Teaching, or passing on the torch

I’ve recently been riding with my middle boy T on road rides. As a family we ride mountain bikes together on bridal paths, bits of the South Downs Way and on mainly car free lanes.

When riding as a family I have to confess that the bulk of my educating is spent on making sure they are in the right gear so that the terrain doesn’t get the better of their young legs. Apart from that I’m not employing any real techniques or skills. I hadn’t realised until yesterday’s ride with T that I was being slack not just towards him, but his brothers also while out on our MTB’s.

So yesterday we rode 31km and just short of a 1000 feet of climbing. He was knackered when we got home, more from the concentration than purely the effort. Don’t get me wrong one climb was long and the descent the other side technical. It’s amazing as I’ve been riding for a long long time you just forget when you acquired the skills. You just end up knowing your limits and normally try to stay within them, with sometimes pushing yourself to the edge.

Yesterday T went beyond his comfort zone, into a place where he had to trust his father completely. It made me realise that teachers (in general) do an incredible job of educating our children, because trying to explain the finer qualities of how to descend, climb, hold a wheel all require a move away from the language of your peers into one which a 12 year old none cyclist understands so he can remain calm and enjoy the ride.

So, I’m going to have a look for a coaching book, mainly to help me, but with the goal of helping my children and maybe others. It’s an overwhelming privilege to be able to pass on knowledge and one I’ll now observe with a different viewpoint.

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