Saturday, 19 May 2012

Beginners course 180512

It was lovely to see a group of quite different people all enjoying the same course and all progressing exceptionally well with learning new skills and increasing their confidence. Tony was a complete beginner only having been mountain biking for a few weeks, while Rebecca had a few months of experience but still had never ventured on to difficult terrain. Shirley on the other hand had mountain biked quite a lot in the past but only recently taken the sport up again.

As usual we started with easy terrain putting into place concepts such as gear changes and body positioning but within about an hour we had moved on to riding steps and drops starting off small and gradually making it harder through out the day. My job was easy as all the participants not only were delightful, but  trusted me and not at least themselves enough to feel they could  ride things well and they didn't disappoint. There were only minor tweaks here and there to make them find the optimal techniques.

After a lunch at the local pub where we were lucky enough to be able to sit outside despite the threatening rain, we finished off the curriculum with technical climbing, manual front-wheel lifts and singletrack before the day ended with exposing the riders to some properly technical terrain. Again they did remarkably well with Rebecca and Tony even riding the Devils Drop!
Hi Emmy,
Thank you for the photos, they look great!
I really enjoyed the whole day, even my crashes!!! I learned so much, and feel really confident now, as we did lot of stuff I would of never attempted before the course. I cant wait to get back out, although I will have to wait until I get my back wheel back from the LBS as it has a slight buckle and bent spoke now. Never mind the day was worth it, I think once I build my fitness and lose some weight I will improve and enjoy things even more!
I'll see you in a few months on the intermediate course.
Thanks and God bless,

Friday, 11 May 2012

Beginners course 100512

The key to building up confidence is to gradually ride harder and harder things and doing a skills course is a way of fast tracking the whole process and this is exactly what this group demonstrated. From being quite a nervous looking bunch in the morning freely admitting that anything pointing downhill was not on the top of the list of their preferences to turning into very competent riders with far better skills than the average biker in just a day!

Emma announced in the car park that she detested any size of drop off and it was difficult to believe that this was the same lady who relished at having a go at the "Devil's Drop" just hours later. Same with Phil and Ben who several times said they would never have thought they would ride the stuff they now rode with confidence.
The key change they all made was to look further ahead, which not only made them anticipate what was coming but most of all allowed them to relax so they could move with the bike instead of being rigid. Once being able to move around on the bike we explored shifting the weight around for different situations. As usual we added special tricks such as power assisted front wheel lifts, tight turns, setting off on a hill etc.
A really great day apart from the fact I managed to completely and utterly mangle my rear derailleur, but that is a suppose an occupational hazard and a small price to pay to see the happy and excited participants while they proved to themselves that they were far better riders than they had ever imagined!

Hi Emmy,
Thanks for the photos its great to see what we achieved!!
Phil and I thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Your tuition is very clear and easy to understand and your riding tips are invaluable.
It is amazing how even the smallest of changes in thinking and riding can make such a big difference to ability and confidence.
We will keep practicing I promise ;0)
Thanks again for a great day
Emma & Phil

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Beginners course 040512

Another quite nice day where we pretty much managed to escape the rain! Mark had booked on the course after seeing  a feature article about it in a magazine and thought it ticked all the boxes. He basically wished to make sure that he knew the techniques for riding technical terrain instead of just guessing especially since it was a few years since he regularly rode trails off road.

As usual we made sure every core skill was in place and Mark was very quick to pick up the little tweaks that were required to make sure he stayed balanced and was looking far enough ahead. We quickly progressed on to harder terrain and also since it was only him on the course managed to put in place a few extra things as a base for the techniques that are covered on the intermediate course. It was great to see him pick up some speed and confidently riding some of the tricky sections at the end and also riding the big rooty drop!