Want to learn something new? Keep it simple and use ‘old’ terrain
Often when we’re coaching we’ll use some of the most straightforward terrain for riders to learn on. It might sound simple but people often make the mistake of trying to learn a new technique on terrain which is new to them or that they find challenging. The term ‘new technique - old terrain’ means that you should use terrain or trails that you are completely familiar and comfortable riding on to learn.
For example you may be struggling to neutralise a big feature or ‘shape’ on a new trail that other riders are riding smoothly with a manual. You don’t feel confident manualling and realise it’s something you need to learn. At first you might try and learn to manual there and then on the trail. Usually the stress of riding a new trail can make it difficult to concentrate on what you’re doing and even more difficult on relfecting on what you have just done. It would be best to take the time to find a simple trail you are comfortable riding to learn there. By learning the correct technique and putting it into regular, purposeful practice you can begin to aquire a new skill. Once you feel proficient then return to the trail, get familiar with it and try it on the feature.
We often find that a quiet section of smooth fire road is a great place to practice most skills. Or even perfecting a specific technique on easier trails with smaller trail features helps before taking them to something a little more gnarly. Just remember ‘new technique — old terrain’.