Jenn and Stu arrived for their session after staying at the local recommended b+b and were fresh and ready to roll. I began with the skills check and found two proficient riders that had 2 skills missing, looking and body positioning. A set up change to Jenn’s bike made a world of difference and off we went to a cornering drill to enhance the body corrections. From there, we moved to the drop technique and it wasn’t long before they were riding the largest 3ft drop and Stu was even starting to style it also.
I then moved straight to jumping as I could see that physically they both were ready and only a mental skills tweak was needed before they were both clearing the 6ft tabletop, Jenn’s 1st ever and Stu was comfortably riding the gap jump side too.
We took a break and resumed with carrying speed through berms and again Stu upped his game by riding and styling the 7ft ladder gap that came after as he now could carry enough speed through the turns to do so.
Next, on to the skills trail and we worked on linking the sections contained in it together using various techniques. We rode steps, rocks, upslopes, drops and pumped . Linking that to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. The change in them now was clear to see as they became more connected to the trail and fluid which made them faster.
Next, we moved to steeper terrain and the mental skills required as well as that all important body positioning. Alpine switchbacks, Near vert drop off and steeps into corners were all ridden and in various ways, demonstrated of course by myself first.
We finished our session on a trail linking everything together including moving the bike in the air and ending in the ever easier vert drop in.
Amazing session of progress and fun too.
Si, Dickie and Neil made the journey from Eastbourne and on arrival we chilled out with a coffee before starting with my skills check. I found looking, body and footwork skills were missing and I made a critical set up change for them too.
To their surprise, we began with drops and I worked on their mental skills there too. It didn’t take them long to ride all 3 drops up to 3ft high with ease. I moved to the skills trail and broke the trail in half before lunch and then added the 2nd half after lunch. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to pumping, jumps, steps, rocks and drops. When riding the complete trail , every run was faster and smoother and every error was now self diagnosed too!
On to riding steeper sections and they were soon riding down stuff they thought impossible after a few demonstrations from myself. They used their mental skills to decide what to ride too as they improved so did their overall confidence.
Now it was time to move them to the one thing they thought they’d never be able to do, jump a 6ft tabletop and land on the transition. I worked hard on their individual skills sets and gradually they could feel it all click together and one by one they sailed over it in amazement and absolute control. Run after run was the same and they were buzzing but tiring.
For my last application of the skills sets, we moved to another trail to link the learning from the session all together and they began to choose whether to jump or pump sections of a trail and rail around the berm at the end. What a session guys and I loved every minute being in your company.
Neil’s original session was cut short by a problem with his forks last time and now, after getting them sorted by loco-tuning.com he arrived for the rest of the session as arranged.
I could see during the skills check that he’d worked on what we covered last year and now I needed to gel it together.
The drop technique breezed past and he was soon riding all 3 drops with ease. From there we moved to the skills trail and worked on the top half of the trail and linked 6 sections together comprising of 4 corners, pumping and a rock garden. Neil was soon flowing along nicely and I worked hard on his cornering in all areas and used to berms that link together to carry speed through.
We took a break and when we resumed, we were soon linking the whole skills trail together and even linking the bigger 4ft drop into the final corner with ease by the time we moved on.
I moved on to riding steeper terrain and it was there that his new body positioning really hit home as he rode a near vertical drop off that he’d though impossible until I had demonstrated it.
I could see Neil was tiring but still had some more in him so I moved us to another trail to work on absorbing and pumping sections of the trail that led to the linked 2 berms from earlier in the session and then soon Neil was choosing when and why to jump or pump any section. Each run was filled with control and confidence as he was jumping a 9ft tabletop with ease. A few more runs and errors began to creep in as the adrenaline from the session took its toll and our session ended with Neil tired and very happy.
Martyn came to me wanting to gain confidence in his riding so I had to deconstruct his riding first as always.
The skills check showed me that work was needed on his looking and body positioning as well as the mental skills too. A quick set up change and off we went to apply the corrected skills to the drop technique first. the drops soon proved no issue as he was landing perfectly and it felt easier than ever.
From there, we moved to the skills trail and after a demonstration from myself, Martyn began and washed out 3 corners in. I showed him why it went wrong and I could see from the following runs that it was affecting him mentally so I put a coffee on and we worked on linking 2 berms together for a while.
After the break, we moved back to the skills trail and he was now like a new man, the corners proved no issue anymore and mentally he was bang on it. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were soon linked to steps, drops, rocks, pumping and jumps. Martyn was flying along and knowing why.
We moved to jumping, and soon he was flying over a 6ft tabletop and also the gap jump! Things were really cementing together nicely so I moved on again to steeper terrain and a near vertical drop off of 12ft. It blew him away at how simple that was as his new enhanced skills really shone through.
Before we ended I wanted to show Martyn why the skills set applied to manuals through sections and he was so happy when he got them first go across sections of the trail. Mentally, Martyn was done and happy by then and our session came to a close.
What an end to an amazing week of coaching for both myself and Nathan.