Improve your technical skills at Biking in the Bosch

Biking In the Bosch

Biking In the Bosch  – ‘Thanks Jo, that was a fantastic afternoon of tuition. I reckon the best biking investment I have ever made for a couple of hundred rand! Seriously people , for the same amount of money that you could just about purchase an MTB tyre, you will never purchase any bit of equipment that will make you go that much faster on the trail, compared to 2 hours of Jo’s tuition….’  Bruce Mead – riding for 18 years

‘ I don’t need to skill up, but I’ll send my wife…’

This is a line that I hear so often as a female skills coach. I understand these sentiments,  because many men are less afraid of technical tracks and they really want their wives to join the fun and be less fearful on their bikes! However, I want to encourage ALL riders, whether you are male or female to get yourselves regularly to a reputable skills coach in your area, even if you have been riding for decades like Bruce!

Biking in the Bosch
Ariane Luthi

I have 23 years of riding experience under my belt, and I am definitely still learning how to flow more smoothly, jump more safely and ride faster! I read an article recently, on a popular online cycling platform that stated the following: “Skills sessions are the most affordable part of biking  ‘equipment’, but the most under utilised.”

I couldn’t agree more, the article went on to say that at the end of the day, it is often just pride that is preventing riders from attending skills training.

This should really not be the case – we can and should all keep learning no matter what your current skill level is. Trust me, a few hours with a coach who is passionate, a skilled rider, and an encourager will help you to understand why you do what you do on a bike. When you break down a skill into understandable ‘chunks’ of information you will find that your biking experiences will not only be much more fun, but can save you a lot of money and pain.

Here are five things to consider which I always impart in my session:

Confidence counts – Mountain biking is an extreme sport, we all know what can happen in a split second if it all goes wrong. 

You need to know how your machine operates and how to handle the trail with confidence.

Photo: Anika Langvad and Joanna Dobinson

Confidence takes experience, and experience can only be obtained by learning how to tackle a particular obstacle and then continue by riding it over and over again. I love exposing clients to obstacles that can challenge them, and with the right amount of encouragement, knowledge and progression, their confidence is boosted in a few short hours!

Hips don’t lie – Do you use your hips when you take corners or are you steering your bike around a corner with your handle bar? Are you hesitant to corner at speed? 

You will be amazed by how much more fun it is to corner and how quickly you can get this right by repeating a simple flat speed cornering technique on an open field like I do at my skills sessions. Be warned however, this might just unleash your inner child as you get one step closer to becoming one with your bike!

Boobs2Bar – Sixty percent of my clients are ladies, so Boobs2Bar has become a famous mantra to get ‘into position’- Chest2bar for the guys. I even distribute ‘Boobs2bar’ stickers which have now become a favourite sought after item for your bike and a reminder of this super vital piece of biking information.

Boobs2Bar is my unique way of getting the correct weight distribution on your bike. Many riders are not in the correct position when they ride down a mountain, we get told to put our weight to the back, but this is only true to an extent, you actually need to get a lot of weight onto your front wheel too! Getting your Boobs2bar is yet another step closer to becoming one with your bike!

Biking in the Bosch
Photo Credit: Colin Hadley

Drop you heels – By dropping your heels when you are in an attack position, you shift your weight to the back of the bike, apply the boobs2bar mantra and this causes your bike to be centred – all your weight is distributed over the bottom bracket, which makes you incredibly stable.

Fear Out Fun In – This is not only my #hashtag on social media – it’s also the way I live my life! Fear is debilitating. You won’t enjoy mountain biking unless you can overcome your fear.

You can’t be less fearful unless you have the right  knowledge and input. I am passionate about teaching people from complete beginners who just ride for fun to elite, and world champions who need to get the edge on their competitors.

Come gain confidence, improve your skills and have a whole lot of fun at Biking In the Bosch!

Article by Joanna Dobinson

For more information contact 074 169 4376 or visit www.bikinginthebosch.co.za

Read more articles