Alan has only recently started riding off road, in fact only about 10 times with one being a mountain bike race! Alan used to be a competitive runner but due to injury he started riding. With the roads being quite unpleasant to ride on due to too many impatient car drivers he tried a bit of trail riding with some work colleagues and enjoyed it so much entered a race straight away!
With regards to the race he found that he was fit enough but as soon as it came to the singletrack he was left standing. He was braking, losing momentum, not getting round the corners which was very frustrating. He decided that if he was going to be competitive and progress in this sport he needed some coaching.
So with my brief done we headed for the trails.
To start with I got Alan to ride round a little corner circuit so I could see how he was riding already. This highlighted a number of fundamental skills which were missing so we started back to basics to iron these out.
The first skill we worked on was his body position on the bike…..”control” or “ready for anything” stance and how to adapt this to get round corners. Straight away Alan found it so much easier to move the bike around by being out of the saddle and shifting his body weight. By lowering his saddle a tad and adjusting the position of his brake levers also helped.
After a quick demo and practice of the best and most efficient way to use your brakes we headed to the 4 corners. This trail gave Alan the opportunity to practice making the quick transition from a left hand corner to a right hand corner whilst controlling speed. Alan worked well through the corners and looked confident moving away from the saddle and leaning the bike over more as the trail tightened so he could get the best grip.
Once the 4 corners were mastered it was on to stickler with the many singletrack corners to work through.
After working on a few of the sections I then followed Alan whilst we rode the whole trail. I could see how his riding had improved just after a couple of hours coaching and believed with practice he could finely tune his riding to flow more freely and be able to improve his race times/position.
So a week after Alan’s coaching session he entered his second ever mountain bike race, the Gorrick Fun Race. He came 1st out of 25……..not bad for a Rooky, in fact pretty awesome!
Good luck and enjoy