living legend, gave his endorsement by writing the foreword to the book.

Peat said: “From the first timer on a mountain bike to a fully-fledged racing snake, there is knowledge here for all. The Manual will show you the fundamentals, the in-between bits and the moves to make your family proud of you. You will all be better riders for it.”

Above: Professional MTB coach Chris Ball spoke to the biggest names in the sport to write Mountain Biking: The Manual.

The 255-page book – published by Wavefinder Ltd on 15th August – covers every aspect of the sport, with chapters on equipment, training and preparation augmenting the detailed analysis of riding techniques.

Each section is backed up with insiders’ tips from those whose skills have taken them to the top, and illustrated with stunning images from specialist photographers.

The book has been written by professional MTB coach Chris Ball, a former Scottish champion who competed in over 30 world cup events.

The Edinburgh-born 28-year old owns and runs Dirt School, a dedicated training school for mountain bikers, and also works with mountain biking’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), as a technical delegate for the World Cup events.

Ball’s work on the world cup events has given him access to an inspiring pool of contributors and their insight on what it takes to make it at the highest level. The result is a book which can inspire developing riders and give recreational mountain bikers skills and tips which can transform their enjoyment of the sport.

Editor Huw Williams believes that hearing the lessons from the mouths of the professionals sets Mountain Biking: The Manual apart from others. Williams said: “Chris Ball has drawn together an amazing team of top riders. It’s their insight, their enthusiasm to teach, and their generosity to share their hard-earned knowledge that gives the book its edge.

“But this is not simply a collection of quotes hung together with pretty pictures. Like all the Wavefinder titles, it is a good, strong read in its own right. The lessons here are delivered through the clear, intelligent voice of one of the best coaches in the business.”

Mountain biking continues to increase in popularity around the world – a fact reflected by the record 20,000 spectators present at Fort William in Scotland for the UCI World Cup in May.

Said Chris Ball: “Every week either on the track or watching the action I’m seeing a broader range of people. Guys with their sons, wives and mums. One dad said to me that he loves it because it’s the only sport he can do with his son.”

This broad range of participants is reflected in the different styles of mountain biking featured in the manual.

As Steve Peat explains: “There are technique pages on core skills like getting a balanced body position, pulling the perfect wheelie or bunny-hopping clean and high. There are trail tips for hitting off-camber corners flat out and fluid, sticking the right line through switchbacks, coping with gnarly root sections or daring deep drop-offs.”

Also included is trials mountain biking as made famous by Mountain Biking: The Manual contributor Danny MacAskill, whose stylish mix of BMX and mountain bike-influenced trials has become a YouTube phenomenon with one video viewed over 18 million times.

Whatever the style of biking or level of skill Chris Ball has the same hope for those who read Mountain Biking: The Manual: “I hope readers will be inspired to ride and inspired to try something new – either by the incredible photographs or the tips from the pros themselves.”

The 600 stunning photographs that accompany and enhance the text are drawn from the archives of respected photographers Sven Martin, Victor Lucas and Gary Perkin.

Mountain Biking: The Manual is published on 15th August 2010 by Wavefinder Ltd with a recommended retail price of £19.99. The book can be pre-ordered now from www.wave-finder.com. The book is on sale in bookshops, specialist shops and also from www.wave-finder.com.

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