Thursday, 8 September 2011

Intermediate course 080911

Andy came for the beginners course earlier in the summer and was now ready for more skills. Having quickly adopted all the beginners skills and used them to full effect in places like the Forest of Dean and Coed Llandegla, one of the main things he now wanted to achieve was jumping.

To achieve this we needed to build up a repertoire of skills useful for being in the air. Starting off we did wheelies was good practice for putting down your front wheel straight and getting used to it being in the air and later we added bunny hopping to promote moving your weight on the bike, not only important for the take off when jumping but also important for nicely balanced landings.

Initially Andy struggled with lifting the back wheel, but  we tried different techniques to get his timing and movement right so that by the end he was doing wonderful front and back wheel lifts. I am a great fan of flat spiky pedals but after a slip on his pedal Andy pierced his shin properly (I nearly felt sick looking at the injury!) and I had to get the first aid kit out. I can now see why some people prefer SPDs in this respect. By encouraging him to move his foot forward to have the pedal more under the middle part of the shoe he will hopefully avoid further injuries.
Even though we lack some of the pumptrack style jumps we do have a good drop to start jumping off with enough height to make sure you get a feeling of being in the air. It took Andy a few goes to get his weight far enough back to stop the front wheel dropping too soon but once he managed it, there was no turning back and he did one great jump one after the other.

I like to push the boundaries on the course and take people out of their comfort zone and with the weather having turned the ground into a mess of mud and slippery roots the last challenge wasn't easy, but that didn't put Andy off. As usual the camera doesn't show how steep it actually is, but trust me you don't see what is coming until you are actually riding it, it is that steep. And Andy didn't have any problems riding it what so ever!


video

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