Mike Sudder’s been on a “Stop Crashing” mountain bike skills course with Ed Oxley.  Mike tells us how it went….

If you’ve ever seen me out on my bike, a skills session would be something you would undeniably recommend.

I decided that it was worth a few quid to learn how to “ride” my bike rather than crashing and spending time and money fixing it. I’m not getting any younger either and I don’t bounce like I used to, so staying on the bike is definitely seen as an advantage.

I was put in touch with Ed Oxley at GreatRock, the local “guru” of mountain biking and pitched up last Sunday at Hurstwood mountain bike trail near Burnley with a few others to see what I could learn.


After three and a half hours of riding different sections of the trail under the watchful eye of Ed, I was certainly left with a lot to think about and correct about my riding – who would have thought riding a bike could be so scientific? Lots to put into practice before I book my next session, Stop Crashing 2.

I learnt to bend my arms and knees, pump the bike at the appropriate places, weight and unweight the bike, get out of the saddle more adjust my body position, lean the bike, keep my bum/back straight in and point my belly button (yes point it !).

Whatever I’ve learned, one of the things I will take from this course is. “when driving your car, you don’t watch the bonnet, so why when riding your bike why do you watch the front wheel”  – KEEP YOUR CHIN UP !