Last week saw me go to Hadleigh Country Park – with friends Martin, Richard and Jon (on camera). I was there to take on mountain biking, another one of my 110 events for my Gold Challenge.
The afternoon started with a tour of the Olympic mountain biking course which had, to the amateur eye at least, some pretty scary drops and rocky sections. Very interesting to see that easier routes – know as chicken runs – are provided as alternatives to the toughest parts of the course. Fascinating tour and Andrew, who showed us round, told us that Essex County Council will be organising more public tours of the course so look out for that.
We then had to stop looking and start doing. Luke Farey of http://www.getouttheremtb.com was in charge and put us through our paces as we learnt basic body positions, braking, downhill and uphill techniques. He also taught us the ‘manual’ which is all about lifting the front of your bike so that you can get over obstacles.
We finished a fantastic, if gruelling , day on Luke’s custom made wooden track where he had us going over humps and doing our first vertical drop. The great thing about the track is that it can be assembled on any piece of flat ground and can be used to teach anyone to mountain bike wherever they are – ideal for schools, corporates, anyone really. Contact Luke if you’re interested for more information.
All in all it was a great experience, and showed me a great side to this sport I actually hadn’t come into contact with that much.