Ian came for a one to one skills day with me yesterday. He’s been riding on the road for 6 years and has just bought a mountain bike with the aim of doing some xc racing. He’s got the fitness already and now wants to develop the skills he needs to ride off road. We went up to Lee Quarry for the day and started by going up, over, down and around on some of the features in the Skills Area.

Ian is used to tarmac so it was quite an adjustment for him to trust the bike and build the confidence to ride up rock steps and down steep rock slopes. Concentrating on body position and where to brake, he was soon getting the hang of it all.

We went on to ride sections of the red route, which are really good for learning about line choice. We looked at how to flow with the bike rather than fight it and how to pump the trail for speed.

He was looking pretty pleased with himself by the end of the day. It was satisfying to see him riding the technical descents with confidence, which at the start of the day he would have been pushing down.