Nikki’s MTB Lesson

December 4th, 2013 by

On a fresh morning I met up with Nikki for a skills session. She has been riding on the large fire tracks but lacked confidence on her bike so decided to get some coaching. After a safety check on our bikes making sure they were in good working order we headed out. First we covered braking and talked about the best way to brake efficiently and in control. We did a little exercise with braking to show how important it was to have your body weight in the right place when braking. .Nikki could feel straight away that knowing a few basic skills made her feel more confident on a bike, especially when

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braking. Next we covered the most fundamental skill to off road riding…….. the body position. Sometimes its referred to as the “attack” position”, I prefer “ready for anything/control” position which does what it says………you are in control and ready for anything that you may encounter on the trails. It took a few minutes for Nikki to feel at ease in the “ready for anything” stance as she had been used to sitting on the saddle when riding but she soon was looking confident, more flexible and relaxed on her bike. Next we moved on to cornering. To begin with we rode along

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the fire road to see how far we could lean the bike over to start getting a feel for the control you have on your bike even when you lean it over Nikki was a little apprehensive at first about leaning her bike and being away from her saddle but she grew in confidence. The next challenge was to put this movement on the bike whilst riding round a corner. Here we could work further on the technique of speed control, footwork, body position and looking.

Nikki Practicing Cornering

Nikki Practicing Cornering

Nikki - Great footwork & starting to get the lean

Nikki – Great footwork & starting to get the lean

Continuing to work on cornering Nikki was starting to look more confident manoeuvring her bike around and started flowing smoothly round the corners, especially the left hand one.
Nikki - Mastering a lefthand corner

Nikki – Mastering a lefthand corner

Nikki - Smiles all round when it all comes together

Nikki – Smiles all round when it all comes together

Next we covered gear changing and the basic technique to climbing with a smooth pedal stroke. Nikki used her gears effectively as we climbed the hill and reached the top with no problems. With a quick breather we headed on to a bit of the Blue Trail to introduce her to riding through the narrow single track which gave her the opportunity to put her new skills to the test. We worked on some of the linked corners through the trail which Nikki enjoyed and she was definitely improving. With the coaching session coming to an end we headed back to the car park via a fire road descent. A few coaching tips before we rode down gave Nikki confidence to flow freely down the track safely, confidently and in control Nikki looked far more confident and had progressed throughout the morning Hope to see you out on the trails soon. Have fun 🙂