Trailblazers enjoy fantastic weekend

EIGHT women from across the UK descended on the South Downs to improve their mountain bike skills.

The group enjoyed coaching across the South Downs
The group enjoyed coaching across the South Downs

They were trained by elite rider and mountain bike coach Hannah Attenburrow from Pedal 2 Pedal.

They also had support from local guide Sean Howell from Marmalade Mountain Biking.

It was a great weekend of fun biking, good food and pilates.

The weekend started with coaching from Queen Elizabeth Country Park, the home of Pedal 2 Pedal mountain bike club which is run by Hannah.

The ladies worked on bike skills, balance, body position and cornering.

Attenburrow said: ‘Getting your body into the right position and being able to move around the bike is a key skill when riding a mountain bike.

‘You need to be able to flow down the trail keeping your movements free and not jerking the bike around which happens with bad technique and a lack of confidence because you tend to be more ridged.’

After lunch the riders hit the new blue trail at Queen Elizabeth Country Park to put their skills to the test.

Another key aspect of cycling is body condition in and core stability.

The riders were treated to a private pilates class in Rowlands Castle by Stacey Merritt.

Then after winding down they were ready for a pub lunch and to talk all things bike.

Bright and early on Sunday they headed to Cocking Hill on the South Downs to meet with mountain bike guide and trail whizz Sean from Marmalade MTB.

Sean took the riders to some of the best trails and viewpoints along the South Downs.

This included The Goodwood Estate, Kingly Vale and the Hooksway.

Attenburrow added: ‘The weekend was designed for ladies who have a little experience off road but wanted to increase their ability and go somewhere new to explore.

‘They all left with smiles on their faces and a new enthusiasm for mountain biking one they will hopefully share with their friends.

‘My aim is to get more women out on bikes and introduce them to this fantastic sport.

‘This is hopefully the first of many weekends Sean and I will run.’

If you would like to improve your skills email [email protected]

Kaz Mills, who took part, said: ‘I had an amazing weekend of Ladies MTB tuition with Hannah, it was so much more than had expected.

‘I chose this two-day course to regain confidence after a mishap 18 months ago. I learned new skills riding off little drops and riding burms.

‘Hannah explained things well and gave great support to achieve riding skills on the mountain bike which in turn created lots of smiles.

‘My confidence just grew and grew with day two riding the South Downs. I feel very fortunate to have found Hannah to open my eyes to new adventures on the bike. With many thanks I am one very happy lady to be back out into the countryside.’