Dont worry this weeks blog is neither about nutrition or gardening, its all about mountain bike riders

This weekend has been spent working with the riders from the British Cycling South East Youth Mountain Bike squad.

Saturday was a skills session held at a school in Wilmington, Kent where we worked the riders through the core skills required to be a good MTB XCO rider.

After a warm up lap or 3 of the field we put the rider straight into Manuals but the idea of this session was rather than tell the riders the coaching points, we asked them to tell us what the coaching points were.  This way making them think about each of the skills.

From there we moved onto Power assisted Front wheels (or in the old world Wheelies), the aim of this session in some ways was to get them used to go past the balance point and get comfortable about coming off the back of the bike.



Exploring the balance point with Coach James Rogers

Then we progressed onto 2 of the skills that are probably the hardest to master, Rear Wheel lifts and Bunnyhops.

After this we put together a quick skills session versus the clock using the techniques we had been through.  Where before we had been use lumps of woods for the bunnyhops or step overs, now it was Baked Beans tins and garden canes.  A great coaching bit of kit that cost about £5.


Baked beans and Garden canes

This unstable obstacle caused a lot of problems as the riders had to make sure that both the front and rear wheel were enough off the ground to avoid knocking the cane off and getting a penalty.

Then on to Sunday it was Round 4 of the Southern XC in Winchester, several of the riders from the skills session were now at the race and it was a good chance to bring some of those skills into play.  The course was very rooty and slippery in places.


Riders on the start line waiting for the whistle

Although some of the riders weren’t happy with the result all came away from the race having learnt something about either themselves, others or racecraft.

The idea of back to back session was to get the riders used to riding tired after a 3 hours skills session on the Saturday.


Propel MTB Coaching now has a page on Strava

Also there is a profile on Training Peaks








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