Sunny Day for Coaching MTB Skills

March 17th, 2014 by

  With the trails drying out and the sun shining it was a good day for coaching. Barbara and Ian ride a lot on the road but are getting more into mountain biking. They are planning to do the off road Coast to Coast route this year and wanted to pick up some tips and techniques to be able to flow through the trails and ride for longer. With the welcome and briefing about Swinley and the ground nesting birds covered we went through our basic safety checks (M check), helmet checks and a bit of bike set-up before heading out to the trails. Starting with a little warm up and a slight climb we briefly covered the basics of climbing/gear changing smoothly before focusing on the control position, braking and bike set-up. Brake levers adjusted to assist with the under rotation of the wrists. Basic cornering followed. With changes to the body position, “dropping your outside foot” and “looking” helped Barbara & Ian start to flow around the corners. We corrected a few habits, and got them to move away from their saddles and lean the bike. P1130468P1130462 Once they were happy with the concept of being balanced around the corner, we then moved across to the single-track corners. We spent a period of time on the four corners, developing the techniques to enable them to flow through the corners, rather than be braking and pedaling throughout. P1130478 P1130476 P1130477 P1130480 To finish the morning off we headed on the blue to a drop off/bomb hole area. Here we practiced going down them, getting use to the concept of the platform for the feet and how we change this depending on the size of the drop. OF course the other key point is the looking throughout, and not focusing on the bottom of the drop. We then rode up a section keeping momentum, flow and commitment high to get over the top. After lunch back at the café, we headed back out on the blue and looked at managing lumps/bumps in the trail and bermed corners. Once Barbara and Ian were happy that they were flowing with ease round the corners we went to tackle some obstacles. Using some logs to get to grips with getting the bike to flow over them smoothly, introducing the pump of the bike rather than lifting the front wheel. Before long they were both happily unweighting their front wheels over various size logs. Finally before finishing the coaching for the day we tackled a steeper gradient to try some more technical climbing and descents – For the descent we

again covered the idea of a platform for our feet, and adjusting the platform as the terrain gets steeper which in turn gradually pivots

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the bike under you and your body weight moves back. This is best practice rather than “throwing your bum over the back of the saddle” For the climbing we discussed how to smooth out pedaling, giving you more grip, as well as changing body position as the climb gets steeper. Time for a bit of a blast and enjoy the trails so we headed out for a bit of a ride round the Blue route. 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 out on your bikes soon. Sarah 🙂