They forecast rain and they were right! Lots of it!
However, it didn’t put off Gemma and Rebecca coming on the ladies beginners’ course.
Gemma and Rebecca are fairly new to mountain biking and wanted to learn the basic techniques to give them the confidence to tackle more off road singletrack.
To start with we carried out a safety check on our bikes making sure they were in good working order. After a few adjustments and bolt tightening we rode out into Swinley Forest along one of the fire tracks.
Firstly we covered the body position to adopt when riding off road……..”ready for anything/control” position incorporating being out of the saddle, dropping the heels, wrists and looking ahead.
Although the ladies found this a bit unnatural to begin with by the end of this practice they were both looking more flexible and relaxed on their bikes which was great.
Following a brief introduction on how to get round corners with confidence and flow, Gemma and Rebecca practiced shifting their bodyweight around the bike riding round a short coned course. They both got to grips with this very quickly so we moved on to a rooty bit of singletrack to introduce some trail features that will be encountered when riding in SwinleyForest.
Riding over roots is something that a lot of people get nervous about and Rebecca and Gemma were no different. The wet conditions didn’t make it ideal to learn how to ride rooty terrain but with a few simple coaching points the ladies rode this section with ease.
We then headed up the trail and talked about gear changing and the basic technique to climbing. Riding a small climb gave us an opportunity to get warm but we were so wet it would take more than a small hill to take the chill off!
Being cold and wet didn’t dampen Gemma and Rebecca’s enthusiasm and they were both keen to keep going. We rode to a section of Stickler 3 to introduce linked cornering and some more technical sections of singletrack. By the end of this practice they were linking the corners nice and smoothly.
The ride back to the Look Out against a blustery head wind still didn’t manage to warm us up so it was a quick debrief and home for a hot chocolate!
It was really good to see the ladies confidence grow as the session progressed. Hope to see you both out on the trails in better weather!