Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Rob's one to one session



Rob had planned to visit myself for coaching for ages now and he finally got around to it.
On meeting, I gave him my commitments for his coaching and I set to work. The skills check came 1st and it revealed an awesome push technique that was already natural but feet,body and looking errors in corners.
I could see that he needed work on the mental side to riding too so we moved onto the 3 drops to apply his new skill set to.
In no time at all he was landing perfectly and the smile appeared on his face and never left.
I moved us onto the skills trail to work on pumping and using the trails natural energy rather than his own.
We linked flat, off camber, switchback and bermed corners to rock gardens, steps, fly out jumps and drops.

I worked with Rob on linking the 14 sections that are present on the trail together using the correct braking areas and a real fluidity began to appear in his riding. The end of the trail ends with a drop into a corner and I worked hard on line choice here and Rob could really feel the difference when he got the line correct.
We rode the trail end to end for the 1st time and the difference was awesome. Each section was stitched to the next and the hurry was taken out of his riding and replaced with a controlled riding attitude that enhanced his speed.
After a few runs of the whole trail we moved onto our final technique, jumping.
On the 6ft tabletop I once again demonstrated the skill sets application and Rob soon flew over it landing perfectly on the transition whilst laughing out loud. each time he sailed over it the smile just grew.

Rob jumped it cleanly maybe 10-15 times before the wind changed to a side wind and that brought the session to a close.
Awesome session Rob and i can't wait to read your riding updates.


  1. 08/09/11
    Still jaded from Monday night's drinking I forced myself to do an hour's XC so I could blow the cobwebs away...

  2. 09/09/11
    Fitted a front brake! Actually had to replace & the rear as well, turned out it needed bleeding, couldn't be arsed as I figured I've gone this long with only a back brake & have learnt all the lesson I need about what that does - make you skid :) to Fineshade with just a front brake to practice some cornering, pumping & wee little jumps.

    Approached the berms section (11 berms) slowly (not hesitantly!) as I just wanted to apply technique and see how it felt. Damn good was how! After berm 8 I couldn't believe how much speed I'd picked up after starting so slow.

    Interestingly the berm that caused me & Si trouble the 1st time we came here (#9) was no bother; realise there's a tree on the inside of the bend that seems to jump into near periferal vision around the apex, which was putting us off - & others judging by the skids towards the berm's exit. Keeping stable & centered on the bike by looking way round the corner and pushing myself slightly forward from my natural position took the distraction away - Tony's coaching begins to take effect :)

    Strangely berm 7 now became an issue! After a few runs I tried scrubbing a bit of speed before it & it all fell into place.

    Pump/jumps section - on the way to this I was thinking my push needs to be short & sharp & practiced a few as I went - all good.

    Following 3 flat corners decently executed I approached the 1st jump, noted my push spot, looked to the exit & pushed so hard I bottomed my forks out (!!) & fucking pinged off the jump :))) Just about held the sketchy landing together and made it round the gentle right hander before composing myself and pumping the rest of the section. This push is quite a skill!!

    Added a few clicks of compression & 1 of rebound (normally set up just for bumpy tracks); went round the section about 10 times - in much better control now I was better prepared.

  3. So where the devil did my last 2 posts go then eh???

    Following on from an abysmal road race last night (oh the shame of getting dropped on the 1st 3rd of the 1st lap of 4!!! And what an effort to complete it solo!!) I thought I'd do something a bit more fun today...

    Western Park jumps was somewhere I'd fancied checking out for a while but with a conscious lack of skills hadn't bothered. A different story today!

    The drop in for 3 lines of tables & 1 of doubles may have got me thinking previously, but with no negative thoughts about it I easily popped of it utilising looking & push skills to send me up to the smallest line of tables.

    Without knowing how fast I should really be going I scrubbed off too much speed. Following runs I knew what I was doing and had some decent success. Successive runs led me to sailing off the drop in and hitting a line of larger tables with increasing fluidity & confidence.

    The fence line proved to be an issue - small drop, berm, table all ok - 1st double however spooked me and despite a couple of attempts I couldn't approach it confidently. Checked out the bigger drop (biggest here) and whilst I knew there was no reason why I couldn't do it a doubt entered my mind while looking at it - I returned to flying off the original one instead and hitting the larger table line the best run so far - big grins!!

    With a bit of adrenaline flowing I had a short break to calm myself down a bit and did a couple more runs - nicely-nice. Over-cooked one on what turned out to be my final run, landed too far down the transition and skidded over the top of the next on my left knee - thank fuck for kneepads! Would have been a right mess otherwise :)

    With that I knew I was losing control a little and called it a day. Had planned to do 2 hrs, did 1 & 1/2 and will be buzzing from it all night :))))

    Lessons learnt:
    Kneepads are great!!
    Def more practice required to take on doubles
    - feel reliance on speed is still there, but skill is growing.
    Take tools to alter compression & rebound on rear shock next time - 5 & 1 clicks on the forks helped a lot, but suspension is soaking up a lot of momentum.

  4. 26/10/11

    After only a couple of rides in the last 6 weeks today was the 1st time using flat pedals anywhere technical. Went to Wharncliffe for the 1st time in over a year - started at Grenoside with flatish tracks, but all new to me. Pretty bumpy in places meant I was getting distracted by what my feet were doing and had to really think about drops & jumps to start with, which made it all quite scrappy.

    After trying out a few runs into a couple of 7ish foot doubles I was oconfident that the rocks & bumps weren't an issue any more, so with a clear mind I went for the jumps and landed them no problem. Repeated a few times, and they became easier - better runs ins, smoother landings. Really made feel like I wanted to have a crack at the couple of big ones further down the track but...

    it may not have been a good idea - some other time maybe?

    Over to Wharcliffe Side for a side down some propper slick/steep tracks; cornering and speed management skills came well into force, although it was hard to let go of the back brake sometimes :) Had decent flow and only got into difficulties where it got very steep. Push technique applied ALL over the place! Can't believe I've been missing this from my riding - it's really been a game changer!

    Interestingly; chatting with G he claims he does nothing when going off a jump or drop - clearly, bollox! On observing I could see he has a really good push technique that he's not aware of. Found again, and again, that I'm entering a section with a clear mind and not conciously pushing but, as soon as I do I realise I've applied technique and it's really impressing me!

    Anyhoo... ended the day at some jumps we've done before - found tham to have been destroyed with only the one kicker we've previously bottled remaining! Nothing for it but to have a couple of rolls up to it and then go for it. As it needs a bit of speed to get to where you'd like to land going at it fast is a little unnerving as it's pretty steep. Still, no -ve thoughts so went for it, with confidence, applied technique and landed pretty happily - next run a bit faster and possible a sharper push and the landing was smoother.

    Can see there's much more room for development with jumps and was concious of not looking far enough along trails all day.

  5. that video isn't you is it? massive protective mechanism on that jump by trying to land and pushing the rear wheel down to land

  6. "that video isn't you is it?"

    Oh hells no! Just what kind of an accent do you think I've got?

    Stuck it in there as a reminder to myself of what not to do!
    I'll be going for progressively larger gaps instead of just hitting the biggest one I can find and exploding :)

  7. 30/10/11

    The psychological effect of digging a gap in a tabletop is crazy!

    Returned to Herts for a play - and bit of a skills brush-up.
    Tuition day saw me going from marker 8 (with a head wind) to clear the table. With no wind today I gave it a go from marker 6 - just to see if it would work. Nearly; just clipped the back wheel on the edge of the transition, so, after trying a few times went up to marker 7 - perfecto!

    Happy with that I moved over to the gap jump. Of course I KNOW it's the same thing - I can clearly see that! So why do I push sharper? From marker 7 I was landing a little far down the transition so I went from 6 instead - spot on. Back to the table and marker 6 and I clip the back wheel again!! WTF!?!

    Anyhoo, back to the gap & all is well. Return to the table and consciously push sharper and clear it from marker 6. I knew I could do it :)

    Started pretty averagely on the skills track, vastly improving with a couple of runs; final berm proved to be a bugbear and never quite got it sorted. The problem mostly lies in looking - looking at the berm and not round it! Found I was getting to the point of the drop with lots of speed to spare and no confidence to lean for the berm - did improve, but defnly needs more practice.

    First go on the woodwork, started off by tumbling off an up by making an apparently common mistake of ensuring I had plenty of speed and not enough direction (Heisenberg?) - nice to know this is normal = I must be normal?

    Once I was happy on the practice bits I took to one of the easy bits of ladders; forgot there was a small see-saw and got spooked going over it. Dismounted and tried again - no problem, until... up and then a slight left hander to descend and I fucking pooped myself :) Had intended to ride out to the gap/drop to wooden berm-thingy, but got to the junction of ladders, dismounted and skulked off muttering something about Canadians, practical jokes and speed not being your friend.

    Got a huge buzz from the experience, but wasn't up for trying any more - will likely come to play again in a couple of weeks and I'll give it another try then.