Thursday, 4 November 2010

Beginner course 041110

Perfect timing weather wise today as we managed to sandwich a beginners course between the torrential rain weather fronts! Trails were very wet and full of slippery leaves making it more of a challange than usual for Keith and Mike, todays participants.

Keith had phoned me the day before asking about how much fitness was required for the course and I reassured him that we would take it at a slow pace and that there would be frequent stops anyway. As it turned out I was the one struggling to keep up with him at times! As well as being way above normal fitness level for a pensioner, he also did very well on the technical aspects of the course and had a great attitude to having a go at stuff! He had a slight mishap at the very end of the day when the tyres gave way on some slippery leaves and he landed heavily on his shoulder but I'm sure he will be back on his bike soon.

Mike warned me in the carpark that he had a very cautious approach to technical stuff, preferring to get off and walk it rather than ride it and that despite a previous skills course had failed to progress on the technical riding front. I like a challenge and was expecting to have to spend a long time trying to convince Mike to ride stuff. But I was wrong! Often  Mike and Keith were looking at each other smiling in "Does she really mean we should be able to ride that???"-kind of way when I demonstated stuff. However when they had a go using the techniques I showed them, they found themselves in full control and not being scared. By taking them on harder and harder terrain and making them repeat everything several times, especially Mike seemed to find a confidence that had been lacking previously in his riding. Being very local to Cannock Chase I'm sure he will be out soon riding all the things on the Monkey Trail he previously prefered to walk!

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