About Chocolate Foot
Chocolate Foot's founding instructors are Fiona Dick and Joe Ward. With three decades of mountain biking under their belts and being AusCycling certified skills coaches, they've been helping people learn to ride and improve their MTB skills since 2005. Along with team member Andy Threlfall, they are committed to ensuring you have a productive and fun day on the bike, and look forward to helping you ride with more skill and confidence.
When I started mountain biking back in 1996 I learnt the hard way – by trial and error … and a lot of persistence. There were no clinics or online resources in those days. I could see how much need there was for learning new skills from a better source than mates or a partner. My coaching experience began in 2002 whilst working at Thredbo alpine resort, coaching and guiding on the legendary Cannonbail track.
My happy place is on two wheels, I love the thrill of speed and getting air but equally love technical climbs - I get the biggest stoke from not getting off and walking when the going gets tricky – both up and down hill. Over the years I've raced downhill, cross-country, enduro, and even took part in a trials competition once! While I enjoy racing, I'm always happiest riding and exploring new trails with friends. Mountain biking has connected me to an amazing community of people.
While I’m passionate about riding my bike in as many places and as much as possible, I’m super passionate about getting more people on bikes and becoming stoked on MTB!
While I’ve always ridden a bike I was never one of those naturally talented riders who pulled wheelies for years and had style for miles, so I definitely understand the value of getting coaching as well as the value of persistence and practice to get your skills up to where you want them. Through the course of over 35 years of riding and racing I’ve gained lots of insights from a range of different riders and educators which I really enjoy passing on through our group clinics and one-on-one coaching sessions.
Off the bike, my day job is producing video content for TV and web, featuring (unsurprisingly) lots of cycling, including five editions of the Tour de France for SBS, twelve editions of the National MTB Championships for MTBA and live-streaming National level road cycling events.
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I grew up in central Victoria where even small hills were a significant car drive away, so MTB seemed an odd passion to pursue. The lack of elevation made for easy climbs, but the adrenaline junkie in me needed more.
Fast forward a few years and I was attending my first Australian MTB National Titles in Mt Beauty and I booked a day clinic with Australian MTB pioneers Scott Sharples and Joel Panozzo as I knew that, without solid foundational skills, my riding could only go so far. In one day of skills development and on track guidance my confidence and ability leapt ahead. I subsequently went on to race, and occasionally podium, the MTBA National Series, National Champs, 4X, XC and CX races over the next two decades. The skills and techniques that I learnt that day are things I still practice myself and make up the core set of skills that we coach at Chocolate Foot.
The freedom, the places and the people that you meet through MTB’ing are amazing and to help people discover and experience this is very rewarding and it's great to give back to the sport.