When it comes to learning from the best, you can't look much further than Brian Garrahan. A lifelong rider, Garrahan founded his off-road training school in 2011. He teaches basic fundamentals and technique to beginners and helps advanced riders hone their skills - just about anyone looking to build their confidence on a dirt bike can learn from Garrahan. First-timers and dual sport riders have all benefitted from his hands-on and personal approach to instruction.
Garrahan has raced in seven International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE) events, six for Team USA, and brought home three gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medals. He has 20 National Hare Scramble wins and reached the podium in several GNCC, National Enduro and OMA (Off Road Motorcycle & ATV) races.
Name: Garrahan Off-Road Training
Year Founded: 2011
Who Founded: Brian Garrahan
Number of Students: Average 20 students a week
Home city: Boulder Creek, CA
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- How did you get interested in teaching others how to ride a dirt bike?
As my racing career was winding down I was looking to do something that still involved riding my bike. I saw that a lot of former racers where doing the training thing though they were all pretty much motocross trainers and they really only train racers. I do all ages, genders, and skill levels, off-road, and motocross. I even provide gear and bikes if needed.
- How did you develop the "curriculum"?
My training is very unique as all my classes have a different curriculum.
The private one-on-ones are based on what the rider wants. If they are advance riders we will work on speed and skills. If they are a beginners we will do cone drills to teach them basic fundamentals and body position.
Private groups usually are all buddies so they want to throw some roost. We will spend the first half of the day doing fundamentals, body position, and skills. We will then spend the second half riding and working on new skills.
For Group Weekends, I stick to a scheduled curriculum to keep the group flowing, and to deal with the variety of skill levels.
The Weekly after school classes are racer kids, so we go to the tracks and do lap times and work on speed and endurance.
Summer camps I meet groups at certain locations. We do physical training, eat some lunch, then meet up at the tracks, and work and speed and endurance.
- What do you find to be the more difficult aspects of a dirt bike for riders to master?
I think the hardest aspect for a rider to master is timing. If your timing is right and you have the flow everything works so much better. Getting a new rider to use all the controls at once and simultaneously is pretty hard.
- Since you teach off-road training should potential students not expect to learn riding the whoops or jumping a triple?
Garrahan Off-Road Training is a very unique school. Though I focus on off-road I train motocross as well. With the weather in California and the state's red sticker green sticker law there is not much off-road riding in the summer. Also with me running motocross practices, I will also rent the same motocross track the next day and run a class when the track is all rutted up. Basically I do more off-road training in the winter when it rains and more motocross training in the summer when it is dry.
- Is there one general rule you've found that every rider should know?
Always have a sense of direction and know your whereabouts. In off-road training, I want my riders to read the terrain and pay attention so they can get back to camp and know where they are at. In motocross, I want my riders to know where the other riders are on the track. Look before you pull on or off the track.
- Walk me through one of your off-road training classes.
A typical class would start with a light trail ride or moto. I would observe your riding abilities. We would then go to an open safe area and work on cone drills, body position, brake controls, clutch control, tire sliding, rutted corners, and lots of scenarios that would occur while riding. After we work on all these skills in a safe environment, we take to the bush or track. I set up short courses and we do multiple laps to practice new skills in live situations. I also observe and pull students to the side to give pointers.
- I've never been on a dirt bike nor do I even own one - can you help?
If you do not have your own bike or gear - no worries. Garrahan Off-Road has you covered. I have a fleet of bikes and gear. All sizes and skill level bikes. I do private groups, kids, street guys wanting to try dirt, and team building groups.
- Is there a program a student can follow from beginning to advanced instruction?
I have some students that train with me regularly. Most are young kids coming up through the ranks. I take them from total beginners and develop their skills and correct mindset to be a racer.
Beginner riders should stick to a trainer so they learn the correct technique and not build bad habits. There are so many riders that do not progress as riders by developing bad habits and technique. Advance riders need to keep focus, stick to fundamentals, and have that mental edge knowing you are doing everything to be on the podium. Mental is like 80 percent of the game.
- How would you describe your teaching technique?
I have always had good feedback for my teaching technique. I am very personal and open. I am out there having a good time and always very encouraging. I also work with kids really well as I am a big kid myself. I can explain scenarios to people so they understand what is going on, and they always love my sound effects.
Written By: AndrewT