Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to attend one of Jay Williamson's impromptu coaching sessions. Following Jay's unfortunate training injury I jumped at the chance as usually he is completely booked and wouldn't be offering any more until end of the world cup season. The coaching session was aimed at xc and trail riders. Knowing Jay though I knew it wasn't going to be all tame.
The night before I had fitted a new shock on my bike but threw in the rough guide psi for my weight and got going. I was really pleased that The coaching also coincided with my first time riding at Gawton not on a downhill bike. It took my mind off over analysing that I was on less travel than I am used too. As usual though the Altitude took it all in it's stride.
We got started warming up on the first few berms looking at line choice, body movement and pumping. Already within the first 10 minutes he had us thinking differently about how we view entry and exit speed. Moving on to some small steps I was noticing how I didn't have to actively jump anything like I used to as we already had far more speed and our body weight in the correct position to simply ride off and carry more speed into the next section. Watching other riders we could see how over exaggerated their movements were requiring more energy and effort but causing them to stall and loose speed and flow.
As the course progresses the hill gets steeper and the features get bigger. Hitting the biggest rock garden Jay encouraged us to actively pump through to generate more speed. Although hitting it faster than ever before after a couple of goes I did start to feel the timing coming together to know when to pump. It was scary to ride so aggressive but also remain loose enough to allow the bike to work underneath me. I really felt like I was ridding on the edge. Such a shame we hadn't bought the camera out yet!