After a quick mention that i’d love to attend a training day with top bloke Alexz Wigg it came to pass that I was invited to his next teaching day, to take place at Berkhamsted Motorcycle Clubs excellent Nash Mills venue.
Alexz has been coaching relatively new rider Steve Brierty for a few months and has a regular one on one day with him, it was one of these days that I got to gate-crash … thanks to Steve for putting up with me for the day!
After a 15 minute warm up Alexz took us to a section he had set out, one that he and Steve had worked on in the past, that was a set of simple looking loose camber turns around some trees. But looks can be deceptive for those of us that don’t possess natural ability on a trials bike ! After a completely crap attempt I started to ride it much better with the help of Alexz’s advice … it really is the basics that make all the difference to us club riders. Body position, knowing where your front and back tyre are going and going to be, clutch and throttle control and a dash of self confidence (the bit i’ve been lacking recently) and Alexz covered it all but in his friendly and easy to understand way. You don’t often see the very good riders riding our level sections, but when they do they make it look so smooth and easy. In fact even on some fairly big obstacles you realise that it’s not all about revs and jumping stuff. Just the right amount of power and perfect balance is the order of the day … when it’s needed then you can pop the clutch and go for it.
After getting into the groove and starting to ride better Alexz added a few extra twists and turns to the section for me, and I am pleased to say I was cleaning it all in no time.
We then moved on to a lovely little log area, and this gave me a chance to try something that has been difficult for me recently … popping onto a log that is supported off the ground and keeping the front high so I don’t just slam the front down on the other side or just crunch into my bash plate. Once again after some quick instruction, a demonstration and a few corrective suggestions I was getting it … or at least knew what I was doing wrong when I fecked it up! My main problem was being over cautious when the front went up … it appeared to be going much higher than it actually was and my brain thought I was going to loop out. Alexz gave me the encouragement and I was soon getting it right more often than not.
Through the day we also covered rock crossings, loose climbs and steps and bigger logs …. at each step my confidence grew and I have to say I thought I was riding well for my level and really enjoying it. Sadly we have recently lost our two local practice areas but there is light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully somewhere new will open soon and I can put all this theory Into practice again.
I’d highly recommend dropping Alexz a line via his school facebook page … HERE .. and a huge thanks to him and Steve for allowing me in on their day. It has really reignited my desire to ride again after a period of “lack of interest”