Novice to Ninja
Three days of intensive trail technique progression and consolidation
Spend three days under the watchful eyes of our coaches learning technical singletrack skills and let us take your trail riding to the next level. We'll build your confidence on technical singletrack and get you riding faster and more skilfully than ever before.
Our three day Novice to Ninja course combines our other two weekend courses and looks at the key elements to finding your flow and builds upon your fundamentals to improve your technical singletrack skills and energy management. Rooty trails will no longer hold any fear and steep rocky descents will become second nature.
After the course you will receive a massive boost in speed and commitment on fast corners, steep descents and in your climbing; all of which achieved with far less physical effort.
Gary's feedback from watching me ride was really insightful - I'd clearly been doing things the wrong way for some time and he practically looked into my head when discussing mind-management and reading the trails.
Alex - Purley, Surrey
When & where
This course is usually scheduled on the 2nd Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the month or, if you wish, you can book the three course days separately with a break in between. However, you must complete the course days in order; Singletrack Fundamentals first, then Singletrack Improver (part I) and finally Singletrack Improver (part II).
The venue for this course is: Hurtwood Car Park 14, Radnor Lane, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NW.
How to book
Click Book Online below to open our bookings system and first add a three day course pass to your basket Then add the three course days from our schedule on the days you prefer, remembering to book the three courses in order.
You may also download the pre-course pack for each course day from the bookings page. This details the schedule for each day, venue details, travel information and a full equipment list including some mandatory items.
The skills taught and practiced on the Novice to Ninja course include:
- Bike Set-up
Choosing the right tyre pressures
Setting your saddle height for off-road riding
Setting up your forks and shock
Dropper posts usage and set-up
- Mind Skills
Relaxing on the bike and staying loose
Riding within yourself to stay in control
Positive thinking and visualisation
"The Looking Epiphany"
Dismissing distractions to maintain concentration and commitment
Developing confidence through fundamentals instead of luck
- Body Position & Movement
The Ready Position (including "The Standing Epiphany")
Moving around the bike in three dimensions
Dynamic weight shift
Weighting & unweighting the bike
Stop riding and start driving
- Speed Control
Braking safely and effectively
Pump assisted braking
Using speed to activate your suspension
Where & when to brake "The Braking Epiphany"
Speed management on steep terrain
Maintaining speed over rocks and roots
- Trail Obstacles
Riding over large rocks and roots with confidence
Using Manual Front Wheel Lifts to negotiate rocks, roots & logs
Using Manual Front Wheel Lifts to to drop steps
Steep terrain technique
Powered front wheel lifts to assist climbing
Rolling drops & bomb holes
Technique for flat and off-camber corners
Finding grip on loose surfaces
Carrying more speed through corners
- Trail Flow
Reading and breaking down the trail into sections
Pumping the trail for free speed and efficiency
Linking sections for flow
Reading and breaking down the trail into sections
Attacking vs. defensive lines
- Climbing & Descending
Climbing with speed & efficiency
Maximizing grip and traction
Is this course right for me?
Please read the following description. If this sounds like you, then you're perfect for this course:
- You're a rookie mountain biker and have been riding off-road regularily for at least a year
- You've tried blue or red graded singletrack trails before at a trail centre or similar venue
- You can already ride a bike and are familiar with the usage of your gears and brakes
- You can already ride comfortably on smooth trails such as tow paths, forest roads and easy bridleways
- You participate in formal exercise at least once per week, though not necessarily on a bike
- You can ride on flat or moderately steep terrain at a steady pace
- You can ride for at least three hours comfortably
- You are aged 18 and over unless accompanied by an adult also participating on the course
If this sounds beyond your current skill and fitness level, please choose our Fast-track Singletrack Skills two day course instead or have a look at our choosing the right course FAQ page.
Typical daily programme
Although the course is flexible it will usually keep to the following programme:
- 09:15-09:30 Arrival at course venue
- 09:30-10:00 Introductions, equipment check and bike set-up session
- 10:00-10.15 Warm-up ride into the forest U
- 10:15-13:00 Singletrack skills coaching and practice
- 13:00-14:00 Lunch break back at start point (bring a packed lunch)
- 14:00-15:30 Coached singletrack ride
Using the correct techniques the trail seemed smoother and easier as we just floated down and felt fresh at the bottom
Mike - Brighton Mountain Bike Club
At the end of your course you will receive
- Personalised Feedback
to remind you of your performance on your course
- An Action Plan
your coach will tell you what you need to do after your course to consolidate your new skills and progress your mountain biking into the future
- 30 Days Free Support
if you have any questions about what you've learned or need any other advice
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