Monday, 18 July 2011

Intermediate course 170711

The torrential rain didn't abandon us for Sunday's intermediate course either. This time I was joined by an undeterred Helen who wanted to get the most out of her lovely Orange 5 that she recently had acquired. I also had arranged for my friend Julian to come along to potentially provide some demos of stuff in case my wrist which I injured a couple of weeks ago decided to flare up.

Together we fought through rain and mist climbing to the top of the hill  while Julian managed to learn to wheelie remarkably well and Helen was improving on her power assisted wheel lifts. Once up at the top we used the little quarry for various types of descending. Helen's confidence grew once she started to look further ahead and able to let go of the brakes. The rocky and loose terrain was a very different surface from what Helen usually rides at trail centers and gradually she was able to trust her bike's ability to roll over the big boulders. Slow speed drops was no problem for her as she already was moving about on the bike perfectly.

Part of the afternoon was spent practicing bunny hopping. This was something Julian also wanted to be able to do as he mostly up until now had relied on speed hops. Both Helen and Julian (and Julian's wife Jane who also happened to join us!) very quickly were able to lift both front wheel and then rear wheel over the obstacles. This practiced the sequence of weight shifting on the bike necessary for performing the bunny hops. By approaching the obstacles slightly faster they were forced to use only a single "pump" of the bike for both movements. While Helen and Jane will need a little more practice to get some height into their bunny hops Julian impressed us all by bouncing over the obstacles making it look easy! Helen was able to "pump" the bike extremely well and since using SPDs it was only fair to teach her speed hops, something she put to immediate good use by bombing every puddle with her rear wheel splashing everyone in the vicinity!

The pumping action was put to further use by getting some nice air while jumping of a small drop and we finished the day off nicely with a slippery singletrack descent down to the bottom of the valley.

No comments: