Wednesday, 18 February 2009

First skills course of the year

I ran our first skills course of the year last weekend. We arrived at Glentress on Saturday morning to find everything above the level of the Buzzard's Nest carpark about 4 inches deep in snow and pretty much unrideable. We did what we could on the lower routes, mainly Electric Blue and Falla Brae. By the end of the day, the clients had a good grasp of the basic techniques and their riding was definitely improving, but we needed rideable trails to put all the skills drills they'd been practising to good use.

We decided to keep something in the tank for day 2 and made the decision to finish up early and meet at Mabie the next day. Mabie was snow free and it was looking like a good day weather wise when we arrived on Sunday morning. We spent the first coupe of hours at the skills loop working on drop offs, berms and front wheels lifts. Then it was time to take things to the trails and head out on the red route.

We rode at a leisurely pace stopping to check out difficult sections and allowing the clients to practice their new skills on technical features like rock gardens and roots. Both clients had ridden at Mabie a few times before so were able to identify how they used to ride each section and how much smoother and more confident they had become over the weekend. Their eyes had been opened to the idea of line choice, so rather than following the well worn tyre tracks over all the obstacles they were making good use of the whole trail and taking root sections and boulder fields with much more control.

All in all, a great weekend - two faster, smoother, more confident riders means my job is done and gives a real sense of satisfaction. Thanks for an excellent weekend's riding folks! (And thanks for lunch at the Shed)

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