Friday, 31 August 2012

A trip from Thailand for Simon

 Simon lives in Thailand and decided to combine a trip here with a skills session, so we set a date and today was the day. On meeting we had a coffee and chatted about his previous riding experiences and his aspirations for the session. I started with my skills check and found he had missing looking and body positioning skills which made him run wide in corners and also rode with his head down in another check. I changed his set up and showed him why then off we went to apply the mental and physical skills to the drop technique. It didn't take Simon long to ride all  the two largest drops and before long we were on the skills trail itself. I broke the trail into bite sized segments and we worked our way through each before linking them together. Pumping was used to gain speed from the trail and the speed was controlled by managing speed in the exits and entries to each section. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to rock gardens, drops, fly out jumps and steps. Before long, Simon was riding the entire trail end to end and getting smoother and more controlled with each run. Any errors were now being self diagnosed and Simon knew why it was right or wrong and also how to correct it.
 We moved off the trail and onto the 6ft tabletop. In a few steps, he was sailing over it and landing perfectly. Simon remarked on how simple it all now felt and effortless. Jump and jump he flew over to cement the technique. For our final application of the skills set, I showed why it applies to hopping over logs on the trail which was something he struggled with before today but no longer and he was now unweighting both ends of the bike and timing it well too.
 Our session ended and we celebrated the session over a cold beer in the sun. A great end to an awesome day.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Correcting Louis's missing skills

 Louis came to me from Bedford and on meeting we chatted about his wants for the session. Louis said he had lost the ability to jump as the front keeps dropping on take off and he twists in the air. The skills check told me why this was happening and I set to work, once I made a set up correction to greatly assist this.
 We moved to the drop sections and His new body position and looking skills really paid dividends as he used his physical and mental skills sets to ride all 3 drops easily. I was even able to get him to begin to style it in the air too!
 We moved onto the skills trail and we worked our way methodically down the trail, linking each section to the next and always adding the previous sections to the newest. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to pump bumps, fly out jumps, steps, rock gardens and drops. I worked hard on line choice when linking the drop and cornering techniques together and soon Louis was riding the entire trail end to end. Even the rain didn't deter Louis as he used his  new skills to ride fatser and more confidently than ever before. Any errors were self diagnosed as he now knew why it was right or wrong.
 I could see he was beginning to tire but I wanted to bring the ability to jump back in him so we went to the 6ft tabletop. In a few moves he was sailing over the jump and landing so smoothly on the transition. He then used his mental skills to ride the 6ft gap jump side also a few times before mental tiredness brought an end to our session. Awesome session Louis and I'll see you again soon.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Richard puts his new Bandit 29er through its paces

 Richard had been coached by myself 2 years ago and wanted to return to tidy up his riding further and to move it on. I could see that he was one sided in his cornering and that needed work but the jump and drop technique I taught him was strong, but more of that later.
 After the skills check I moved onto a cornering excersise to start to move his body positioning on the bike and enhance his grip and from there we moved onto the skills trail itself. Pre jumping, rock gardens, pumping upslopes, steps and drops were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. I worked hard on line choice and his right hand turns there.
 I knew he wanted to learn to manual through doubles and tabletops but first i wanted to work on the woodwork to work on the mental skills. It wasn't long before he was riding a small isolated drop and soon we moved onto a line that had a drop to wooden berm to a step up and down section. I broke it down and demonstrated before Rich had a go. It didn't take him long to link all 4 sections together.


 I then moved to an isolated right hand berm to work on his protection mechanism which occurred at speed before returning to the skills trail and Rich found the final turn way easier as a result.

For our final task I moved us onto another trail to work on pumping sections to gain speed to jump a 9ft tabletop and then to manual them too. It took Richard by surprise that he got tit pretty much straight away by just applying the same skill set I taught him from day 1.
 After a few runs of the trail, Rich declared he was mentally drained so our session ended there.
 Amazing progress dude.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Jamie and Andy come to Herts for a session

 Jamie and Andy ride together at Swinley and wanted to get more from their riding. Andy is pretty new to riding off road and they wanted to share a skills session with myself together. I found they needed work on footwork, looking and body positioning and I made some set up changes according to this. On talking before the session they both said they had never been able to get air under their wheels and their faces looked shocked when i said they would in a half hours time. Sure enough, when we moved onto the drop sections they both got into the air and began landing perfectly pretty much from the word go. I worked on the mental skills questions too so that they could make their own choices in what to ride from today onwards and that made a big difference as they both rode the largest drop and both commented on how easy it now felt and why.
 I really worked hard on Andy's feet placement in his right hand corners and we worked on a body correction excersise to assist them both in gaining more grip before moving onto the skills trail itself.
Pumping was used to gain speed from the trail, rock gardens, fly out jumps, drop offs and steps were linked via their braking areas to flat , bermed, off camber and switchback turns. We worked our way down the trail, always working on bite sized chunks of the trail before adding it to the previous and before long we were riding the whole trail end to end. They were now riding faster and smoother than ever before and any errors were being self diagnosed too as they knew why any section was right or wrong.
 After nearly 5 hours I could see they were tiring mentally and our session came to a close after a few more runs of the drop sections. They wanted me to ride some woodwork for them  so I gave a demonstration of the same skill set in use in my own riding.
Awesome session guys.