Both Dad, Tony and Son, Charlie had ridden in Swinley a few times before – but struggled with a few of the trails so decided to come out on a coaching session.
We covered the basic safety checks and briefing before heading out to the trails.
We spent a short while just focusing on body position, braking and bike set-up. As is common with youths’ bikes, Charlie’s had been set-up without any consideration that he has smaller hands than the mechanic that set the bike up. It needed the brake levers closer to the bar and also set at the correct angle. Once we’d made the necessary adjustments, Charlie was able to use the brakes in a more controlled and safe fashion.
Basic cornering followed the braking exercises; changes to foot work was the order of the day for both Tom and Charlie. Linking the foot work with the shift in body position became more natural and both of them were starting to flow through the corners.
We then headed over to “Stickler” to sample the challenges of the switch back on “Stickler One”. Here the focus turned to “looking through for the exit”, and both Tony and Charlie developed their looking skills with a few runs through the corners.
As both were taking in the new found skills quickly and smoothly we decided to up the stakes a bit and headed onto “Stickler Two” where the bermed corners get progressively bigger and tighter. Charlie soaked up the cornering techniques and was whizzing through the corners like an expert in no time at all.
We finished off the cornering on “Stickler Three” with the final deep bomb hole and berms, both Tony and Charlie flowed through the berms with style and confidence.
On our ride back towards the LookOut we tried a few exercises with pumping and manual front wheel lift. Then discussed how you can develop this into the bunny hop.
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 both out on your bikes soon.