A tale of two halves

This week was certainly a week of two halves. I went out with the Bikellas on Tuesday night and managed a horrid crash coming too fast, with a dodgy technique, round a slippy corner. I ended up bruised, sore and with little confidence for the rest of my ride. It didn’t help that I’d also done some damage to my bike so that I couldn’t change gear. I was not in a good place come Wednesday morning, with a left thigh that was covered in nasty bruises.

I knew that I needed to do something to get my confidence back, and my husband suggested a bit of coaching with the legend who is Katy Curd. Katy’s a 4x champ and definitely knows her stuff. Lucky for me she, offers coaching at the Forest of Dean and, even luckier, she was available for a one-to-one session on Saturday afternoon. I was kind of nervous heading over there on Saturday. I was worried that I’d completely lost my mojo and would make an idiot of myself in front of someone who I really respect.

But, I had no need to worry. Katy met me with a big smile and took me straight off to a bit of trail with plenty of berms and we spent a good 45 minutes working on my technique. By the end of it I was feeling pretty good. I was getting my outside foot down, my weight across and was picking some good lines. All of this meant I was gaining speed out of the corners but was also able to control it, with no back wheel skidding.

We then went on to practice some technical climbing and after grinding to a halt a few times, I finally managed to get up a pretty steep rooty section. Katy was a bit mean here and made me go back and do it again once I’d conquered it, but it worked! The main message I took away from this section was that I need to remember to keep my head up and look ahead, never down at where my front wheel is. It’s amazing the difference this bit of advice made – I just have to drill myself to look up!

Today I went back up to the Forest of Dean to try out the tips I’d picked up yesterday and boy did it pay off! I was cornering so much better, and with such improved confidence. The looking ahead trick worked all through the trail, not just on the techy uphill. I clocked some personal best times and really got to grips with the berms on the final descent of the Verderers.

So, the moral of the story? If you’ve suffered an ego-denting fall and need a confidence boost, get in touch with Katy and spend a couple of hours doing drills with her – you’ll soon be feeling on top of the world again. And at £60 for two hours of personal tuition, it won’t even break the bank.

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