Day 3 of Ellesmere College’s Adventure + Easter holiday club had me doing a 3rd activity in 3 days. I love the variety I can get from my work (and play!) and this week is a perfect example, working on different things every day of the week. Today was the turn of mountain biking.
Due to the expensive nature of buying and maintaining a fleet of mountain bikes, I’ve made the decision not to have my own bikes for clients. There’s also the storage issue which provides another headache. Instead, I either get folks to bring their own, or hire them from another source. For today’s sessions I was using Ellesmere College’s mountain bikes, as they are fortunate enough to have their own. Unfortunately, teaching staff are very busy people in term time, leaving them with little time to maintain a fleet of mountain bikes and it took me 3 hours to get 6 bikes in sufficient working order, which was an unexpected surprise.
The sessions themselves were spent looking at basic riding skills. There is always a temptation for riders to overestimate their skill levels, which has a habit of ending badly, so I spent most of the time getting the groups to practice moving their body weight appropriately, developing fast and effective braking techniques before having a go at some small drop offs and steps. As is usual, there was a range of abilities and confidence levels, with one or two opting to sit out and watch for a while until they felt their confidence rising.
At the end, they had the chance to try all or some of the small course that has been built at Ellesmere College. There are some quite technical sections which involved using all the skills we had practiced, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well many of the group managed. Well done!