June 25, 2012 Tony Doyle

Rich and Tom’s journey of riding discovery

 Rich and Tom made their way down from Leeds for their session and wanted to build their riding from the ground up. The skills check showed the missing skills and I began installing the corrections and made the very necessary set up changes. We began on the largest of the 3 drops and I soon was able to show why the skills applied to styling it in the air too.
 In a short while we moved onto the skills trail and began working on linking all the sections on it together. Pre jumping, pumping, rock gardens and drops were linked with flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. I worked hard on their body positioning in corners and also line choice. It wasn’t long before they were flying down the trail and self diagnosing any errors too as they moved into unconscious action. We didn’t need to spend too long on the trail and we soon moved onto the tabletop and 6ft gap jump. They soon got airtime and sailed over both with ease. Things were moving along nicely and after a break, we moved onto the pump and jump trail where I demonstrated pumping, manuals and jumping and choosing which they wanted to do for each section.

I didn’t want to tire them out on that so we didn’t spend ages on it but long enough for them to get each technique. To their surprise I now moved onto a 12ft gap jump and they applied their new mental skills questions to decide they were going to ride it and not only that, they began styling it too!
Time after time they flew over it and I could see they were now tiring physically but I had one more trick up my sleeve and moved them onto a corner that links into a 9ft step down gap. Tom rode it and was slightly nose heavy but the following goes got it dialled.

Rich rode it 1st go and they both had smiles as wide as the gaps they had ridden today. Our session ended soon after with a tour of herts and a cold beer to celebrate a fantastic session of progression.


Comment (1)

  1. With our first Alps trip on the horizon and being relatively new to the downhill game we wanted an all round appraisal of riding technique both on and off the ground & hopefully to challenge ourselves with some bigger than usual airtime. With the first Blue Sky & Sunshine in what felt like months, the smell of excitement was in the air & the stage for an epic day. We knew we were in for something special but little could prepare us for the progression, satisfaction we both came away with. A session with Tony has radically changed my approach and confidence to biking, taking the skills & ability we already had, applying effective changes though a coaching style that’s bespoke yet implicit, we had a learning experience I doubt can be beaten. We are already talking about our next trip to Herts following a now much less apprehensive Alps trip this July! Can’t bloody wait! 
    Many thanks & much admiration to the Jedi

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