Rob rides regularly in the local race scene, including the Gorricks and Southern XC Series. He’s been finding that while he has the fitness to keep up on the fire roads and straighter parts of single-track, when things get technical, the other riders were pulling away from him.
As always 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; adjusting the brake levers to enable easier reach.
Basic cornering highlighted the issue that Rob was staying in contact with his saddle, for most of the cornering, which was restricting his cone of movement. We spent a bit of time focusing on getting the balanced position for the corner, as well as using the hips and heels to increase the corner grip and control.
After linking the four corners together, we then focused on line choice, through the corners, and how you can broaden out the corners and use the berms to your advantage, and not have to brake so much through the corners, allowing you to flow smoother throughout the trail.
After the cornering exercises on Stickler, we headed across to expert Area and the pump track, to develop getting momentum and flow from the trails, and not having to pedal all the time.
On the pump track we worked on the timing of the pump, to maximise the momentum back into the bike.
Once Rob had clicked into the pumping skills, we then transfer these skills back into the single-track, spotting where you can get momentum and flow out of the features on the single-track. Demonstrating that over a short piece of track only 150m long, you can get 15-20 pumps through the bike and not have to pedal at all.
Following this – we moved onto Deer Stalker, to sample the swooping corners and then the table tops and corners that are just crying out to be pumped through.
A short lunch break back at the Café, we headed out to the Quarry area. Here we focused on the drop offs and bomb holes, transferring the pumping skills from the morning onto the bomb holes.
We discussed the idea of the platform for your feet, and how you adjust this as the terrain become steeper, while still focusing on the “under rotation”, as well as utilising the pump to control and gain momentum from the various drop offs.
After a couple of runs through the cork screw, we then headed back over to the expert area, to just push the boundaries slightly on a couple of the down hill switch backs.Switch Back
After a debrief back at the Centre, we had a well earned drink, Rob is now planning on the Autumn Race season. All in all a great days coaching and I hope to catch up with Rob at one of the Gorrick’s to see how he’s doing.