Saturday, 12 February 2011

Private session 110211

Another returning customer today! Amanda came for a one-to-one session in the spring of last year being a very nervous and cautious rider, hating any form of off-road descending. It was nice to see that she had improved a lot in her riding since but still descending, particularly on loose rocks, was something she really struggled to master enough confidence to do. This time she had brought husband Rod along with her, who was ready for some intermediate skills.

We started with some technical climbing as well as spending a bit of time on power assisted front wheel lifts over obstacles before Rod had a go at learning to wheelie. Rod had very good balance as he was already able to track stand, something which I showed Amanda how to do to allow her to feel more in control of the bike especially when setting off on rougher terrain. I tried to encourage Amanda to ride some smaller drops  but she hadn't built up enough confidence to allow herself to have a go, mainly due to fear of rocks. When we broke up for lunch I was slightly worried that Amanda wouldn't feel that the course had given her anything, especially since Rod was going from strength to strength having a go a increasingly difficult terrain.

Things changed dramatically after lunch! Re-fuelled and rested I thought this was the time to tackle Amanda's fear of rocks and I used the simplest method ever. By putting as few smallish rocks (1-2 inches high) on the path I asked her to rde over them which she did without hesitation. After riding over these rocks repeatedly she seemed to be able to relax more and actually seemed to enjoy it! We then moved on to lifting the front wheel as the first step to bunny hopping something Rod had struggled to learn on flat pedals. Amanda's confidence seemed to grow by the minute as she turned out to be excellent at front wheel lifts and built on this skill to even do a bit of jumping! Rod added back wheel lifts to his list of skills and also manged to put the two together to bunny hop over some obstacles. On the way back to the starting point Amanda rode one of  the rockiest descent in the area and Rod practised jumping off a drop. Nice end to a lovely day!

Thanks for the email and links to the photos (I love the one of Amanda popping off the jump:)).  It was nice to see you again aswell and we both really enjoyed - had some great fun!  We went out yesterday to practice some things, and Amanda amazed me by just riding straight down a long rocky descent that she's previously always walked - we then pushed back up and rode it 2 or 3 times over!  She looked very composed (and dare I say, even quite relaxed) on the bike.  I found a nice ramp at the bottom of the descent and managed to get the 'pop' to get airbourne for a couple of metres:)  Amanda was also been trying to pop her wheels off little jumps and rocks all over the place - I think she's developing a taste for getting her wheels airbourne!  She also practiced trackstanding, and is so close to getting it, I think she'll be able to do it quite soon.  I think we did more than we realised yesterday, because we can both hardly walk up the stairs today!

Best wishes,

Amanda & Rod
p.s. Amanda reckons the reason it took her some time to get going in the morning, was that she was so stressed out from getting us lost twice, then stuck in roadworks on the journey over (I'll 'borrow' the sat-nav out of her car next time we come over ;) 

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