Friday, 20 January 2012
January's singletrack skills public session
Charlene, Lee, Neil and Mark turned up as arranged at the Herts skills area for the session and I soon set to work. They all had various degrees of experience with riding off road but the skill set is the same regardless. I found footwork, looking and body position faults that covered up any good habits in their riding. I changed their set ups and they were amazed at the difference it all made.
The first technique We applied their new skill set to was drops. They found it so easy as they landed perfectly. Charlene was amazed that she got off the ground at all and the boys all began flying off all 3 drops.
From there we moved onto the skills trail and I showed why their skill set, both mental and physical applies to everything you come across on a trail. Pumping was used to connect to the trail and the speed gained was carried through the following berm and flat corner. They could all feel the massive grip change and Mark was smiling as he rode each turn chatting to himself as he went. We moved to the rock garden, berm and switchback turn. Charlene once again stunned herself as she was convinced she couldn't ride them but found the whole affair simple. Lee and Neil were now tearing along with smiles plastered across their faces.
Next we used the fly out to pump and develop speed to easily control riding up steep, short slopes and by a subtle change in application Lee and Neil were jumping up it too.
I worked on drop offs and linking them into corners with braking control and line choice and the riders could roll or use their drop technique as their mental skills dictated.
Even the rain couldn't dampen their spirits and in fact it made them feel the difference in grip and control their new skills sets brought.
They then began riding the trail end to end. One by one at first then as a group and each run was so fluid and confident compared to the riders they were when we started.
Tiredness, both mentally and physically brought the session to an end.