Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Beginners course 311011

I always try to tailor the skills day to the participants and when the level of experience is good as it was in the case of Marc and Mark it was clear that what started as a pure beginners course was going to finish up as more of an intermediate course. Everything was mastered so quickly so instead of just doing manual front wheel lifts we ended up practicing bunny hops to give them something harder to do.

Descending on rocky terrain was also covered and as usual it was trying to look a bit further ahead and relax more that saw them turning from slightly cautious riders to riding faster and more confidently. The highlight of the day was watching them have a go at track standing. After I demonstrated it and explained how to do it they had a go and the look on their faces of mixed surprise and delight after over 10 seconds of balancing still on the bike on their very first attempt was priceless!

The day was not all pleasure though as Marc slipped of his pedal on the hardest obstacle and not only tore the top of his sock clean off but also put a very deep gash in his shin. One of the drawbacks of flat spiky pedals I must confess as I normally speak only of the advantages of flat pedals for the courses. After a bit of first aid he was back on the bike and we moved on to jumping as we still had plenty of time left. The injury didn't hold him back and he did some really good jumps off a drop. Mark wasn't far behind having initially taken it a little more cautiously but once persuaded to lower his seat post he felt the confidence to use more speed and also experience the fun of jumping rather than rolling stuff.

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