I’ve just come back from a most excellent mini-ride with Leigh B up at Caesar’s Camp – a long overdue exploration of a specific couple of obstacles Leigh mentioned to me a while ago – a very nice 6ft tabletop and we conservatively reckon a 6+ ft gap jump.

It wasn’t a long ride. It wasn’t a leg burning, lung busting epic. It was a short loop on some trails Leigh knows really well and by God it was good fun – for two main reasons.

The first is, we were simply dicking mucking about in the woods. Normally a typical TFIT or indeed for that matter most riding I do is 15+ miles – typically finding a succession of big climbs and then “ca-thundering” down then as fast as gravity and nerves permit. Don’t get me wrong, this is awesome fun (for me) BUT it does not typically give you time to session and improve on any mid-trail obstacles.

The second is, in my opinion, sessioning a short trail simply builds your confidence and confidence improves skills.

Because it was not a long ride, I was neither tired nor suffering from ‘trail myopia’ (guilty as charged) so the tabletop, for example, got progressively better the more I did it. It was not super-aggresive, but the entry ramp was sweet and the landing was well angled. As Leigh put it – “a flattering obstacle”.

My first attempt I barely cleared it and was front wheel heavy on landing. The second I was rear wheel heavy. And then I heard a distant UK Bike Skills Jedi-like voice in my head and it all came back to me. The next three attempts my entry speed was good, pop was good and landing was controlled. Just awesome!

So then full of the joys we did a couple of loops of a small but awesomely fun section called “Whoopdy Woooes” which was swoopy and fast through the trees into some off-camber turns and into some very, very respectable but also manageable drop-offs. A brilliant little run that I can definitely improve on (I will be badgering Leigh to go again fairly soon methinks).

The we got to the gap jumps – the 6+ ft one and a 2ft one immediately after. Now what I liked about the first obstacle was that the gap was in truth only about 6 inches deep – a very ‘un-threatening’ gap indeed – however, a gap nonetheless and one that would most definitely ruin your day if you got wrong.

But, with confidence in place and after a couple of attempts to get the entry speed right, both Leigh and I cleared it with no problem at all.

I think this would be a great venue for a TFIT if anyone is up for it when the evenings get even lighter.

UPDATE: Video added and I hear rumours of an impending ‘Back of the Chair’ video from Steve and Andy that might be incoming soon…

 

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