Two rides down, eight to go. Our monthly LCC Youth Skills rides have been a hit! Our first session was at Wolwespruit where the young riders focused on cornering in various forms and sections on the trail and yes, some were caught off guard… Body position, speed control and line choice were the main focus points. We ended off with a challenge that proved to be very tough for all but one rider. But, it’s safe to say that everyone had a great time and learnt lots.

Our second session was at the never-disappointing Rotsvas with its challenging but great trails. The riders had so much fun! We started off with riding certain technical lines, focussing on aspects like line choice, bike and body separation, pressure control as well as maintaining the flow by being smooth through technical sections.

How often do these take place and what is the purpose of these rides?

In short, these rides takes place monthly while empowering young riders with skills while having fun.

The group of young mountain bikers under the guidance of Coach M Multisport’s head skills coach and resident LCC Skills coach, Markus van Niekerk. Everyone gets together to embark on an educational adventure that combines learning, excitement, and camaraderie. These rides are more than just a fun day out, they are a crucial component in developing the skills and confidence of young riders.

You might be asking yourself how your child could benefit from these sessions – here’s how…

We all know that mountain biking is a thrilling sport that requires a mix of technical skills, physical fitness, and mental toughness. Our monthly rides are designed to teach these essential elements in a supportive and structured environment. Young riders learn how to handle their bikes on various terrain, from smooth trails to rocky sections, steep descents and dare we forget, JUMPS! This is all done though focussing on techniques such as balance, stability, braking, cornering, and navigating obstacles.

Attending these rides regularly helps the LCC young riders build a solid foundation of skills that are critical for safe and enjoyable riding. As they progress, they gain a sense of accomplishment and the confidence to tackle more challenging trails, thus making them more competitive and ensuring an overall safer experience. Moreover, these skills rides are instrumental in teaching the importance of safety and proper riding etiquette, which are vital for any cyclist, young or old.

In just two sessions, it’s clear as daylight that there are so many benefits for the youth riders attending our LCC Youth Skills sessions. Some of these are:

1. Physical fitness: Although the primary focus of these sessions are to develop skills, general riding/mountain biking is an excellent form of exercise that enhances cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and improves coordination and balance. Albeit in minor increments, regular participation in these rides helps young riders stay active and healthy.

2. Mental well-being: Being outdoors and engaging in physical activity has significant mental health benefits – especially in today’s technology-driven world. It reduces stress, boosts mood, and enhances overall well-being. All the young riders also develop resilience and problem-solving skills as they navigate various challenges on the trail.

3. Social interaction with like-minded riders: These monthly rides create a sense of community amongst the riders. They make new friends, learn from each other, and at times develop teamwork skills. The camaraderie and support they experience during the rides contribute to their social development.

4. Oh, and don’t forget about fun and adventure! While the skills and benefits are substantial, the fun factor is what truly makes these rides special. Each ride is an adventure, filled with the thrill of exploration and the joy of riding in beautiful natural settings. The excitement of conquering a trail or obstacle with newly developed skills, the shared laughter during breaks, and the sense of freedom that comes from doing what they love in the outdoors make these monthly rides a highlight for all participants.

In conclusion, our monthly mountain bike rides for young riders are a blend of education, fitness, social interaction, and pure fun and, most importantly, they are free to all LCC Youth Riders! They provide an invaluable opportunity for young cyclists to develop essential skills, enjoy the benefits of physical activity, and create lasting memories. Whether they are beginners or fearless experienced riders, these rides help young riders grow in every sense, preparing them for a lifelong love of mountain biking.