Mother and son share a mtb skills session

Both Karen and Scott have been to coaching days up in the dales previously and decided to come to me after a recommendation.
On meeting them both, I put them through my simple skills check where I found they needed work on footwork and looking in both straight on sections and also corners. Here is where I changed their set ups and this enhanced their overall control of the bike. I showed why the skills made unweighting the front wheel easy and once they both could do it, we moved on.
I worked on braking technique before moving on to apply their new skill set to the drop technique.

Scott really got the hang of this and I worked hard on Karen’s body position too before she also began landing perfectly. They both remarked on how easy it was and that they had never done drops before anywhere.
I then moved onto pumping and using this technique to use the trails natural energy to gain speed and then to carry it through a berm and also a flat corner. I worked hard on both their feet and looking skills and they really began to flow. We then worked on a rock garden and linked that into a tight berm and a switchback. Both Karen and Scott struggled for a while as their looking wasn’t enough but soon they both rode all 6 sections linked together.
We had a break as I could see them tiring mentally and this bought us time to work on the fly out jump and step. They were shock at the ease of jumping using the same skills I teach and the adrenalin from being airborn really began to kick in. They then linked all 9 sections together easily. The skills they were missing when we met were now standing out as they used their footwork and looking to easily ride corners and other sections but mentally they were drained and they called an end to the session.
To end our time together, I gave a demonstration of the same skills in use in my own riding and they could see it was exactly the same.
Great session!

Tina and James 2 to 1 session

Tina originally bought James a gift voucher for the skills one to one session for xmas but Injury delayed his attendance and by the time he was sure he was ok to attend Tina wanted to join in and make it a 2 to 1 session. On meeting, I ran them through my skills check and made set up changes too. I found that both had the remnants of a push to unweight the front end and they were both missing skills in cornering too. I knew I would have to focus on their looking and footwork first so I set to work.
I spent time developing their unweighting of the front end using various subtle changes and soon they were ready to move on. I worked on braking techniques to so their control was enhanced.
We moved to the drops and applied the same skills there and James was landing perfectly on them from the off, using both his mental and physical skill set. Tina needed more intricate focus and I gradually changed her body position and footwork and as she became comfortable gradually adding speed she landed perfectly also.
Next, I worked on basic pumping technique and we used this free speed to ride through two corners, one bermed and the other a flat turn. Both Tina and James could feel the improvement straight away and their confidence grew along with their commitment. I also showed why the skills applied to riding over the visual barriers of a rock garden and Tina in particular had fears here but with her enhanced looking she was able to ride them easily. We then moved onto the pump trail and I developed their pumping further and James really got the hang of it. Tina began to show classic signs of mental fatigue so I ended our session there and then to hugs and smiles all round. It was an end to a fantastic experience for all three of us as they developed their riding together, I was witness to their riding improving immeasurably.
See you soon Guys!

The kid in Vince comes out to play

Vince finally made his way to me for his session after delaying it due to injury. On meeting he told me of his aspirations and I gave him my commitments for his coaching and then I began.
The skills check revealed the missing skills in his riding, which he’d been doing since 1989 off road and also the good habits already present. I changed his set up which to his surprise felt natural very quickly and off we went to the drops to apply the mental and physical skill set.
Vince landed perfectly immediately and the ease of it blew him away. Very quickly he had ridden all 3 drops with ease and his confidence grew.
We moved onto the skills trail and began working on linking the 14 sections contained in the trail together. I worked on pumping the trails undulations and linked these to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns, rock gardens, steps, fly out jumps and drops. I worked hard on footwork, looking and his body positioning in corners as well as his looking elsewhere too. As we moved down the trail Vince’s skill set started to become a more natural action and he felt slower even though he knew he was traveling ways faster than ever. The fly out jump proved an easy section for him as he simply pushed to take off as I said and the smile grew across his face. I worked on linking drops into corners and Vince really began to fly before we rode the entire trail end to end. Each run was more confident and committed than the previous but it was time to move onto the one thing Vince he never thought he’d be able to do, the 6ft tabletop jump.

In a short time, Vince was sailing over the jump and laughing out loud as he did, the kid inside him had woken up and each clear was greeted with a high5 from me!
The session came to a close and I gave Vince a riding demonstration of the same skill set I teach in use in my own riding on the woodwork of herts.
Amazing day and it was a pleasure to finally ride with you Vince!

Matt and Mike travel from Wales

Mike and Matt made the journey and stayed at a local hotel so they could be fresh for their session.
On meeting them I asked of their aspirations for the session and it focused on airtime. Neither had jumped a tabletop before and considered the one they saw as they drove in to be way to big, how wrong they were.
I ran them through my skills check which reveals the missing and present skills that are needed in mtbing. I corrected their set ups and away we went, much to their surprise to the drops.
Immediately they were landing perfectly and soon they had used their new mental skill set to good effect to ride all 3 drops. The looks on their faces were a picture.
It was time to move to the skills trail and begin to work on linking the 14 sections contained within it together. I began with pumping and they were both surprised by how much speed could be gained. They linked this into the next two corners and they could really feel the benefit of their improved footwork, looking and body positioning. Methodically, we moved along the trail linking each section to the next using the correct braking areas. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to drops, fly out jumps, steps, pump bumps and rock gardens.

I worked hard on linking drops into corners and I really developed their looking and line choice before they began riding the trail top to bottom a few times. Each run was controlled, smooth and faster than they have ridden before.
Finally, we moved onto their nemesis, the 6ft tabletop. I worked on their mental skills here and they applied their natural unweight to awesome effect and sailed over it, landing smoothly and riding away smiling. After a few more runs, mental tiredness really began to hit and I called an end to the session and rode a demonstration of the same skills set in use in my own riding.
Awesome riding guys and I can’t wait for your future riding updates.

Richards return

Richard came to me last year and returned wanting to develop his riding further. Being a world champion triathlete, I was able to use his muscle memory from other sports to enhance his off road cycling.
On meeting I made the necessary set up changes to both his bikes before running him through my skills check. I could see that body position needed work so I set to work.
We moved straight to the skills trail and I worked on the top half of the trail to begin with. I worked on advanced pumping and we used this free speed to connect to the trail and link it to bermed and flat corners, rocks and 180 switchbacks. We worked hard on body position here and I could see that looking had not become an unconcious action yet , so I worked on that also.
We added the next half of the trail and rather than show how to fly, I showed how and why you stayed glued to the trail which is faster in the right context.
I worked on braking areas and technique which enhanced Richards control during linking drops into corners. As the session progressed, Rich became faster and faster. on a timed 70 meter section he was 3 seconds faster than earlier in the session.
I moved us onto the pump and jump trail and worked more on harnessing the trails energy and Richard began using every dip in the trail to gain speed to enable him to jump the 9ft tabletop contained withing the trail with ease. each run connected more rhythmicly than the last and soon Richard was sailing down the trail with less effort.
Lastly, we worked on the alpine swicthbacks and focussed on looking and footwork to enable Richard to ride them confidently and with a commitmment that was greater than the 1st session and I could see he had really been working on this aspect in his riding.
Richard used both hardtail and full suss 29er’s during the session and I know the developments will really take effect on either choice of bike.
Awesome riding dude!

The re return of Chris


Chris came for his 2nd one to one session and I began as always, with my skills check. Chris had since bought a new bike and I could see the errors in his set up which I corrected immediately.
I started with drops and I worked on body position here a lot and soon Chris was landing smoothly and effortlessly, even riding the largest drop that he mentally wasn’t ready for in his last session.
I moved onto the trail and worked hard on body position in corners and the change was dramatic as shown in the above pics.
After a while it was time to work on his mental skill set in jumping the 6ft tabletop and gap jump.

Chris’s new body position in the air was there and the smile beamed across his face at the ease of it all. He then rode the gap jump also which really set the adrenalin off.

Next, I moved onto the pump and jump trail where I worked on Chris’s speed management so he could generate enough speed through pumping to be able to clear a 9ft tabletop.

Chris really connected to the trail and got into a rhythm and rode the whole trail with a new confidence. Each run was more fluid than before and soon it was time to work on the low ladders.
Once I had shown how to control the bike and dismount on the woodwork I was able to work on Chris’s peripheral fear of being high up. He rode a small ladder drop and even rode the up and over ladder too before mental tiredness prevailed and our session ended.
Awesome riding Chris!

Gary, Emlyn, Dave and Richard’s private group session.

The guys all turned up as arranged but were one man down as last week the 5th rider injured himself whilst riding, so we went ahead as a four.
We began with the skills check and this revealed some good habits but some missing skills too.
I began working on their body position and looking skills and also their set up, they could feel the difference straight away in corners and also in unweighting the front of the bike. I moved us onto the drops to use the skill set, both mentally and physically in this technique. In no time at all they were all landing perfectly and all commented on how easy it felt. They had received coaching a couple of years ago from a couple of companies but had never been shown this simple application and were puzzled as to why this was.
Next, we moved onto the skills trail and I worked heavily on body position and looking in their riding as they worked on each section within the trail. I began with pumping the trail and showed a basic and also advanced technique for them to explore to harness the trails energy and use it rather than their own. WE worked down the trails fourteen section methodically, always linking the previous ones to the next and so on. Gary felt in control of the front end now for the first time in years. Both Dave and Emlyn could feel when everything was right as it felt smooth and Richard was smiling at the fact he had so much more confidence through sections but I wasn’t finished yet.

I worked on linking drops into corners and why line choice makes things so much more fluid and controllable. They linked flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns into steps, drops, fly out jumps, rock gardens and pump bumps. They rode the trail in quarters, halves, 3 quarters and finally they rode the whole trail. each run was smoother than the last but mental tiredness was creeping in and errors were beginning to show, so I called an end to the session. To round off the day, I demonstrated a line on the high woodwork at Herts that had all the elements I had coached to them contained within it and they could see the same skill set in use in my own riding as theirs.
Great riding guys!