is a lover of the great outdoors. She runs, cycles, does adventure races and triathlons. With an injury keeping her from running she was out on her mountain bike more and decided she wanted to learn the necessary skills to build her confidence for off road riding. We began the session with a quick briefing about SwinleyForest followed by talking about the bike set up and completing a safety check before setting off. Firstly we briefly covered how to change gears smoothly whilst using an efficient pedalling technique for going up hills off road efficiently. At the top of the climb it was time to explain the ideal body position to adopt when riding off road. Elaine picked this up really quickly which was great as this meant we could move on to the core skills to cornering. On the way to the introductory corners we went through how to use your brakes safely and confidently and adjusted Elaine’s brake levers so they are easier to reach when in the control position. We then started moving our weight around the bike to introduce where her body position should be to gain the best traction from our tyres. Moving on to cornering we started with a simple one just to
get the basics correct. To begin with Elaine stayed fairly straight on her bike with not much movement. However, after a few tips she started to lean the bike and shift her bodyweight around which was great. Moving on to the four corners it gave Elaine the opportunity to
practice making the quick transition from a left hand corner to a right hand corner whilst controlling speed. We also looked at line choices and visual irritations on a trail that may affect your confidence and commitment and spoke about how best to tackle them. Elaine worked well through the corners and looked more confident moving away from the saddle and leaning the bike over as the trail tightened so she could get the best grip. With her confidence growing we moved onto Stickler to work on linking some corners and using tighter bermed corners to challenge her “looking” and “footwork”technique. Another aspect of off road riding Elaine wanted to learn was to get over obstacles such as roots/logs/step ups on the trails so we spent a bit of time running through the technique for this. With time running short we headed to Seagull and covered the “cone of movement” going over a mound in the trail and followed the trail to the green gate before heading back to the Look Out. See you on the trails soon.