Want to get up to speed fast? An instruction camp is a solid investment. Expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1,000, depending on the duration, which usually covers food, lodging, and a rider-to-coach ratio of five to one. Often you can book up to the last minute. Here are the top camps for this fall:
Three- to seven-day camps founded by former pro downhiller Lynn Nicholson. The last United States date is Spet. 26-29 in Santa Fe, $545. A seven-day camp in Mexico's Sierra Madre is scheduled for Nov. 3-10, $545. 800-300-1565.
The top-notch coaching ensemble includes stretching guru Bob Anderson, pro riders Bob Roll and Ranjeet Grewal, and fitness authority Fred Matheny. Upcoming camps in Moab, Utah, Oct. 6-12 and 20-26, $1,050. 800-711-3478.
Elk River Singletrack Camps
Two- to three-day camps in Slatyfork, West Virginia, featuring Gunnar Shogren and Hall of Fame racer Jacquie Phelan. Upcoming camps are scheduled for Oct. 4-7 and 11-14, $359. 304-572-3771.
Mount Snow Mountain Bike School
Launched in 1988, Mount Snow's instructional program is the country's oldest. One- and two-day weekend clinics are offered throughout the fall, $99 (with bike rental) and $165, respectively. A special three-day camp includes repair and emergency-maintenance clinics. Oct. 12-14, $264. 800-245-7669.