• This topic has 14 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by tim-o.
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  • Skills training – West Dorset
  • tim-o
    Free Member

    Very, very aged, and life long roadie dipping his toe in the MTB water. Currently living near Axminster. Have been riding at Haldon and FoD blue routes happily enough and occasional red but realised quickly that I’m severely lacking in skills but even more so in confidence. Demon descender on the road but off road, a drop off and I’m walking. Not that keen on berms, and tree routes give me nightmares. Over 70 and really can’t afford to break any more bones . Help!

    I’ve googled skills training, seems to be a couple of options at FoD but does anyone know of something more local to me, or any particular recommendation.

    Thanks all, and please don’t take the piss of my age!

    tim-o
    Free Member

    PS, I have absolutely no interest in downhill runs, Enduro or gravity stuff. Far too risky. Dartmoor, bike park trail riding with occasional technical stuff is where I’m at. Thanks again.

    d42dom
    Full Member

    it seems most trail centres run some coaching, I have used Beyond the Mud for my nipper but that’s at QECP so a bit of a trek for you. Haldon has Trail Unknown from a quick Google

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    Not west Dorset but north Dorset. Okeford bike park does skills training. Worth a email. Closed for another month or so until spring

    dropoff
    Full Member

    Have you tried joining the Teign Valley Pedal Bashers (TVPB) They’re based around Kenn, often riding around Haldon and Dartmoor. Sounds like you’d fit in  well with them.

    ajantom
    Full Member

    Sounds like you’re a confident cyclist, but just need a bit of help off road?

    I always found that following someone more confident and/or skilled was the best way to progress.

    I’m not recommending myself as a skills trainer (though I am a teacher 😉 ) but if you wanted to follow me round some singletrack and vaguely techy trails in East Devon (so only 15 miles or so from you) I’d be more than happy to help and give some pointers.

    oikeith
    Full Member

    I think Tony who does Evolve MTB coaches at Haldon, he’s got a facebook page to contact him via.

    tim-o
    Free Member

    Thanks all for replies. As far as I can tell training at Haldon is no longer available. There is some at Ashton Court which is not so bad, about 1.5 pours for me. I’ll take a punt and report back.

    I know the issue is just one of confidence. I’ve ridden fast motorcycles at silly speeds quite happily but on the MTB I just don’t feel in control on the tricky stuff. I know speed is my friend but I bottle it, wobble, hit a tree root and fall off. At least at this point I’m at walking pace!

    Thanks again.

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    I’d avoid Okeford if you don’t like steep stuff because the whole hillside is really rather steep!

    I’d get a copy of Mastering Mountain Bike Skills whilst you figure out who/where to get coaching. You may be able to learn a lot from it, just depends on how you absorb information. There’s a lot of basic stuff that just needs repeated practice. If you’re retired now then you may have the time to work on that!

    gasser
    Free Member

    Along with Haldon Blues, give the Red a go as well, for you they sound perfect. There is also a small bike shop and rental outlet opposite the cafe, they might know someone local doing training. Don’t be tempted with the Haldon off piste, far too tech at the moment i suggest.

    Another place to try is Woodbury Common, totally natural riding, loads of gravel like fire roads, plus tons of off piste single track you can progress onto when you fill you’re up for it.

    There is a Facebook group called Devon MTB club, they organise loads of ride outs at various levels, worth joining

    Cheers Steve

    grimep
    Free Member

    I’ve been riding nothing but MTB for 25 years, and if I’ve been on only smooth trails for a few months or missed several weekends which can turn into months, all the experience with drops, big roots, rocks etc goes out the window and the brain goes back into self preservation mode. What you’re feeling is completely natural and I’d echo what others said – riding with others is better than formal training.

    Good to see a roadie turning away from the dark side

    kiksy
    Free Member

    I’d avoid Okeford if you don’t like steep stuff because the whole hillside is really rather steep!

    The skills training is done on the top section which is flat. There are a series of corners, berms , small jumps and drops which are not on the steep parts of the hill.

    confused58
    Full Member

    If you ride at FoD I’d recommend Katy Curd, my daughter did a couple of her courses with and they massively improved her riding and confidence.

    upintheair
    Free Member

    As a roadie dipping his toe into mountain biking (and who gets unnerved by bumpy/slidey stuff) I would highly recommend a session at Pedal Progression (I did their fundamentals course which had loads of useful stuff about the basics), the Mastering Mountain Bike Skills book and the How to Bike series that Ben Cathro did for Pinkbike. What I have found is that time spent taking things slowly and concentrating on form seems to be paying off as muscle memory is kicking in and I’m getting faster and growing in confidence naturally.

    tim-o
    Free Member

    Update: I’ve booked a session for me and a mate with Pedal Progression at Ashton Court, Bristol next week. I’ll report back. Thanks for all suggestions.

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