Forestry Commission Wales Staff training

We had a great couple of days with some Forestry Commission Wales (FCW) staff running an MTB Skills enhancement course for Dave Liddy, Dave Williams and MTB Rangers: Andy Braund, Gareth Owen and Howard Sims.

All FWC staff who use bikes at work get initial training from the CTC however some people like the Rangers ride bikes a lot for their work role’s and also on grades of trail above the initial training so we put this course together for them to allow them to develop their riding skills further and also to look at how people ‘should’ be riding on the trails and identify some of the causes of trail erosion and damage like inefficient braking and general poor drop off and jumping skills.


We started off with a quick brew & brief at Onegiant Leap before getting out on the bikes and looking at their ‘core skills’ and having a quick look at how they were all riding. We then introduced pumping, manuals and also good braking and cornering skills all with live video coaching so they could see what they were actually doing which is a great way of learning new or more complicated / advanced skills.

Then we looked at different ways of riding small drops, pushing down, manualing and then pushing the bike off the drop.

Allot of riders get these key skills wrong and it causes them lots of problems out on the trail. The guys all picked it all up really well and soon it was time for lunch and a bit of video analysis back at the Onegiant Leap base.


After lunch we were back on the bikes in the Skills Area and we looked at putting the skills from the morning session in to practice on real trail sections with all the performance cues now in place, rocks trees and steeper terrain.


At the end of the day we looked at how to wash and lube your bike properly without causing  any damage before finishing a great day of coaching with everyone.


Day two and we were over at Coed y Brenin in the pouring rain and looking at putting the skills in to practice again this time on some real trails. We  ran  session’s on the Slipway, Adam & Eve and then had a look at the rocky Kane section that is so typical of CYB as well as looking at some common trail-side maintenance issues that they come across.


The final part of the course we got them to try different types of bike from a 24inch kids bike through to a 6inch all mountain, a hardtail jump bike and a full on 7inch + DH bike so they all could see how the bikes rode differently on the trails but the skills were the same.


We both had a great couple of days riding and coaching with everyone on the course and it was great to see their skills progress and develop from the first session last year too as well as also introducing a couple of new riders. Hopefully see them all out on the trails soon!


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