Getting the most from Trail Smart

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Trail Smart is a collection of free ‘how to’ videos covering all aspects of mountain biking, including technical riding skills, where to ride and what to take with you.

As well as being useful for developing your own trail craft, leaders and coaches can use these videos in a host of other ways to add depth to delivery and provide helpful resources for learners.

Here are a few examples of how you can make use of this great series.

Leading rides

Help out your riders by sharing the What to carry when mountain biking video as part of your pre-ride information. You can always be clear that you will bring the tools and spares, map and first aid kit.

Ensure clients are choosing the right level of ride from your portfolio by using the How to choose which grade of trail video. Your ride doesn’t need to be restricted to a trail centre to use this video; stating that the intended route is mostly at blue grade level, with a couple of short red sections can help riders understand the technical level of the terrain.

You can also pass on the good riding principles by suggesting they watch the Trail etiquette video.

Essential trail skills

Help your riders to develop their technical skills - and understand what good looks like - by using videos such as the ready position focus above.

As a reminder, the remit of a mountain bike leader includes regularly evaluating rider skill in order to adjust a route, and providing tips to promote safety, consistency and confidence as part of a ride. In comparison, coaches work with riders to repeat sections: facilitating high level skill challenges matched with coaching towards improved performance.

The videos cover techniques that extend across both mountain bike leadership and coaching, therefore some go beyond the remit of a Level 2 Leader. You can select the most suitable videos for your remit by identifying what participants need to be able to competently cover during a led ride:

  • Riders with a Level 2 Leader should keep their wheels on the ground, so the ready position, climb, descend, cornering and track stand videos are all well suited.
  • For Level 3 Leaders, you can introduce the wheelie, manual and bunny hop clips.
  • Mountain bike coaches can share the skills in all videos with their riders.

As long as you have sufficient signal you can use these videos out on the trail (leaders) or in the skills coaching area (coaches). By watching them in advance you can identify the segment or static image that best displays the skill you are aiming to develop. For example in the Ready position video, use the segments at 44 to 49 seconds and the static image at 1:41.

Ongoing development

CPD doesn’t have to be a formal course; research, reflection and reminders are equally valid. Make sure that you stay up-to-date by watching the Trail etiquette and What to do in an emergency videos.  

Leaders, coaches and riders alike can keep on top of modern technology with the How to set suspension and sag video.

Finally, don’t forget to check that you are able to ride at your intended locations with our guide on Leading on private land and public estate.

Get #TrailSmart

Share examples of your off-road adventures with us using #TrailSmart – and let us know what you think of the videos and if there is anything you think we could add.