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Mountain Bike Skills Course Review!

May 16, 2017

This awesome review of our FREE MTB course was sent to us after our May 2017 session – have a read to experience exactly what riding your new mountain bike on a skills course is really like!

Customer – Margo Duncan
Bike – Liv Lust

Having entered a couple of races on my new mountain bike (I’m a road biker!) and come off several times in the process I was really eager to learn how to do this thing properly so I was very excited to join Adam Simmonite from Trail Advantage on the mountain bike skills course – provided free from Giant Sheffield when you purchase a new mountain bike.

We met at Norfolk Arms car park in the sun - 3 of us eager to learn some skills. After brief introductions Adam had us trundling around in the car park explaining how to use our weight to balance the bike, how to brake and to feel how the tread on the tyres can grip the ground. A little bit of skills around the cones and relieved I hadn’t yet fallen off, we set off up to the new Lady Cannings trails.

We started off on the new ‘Cooking on Gas’ trail, Adam explaining exactly what a ‘berm’ is (not a Barm like a barm cake or a Cluseau “bombe”) and how to approach it and use its ‘anatomy’ to your advantage. He explained about speed and where to adjust it in relation to the berms. Then we headed off to a couple of small ‘drops’ but before we reached this one of our party’s chains went snap! No problem for Adam as he retrieved his box of tricks from his bag and gave us an impromptu lesson in chain fixing then we were up and biking again very quickly.

We then tried some ‘drop’ practice, Adam explaining how to push your weight back over the saddle whilst pushing the bike forward and keeping a strong T shape with your chest and arms. I found this quite tricky and had a bit of an adrenaline rush the first time I dropped off the (fairly tiny) rock but after multiple attempts with Adam’s coaching I felt much more comfortable and I was beginning to realise that the key to mountain biking was to keep off the saddle - something I hadn’t quite appreciated before.

So armed with our new skills we set off to the ‘Jumbles’ - going down was feeling fine now – then some advice on going uphill on steep rocky terrain, using low gearing and powering through the steeper rockier bits. About half way up in slightly too high a gear I came to a bit of a standstill and quickly managed to unclip on both sides thus narrowly avoiding falling off. Phew! A bit of gear adjustment and a helping push saw me back on and up the rest of the trail then we set off over Houndkirk just as a few spots of rain started.

We were reaching the end of the Roman road when the heavens really opened and we literally raced over the grassy humps to Foxhouse with hail stones beating down on us. I definitely used all my new found skills on that section! Unfortunately every walker, biker and Sunday driver had decided to have coffee at Fox house pub to shelter from the hail so we waited until it eased before heading over to Longshaw for a much needed coffee and (squashed) sandwich. Here, the sun came out again and we managed to dry off before heading back over Houndkirk for a last bash at ‘Cooking on Gas’. This time we did the entire trail and it felt brilliant. In fact when Adam said it was time to go back to the car park I secretly wanted to dash off and do it all again….except that after only 19km my legs were like lead from all the squatting over my saddle and since it had been one of the few rides on my new Lust 1 where I didn’t fall off I thought I shouldn’t push my luck.

Can’t wait to get back on again!

Claim your free 5 hour mountain bike skills course with every brand new MTB purchase at Giant Sheffield!