Day 3: Who needs skin?
Up and early for our 09:00 breakfast, and then straight to the trails. I was feeling pumped for day two, despite the subtle aches in my body from the previous day. Today Jenny took us all out on a new route, with Katy offering support and coaching along the way. The terrain here is very rocky, loose and brambley! I wore my usual socks, knee pads and shorts combo with a short sleeve jersey. However, every single inch of exposed skin was attacked by brambles, nettles and these annoying spikey spores that embed themselves in your skin. By the end of the trail my chicken legs were shredded. I feared the hot shower after where each and every cut and scrape would sting.
After lunch at the lodge, the second part of the day was coaching with Katy outside. Tim and Jenny have built a little coaching track for cornering and pumping which we sessioned under the eagle eye of the coach. Mountain biking is a fantastic sport, and the more I ride, the more I learn... and the more confused I am. There's so many elements that make the perfect bunny-hop or the perfect jump, that have to be timed and carried out in an orderly manner. Feet, legs, hips, arms, eyes... I seem to ever remember 2 or 3 at any one attempt. It's great though because when you do start to piece things together, get a little better and see the improvement, you feel awesome. Today we attacked some berms and put some cornering techniques to use. Usually, I just wing it and hope for the best, but today we learnt the importance of weight and body placement, and being able to really move the bike under you. Coaching from Katy is always fun, with the only pressure on you is to complete the pump track without pedalling... or else you don't get tea and cake afterwards!
We had a lovely chilled out evening afterwards, all together in front of the wood burner, nice and cosy with Katy sharing her race and riding stories. Tim and Jenny spoilt us with a gorgeous 3 course dinner which was the perfect way to wind down before getting some much needed rest. I could feel my muscles starting to scream at me already, but no pain, no gain.