Look along the trail, not at the trail, along the trail

Next year will be my 20th of mountain biking. That's a long time, and makes me feel even older than I do already. Like most people, I just kind of learnt to ride off-road, making it up as I went along with input from friends, magazine articles and videos. Last week, though, I pretty much pulled the whole edifice apart and started again.

Tony Doyle of UK Bike Skills invited me on one of his courses. At the very least, that meant a day riding rather than typing, so it was a no-brainer. And it was ace. What with all that experience (and a tiny bit of ego) I didn't expect to learn all that much. But I did. Lots.

People don't think of skills coaching when they're trying to decide how to spend money, but they should. A few hours with a good coach costs about the same as a pair of tyres, and represents about a hundred times better value...