MFR = Masters of Flow Ride; Cornering
This is a technique ride series, focusing on drills learned from mainly bikejames.com. Ironically, within a day or two of posting this ride, Rich Dillen brought it up on his blog as well. Such a hot topic...
There is so much information out there on cornering techniques. James Wilson has a whole program on it, but for the purpose of this ride, watch the video on his tips. Actually the link to Technique Rides spawned the idea for the MFR series.
Pace: The pace will be markedly slower than the typical intermediate/advanced rides I normally lead. It is a no drop ride, but with minimal stops (we stop long enough to make sure the last person doesn't miss a turn, not to rest - it is pretty low key though). If you are just getting into mountain biking as a means to start getting healthy (i.e. you are working up to riding singletrack for an hour straight), I applaud you, but this probably isn't the ride for you.
Because there are so many things going on in a corner, I'd recommend that the beginner/intermediate types just focus on looking through the corner, maintaining speed through the corner (brake BEFORE the corner (if at all)), and lean the bike over (not the body). For the intermediate/advanced rider, add to that the hip movement drill, foot placement, straighten the inside arm, and overall body position (chest toward the stem, keeping the back straight by leaning from the hips, etc.). That's a lot of things going on and I'm certainly not capable of keeping all that in mind. Just remember that we're all in this together.
I'll go back over what we all will be working on, but if you spend 15 minutes poking through the links above it would be helpful to come up to speed quicker. I don't intend to bring cones and do the parking lot thing. Quick intro and then we hit the trails. At first it will be rather slow as we make sure we aren't hitting the brakes in the actual corner.
About the MFR Series:
If you are a beginner that always hits the brakes in a turn and can't seem to keep up with the group, or maybe it seems like you can keep up with the group on easy terrain but you get dropped on the technical stuff or the faster downhill sections, or if you find you run out of energy after an hour and want to know how to fuel yourself to keep going, this is precisely the ride for you. If you are an advanced rider and get bored working on your skills drills and wish you had someone to do them with, this is precisely the ride for you.
If you care about mountain biking, you should really join IMBA (www.imba.com). They use the money to fund advocacy programs to build and sustain trails. If you don't want to donate to a corporate machine, then at least show up for a workday once in a while. They are posted here on TORC meetup. Most of the local trails have little signs showing that the trail is maintained by TORC. Yes, volunteers in action. Tax dollars fund the park leases and staff salaries. Tax dollars do not fund building trails and maintaining them. That is all volunteer labor and grants and whatnot all supported by IMBA and the local TORC chapter. If you don't want to do either, that's fine. Just try to be a nice mountain biker, be nice to other trail users, and try to help a fellow biker out if they have a mechanical.