Midweek coaching with Polly

September 7th, 2012 by

Polly booked up a 1-1 mountain bike skills session keen to learn all the techniques for safe off road riding. 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. Polly adopted this well and could feel an improvement straight away. Polly was quickly moving confidently around on her bike so we then covered braking. After spending a few minutes practicing she could really feel the benefits of dropping the wrists 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. Before Polly rode the corners we discussed the rooty entrance section and how best to tackle such trail features. Polly rode this section several times and at first looked tense in her upper body and she was also dipping her shoulder into the corner. With this feedback and some coaching points she was soon relaxing her shoulders, moving her

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bodyweight to gain the most grip and was riding far more smoothly. With her confidence increasing with every go we headed

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across the forest to Stickler 3 where we used a switchback corner to work on her “looking” and challenge her cornering technique further. On her first attempt she froze and popped out the top of the corner. However it didn’t take Polly long to use the building blocks already learnt to start nailing the corner. She really started moving her bodyweight around the bike to maintain grip. Her transitions between the corners became smooth and flowing and her confidence at a high. With time pushing on we worked on how to get the front wheel over trail obstacles with ease. Polly sussed this

technique very quickly and was enjoying popping her wheel over the various sized trunks laid out on the trail. We also covered the technique for lifting the back wheel over obstacles to finish off the session. It was great to meet you and I had a great morning. Have fun practicing the techniques you picked up today and may see you out on the trails soon Sarah 🙂

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Mountain Bike Skills Session with Jo 23/6/2012

June 25th, 2012 by

Jo, a local mountain biker booked up a 1-1 mountain bike skills session as she had never been taught to ride off road before and was keen to learn all the techniques. As she was riding into the forest from Crowthorne we met on one of the trails. Firstly we went through a bike and equipment check. We discussed bike set up ie: seat height, brake levers, tyre pressures and after a couple of adjustments we were ready to go. Riding behind Jo along the Seagull run to start with gave me an idea of her riding level, technique and confidence. We then covered one of the first basic skills of mountain biking which is the ideal “body position”. Being up out of the saddle helps manage the lumps and bumps that are on the trails. Jo adopted this well and with the new position of her brake levers could feel an improvement already. Jo was quickly moving confidently around on her bike so we then covered braking. After spending a few minutes practicing she could really feel the benefits of dropping the wrists. 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. Before we could tackle them Jo had a slight mechanical where she couldn’t unclip one of her shoes because the SPD had come lose and one of the screws had fallen out. With some pulling and tugging we eventually released it, put in an old screw that I carry in my tool kit and it was good as new. (Top tip – carry old spare SPD screws, you never know when you may need them) Before Jo rode the corners we discussed the rooty entrance section and how best to tackle such trail features. Jo rode this section several times and with some coaching points she was soon relaxing her shoulders, moving her bodyweight to gain the most grip and was riding far more smoothly. (more…)

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Matt conquers the berms

June 6th, 2012 by

Diamond Jubilee weekend saw Matt come to Swinley. He’d ridden here a few times before, and felt it was time to try and get a bit more flow and control through the corners. We covered the basic safety checks and briefing before heading out to the trails. (more…)

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Private Session with Tony and Charlie (aged 8)

March 12th, 2012 by

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

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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

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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.

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A chilly pairs session

February 3rd, 2012 by

Karl & Ian A freezing session today – a balmy 0deg C – Karl and Ian had ridden at Swinley a few times before, but mentioned that they were struggling with the bermed corners, and maintaining the speeds. After basic bike and kit check we headed out towards the trails. Initial 30mins was spent assessing and correcting basic body positioning, bike set up, braking techniques and cornering. Once we’d removed a few old habits, and got them thinking about how they were riding we were then on the linked corners in the single-track. (more…)

1 Comment

Pairs Session 29th Dec – Neil & Jason

December 29th, 2011 by

Great Pairs session today at Swinley, the weather held off and the trails were

not the normal mud fest for December. Session focused on body position, cornering, and looking. We started at the

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top of the Full Nine Yards, sessioning the

first 4 corners. Progressing onto Stickler and the tight switch-back. More to follow …

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