Ladies Beginners Skills Session 22nd March 2014

March 24th, 2014 by

After a spell of very poor weather over the last month it was great to be coaching a Ladies Beginners Mountain bike course in the dry, although we did get a little hail! I met the ladies on a chilly Saturday morning all keen to learn some mountain bike skills. Sam had been given a gift voucher from her friend Emma and Louises’ was a birthday present from her husband. After a safety check

on our bikes making sure they were in good working order, making a few adjustments and a briefing about Swinley Forest and ground nesting birds we headed out. First we covered the most fundamental skill to off road riding…….. the body position. Sometimes its referred to as

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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 them to really feel at ease in the “ready for anything” stance as they had been used to sitting on the saddle when riding. Before long they all were looking more flexible and relaxed and I could see their confidence growing.

Louise - Good relaxed Control Position

Louise – Good relaxed Control Position

Sam - Ready for anything

Sam – Ready for anything

Emma - Relaxed, under rotating wrists, heels down, looking ahead

Emma – Relaxed, wrists & heels down, looking ahead

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New recruits mountain bike skills course for Birds on Bikes.

June 21st, 2013 by

Birds on Bikes is a Facebook group set up by Sarah Selwood who wanted to find other women to go out mountain biking with. The group has grown and grown and Sarah kindly volunteers her time to create opportunities for women, of all abilities, to get together with other women and ride their mountain bikes. The Group is all about having fun, a good chat and obviously CAKE! 😉 Mountain Bike Tuition hooked up with the Birds and organised a couple of bespoke courses for different abilities. Read on to find out how the “New Recruits Birds on Bikes” skills session went. Unfortunatley due to illness a couple of the riders couldn’t make it so it was just Lydia and Lisa. Both of them have been riding off road for a relatively short time and had joined the Group as it organises great rides and welcomes any level of rider. After a safety check on our bikes making sure they were in good working order

and making a few adjustments to brake levers so they were easy to reach we headed out. Firstly I followed Lydia and Lisa as they rode the Green trail just so I could see how they got on before we headed into the forest. After this 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 them to really feel at ease in the “ready for anything” stance as they had been used to sitting on the saddle when riding. Before long they all were looking more flexible and relaxed and I could see their confidence growing. Next we covered braking and 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. We then rode down to the next coaching spot in the forest and

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Lisa and Lydia to practice being in the “ready for anything” position as we went. Already they were starting to relax and become more confident. Introducing cornering was the next skill we were going to look at. I got them to ride a coned slalom course to get the technique correct first. Lydia was confident moving away from her saddle and was happy carving her way down the course. Lisa at first was cautious about leaning her bike over but with a bit of encouragement started to look at ease. Beginners mountain bike skills course Beginners mountain bike skills course Beginners mountain bike skills course Beginners mountain bike skills course They both worked hard on this technique around the cones so we then introduced a couple of sweeping corners. Here we could work further on the technique of speed control, footwork, body position and looking. Both Lydia and Lisa were looking far more confident manoeuvring their bikes around and started flowing smoothly round the corners. Beginners mountain bike skills course Beginners mountain bike skills course Next we covered gear changing and the basic technique to use when climbing. Both Lydia and Lisa admitted that hill climbing wasn’t one of their strong points. I then pointed to the hill we were going to climb and they both laughed! Lisa said that she had never made it to the top before so this was going to be a test to see if applying the technique would help her get further than she used to. Well I am pleased to say that with great determination. a nice smooth pedal action and affective use of their gears they both made it to the top of the climb with ease. With a quick breather we talked about descending and the body position which should be adopted to feel confident going downhill. With time running short we headed to a bermed corner on the Blue trail to finish the session. The section we used had a left hand bermed corner on a gravity assisted piece of trail so speed control, looking, footwork and body position were all crucial. At first the ladies struggled a bit with getting their looking and footwork right as the trail took them a little out of their comfort zone. However, after a few tips and attempts their confidence grew and they started cornering with more flow.

Mountain Bike Tuition coaching Lisa on the berm

Lydia riding the berm!

Mountain Bike Tuition coaching Lisa on the berm

Lisa riding the berm!

A very enjoyable morning and for me as a coach it’s lovely to see the confidence grow in both the riders as

the session progressed. Hope to see you out on the trails soon. Have fun 🙂

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Ladies Beginners Course 19th May 2012

May 29th, 2012 by

Slightly overcast morning in SwinleyForest for the Ladies Beginners Course but the sun did make an appearance! All the ladies were on the course for similar reasons. Tania is local to the forest and has ridden some of the trails but wanted to come on a course to learn some basic skills on how to do it properly and gain confidence. Esther has done some mountain biking with her partner. She found that she lacked confidence on the trails he had taken her on so thought it would be a good idea to get some coaching to build her confidence, especially for tackling the narrower singletrack trails. Emma, Esther’s friend is new to mountain biking so wanted to learn the basics. She has recently become a new Mum and wanted something she can do with her friends to have that all important “time to yourself”. Mountain biking is ideal to escape from it all and have a great time with your mates. (more…)

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Ladies Beginners Course

March 8th, 2012 by

They forecast rain and they were right! Lots of it!

However, it didn’t put off Gemma and Rebecca coming on the ladies beginners’ course.

Gemma and Rebecca are fairly new to mountain biking and wanted to learn the basic techniques to give them the confidence to tackle more off road singletrack.

To start with we carried out a safety check on our bikes making sure they were in good working order. After a few adjustments and bolt tightening we rode out into Swinley Forest along one of the fire tracks.

Firstly we covered the body position to adopt when riding off road……..”ready for anything/control” position incorporating being out of the saddle, dropping the heels, wrists and looking ahead.

Although the ladies found this a bit unnatural to begin with by the end of this practice they were both looking more flexible and relaxed on their bikes which was great.

Following a brief introduction on how to get round corners with confidence and flow, Gemma and Rebecca practiced shifting their bodyweight around the bike riding round a short coned course.  They both got to grips with this very quickly so we moved on to a rooty bit of singletrack to introduce some trail features that will be encountered when riding in SwinleyForest.

Riding over roots is something that a lot of people get nervous about and Rebecca and Gemma were no different.  The wet conditions didn’t make it ideal to learn how to ride rooty terrain but with a few simple coaching points the ladies rode this section with ease.

We then headed up the trail and talked about gear changing and the basic technique to climbing.  Riding a small climb gave us an opportunity to get warm but we were so wet it would take more than a small hill to take the chill off!

Being cold and wet didn’t dampen Gemma and Rebecca’s enthusiasm and they were both keen to keep going. We rode to a section of Stickler 3 to introduce linked cornering and some more technical sections of singletrack.  By the end of this practice they were linking the corners nice and smoothly.

The ride back to the Look Out against a blustery head wind still  didn’t manage to warm us up so it was a quick debrief and home for a hot chocolate!

It was really good to see the ladies confidence grow as the session progressed.  Hope to see you both out on the trails in better weather!

 

 

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