Bucks MTB’s Mike Dalton on the first of the BMTB Skills Session with Firecrest on Aston Hill – 30.06.2012
The first Bucks MTB Club skills session with Firecrest MTB was held on a sunny Saturday at the end of June at Aston Hill. I’d been looking forwards to it for ages and couldn’t wait to get started!
We met in the carpark at Aston Hill and had a bit of a chat about the day ahead with our coach Ian Warby and got our bikes together. With the sun shining and the trails dry most opted to just head out with a bottle of water & leave the kit in the car.
It’s hard to go into detail about what we did in the session without giving too much away but I’ll give it a go…
Our initial work was on pre-ride preparation – state of mind and kit. It’s a subject that we could have talked about for hours but, keen on getting us riding, Ian gave us a good overview and something for us to think about during the rest of the day.
Our first on the bike coaching started with a lesson in pumping the trail – both rollers and corners. It’s free speed basically; something some had never tried consciously before and others had tried to master. We used a couple of different circuits around the bombholes, adding corners and drops to add another level of complexity and demonstrate the amount of speed that we can generate without so much as a pedal stroke! Great fun and having Ian give pointers throughout really helped us get our technique dialled.
Next we moved onto jumps – something found on a lot of man-made trails these days so really important to cover. Being talked through the motions and having improvements suggested after every run, along with video analysis, made this a great session with visible improvements for everybody!
Rollers came next – part pump & part manual we learnt the reasons why as well as the technique behind perfecting them. The top of DH3 and the two bombholes on the Red run were great venues for this and we rode each section 4 or 5 times to practice and pick up hints and more importantly – more free speed!
Next onto Aston Hill’s infamous roots and slick chalk on the Red Run… Body positioning and bike control were practiced here whilst we made our way down the hill. Ian was on hand to provide advice from the trail side to help us on our way and to get the most from the trail.
Some of our group wanted to work on steep step downs into corners so we made our way onto the Black Run as a bit of a post-course Brucey Bonus!!! Some tips on line choice and eye-line helped immensely and everybody ended up riding down one of the most technical sections on the hill with only 1, rather elegant crash. Lucy picked herself up and perfected that section next run down! Well done! Personally I have to vote for Lester as rider of the day who tackled the Black Run with less than a second’s hesitation on a mega steep step down, between 2 trees, into a steep berm!
Crash of the day goes to Henryk who imploded in the bottom of a berm giving everybody a good scare but walked away from it just a bit winded!
Everybody really was keen to discuss another skills course so I’m sure more will be advertised soon to suit all levels of ability! Keep ‘em peeled folks!
Website – www.bucksmtb.co.uk