Beginner’s guide to mountain biking, part 5

Having tackled some craggy rocks, gnarly logs and other obstacles at Dalby Forest and had her fair share of offs, our novice mountain biker Ruth decided she should remind herself of some of the basics in order to keep up her confidence on the bike.

She headed over to Aston Hill Bike Park, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, to check out a skills course with Ian Warby from UK cyclists’ organisation CTC. Here’s what she learned…

On the course we looked at something known as the ‘Why to’ method, which is used across the country by CTC. This looks at how and why different riding techniques work, as well as focussing on your energy flow when biking. This approach has proved to be a brilliant asset in my biking knowledge bank and I found the course both confidence-boosting and inspiring.

The ‘Why to’ method looks at mountain biking on three levels: personal, psychological and physical. I’ll explain the first of these this week; you’ll have to wait for part six of this guide for the psychological and physical levels.

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