Finding time

Fitting in skills practice around family commitments is easy – just look outside your front door…

As a working mum of two, people often ask me how I have time to get out on my bike as much as I do. Time is the one thing we all wish we had more of – adventures in far flung locations which require planning and a whole day/weekend/week in which to do it, just ain’t a reality for most of us with responsibilities outside of cycling

We also know that ‘time on the bike’ – that ever-elusive holy grail – to practice all that technique stuff is essential to consolidate what we’ve been taught, as well as increase our confidence so we can claw away at that big fear-shaped beastie which looms large over many of us.

So what can you do to make the best use of that free time you have on your hands here and there? Whether it’s squeezing in a few minutes between school runs, or using your lunch hour – here are a few things you can do to improve your confidence and fitness =and have your own 15-minute doorstep adventure.

>>> 10 MTB skills you can practise anywhere

So grab your lid and your bike (forget all the usual gubbins – a comfy top, leggings and flat pair of grippy shoes will do) and stand on your front doorstep and have a look at how you can use those ubiquitous features to practice attacking basic riding skills.

Pic: BrettShelferPhoto

1. Kerb stone manual

The lowly kerb stone is a terrific place to nail unweighting the front of your bike, and pushing up and over. In 15 minutes you’ll have plenty of time to build up control and, yep, you’ll get a pretty tidy cardio workout whilst doing it. Mix it up a bit and try it from different angles so you can own those pesky off camber sections when they cross your path.

Pic: BrettShelferPhoto

2. Kerb stone drop

Dropping off a kerb side can help you practice keeping the front end up and can be useful in starting to develop skills to enable you to manual off of drops. It’ll build those skills, increase control and boost your confidence. Then when you come up against something a bit bigger – you’ll know how to do it in control. Try shredding down some steps to really get those gnarly sections nailed. Clearly, not getting hit by oncoming traffic is a bonus, so just be sensible as you get carried away with your new found confidence, Your Radjesty.

Pic: BrettShelferPhoto

3. Jumpers for goal posts…

You don’t need glorious berms to practice cornering. Looking up is something a lot of us struggle with and you can use a pair of gloves or goal posts in your local park or whatever you have to hand, to practice a figure of eight. Fix your eyes on the centre point as you start to turn and you’ll be looking through those corners in no time. Remember to keep that outside leg down!

Pic: BrettShelferPhoto

4. Bunny hops

You might find it easier to have something to bunny hop over – so grabbing a spare bit of undergrowth and placing that on the ground as your target will help you focus and practice controlling your speed approaching the obstacle. You’ll need to have your manuals nailed before you get this right. Just remember to leave lots of space at the back for the bike to come up underneath you.

Written by Rachel Jevons