An enthusiastic group of riders in Manchester recently took to the hills of Wales to show off the mountain bike skills they had learnt over the summer months in a series of women-only coaching sessions.
British Cycling and the National Cycling Centre hosted Rider Development Sessions for Women and Girls at Clayton Vale mountain bike trails throughout the summer season. By the end of the series, a group of the riders felt confident enough to tackle the adventurous terrain at Coed Llandegla forest in Wales.
The weekly sessions in Manchester were for women-only and aimed at those who were either new to the sport of cycling or classed themselves as novice mountain bike riders. Each week focused on a different technique, with all riders getting the chance to practice using the skills zone – a safe environment with specifically built areas, such as drop offs, berms and a pump section.
A regular attendee at the sessions, Kathy England, said; “The sessions have been pitched at the right level for the participants, with some excellent coaching, and I think we have all got a lot out of them. It’s also been really fun to have an all women group for this, with people willing to have a go without feeling under pressure to get it right. I hope next year there is an intermediate group, so I can continue to learn new mountain bike skills.”
Once the techniques had improved, riders then faced the 10km of mountain bike trails at Clayton Vale, putting their skills to the test on trails ranging in difficulty from blue to black.
British Cycling Go-Ride Coach, Joe Malik, said: “It’s fantastic that over the summer 16 women have been involved in the Rider Development Sessions in Manchester, but what’s even more impressive is that some of them were willing to take the day off work and travel across to Wales for the final session! This only shows how committed they were to the programme and how much they enjoyed it.”
More sessions are planned in Manchester for 2015, including an intermediate group. Please contact Joe Malik on joemalik@britishcycling,org.uk or 07908 407 317 to be added to the 2015 mailing list.