Thursday, 27 October 2011

Intermediate course 271011

Great day yet again when John and Tim came both from down south somewhere (sorry for being largely ignorant of anything south of Birmingham, although lots of names of places to ride down south sounds very interesting so might venture south at some point!) to build on their skills. John had done the beginners course last year but was now ready for more challenges and it was clear nothing would stop him as he flung himself off everything I showed them. Tim was slightly more cautious needing a few attempts before being able to override the feeling that maybe the bike wasn't up to all these strange, steep and occasionally scary obstacles, but I knew early on that he wasn't giving up. He always rode stuff eventually and when he did, he did so perfectly, making it look very easy.

For Tim it was largely to encourage him to look further forwards that improved his riding the most and to make him realize just how capable mountain bikes are at even the roughest stuff.  John, who had all the basics already in place, just needed to build on the repertoire regarding bunny hopping, wheeling and jumping, this to encourage him to move his weight more on the bike to more stylishly negotiate very rough stuff by unweighting the front resp back wheel at the right times.

It all made for a good day with only the odd hilarious dismount to occasionally break the never-ending demonstrations of perfect riding!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Beginners course 151011

It is such a pleasure to watch the progress of riders coming on the courses and this Saturday was a perfect example. Carina and Jennifer had come on the course to learn how to ride technical terrain such as drops, steps and rocky descents as up until now their riding had been more cross country based and allowed them to avoid obstacles rather than embrace them. Despite being slightly hesitant with each new challenge they more or less perfected the techniques on the first attempt which boosted their confidence and kept them progressing easily to harder and harder terrain. There wasn't a moment during the day when I was worried about either of them as they were riding with such control and composure showing how easy it can be to start riding fairly scary stuff with just a little tuition! I was also impressed by them after a full day of tuition riding the 12 miles home to Macclesfield, but I suspect that the Middlewood way would have seemed very tame in comparison with the riding they had done previously in the day!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Intermediate course 091011

David and David (another easy day for me in respect of names!) had known each other for a long time and had come down from Yorkshire for some fun on the bikes. One of the Davids had grown up on a BMX which showed as wheelies, track standing and not at least bunny hopping was pretty much already perfected. Messing about on a BMX as a kid is easily the best way of learning what to do on a bike. The other David had not had the same opportunity when it came to cycling since he had instead spend his childhood doing other things like canoeing etc and this showed as a lot of the techniques were very new to him. It didn't take him long to learn and just within a few minutes there were big improvements in anything he attempted. His best asset was lack of fear and the ability to go at things at speed which kept him going with a good flow. However the course has plenty of things that need for one reason or another to be ridden quite slowly and this tested their balance and ability to shift their weight about on the bike at the correct time. This wasn't always easy as the rain in the afternoon made the quite heavily rooted sections quite tricky. It was great to see their appetite not only for descending but also techy uphill sections as they spurred each other on but also were relentless at taking the piss. Hugely enjoyable day and we managed to complete all the fun and difficult sections and apart from a simultaneous toppling over into some bushes due to SPD issues we had no real crashes today despite the wet and slippery terrain.