Easter break saw Liam with the 4 kids come to Swinley, William and Lizzie had been on a course at another centre, Henry and David were new to skills sessions. We covered the basic safety checks and briefing before heading out to the trails. We spent a short while just focusing on the control position, braking and bike set-up. As is common with children’s bikes the brake levers are always set up too far away for their hands to reach the levers. After a few adjustments we were sorted. Basic cornering followed the braking exercises; changes to the body position, “dropping your outside foot” and “looking” helped the group start to flow around the corners. We then headed over to “Stickler” to sample the challenges of the switch
back on “Stickler One”. Everyone managed the first corner with ease, the second corner was a bit more challenging with that dreaded stump 2/3’s of the way round. Here we switched the focus to “looking through for the bend (towards the bag)”. After a few failed
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attempts we were finally getting around the corner below the stump. As the group were taking in the new found skills quickly and smoothly we decided to up the stakes a bit and headed onto “Stickler Three”. Here the corners are tighter with slightly bigger berms. We all walked through the section first, talking through the body position, where to looking and foot work, and then tackled the first of the tight corners. Everyone managed to get round, although there were one or two near misses on the exit and Henry did try and ride up the tree at one point! We continued along “Stickler Three” towards the final large bomb hole. Everyone was keen to give it a go, a quick briefing on what to do and where to look just before the group went flying around the corners. Although one of the group misjudged the corner and came out early, but you shall remain nameless, just your younger brothers and sister know who you are! Final debrief at the car park and it was time to head for home. It was a pleasure doing the coaching session and I hope to see you all out on your bikes soon.