Pro Rides Guides – PROgress course

Pro Rides Guides – PROgress course
Pro Rides, One on One coaching session – Stainburn 14th Jan 2012
After 2 seasons of downhill racing and facing a third in which tracks are getting ever more technical, steeper and longer, it goes without saying the jumps and drops just keep getting bigger too! I felt his old dog had reached a plateau on all counts, Fitness, technique and approach.Time to call the guys at Pro Ride Guides and see if they could help.After a few telephone calls with the very patient Joe Rafferty it was decided that a PROgress course at Stainburn trail centre and a 6 week Flat out Fit fitness program was a good place to start, I should mention I just wanted to go to Hamsterly and learn to Whip it like Danny Hart, but thankfully Joe really does know best.

So on a very cold January morning I meet Joe and we start by warming up on the red climb out of the car park and then run the decent line down to the rock garden section, Joe wants to follow me and have a laugh, well he reckons that he’s assessing my riding skills but I’m sure there must be a grin on his face because I am trying a little too hard to impress and making a fair few errors. Either way when we stop Joe doesn’t mention this but comments that I obviously know how to ride, he doesn’t say ‘but’, but I know it was implied and lets be honest this is what I’m here for. After sessioning the rock garden and discussing techniques we head back to the car park and work on somebasics. It’s here that I discover that leaning on a tree can help your positioning on the bike, a rock placed in the middle of the car park will sort out your weight distribution and Low and fast is, well still low and fast. Joes instruction in all these techniques is easy to understand and more importantly fun.

Heading back out onto the trail I now have put into practice (hopefully) what I’ve just learned. Having said I didn’t fancy the rock drop on my ‘little’ bike, to which Joes response was I’ll show you travel is not an issue I find myself riding it, and riding it, and riding it until Joe gets a nice picture, it turns out that if the pupil is particularly vein like me this is a good motivational tool. Next it’s time to practice what almost passes as a double and again the threat of not videoing me works wonders for my perseverance. It’s nearly time to call it a day now but we do have time to quickly look at some cornering skills, bend and extend, bend and extend, turns out that’s all there is too it ;)All in all it has been an absolutely cracking morning and although I wasn’t a bad rider, I’ve learnt that changing the smallest thing can make a massive difference.

I would recommend a Pro Ride skill course to anyone, they are great fun and you will learn something. What I do with this knowledge is now up to me and as always it will come down to practice, practice, practice.The fitness training starts on Monday! If I have any energy left I’ll try and have a weekly ramble about how I’m getting on.

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