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On Sunday 25th March BucksMTB held a mountain bike ride and coaching day for The Grange School Aylesbury.

 

One of our regular faces at our group rides is a teacher at the Grange School and was keen to help out promote more mountain biking for the school pupils and for the pupils already interested in riding to benefit more and improve their skills from a skills course or two.

I turned up early on the Sunday morning to do the final recce of the five or so mile route around Wendover Woods that we were planning on using for the ride and coaching day. As the group was to be of mixed fitness and biking experience we stuck to a short loop within Wendover and we would be concentrating on some ride games and four of five skills session items whilst out enroute.

Once the group had arrived I ran through a ride and safety briefing for everyone and we held an introduction to find out about everyone on the course (young and old) to find out what riding experience everyone on the group had. The group of us for the day totaled eight, including five of the School’s youngsters, two staff from the Grange and myself.

After our briefing and bike check we headed out into the woods for the first of our skills sessions which was the “trail position”. This is a key element to learn early on for skill, technique and comfort. On a gentle wide descent everyone had been briefed on this skill along with a demo from me then they all practiced the trail position before heading off further into the woods to look at climbing.

After running through the basics of climbing and gear choice I had found a good technical little climb in the woods to run through various aspects of climbing, body position and looking ahead to help the group practice all of their climbing skills so far learnt. This was a great session with everyone learning something. After the climbing session we took in a final climb up higher in the Woods where everyone got to practice their new found climbing skills.

Next up we ran through some cornering techniques, looking at footwork, body position, looking and so on. All of the group found this of huge help and all were honest in the fact they really didn’t know much of the covered aspects of cornering. After some practice we continued our led tour of Wendover.

So far all the group had learnt and practiced some key new skills, which on the next part of the ride we put into practice with a really fun long, windy, gully run descent. Just before we covered an extension to our “trail position” with the group practice small roll offs in a gully/bombhole. Half way down we had a puncture to fix but were soon back up and running.

Everyone greatly enjoyed this fun descent but all cursed me for the long climb this then meant to gain the height back up to the start point in Wendover. On the way back we took in a fun route with some climbs, descents, and fast fireroads before heading towards the top of Wendover to run through some ride games including the “slow race” (last rider of the line wins), “granny ring racing” and the “box game”.

This was a great day of riding, and everyone seemed to enjoy it and were all happy they had learnt new skills or put some extra polish on existing skills.

We will be holding some more skills sessions for the Grange School through 2012 including courses for novices, and courses for more experienced riders looking to progress their skills onto a more downhill orientated type of riding including a jumps and drops course.

 

Best Wishes

Scott, BucksMTB Chairman

 

 

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