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Current Schedule (SF Bay and Anchorage), Rating System, and Riding Tips
Current Schedule (SF Bay and Anchorage), Rating System, and Riding Tips
Skills Clinics, Teacup Tango, Mt Tam Camp
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skills clinics Mission, History, Founder, and Articles by WOMBAT Members Sponsor and Related Sites Membership, News, Chapters, etc.

My skills clinics are typically for women, though co-ed is an option, when all are d'accord.

Master the tricks you'll need to ride well, steer clear of the E.R., pedal with panache not pain.

  • PRIVATE COACHING. Hire me for a custom-crafted class for a $650 flat fee (one to five riders) on days you pre-arrange with me. Travel to you is possible, within 50 miles. Add $200.

Instant Finesse™
Mountain Bike Clinics

Who: Jaccquie Phelan is a bicycle racer (road and dirt) whose 14 year offroad pro career featured no broken bones. Ask her about that parked truck that broke her nose to pieces while her attention was on the overhead olive tree. This was after her accident free streak, and pretty much marked the official beginning of her 'dotage'. NORBA Champion 83-85. Inducted into two "Hollow Fames". Her window sill is festooned w/enough dusty trophies and awards to impress and baffle the modern Pro rider who's never heard of her.

For honest-to-goddess beginners. One must know how to steer a bike, but that's about it. Courage not required, just the bike, ma'am. Learn Phelan's much-copied (if inadequately patented) "Inner Chicken Respect" techniques, as well as how to safely read trails without distraction, hop curbs without discouragement, and impress the wildlife with one's physique. Also learn the critical rules by which we share the trails, how not to colonize the entire fire road on group rides, etc...Master the tricks & tropes.

Time and Location:


We meet at my house (call for details) at 10:00 sharp.

Private sessions begin from closer to the trailhead, on days pre-arranged by the student(s). Call 415-459-7093. Out-of-town clinics are also listed.

• Saturday July 14

• Sunday July 15

• Saturday July 21

• Sunday July 22

• Saturday July 28

• Saturday August 4

• Sunday August 5 (Special advanced class for racers)

Price: $120
Sign up: Make checks payable to Jacquie Phelan, and send to:

WOMBATS - Instant Finesse
Box 757
Fairfax, CA 94978

The check must arrive Wednesday before the class to reserve a spot. Impulsive enthusiasts, plodding procrastinators and new-to-the site people can leave a message at 415-459-7093 to see about space and payment options.

General Information

Jacquie's world-renowned Instant Finesse™ Clinic will show you a passel of crucial bike handling techniques and skills ranging from the "arret de panique", the wheel loft, single track focus, dab-on-the-fly, as well as frivolities which (while seldom used on trails) accustom riders to the Mysteries of Mountain Biking.

It is a class for beginner and intermediate level riders. People learn loads, and banish fears and phobias. New riders learn the crucial "bat basics" while racers/tourists/commuters correct bad habits, and get proficient, establishing better technical skills. Jacquie's 2011 classes are now co-ed, and last 2 hours, until noon or a little after. Everyone gets a snazzy diploma and a new set of initials to stick after their name. Please indicate if you want a women's class.

Here's how the two-hour clinic goes:

I. Introduction
II. Skills drills
Lunch break
III. To the woods! Ride on real fire roads, and develop environmental sensitivity in the crowded suburban context.
IV. Traffic riding skills

What to Bring


Fanny pack or lightweight day pack

Sun block


Lycra shorts or tights (I always wear tights to keep my legs covered regardless of the heat--keeps poison oak off, as well as sun)

Longsleeve men's cotton oxford button-down shirt for hot days

Thin cashmere or lambswool sweater for cold foggy afternoons

El cheapo Wombat armwarmers, snipped off thrift shop crashmere


Pump, patch kit, spare tube

Full water bottle

Pearls, tattoos are optional

FOOD! Drink! A picnic style lunch packed in a cooler (half of which you'll leave in the car) makes eating a bit more festive. Besides, if you only bring a couple of energy bars, you'll starve. Sandwiches, quiche, bagels, fruit, cookies, cake, juice..You'll need 3,500 calories minimum, just to squeak through the day. OK, so that's a little exaggeration. Kindly keep in mind that coffee and a single banana will only get you through the first half hour of class. Please eat.

Your bicycle must be in IMPECCABLE repair (i.e., have a shop check it) Hybrid bikes make the class a little more challenging, fat tires are cushier, but it's your call. It's possible, if you're bikeless, to rent my "blue beater" for $25 (please reserve ahead).

The signed waiver and directions

Directions to Fairfax

Deer Park School

From East Bay

Hwy 580 Richmond Bridge, then take 101 north for a couple exits, then....follow these general North South directions:

From north or south

Take 101 to the central San Rafael exit head West on 3rd street (that means left if you're from SF, right if you're from up north)--it's a one-way. 3rd St. After about two miles, a huge intersection beckons. It's called the "Hub" Go straight across it ( "Center Blvd"). In a mile or so, you'll see the Good Earth market. Keep going 2 blocks and turn left on Bolinas Road. After 2 stop signs turn left at sign for Deer Park Picnic gnds. That street is Porteous, but you can't see the sign. At this point cell service is non-existent. The road is narrow, and all incoming traffic must pull over to allow egress. Is this too much information? No. You are in the shire of Fairfax, and play by our rules. If you're super late, uh....good luck. I'll be outside teaching the others, and I still don't have a self-own.

BRING the signed release / breakfast contract.

Waiver and Release of Liability

In consideration of my entry, and of my own free will, I for myself and my heirs, executors and heirdressers forever permanently waive any claims or liability, including the usual worst-case scenarios (broken nail, broken collar bone, broken neck) against Jacquie Phelan, the Women's Mountain Bike & Tea Society, and its officers, which may arise from my participation in the Instant Finesse Class on ___________.

I fully understand mountain biking has inherent risks, and agree to AVERT the dreaded Starvation Scenario by having a huge, healthful breakfast no more than two hours prior to the class.

Signed _________________________________

Date _______________

PO Box 757 Fairfax, CA 94978 415 459-0980