CycleActive course for aspiring young rippers

May 18 2011

CycleActive are a veritable coaching powerhouse with over 10 years experience helping riders step up to the next level whatever their starting point. Instilling confidence is the mainstay of progression, and if you're confident in the fundamentals, you'll find yourself improving quicker than you imagined. In an effort to start aspiring rippers early, CycleActive are pushing a new course to get the eleven to sixteen year olds onto the trail. We're getting involved in an effort to encourage more people to take part in coaching classes to get the very most out of your bike in a controlled and progressive format. This course will be a great way of getting younger riders more confident on their bike and make skills coaching accessible to the whole family. Here's what the guys have to say:

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.Orange Bikes Cycle Active Askham Fell

Taking technique to the trail, Askham Fell is a great backdrop...

This new course from CycleActive brings together their 10 years of coaching expertise to give young mountain bikers the very best advice, coaching, encouragement and trail riding experience, all in a fantastic long summer weekend.

The course will run with up to three instructors, so we can split the group according to ability level and make sure everyone gets the right coaching for their needs.  The team on the job will be our best people - Chris Ford, Rich Barnard and Jon Chalmers – making sure the skills riders learn are taught in the best way, for the fastest possible progression. 

Course Facts:

Dates 19th-20th August plus optional family ride on the 21st
Price £90 per participant, plus £10 per family joining the Sunday guided ride
Venue CycleActive training centre at Brougham Hall, Penrith, Cumbria
Abilities Novice and intermediate riders
Ages 11-16
Bookings Contact CycleActive on 01768 840400 or e-mail chris@cycleactive.co.uk 

Read on if you want to find out about the full programme...

Orange Bikes CycleActive Crush

Alex making quick progress on the CycleActive Crush company steed

The Programme:

Friday 19th August

11am – arrival and welcome drinks, chat, bike checks.

11:30am – welcome talk from Chris, followed by bike setup session, looking at all elements of bike fit, pressures and contact points.

Lunch – bring your own or buy from the café on site.

The afternoon will be spent working on a range of core skills, using our skills arena at Brougham Hall.  This will cover:

  • Body positioning, cone of movement, balance and proprioception.
  • Footwork for braking, descending and bike control.
  • Vision training for speed, singletrack and corners.
  • Pump manuals, rebound manuals, wheelies and step-ups.

The coaching day will end with a review of video clips from the skills sessions, finishing at 5pm when we’ll set up for an early evening barbeque (note that parents need to either collect participants at 5pm, or join us for the barbecue).

Orange Bikes CycleActive

James and Liam aren't 11-16, but they do have skills and this is in the Lake District...

Friday Evening Barbecue:

This evening is a great chance for parents and young riders to get to know the other people on the course, share their experiences, and chat informally to our team about the biking we’ll be doing and anything else too.

Since we’re mainly mountain bike coaches, and not chefs, this is not a formal part of the programme so we’ll invite you to bring your own food, help out at the charcoal face and supply the drinks of your choice (although we may get the ball rolling with some fine wine and cold beers for the parents, and some home-made venison burgers from Chris’ favourite local supplier!)  We’ll have two barbies on the go so meat and veggie are strictly separate.  The barbeque won’t go on too late - we’ll aim to be wrapped up by 8pm so the younger riders can get away and get some rest, ready for tomorrow.

Dave Flynn Orange Bikes Orange Crush CycleActive

Taking and developing core skills to the trail is the aim of any coaching session

Saturday 20th August

A 9:30am start at Brougham Hall lets us go through bike checks, pre-ride safety checks and then head out into the hills for a full day of on-trail coaching.

Today will be a mixture of short ride sections and coaching segments, with the aim of covering 8-12km in total as we focus in on a whole range of trail skills.  The groups will be allocated to instructors based on their progress yesterday, with no more than 8 riders per coach.

The sessions today are flexible, and will depend on the riders needs and interests. 

Some topics we expect to cover include:

  • Climbing (technical and non-technical terrain).
  • Descending on different trail types.
  • Choosing good lines.
  • Balance and control at high and low speed.
  • Pump for speed, grip and style.
  • Energy management.
  • Cornering at low and high speed.
  • Steep roll-offs.
  • Building confidence and mental control.


The coaching rides end back at Brougham Hall at approx. 3:30pm to allow time for bike cleaning and preparation, followed by a detailed review of video footage from the day.

Hannah Barnes Joe Barnes CycleActive Orange Bikes

All our photos are autumnal damp, we're hoping for wall-to-wall sunshine... 

Sunday 21st August – Family Ride Out

This social ride starts at 10am, so we ask for everyone to be at the meeting point (either our centre or a nearby location) at 9:30am to check bikes, equipment and make sure everything is good to go.

We’ll ride out as one group, aiming to cover about 25km in total.  Our staff will act as guides and technical experts but for this ride we do expect parents to be fully responsible for their children, and we cannot take young people (under 18) unless they are accompanied by a responsible adult or guardian.

If there are some quicker riders who are itching to go further or faster, we can either split them off with one guide part way through the journey, or give them directions so they can put in an extra loop and rejoin the group later in the ride.  We’ll aim to finish by 4pm at the latest, ready for people to pack up and head home.

Dave Flynn Orange Crush CycleActive

The weekend will feature a whole mix of terrain and cater expertly for your level

To find out more about who CycleActive are and what makes them tick, take a look at their website and see what other courses are available.
Details on the course above are available here, and for all their latest updates, you can follow their wanderings on Facebook.

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