Monday, 20 June 2011

Beginners course 190611

Kate and Will had been given a beginner's course as birthday presents by their respective partners while Maddie had booked the course as a preparation for her first mountain bike race in August. It was clear from the start that Maddie had a great advantage learning to mountain bike on technical terrain from having done off road motorbiking in the past. Her slow speed balance was fantastic making tight turns very easy once she was looking in the right place as well as giving her an advantage on rocky and technical climbs.

Kate and Will wasn't far behind though and as a group they made fantastic progress. Kate was slightly less experienced than Will and also more cautious but the the whole group encouraged every attempt and the atmosphere was wonderfully positive throughout the whole day. 

Particularly amusing was to see the surprised look on their faces when they managed to do power assisted front wheel lifts on their first attempt having initially thought it an impossible task! Will surprised himself by riding things he only ever considered walking down previously and living locally I'm sure I'll see him enjoying all the technical features on these trails in the future.

Great day, wonderful participants and decent weather, what more could I ask for!

Hi Emmy

Fantastic course and I really appreciate the way it was delivered. You explained everything in a way I could understand. That did help me to pick things up quite easily. Didn't get bogged down with too much technical stuff. Thank you.
Yes I would love to do the intermediate course. Sounds awesome getting some "air". I am going to get a few more hours in practising the stuff we learnt and do the race in August then I'll be in touch about the course. I want the basics to become second nature first.
Rightio thank you so much for your patience and encouragement it has helped.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Beginners course

It was a lovely day today not just because the weather was warm and pleasant but also the group was very eager to learn and enthusiastic even about the climbs! Jane had recently got into mountain biking after a holiday in Greece and wanted to know more, especially about descending techniques after having had a nasty crash on a slope. Andy whose main sport is surfing loves the adrenalin rush from mountain biking but was also slightly hesitant about certain descents after having had a few crashes while getting used to riding off road. Kieron on the hand had been more or less worn down by me constantly telling him over the last year and a half to come along on the course as we regularly see each other on the trails and to be frank (sorry Kieron) he needed a lesson to make him enjoy riding more and not look so tense and worried!

The group was quick to learn correct body positioning and moving around on the bike to always stay balanced. Again and again they kept saying "Oh it is so much easier now I'm looking further ahead!" and quite often it is the simple things that make the most difference. We also dealt with all the core skills such as tight turns, braking, gears, climbing, front wheel lifts and singletrack riding. By making them ride a particularly loose and rocky descent they also discovered just how capable their bikes were at rolling over things which in turn made them relax more and trust both themselves and their bikes. It was lovely to see how much more confident they looked at the end!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Intermediate course 120611

Thanks to both Mark and Neil having done the beginner's course we were able to quickly progress to true intermediate skills and not dwell long on the core skills which were already in place. This was fortunate as the weather was as bad as I've experienced in a very long time with constant soaking rain from eleven o'clock onwards (and it is still raining now 9 hours later!). Thankfully spirits weren't damped too much and both Neil and Mark did very well on all the different techniques. Mark struggled with his confidence as he has been blessed with a very sensible brain but managed to show that he could beat his demons right at the end by riding the last tricky slope and riding it very well indeed! Neil (still being sensible!) found things easier to ride straight away although found that his adjustable seatpost might have caused him to become slightly lazy in moving his weight behind the saddle. Thankfully he wasn't averse to having repeated attempts to finepolish his riding position and also did very well with the bunny hops. They both enjoyed jumping off a step and "getting air" and Mark's face after a particularly high jump was an equal mix of enjoyment and terror! No crashes though and plenty of good discussions and questions and despite the horrid and slippy conditions a very enjoyable day!