Jed has one of the best back yards of anyone I know. It probably doesn’t hurt that his dad owns a digger company. For most of his first term of school he was out on his pitbike every day after school making new lines in every direction and I have no doubt he has continued to do so since schools have been closed. We were fortunate enough to use their track for a coaching day before the lock down and made so much progress with Jed and friends that I have no doubt we will be back for much more. Here are just the first and last “games” that we played.
I actually used one of his pitbike lines for the very first part of our lesson as they went directly across a bunch of jumps and back again- a perfect test of how much they could avoid being bucked around like a rodeo bull. Imagine the difference between being locked into whatever the bike was forcing you to do, compared to being able to let the bike go up and down or suddenly tilt backwards or forwards without it affecting your body much. The difference is night and day.
The big key I had to show Jed and others was how to ride with legs that were able to bend, and sometimes they have to bend a lot. To soak a jump up properly it worked out that they almost needed their chest on the handlebars and bum on the seat at the high points. The best part is the level of control that they get when the bike drops back into the low spots, because there is less chance of their arms going straight. Before long we had a bunch of riders who looked like they were ready for the Red Bull Straight Rhythm.
Under The Pump
We wrapped things up with an intense session with the stopwatch, using a little bit of peer pressure to get the most out of them. It certainly got intense, but the best part was how much they realized that they needed to be riding like I had taught them, using the skills like being higher in the first part of tight berms in order to carry more speed.
The stopwatch is a thing of pressure and of progress, putting you in a racing situation without the consequences of losing positions should it go wrong. Doing this with your coach watching is even more effective because you really can’t go back to what you were doing before and ride slower or you will hear all about it. Hopefully this time off will help them to lock in what we did already in order to help them that much more in the future!