Report: Scott Bugden
MTB Skills Academy Session Details 2013
Run by Welsh Cycling Performance MTB Coach Scott Bugden, Skills Academy Sessions focus on Cross Country MTB racing skills but will help you become a better rider whatever your discipline-including road and track!
The day is split into two sessions: the morning sessions from 10am-12noon are open to any rider aged 10-16 and focus on skills and short race efforts-riders are asked to bring flat pedals for this part of the session in order to develop good technique. The younger riders (Under-12) are finished for the day but not so for the older riders. Following a short break for some food and a rest the over 12’s continue for another 2hours, finishing at around 2:30pm. The afternoon session normally consists of a ride to a technically challenging area or trail that riders can then session before riding back to the base.
There are sessions planned in North and South Wales for each week of the School holidays:
North Wales: All Thursdays
28th March Nant BH
04th April Nant BH
30th May Coed y Brenin
25th July Nant BH
1st August Nant BH
8th August Coed y Brenin
15th August Nant BH
22nd August Coed y Brenin
29th August Nant BH
31st October Nant BH
South Wales: All Tuesdays
26th March Sirhowy Valley
2nd April Margam Park
9th April Brechfa
28th May Margam Park
23rd July Sirhowy Valley
30th July Margam Park
6th August Sirhowy Valley
13th August Margam Park
20th August Sirhowy Valley
27th August Margam Park
29th October Margam Park
Venues are now provisionally booked as above. Below is a brief description of each venue so that riders know what to expect:
Nant BH (near Betws Y Coed). Nant BH is an Outdoor Education Centre with a purpose built skills course. It is also in the middle of the Marin Trail and has a classroom area, showers and toilets-all in all, a fantastic venue.
Coed y Brenin (near Dolgellau). Another great North Wales venue, Coed y Brenin has a great natural area that we use for these sessions. Away from the main public trails, it isn’t used by any other riders so there is plenty of scope for us to choose different paths/trails and challenges.
Sirhowy Valley. Sirhowy Valley is just north of Newport and is a much more natural venue-there is a grass area for the morning skills session and some technical natural trails for the afternoon. Potentially very slippery if it is wet so bring grippy tyres if you have a choice (this applies more for the afternoon session than the morning).
Margam Park. Margam Park is a well-known venue having hosted National races for many years. There is a good mix of trails and technical challenges with some steep climbs/descents.
Brechfa. In West Wales, Brechfa and Abergorlech are two great trail centres that are also really quiet. We will only be running a couple of sessions here throughout the year because of the location but it is well worth the trip with some great riding available. There is also a range of trails available for parents if you want to kill some time.
If you know of a venue that might be suitable and isn’t listed above, please let me know.
Sessions are free but you will need to book a place in advance by contacting Scott Bugden- firstname.lastname@example.org
As in 2012, we are looking for coaches to help to run these sessions. The feedback from coaches who were involved last year has been very positive and they have all developed as coaches as a result of taking part. You don’t need to be available for every session, if you can only commit to one, that’s fine but the more that you can do, the more you will have the chance to develop. If you are interested, please e-mail Scott Bugden (email@example.com) to express your interest. You will then be given a topic and key coaching points and it will be up to you to prepare and deliver a 30min session on that topic. Following your session there will be an informal feedback session for you and a chance to discuss how the session went for you.