Midweek coaching with Polly

September 7th, 2012 by

Polly booked up a 1-1 mountain bike skills session keen to learn all the techniques for safe off road riding. After a bike and equipment check where we discussed bike set up ie: seat height, brake levers, tyre pressures we headed off to the trails. The first fundamental skill we covered was the ideal “body position” for biking off road. Being up out of the saddle helps manage the lumps and bumps that are on the trails. Polly adopted this well and could feel an improvement straight away. Polly was quickly moving confidently around on her bike so we then covered braking. After spending a few minutes practicing she could really feel the benefits of dropping the wrists which makes braking more efficient and safe. From here we moved on to cornering. Starting with a simple flat wide corner it enabled me to slightly adjust her cornering technique before moving onto some linked corners. Before Polly rode the corners we discussed the rooty entrance section and how best to tackle such trail features. Polly rode this section several times and at first looked tense in her upper body and she was also dipping her shoulder into the corner. With this feedback and some coaching points she was soon relaxing her shoulders, moving her

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bodyweight to gain the most grip and was riding far more smoothly. With her confidence increasing with every go we headed

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across the forest to Stickler 3 where we used a switchback corner to work on her “looking” and challenge her cornering technique further. On her first attempt she froze and popped out the top of the corner. However it didn’t take Polly long to use the building blocks already learnt to start nailing the corner. She really started moving her bodyweight around the bike to maintain grip. Her transitions between the corners became smooth and flowing and her confidence at a high. With time pushing on we worked on how to get the front wheel over trail obstacles with ease. Polly sussed this

technique very quickly and was enjoying popping her wheel over the various sized trunks laid out on the trail. We also covered the technique for lifting the back wheel over obstacles to finish off the session. It was great to meet you and I had a great morning. Have fun practicing the techniques you picked up today and may see you out on the trails soon Sarah 🙂