The first RACE MTB session in the West was held on the 14th of November at Cathkin Braes. It was a well-attended day with 14 youth riders developing their mountain biking skills. The session was led by National MTB coach Paul Newnham, who was ably supported by six coaches from within the West region. The base for the session was the Maureen Cope centre, run by volunteers from Ardenglen Housing Association.

The riders started the day with video analysis looking at what makes a top mountain biker, before heading out onto Cathkin Braes for slow speed skills drills using tins of baked beans! Those skills were then put to the test on the rocky climb at Propeller Point, where riders increased their skill and confidence level until they were cycling up and over the biggest rocks.

In the afternoon riders were working on their technical descending in smaller groups of different sections of the course.

Here’s what some of the riders had to say about the day…


It was really fun, we were taught lots of stuff. It was cool putting our knowledge onto the trail.


I really enjoyed today's session. I learned lots of things like back wheel lift and many other technical things.


I thought that it was an amazing experience, learning with top coaches encouraging you and showing you what's what.


I thought it was very good. We did lots of technical skills, it really pushed you.


I really enjoyed today, as the hill climb was definitely challenging.

Finding all the roots and rocks was great. I will definitely practice the lateral step ups onto kerbs and back down again. I definitely felt an improvement in my endo turns. In the afternoon, I felt a dramatic improvement in my downhill speed over rocky terrain, which has helped develop my racing.


I Attended Cathkin Braes on the 14th of November for a Scottish Cycling MTB RACE  session with Paul Newman and other coaches. There were other Glasgow Riderz there as well as some members of the Colts and Falcons.

The weather was windy and as wet as a walrus,  first of all we watched a video of a mountain bike race then in groups we discussed the techniques used by the riders. They had to ride technical terrain such as wet rocky climbs, rock gardens , drop offs and dirt jumps.

After the video we went outside and rode the climb up to propeller point, it was windy, wet and baltic. There we practised our slow speed skills. Paul set up the bases with planks of wood and tinned beans there was slalom , lateral steps and wheel lifts.

After the slow speed skills we then looked at a few different technical climbs and how to get over big rocks by controlling speed and where to put your  weight then it was time for lunch

In the afternoon we changed our pedals to clips then headed back up the hill for more fun in the freezing cold! We spent the afternoon practising looking for grip when climbing tricky hills then we talked about how much time you had if you were fall with clips on. We then practised some off camber descending and talked about where to look for grip and try not to fall off,also how to lean into the hill to stay up on your bike properly.

The day ended with a wee race over a small circuit up to the rock garden and back down we did some team races and then headed down double dare so we could go home. 

It was great to meet some new people and coaches, Overall I think everyone enjoyed it, I know I did and it was a great experience for everyone who was there.

I hope they run another one soon.