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…)