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. (more…)

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Mountain Bike Gift Voucher for Diana 23/8/13

September 9th, 2013 by

Diana has only been mountain biking for 4 months and recently lost her confidence after a fall so her boyfriend bought her a Skills Gift Voucher so she could learn some of the techniques for safe off road riding and to regain her confidence. Diana had told me that she struggles with balance, is quite wobbly on the narrow tracks and lacks confidence on drops since her tumble. After a bike and equipment check where we discussed bike set up ie: seat height, brake levers, tyre pressures we headed off to the trails. The first fundamental skill we covered was the ideal “body position” for biking off road. Being up out of the saddle helps manage the lumps and bumps that are on the trails. Diana was naturally adopting this position and was quickly moving confidently around on her bike. We then covered braking. After spending a few minutes practicing she could really feel the benefits of dropping the wrists and heels which makes braking more efficient and safe. From here we moved on to cornering. Starting with a simple flat wide corner it enabled me to slightly adjust her cornering technique before moving onto some linked corners

Diana shifting her riding position to ease round the corner

Diana shifting her riding position to ease round the corner

Diana - outside foot down, leaning the bike.

Diana – outside foot down, leaning the bike.

Before Diana rode the linked corners we discussed the rooty entrance and how best to tackle such trail features. Diana rode this section several

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times and at first looked tense in her upper body but by the end of the coaching on this section she was more confident gliding over the roots.

Diana tackling the roots with confidence

Diana tackling the roots with confidence

On the linked corners Diana was improving her technique each time and was soon relaxing her shoulders, moving her bodyweight around the bike to gain the most grip and was riding far more smoothly.
Diana - good weighted outside leg & looking. Need to work on getting away from the saddle more.

Diana – good weighted outside leg & looking. Need to work on getting away from the saddle more.

Next we tackled how to adapt your body position when the trail ahead of you drops away. After a demo it was Diana’s turn. To begin with she was a bit apprehensive but once she had adjusted her bodyposition on her bike, controlled her speed and looked through the section she was riding it really well. It was great to see her confidence grow.
Part 1 - Looking committed & confident as the trail disappears!

Part 1 – Looking committed & confident as the trail disappears!

Part 2 - Chin up looking ahead for trail features.

Part 2 – Chin up looking ahead for other trail features.

We then headed across the forest to Stickler to carry on the cornering theme at a switchback corner to work on the importance of “looking” and to challenge Diana further.

As this section stepped outside of Diana’s comfort zone her first attempt took her back to old habits which meant she struggled to make it round the corner smoothly. However with a bit more coaching and more practice she started to corner better.

Looking for your "exit" great......body position not so good. Be confident to lean the bike & get outside leg down.

Looking for your “exit” great……body position not so good. Be confident to lean the bike & get outside leg down.

Diana had mentioned previously a part of the trail that she really had difficulty riding. With the improvements Diana had made I was convinced that she would now be able to ride it with confidence so we headed to the “Whoops”(that’s what I call them!) on Stickler. With a quick re-cap on how to adjust your riding when the trail drops away Diana gave it a go. I am pleased to say she rode them brilliantly and with a new found confidence…..whoop whoop!!
Whoop Whoop - Looking good!!!

Whoop Whoop – Looking good!!!

It was great to meet you and I had a great morning. Have fun practicing the techniques you picked up and may see you out on the trails soon 🙂

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All Day Session with Rob

July 30th, 2012 by

Rob rides regularly in the local race scene, including the Gorricks and Southern XC Series. He’s been finding that while he has the fitness to keep up on the fire roads and straighter parts of single-track, when things get technical, the other riders were pulling away from him.

As always we covered the basic safety checks and briefing before heading out to the trails.  We spent a short while just focusing on the control position, braking and bike set-up; adjusting the brake levers to enable easier reach.

Basic cornering highlighted the issue that Rob was staying in contact with his saddle, for most of the cornering, which was restricting his cone of movement.  We spent a bit of time focusing on getting the balanced position for the corner, as well as using the hips and heels to increase the corner grip and control.

 

After linking the four corners together, we then focused on line choice, through the corners, and how you can broaden out the corners and use the berms to your advantage, and not have to brake so much through the corners, allowing you to flow smoother throughout the trail. (more…)

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