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.





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