Blowing away the gaps in their skills

 Rory, Jem and Scott turned up as arranged and wanted to sharpen their trail center/singletrack skills.
The skills check revealed footwork, looking and body position errors collectively and I set to work.
The pictures are blurry as it was raining but you can see the results of their new skills as we 1st began with the drop technique. Their new mental and physical skills already paid dividends as they started to land perfectly and they knew why!
Onto the skills trail and we began work on linking the 14 sections on the trail together using their new skills.
Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to rocks, pumping, absorbing, steps and drop offs and soon they were riding faster and smoother than ever.
Nath showed up to give a helpful eye as we moved to riding steeps and they were shocked at how simple it all was and how so much easier they were now. A near vertical drop off proved no problem after a demonstration from myself.
We ended our session by moving to another trail to work on pumping and absorbing multiple sections of a trail to gain free speed and then to carry that speed through a corner. every time it was correct , they got noticeably further than when errors were made. The errors started creeping in as they became tired so our session came to a happy close and I cannot wait to hear of their future ride exploits

Tony (@ukbikeskills)

Nath (@ukbike_nath)

Brothers on bikes

 Mark and Dom are brothers and  joined together for a skills session as they both wanted to get some air as Mark in particular had never been able to get even small airtime without it going wrong or feeling like it will. The skills check revealed some good habits that were buried beneath missing body position and looking skills. I set to work and moved to the drop technique to work on applying their corrected skills and also the mental skills that myself and Nathan instill.  The effect was immediate as they both rode and landed more comfortably than ever and a 1 meter drop felt like a small kerb as it should.
I then moved to the top of the skills trail to work on basic pumping and also to work on their cornering.
We took a break for some @hasbean coffee and moved to the steeper terrain to work on riding near vertical drop offs and once again the ease of it all blew them away.
We moved back to the lower half of the skills trail and worked on line choice and braking areas when linking drops into corners and it wasn’t long before they were riding the whole trail top to bottom and linking all 14 sections on the trail together smoothly and controlled but faster than before.
 Onto jumping, their bug bear and I worked on their application of the skills sets using a 6ft tabletop and they were soon landing on the transition perfectly and then used their mental skills to easily ride a 6ft gap jump along side it. The smiles beamed as they had repeated goes with the same result. Onwards and upwards we moved to the pump and jump trail to work on sticking to the trail and gaining speed by pumping and they carried speed through the midway berm. Later they were choosing whether to jump or pump sections on the trail . I could see they were tiring and even another @hasbean coffee break didn’t help as mentally they were too tired to continue and our session ended with a welcome pint in the local pub. awesome riding guys.

Finding the Skills in Gaz

Gaz drove down from lincolnshire for todays session, so I started as always with the skills checks. Here I explained the skills needed and their application in trail riding. I found out what skills were missing from his skills set and added them to it. I also made I slight set up change and explained the importance of this. We moved onto the trail after a quick cornering exercise and started linking bermed and flat corners, as well as rock gardens. He used his new cornering technique to ride through the sections comfortably and with more control than before. We moved onto the drops just as Tony had finished using them with his session, and here I gave him a mental skills set and how to use it to stay safe when riding, as well as talking through the mechanics of the riding the drops. He was soon riding of the largest drop and landing perfectly. I then showed him the bottom of the trail linking drops into corners, and next the middle section of the trail, which involves and a fly out and a small step in the trail. He was riding each section well with lots of confidence, and was soon riding the trail top to bottom. After a quick break for lunch, we went over to look at steeps in the quarry. He rode both with ease and commented on how easy it felt. We then linked steeper roll ins to corners and then a fade away kicker. We moved back over to the table top where I controlled his speed and he was soon landing perfectly on the other side of both a 6ft table top and gap jump. We finished our session on the pump and jump trail were he began pumping and gaining speed to jump certain sections.
Great session Gaz!
Nath (@ukbike_nath)
Tony (@ukbikeskills)

Jim joins Chris on his return session

 Chris has been coached by myself previously and his mate Jim wanted to come along with him for a session and any fears that their differences in experience in cycling would make them learning together soon blew away.
I could see i needed to work on their body positioning and mental skills a set to work. We first applied both skills sets to the drop technique and they rode all 3 drops easily and Chris began moving the bike in the air too. From there we moved to the skills trail and worked on linking all 14 sections of the trail smoothly and the speed followed.
Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to steps, rocks, pumping, absorbing up slopes and drops. Soon they were flying down the trail and Jim commented on how simple it all now felt.
 Next, we moved to riding steeper terrain and the mental aspect as well as the body positioning required and this blew them away too.
I next moved them to the pump and jump trail to work on Jim’s pumping and absorbing to gain speed for his racing and also for Chris to work on distance in jumping for a given speed and that led to him riding 6 and 9ft gap jumps on the trail that runs along side it.
The 2 berms at the far end of the trail were now being linked together and speed carried around them with confidence and control.
They both called an end to the session after an amazing 4 hours as they were mentally and physically shattered.
Awesome riding guys.

Jane from Geneva

 Jane made her way over from Geneva and arrived for the session as arranged. An experienced road cyclist, Jane was strong and fast but wanted to not lose time on singletrack. The skills check showed that Jane needed to work on looking and body positioning as well as her mental skills set.
 Although I wanted to focus on xc racer techniques predominantly, we began with drops first to show Jane why her new body position makes it easier and also for me to work on her mental skills.
Next, we worked on body positioning in turning and really awoke her skiing experiences in doing so before moving to the singletrack itself. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to pumping, rock gardens, up slopes, drop offs and steps. We worked along the trail methodically, always adding the previous sections to the next and using line choice and braking areas. Soon, Jane was riding the whole trail end to end and getting smoother and faster with each run and recovering from the climb up as she did so.
I moved to another trail to worked on pumping and absorbing sections on a trail to gain speed and stick to the ground and carried speed through a corner further than her first try as the skills set began to sink in and become less of a conscious action.
Our session ended there and I cannot wait for future riding updates from Jane

Epping ladies in the house!

 Hannah, Jude, Zee, Cathy and Fiona turned up as arranged and we began with the skills check and set up.
I made them comfortable with the unweighting of the front wheel before moving onto the drops to apply the same technique and to also work on the mental skills. It didnt take them long to all get airtime and use their mental skills to decide whether to ride the highest or not.
From there we worked on the mental aspect in riding rock gardens and soon began work on cornering too. Their looking, body position and footwork were all applied to make everything more controlled and the improvements were already evident.
We took a welcome coffee break and then resumed with breaking down the technique for riding over logs and fallen trees. This took a while to break down for them and for myself to tell them all in differing ways so they understood but soon they were unwieghting and absorbing correctly and the technique worked.
Not done there, we moved onto another trail to work on gaining speed on sections of a trail using pumping and absorbing but also the beginnings of jumping too. They carried speed through not only one berm but later on they linked another into trail too. As light faded as did their energy both mentally and physically and our session came to a close with smiles all round.
Amazing session and a great end to the weeks coaching activities.

Jamie and Andy bring along Gary for a skills session

 What a session! I had to say that 1st as the forecast was for rain and we saw none of it. The day unfolded gradually and mellow with the skills check and I wanted to move Gary up to their skills level and move them all on from there, easy!
The drops were first and I worked on the mental side as well as body positioning and they were soon all flying off the largest with smiles all around as well as knowing why any errors were felt.
A cornering excersise followed then we worked on carrying speed through a berm then later added another.
Onwards to steeper terrain and I demonstrated body positioning when riding near vertical drop offs and they followed and much to their surprise it was comfortable and smooth, unlike their old technique.
We worked on linking drops into corners and the line choice and braking areas that can be involved and Jamie blew his own mind by riding the largest easily, something he’d never been able to do previously.
We worked on pumping and absorbing multiple sections of a trail and even jumping and when to choose the technique that suits best and why. They linked the 2 berms into the trail that we’d previously worked on and then they were flowing fluidly. Jamie sat the rest out as he was tired and his back was hurting but Andy and Gary continued until the session came to a close with smiles all round and a welcome beer to celebrate an awesome session.