Monday, 30 September 2013

Snow to sunshine for Alex's session

 Alex booked a session back in February and came down from Scotland but  it was snowed off so the session was rebooked today. What a contrast as hot sunshine greeted us as we began the session. The skills check showed me that he needed work on looking and body positioning and I worked on this and also his mental skill set too.
 We began with the drops and Alex was amazed at how easy it all was on all 3 drops as he applied his new skills.
 We worked on a cornering exercise and his new body position really felt different to him and grip was enhanced too. From there we moved to the skills trail and began working on each of the 14 sections contained within it before linking the whole trail together. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to rock gardens, pumping, jumps, drops and steps. By the time he was riding the whole trail end to end he was sailing off drops with total control with only his line choice to work on into the final berm.
 We moved to riding steeps and using a near vertical drop off I demonstrated 2 ways of dropping in and he followed suit with a massive smile on his face.
 From there we moved to a 6ft tabletop and soon he was sailing over t and used his mental skills to decide he can ride the gap jump side too and that was his first ever gap! Alex rode it a couple more times before we moved to our final trail where we worked on linking 2 berms together and 9 preceding sections and choosing whether to jump or pump through each.
Nearly 5 hours after we began, mentally and physically Alex was done and our session ended. I'll see you soon for a ride Alex and let me know how the riding goes.

Friday, 27 September 2013

A session ended by fork failure

 Nick came to me for a session and I found he needed work on body positioning and looking and I changed his set up to assist this.
When riding to the drops there was a popping noise and the seal of his fork leg had blown up the stantion. We fixed it back in place and continued with the drop technique and when both mental and physical skills were applied the technique was easy for him and he laughed at the simplicity compared to his old wieght right back technique.
 Onto the top of the skills trail and we worked on the top half and linked pumping, rock gardens and flat, bermed and switchback corners into the mix. The riding was going really well and he was getting more fluid and faster but the  Rock shox Reba fork began collapsing under load as the compression dissapeared in the fork and kept throwing him off line in turns. We ended the session as the fork made it unsafe to continue and I'll be seeing Nick again for the rest of the session.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Paul's session

Paul waited months for his session and today was the day. We shared a coffee on meeting and began with my skills check where I could see i needed to work on looking and body positioning and I could tell, the mental skills too. We began with drops and when the skills sets were applied he began landing easier and smoother than ever before and I could tell he was stunned at how simple it was.
 We moved on to a cornering excersise and then to the skills trail. I broke the trail down into bitesized chunks and worked on each section before linking the whole trail end to end. Rocks,pumping, absorbing, drops and steps were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. Soon Paul was riding the whole trail end to end with a speed and control he'd never had before today.
From there we moved to the 6ft tabletop to work on the jump technique and not only did he ride it easily, but used his mental skills to ride the 6ft gap jump too. his first ever gap jump!
 Onto another trail and we worked on manuals, pumping, jumping and absorbing  we even worked on linking berms together and carrying speed through them.
By the end of the session he was trying to clear a 15ft tabletop and only coming up inches short. A wash out when manualing signalled the end of the session as I could see he was tiring very quickly and that cemented it and an awesome session came to a close.

Nirvana for Simon and friends

I've coached Simon the owner of previously. The events of the past year saw a lack of confidence creep into his riding so he wanted to restore this and rang  me for a session.  Grant, Andy and Dan wanted to join him for the session and today was the day. During the skills check I found that Simon and Grant favoured one side in corners and both lacked looking during the other check and I needed to work on Andy and Dans footwork, looking and body positioning. Andy was suffering mentally from a recent crash but I worked on their mental skills together. They applied their skills sets to the drop technique before the skills trail. On to the skills trail and we worked hard on cornering and linking sections of the trail together using control areas and line choice. Soon they were riding the entire trail end to end and any areas were being self diagnosed. All fourteen sections of the trail were being linked together and they started to flow down the trail confidently and controlled. From there we moved onto another trail and worked on manuals, absorbing, jumping and pumping. I worked on choosing which technique suited which section and why. I worked on Andy's confidence and position on his bike so he could gradually gain air time as he felt controlled. Dan, Simon and Grant really got to grips with it and we began linking the end berm and carrying speed with it. Andy linked three more sections into the trail collimating in a fifteen foot table top which he gradually popped into the air from and worked his way across. Simon, Grant and Dan took the gap option on the trail and linked the nine foot and twelve foot ladder jumps to the trail. Five hours after the session began, mentally I could see they were tired, they all agreed and our session came to a close. What an amazing session all round. Even Geoff Waugh the cycling photographer and Paul Lasenby, ex elite national champion stopped by to say hi to add a cherry to the top of an awesome day.
High 5!