Saturday, 5 November 2011

Darren makes the trip from Cardiff

Darren stayed at a local hotel so he could be fresh for the session. On arriving we spoke about his aspirations over a coffee and that he couldn't manual or bunny hop . I began as always with the skills check. This revealed footwork, looking and body position faults and after I had re set his bike set up everything began changing. Suddenly he found that he could manual for a short distance and the smile beamed across his face.
We moved onto the drops and applied his new skills set to that technique and the ease of it all surprised him.

After a while, we moved onto the skills trail and I worked on pumping and using the harnessed energy to save pedaling. I demonstrated and then Darren linked it into the following 5 sections.

We linked pump bumps, flat, bermed, switchback and off camber corners to rock gardens, steps, fly out jumps and drops. I worked hard on line choice and also moved his body position in all areas and in the wet, he could feel the enhanced grip this offered.
It soon came time to ride the entire trail end to end and Darren really began to flow. Yes, there were a couple of errors but he was now fully aware of why and he knew how and why to correct it.
Finally, it came time to move onto what proved to be our final application of the mental and physical skill set, jumping tabletops.
Darren said to me at the beginning that he'd love to be able to jump over them and not have to do his usual roll over them. Due to an accident a while ago on a tabletop at a welsh trail center, Darren had a protective mechanism that needed to be recognised and therefore removed before he would commit and feel confident enough to apply his new skills set to this and soon he was ailing over the 6ft tabletop jump.

It was so cool to witness the emergence of the rider in Darren that was hidden away no longer.
Our session came to an end soon after as mental and physical tiredness began to appear.
Great session dude!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great coaching lesson Tony, it was definitely worth the long journey from South Wales, and it’s been the best ‘upgrade’ I’ve made to my mountain biking.
    It’s been around 4 weeks since the lesson, and I’ve been out on the bike nearly everyday since and I cant believe what a change its done to my riding.
    I think the most important thing you taught me was to look further ahead down the trail, (even though I thought I was already doing that). I now find that I corner a lot faster and smoother and flow from one turn to another effortlessly. By looking further ahead I’m eyeing up the next turn or obstacle early and so unconsciously shift my body weight in preparation for what’s to come; as a result I no longer ‘comfort brake’ so now descend a lot faster and smoother and with a bigger grin on my face. Since you’ve pointed out that I should have my weight on the outside pedal, and lean the bike more I’ve found grip in corners where previously I would either wash out or brake, but now I carry a lot more speed and control around corners.
    I always thought my pumping technique was ok, but soon realised that although I rode over undulations smoothly that I didn’t generate any speed or power from them, and so couldn’t get my wheels off the ground very much. My old technique simply absorbed all the energy, which is good for a smooth ride but no good to generate more speed or getting some air. Tony taught me about body position and where and when to weight the bike and now it all makes so much more sense on the trail and as a result I ride faster, safer, more confident and with a much bigger smile on my face. And that’s what it’s all about!
    The main reason I went for a lesson was that I wanted to learn the correct technique for jumping and handling drops since I had a nasty crash a while back resulting in waking up in hospital. Tony taught me the basics and it was a lot simpler than I thought! I’ve applied everything Tony taught me on the trails since and wished I’d have had a coaching lesson a lot sooner!
    Cheers for all your help tony!