By John Leitch
Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 20:44

We launched ourselves into the new decade in style at Canon on Sunday.

The weather might have been a tad chilly for parents loitering round the edges but the young riders showed greater resilience with one pair of glove-free hands in evidence, not to mention a couple of riders in shorts.

I put it down to global warming.

After a pre-session hour with the Bandits group, Sean Lamberth went up the hill at 12 noon towards the snowline with the younger group (see Sean’s report below) while I rested below in the tropics with the older ones….

I got everyone who said they could ride one-handed to join the lower group… and kicked off with the first of four skills for riding with just one hand.

First, riders set off as a pair and one the whistle one put a hand on the other rider’s shoulder before turning to look back and spot whether the adult trotting behind was offering 'fist or fingers' with their hand. Mmm… one to do again... and again.

Next, riders in two teams of five to see which got the highest score as they individually rode to a bottle sitting on a box, carried it to a second box and placed it upright on the top without toppling over. Result of the first match: 0 – 1.

So one to do again... and again.... and again.

Skipping ahead to serve up something different, riders were paired up and all riding in a line with gaps between pairs so that the pair at the back could weave their way to the front, snaking through the gaps.

Having seen that the younger group in previous sessions liked the ‘dogs v cats' challenge of racing in two teams, half a lap apart, it was time to try it with the older group. The trouble was that the cats went off on some unknown trajectory and vanished from sight…. it wasn't the plan, honest.

Final race – girls – handicap

1 Isobel
2 Georgie
3 Amy

Final race – boys – handicap

1 Ollie
2 Harry A
3 Harry P


I had the chance to work with the 'little' ones this at Canon on Sunday.
I had decided that we could work on some ideas about bike control using a broad idea that the riders were involved in a cyclo-cross event.
We started with weaving in and out of cones, mounting and dismounting and finally and finally freewheeling with level pedals and standing up at the same time,

We then moved on to a circuit where we put all of these ideas into practice in our 'cyclo-cross' event.

The riders were incredible. Doing laps, some were a lot faster than others which meant that riders were dismounting on the outside of the course at the same time as others freewheeling etc.

You would expect absolute chaos....

But no, they really all got it and it was a brilliant thing to see!

More evidence of the amazing talent we have at Raiders....