From the Isle of Wight

 

 

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Chris and his father Simon made the trip over from the isle of Wight and the early start meant they arrived early too, bonus!

I explained the out line of the session and began with my skills check and set up changes. I demonstrated why I adjusted their set ups and the effect was immediate.

I knew I had to work on footwork, looking and body positioning and started with cornering, this hit home straight away and we used their new skills in berms as well as half of the singletrack trail. From there we worked on steeper terrain and a near vertical drop off. I worked on their mental skills so they could choose what to ride or not using a decision rather than balls and I demonstrated various ways of riding such sections. They felt way more control than ever before and the effect blew them away.

WE took a break and then worked on drops and jumping. The drops to 3ft proved no problem where as before they would have but the 6ft tabletop jump surprised them as they both rode not only that but the 6ft gap jump too. I wanted them both to apply their mental skills to decide whether to ride a larger gap jump of 9ft which they did. Chris rode it and Simon couldn’t add up his questions positively so correctly declined.

They were both tired but wanted more so before we ended, I moved them to a gap jump trail to work on that and after a good few runs they both decided they were too tired to continue and a brilliant session came to an end.

High5!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The art of mountain biking

Paul and Rob have been coached by myself previously, as had Paul’s wife Emma who came along to watch and hang out. Ian, Nick and Colin came along via their recommendation. They wanted to work on cornering and work on airtime. The skills check showed me the areas that required correcting and that left us to apply the techniques I teach to various sections you come across on trails.

Cornering and carrying speed through turns was first up and their feet, looking and body positions were adjusted and they felt grip and control immediately. We applied this to linking three berms together as well as in a singletrack trail and they were loving it already.

Drops and jumping a 6ft tabletop was next up and both techniques were demonstrated and they all followed suit. The new boys were amazed at how easy and simple their new drop technique was and i was able to work with Rob and Paul on adding style to the technique too.

It wasn’t long before we moved to jumping the 6ft table top and gap jump side too. Watching them sail into the air and land the other side was awesome!

After a lunch break we resumed with riding steeper terrain which included a near vertical drop off and i demonstrated three different ways of riding it. They all applied their mental skills to decide which technique they would do or not.

We worked on rolling steep terrain into corners and linking a hip jump that came after.

We then moved onto riding alpine style switchbacks. The mental aspect of these is huge but gradually they all began to ride them. Paul and colin rode the 6ft drop to the side of it.

From there we moved onto the final application of the skills set, jumping larger gaps. I demonstrated both 9ft and 13ft gaps before it was their turn to apply their mental skills to decide which if any to ride.

Awesome end to an awesome weeks coaching and riding.

High 5!

 

 

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Showing Ben and Dan why

Ben and Dan arrived as arranged and I gave them an outline of the skills sets we at ukbikeskills teach. The skills check revealed their missing skills but also showed me what was present already, so I set about correcting their physical skills sets before working on their mental skills.

We began with drops and quickly moved to the tabletop to work on isolating both phases of jumping. Boom , they were flying and landing perfectly 6ft later on the down slope. Dan had been elsewhere previously for mountain bike coaching but he said this was very different as it worked effortlessly.

The 6ft gap jump proved no issue either and it wasn’t long before we began working on cornering. This had a profound effect on both of them as they had grip levels they’d never experienced before and soon they were railing three berms and carry speed over a larger jump.

We took a break and resumed, this time I demonstrated a 7ft gap jump that came after two berm and by carrying speed through both turns, the jump became easier. Ben, followed by Dan sailed over it again and again before we moved to work on linking drops into corners and then onto steeper terrain.

I demonstrated various ways of riding down a near vert drop off and they were amazed at how controlled and easy that was too and the smile on their faces grew and grew.

Next, a 9ft gap jump sandwiched between two berms was next. I demonstrated it at two very different speeds to demonstrate effort and they both sailed it, later adding the trail above it and linking pumping, manuals and berms into the line.

Before our time together finished, I moved them to a gap jump trail and demonstrated riding them and again the boys flew through them. What a session with two awesome blokes.

High 5!

 

 

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Getting Andrew ready for Ardrock

 

Andrew has never had mountain bike coaching before as he mostly rides the flatlands of Cambridgeshire but having entered an enduro in Yorkshire, he hunted around online and found ukbikeskills.

On meeting Andrew I explained the framework of the skills set we teach and then I set to work breaking his riding down and rebuilding it.

To his surprise, the drop technique was first and by applying both mental and physical skills he found getting air for the first time ever was a lot easier than he’d read or thought.

Onto cornering  and working on footwork and body positioning he found a grip and control he’d never had before and soon he was sailing down the singletrack trail. Pumping, rocks, steps, absorbing and drop offs were all linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. By identifying lines and braking areas Andrew became faster as he felt more controlled.

What a session

High5!

 

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Dhana’s return

I coached Dhana over two years ago with his wife laura and he returned alone this time as they are both expecting a child so Laura is too far to ride for now. The session wasn’t the regular session at all as Dhana wanted to work on steep terrain and alpine style switchbacks too.

The skills check showed that he was weak on his left turns and that He needed work on the drop technique as he was making the front wheel drop unconsciously and too early to boot.

We began wit the drop technique and it took a while to separate what Dhana thought he was doing with what he actually was and ten it became easier and far more controlled. We then moved to riding steeper terrain and i worked on his body positioning and footwork and of course the all important metal skills too. I demonstrated two very different ways of riding a near vertical drop off and Dhana followed suit. This was all good as it laid a foundation to the steeper alpine stuff to follow. We moved to a steep roll into a corner followed by a jump and here we spent lots of time as it was a left turn and unless it was corrected here it would magnify those errors when it became more technical.

Our mountain bike coaching session finally got to alpine style switchback that looked fine when on foot but on the bike was a different prospect. I demonstrated a few times to give Dhana a visual of what was required but it took several attempts to get it right but he was determined and eventually got it. The adrenaline shakes were in full affect and we moved on to riding multiple sections of a trail and sticking to the ground and linking three berms together via control zones. After the steepness of the alpine corners they were easier for Dhana to digest and carried speed through them.

Our session ended after a short session working on the techniques involved in riding over logs on a trail.

I love sessions like this.

High5!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Francis and Darren’s session

 

 

Darren and Francis arrived as arranged and the cold start to the morning turned hotter later but undeterred, we began with the set up and skills check. Looking and body position was paramount to be corrected as well as Francis’s weaker right turns. We began with the drop technique that we at ukbikeskills teach and also the mental skills . It took them no time at all to ride all three drops to three feet with ease and landing perfectly.

Now when I am mountain bike coaching, I must find a way of telling everyone the same thing but in a way they can understand and this was the case with Francis in his corners and that made all the difference to how he weighted his pedals in corners and made his foundation stronger as a result.

We linked three berms together via line choice and control areas before moving to part of a singletrack trail to work on pumping, rock gardens and linking turns within the confines of the trail. They started slow but soon they grew faster and faster and as their skills embedded they felt slower but knew they were traveling faster.

Steeper terrain and near vertical drop offs were next on the menu and they used their mental skills to ride something they felt was terrifying until I demonstrated and they followed suit. They were blown away by how simple and easy it felt.

onto what proved to be our final application of the skills sets we moved to a 6ft tabletop that Darren thought he’d never jump but in a few short moves and adjustments both Darren and then Francis flew over it a good few times before the heat of the day and the adrenaline of the session took its toll and we shared a cold beer in the sunshine.

High5!

 

 

 

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Come to the edge

 

 

I have coached Tom previously and he return with Sophie to develop his own skills set further and for Sophie to develop her enduro race skills too.

Sophie wanted to work on cornering and perhaps jumping and drops and also if I could make her more fluid too. Not much then 😉 Tom wanted to leave it to me. The session began with me running them through my skills check and once corrected, We began applying their skills to the techniques we at ukbikeskills teach in as many situations as time would allow.

Drops were first and I was able to teach Tom why his skills set allowed him to become more stylish in the air and why. Sophie was blown away at how easy it felt and effortless as they both rode all three drops up to 3ft. I then moved them to jumping and the 6ft tabletop. One by one they applied their skills until they both landed the opposite side with control and confidence, Tom again styling it too. Now I knew Sophie was eyeing up the gap jump side and Tom rode it smoothly , followed by Sophie with yells of joy. Phew the session was gaining momentum already.

pumping was something that confused Sophie but I was able to teach her why her skills set applied here again and they carried their speed through three berms and over a large faced jump before we took a lunch break for some rad cake that Sophie had made.

Steeper terrain beckoned and I used a trail that included a near vertical drop off s well as steep roll into a corner and fade away jumps. All proved no problem now as they were both flowing nicely along the trails and they knew they were faster than ever but also more controlled too.

We finished our session on yet another trail where I demonstrated why and when to pump, jump or absorb sections of trail to gain speed without pedalling. what an enjoyable session that was with two awesome people.

High5!

 

 

 

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