Monday, 23 April 2012

Gary, Dave and Daniel's group session









Gary, Dave and Daniel pop over from Chelmsford for their session after hearing of my coaching on the www.singletrackworld.com forum. On meeting, I put them through my skills check and found they needed work on their footwork, body positioning and looking skills.
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We moved onto the drops to apply their new mental and physical skills sets and to their great surprise they all flew into the air straight away! They rode all 3 drops easily and after a while we moved onto the skills trail.
The skills trail has 14 sections contained in it. Pumping, drops, steps, rock gardens, fly out jumps, flat, bermed, switchback and off camber turns all require correct feet, body and looking skills to be able to control these. In time they were all riding the entire trail end to end in a fluid and controlled manner but at a greater speed than ever.
I worked on line choice when linking drops in to corners and braking technique too and the smile never left their faces.

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None of them thought they'd ever ride the 6ft tabletop at the start of the day but 4 hours into the session and they were flying over it with ease and even the 6ft gap jump side too!
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I could see they were beginning to tire so we moved onto the pump and jump trail to work on pumping sections to gain speed to jump a 9ft tabletop. This develops the trail connection further and I was even able to show Gary why the skills applied to manualing over tabletops too!
Our session ended with me giving a demonstration of manualing, pumping, jumping and cornering on the pump and jump trail as the rain began to fall. Great session guys! High5

3 comments:

  1. I'm now sitting in a comfy chair with a glass of Pinot Noir (in the absence of any beer being in the house - must go shopping soon!) after a day's coaching with Tony.

    This morning was started with some slightly nervous anticipation at how we may or may not progress during the day. Dan was hoping to get a well rounded set of skills, Dave was resolutely sticking to a wheels firmly planted on the ground stance and I was confidently saying I wanted to learn to jump, whilst inwardly doubting that would ever happen. Jumping for me had always been a simple equation. Velocity+ramp = jump. Landing could be dealt with by the contents of my first aid kit and/or a trip to A&E.

    Anyway, we arrived on site a few minutes early and collectively gulped at the big ramps and big piles of earth. Oh Sh*t, have we done the right thing? a few minutes later we were out of the car and greeting with a cheery welcome by Tony. Once bikes were unloaded from the trailer, coffee drunk and helmets perched on heads, the coaching began. To start with Tony wanted to see how we rode, so a simple figure of eight was performed. Bad habits were immediately spotted, proved even more so by me as I promptly fell off! Tony then started to work his magic. Having identified exactly what each of us needed to work on we set about putting our improvements into action. Instant results, cornering was faster and more controlled than before.

    Tony then set about looking at our bike setups, dialling rebounds in to much better settings than the Zebedee like settings we arrived with and completely changing out brake lever positions - in & up. What a revelation - no more 'pitching over the bars' feeling!

    Pt 2 follows

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  2. Pt 2...

    Next up was the small piece of wood on the ground to ride over without the front wheel touching it. Easy! Well riding over a 1inch high piece of wood is easy, but it Gave Tony a chance to see how we lifted the front of the bike. By some miracle it seemed I wasn't far off what was required and round & round we went. Within minutes all of us were all using the technique Tony taught us, then we realised that we were all cornering in the way Tony demonstrated earlier. Yep, it's not about the wood!

    Next up were the drops. Tony talked us through what we needed to do - just the same as for the stick, but crucially sorted our heads out before hand. OK the first drop is pretty teeny, but the third looked a bit daunting and the tabletop/gap jump, just plain scary. Heads sorted we started on the small drop. It wasn't very long at all until we were all flying off the third drop. Even 'no jumps' Dave! this was fun. Grins all round.

    Next up was the skills trail, which Tony broke down into smaller chunks and then broke these down into even smaller sections. Pumping, cornering and wheels in the air quickly developed. We were getting faster & more confident. I was making some mistakes, but now knew what I was doing wrong, and correcting instinctively. Gradually we worked through the sections putting everything together and I was getting more & more confident, and my wheels were getting higher & higher. I was also stunned at just how far you can lean a bike over in a corner without washing out and eating dirt, it's a mind boggling angle you can reach.

    Before long we were riding the whole skills trail in one go, linking up the different sections and getting it right was massively rewarding. By now the only natural choice of drop running into the tight berm at the bottom was to take the bigger one. This air time is seriously fun & addictive.

    Next was the table top. With Tony's encouragement we quickly worked up to clearing this and landing in a nice controlled, drama free manner. I was stunned at how much air I could get with so little speed & effort. This seemed so natural and it was only a few hours earlier we were looking at this thinking 'no way'! What was next, simple we were clearing the table top, so what the heck, may as well do the gap jump! I can see this getting addictive!

    The day finished with pumps and jumps and I even got to have a go at manualling. This really did surpass my expectations.

    Thanks Tony, you make things simple and really brought my riding on massively in just one session. A fantastic day!

    Oh, and that's impressively fast blogging!

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  3. great session Tony. My 15 yr old daughter keeps asking me to stop grinning like a retard.

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