Hi All

As Chris mentioned previously we are switching the focus of the Thursday sessions to MTB, and the first one will be on 14th April. We will be coaching you in the core MTB techniques, covering things weight shift, front wheel lifts, rear wheel lifts, bunnyhops, drop-offs and much more. Learning and practising these techniques will not only make you better mountain bikers, but they will enable you to enjoy your riding more and tackle even more technical terrain.

For those that don’t know I am currently completing my Level 2 MTB qualification, and will be delivering the sessions along with Chris. Venue, timings etc will be the same as the CX sessions, but there are a few important differences to note:

For the first few weeks (at least) we are asking all riders to sign-up in advance to give us a guide on numbers. MTB coaching guidelines restrict the number of riders we can coach more than other disciplines, and we want to make sure we are able to cope with the potential numbers wanting to take part.

Please sign-up using this link: http://goo.gl/forms/1fJ5XWbQdb

The sessions are for MTB bikes only — no CX bikes I’m afraid. We will be focusing on the core techniques used for MTB and you as riders need to be doing these on a MTB. If you don’t have a MTB and want to take part please email me separately.

ALL riders need to have flat pedals fitted to their MTBs for the sessions, and we will be following a strict ‘no flats, no ride’ policy. If you currently ride clipless (SPDs) on your MTB you will need to switch pedals in advance of the 14th. We are insisting on flats to follow British Cycling MTB coaching guidelines, where riders learn the core techniques on flats first, and then apply them to clipless. It really will make a huge difference to your riding, and not just on a MTB, and expose any lazy technique you might already have (I’m guilty of that myself!).

If you don’t have a set of flat pedals they are relatively cheap to buy. Here are a few entry level pedals which are perfectly fine for the job (you don’t have to spend lots of money):

Wellgo V8 copy pedals £12 http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/wellgo-v8-copy-flat-pedals/rp-prod563

DMR V6 £18 http://www.wiggle.co.uk/dmr-v6-plastic-flat-pedals/?sku=5360700849

Or, you might have some non-clipless pedals in your garage/shed that came with the bike. The advantage of a set of BMX style flat pedals are the pins, which provide a lot of grip when riding.

When riding flats you should wear trainers (anything will do, but if you have a set of skate type shoes they will offer good grip). Please try them out at home first to make sure your feet don’t slip off easily. DO NOT wear MTB cycling shoes on flat pedals. They will not grip the pedal and you are likely to slip off, causing yourself harm.

Finally, a piece of advice concerning flat pedals — if you slip off them whilst riding they can really hurt you. A lot! Catching the pins on your shins can be painful, and we don’t want to see anyone hurt. Therefore it would be advisable for the first few weeks to dig out your football shin pads from your PE kit, and put them under your cycling tights/leggings. It won’t be the most fashionable look, but could save you from pin marks.

If anyone has any questions in advance of the 14th, especially around pedals and equipment,  please feel free to email me.

See you all on the 14th