|The one and only Ed Oxley|
On Wednesday evening, robin and myself headed down to Long Preston, a wee conservation village on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border. After getting our keys from the basic but nice bed and breakfast, which also doubles as a post office and cafe, we headed to the local pub for tea. There are 2 pubs in the village, the first one had a union flag and sky sports poster outside, so we should have known that it would be a bit of a dive!. The other pub along the road, the maypole, was a typical wee village pub with very nice food to boot, the highlight being real chips!.
Next morning, after a hearty full English, we packed up the car and were on our way to Gisburn forest and a date with the bearded legend himself, Ed Oxley. Ed is a sponsored rider for on one bikes, but his bread and butter is running skills coaching courses, and we were booked on his 'jumping for dads' course.
Gisburn forest is a purpose built trail centre, not my usual riding, but fun all the same, and the perfect place to practice and session the various drops, rollers and jumps.the morning, which was miserably wet, focused on pumping the trail, manuals, rear wheel lifts and bunny hops, the kind of thing that most bikers think they can do, but in reality can't do properly, and these are the basis for many other skills.
|Ed is too fast for the camera!|
After a bite of lunch at a cafe in slaidburn, we headed back in Ed's van to Gisburn, this time focussing on doubles (jumps) and drop offs. Ed has a cool teaching manner, really getting his message across without being condescending or overly complicated, and we were soon getting smoother and slicker. After the drops session, we returned to the jumps at the bottom of the Hope 'A line' trail, and remarkably, most were hitting the jumps with confidence and speed. Result.
This has given me loads to think about and the means to practice and actually know when something feels wrong. By the time we were done for the day, the sun was out for the drive home, and nice views of the hills surrounding the best service station in the country at Tebay for tea.
|Robin hitting a double|
Well worth the trip, I used t think I wasn't bad at drops and jumps, turns out I was guff, but am now a wee bit better!.