As someone who's involved with the bike industry on many different levels I've been exceptionally lucky to have observed, ridden with and learnt from some of the most talented bike riders in the World.
You can always learn something from other riders but where Clive stands clear of the pack is in his ability to see skill sets as applicable to each individual. Top downhillers have watched me a told me to do one thing, top xc racers another, but Clive looks at what I do, and what I need to learn, in order to do what I want to do faster, safer, and at a lower energy cost which is so essential to ultra-endurance mountain biking.
That is a massive difference and it makes all the difference. Being faster, or safer, in one place is only worth having if it doesn't leave us wanting elsewhere. Specific skills for individual riders; Clive Forth is the ace in the pack.
Ultra-Endurance Record Breaker
24 Hour solo racer, 2005 World Champion.
Founder of The Seven Deadly Spins.
FORTH AT FORTY
It’s been 25 years since I hung up my BMX spurs so with me turning 40 this year (June) I can only assume it is my midlife crisis, or possibly last year?s Bike Radar event, that has got me back in the saddle with such a vengeance. Actually, I have been campaigning my MTB on canal tow paths for the last couple of years with Nix (wifey) and Steve (best mate) so we’ve all got fairly ?bike fit? but with us now having a dabble with ?Follow the Dog? at Cannock Chase Nix suggested we spent a little money on our skills instead of our bikes. I had seen ?Speed School? in the October MBUK last year so I knew who to call. Ghostbusters couldn’t make it so I called Clive Forth instead lol! The three of us had a fabulous day of skills & thrills up at Cannock with Clive where we all learnt a lot about our bikes and how to get more speed and enjoyment out of them on the trail. Oh, and crikey that lad is fast!
The enclosed picture is from the weekend after our skills session. This bit of our local woods is really great for really ripping along but for months I have had to slow to a crawl to get over that pesky log. Since our weekend with Clive that?s no longer a problem. No points for style, I know, but it?s more fun than slowing down!
The morel of this story? If you split the cost of a bit of professional tuition with a few of your friends it can cost less than a pair of decent peddles but will make much more difference to your riding ability as we can all testify. Safe to say that won?t be our last session with Clive!
P.S. Thanks for a great mag, it wouldn’t be the same without ya!
I would just like to thank you for a very enjoyable week-end. Banter was good and a lot to take home and think about. We are already bouncing off suggestions of different routes that have areas where we can put things to practice.
We were talking about your coaching on the journey home and every one of the lads thought it was great value for money, and we all particularly liked the way the course was presented. It was broken down nicely into manageable information and as the day moved on it all came together without much thought. Would definitely recommend these courses and I'm sure the lads will be posting something about it in their forums. Keep us updated on this book you have coming out as it would be a gem if it is put across as well as the courses were.
Short e-mail to say thank you for making a great weekend brilliant.
For the benefit of others that may read this I would like to try and summarise the day.
The group six in total were welcomed at the biking hub by Clive around nine thirty, initial informal introductions allowed us to further interrogate Clive and allowed Clive to discuss our needs for the day. The range of experience of the group was from beginner/novice to experienced (with many bad habits and incorrect perceptions of the right way to approach much of the skills covered that day). Group gender was mixed, four boys two girls, bikes ranged from hardtail to all mountain.
Post introduction and establishing the group needs Clive went over the bikes, helping with pre - bike running checks and laterally with how the bike should be set up. There was much application of multi - tools post set up conversation. All very beneficial but on a personal level if you have not moved your cleat position in the last X number of years leave well alone.
Clive then covered a ride assessment of each rider as we set off up the blue / red at kirroughtree. At a suitable juncture the group then went onto cover bike position and flexibility around the bike. This proved to be a worthy exercise especially for the beginner novice showing just how much movement is possible off the saddle.
The lessons then progressed to power wheelies and manualling. Clive has a great manner and has the capability to provide great insight into the techniques employed without over complicating the methods used to get there. The girls managing small but significant wheel lifts from nothing and the boys competing to see just how far they could manual. The boys group progressing from what was a 5 - 8 ft lift to a good 20-30ft manual.
Clive then progressed to cover pedal position in turns and body weighting. Slaloming between centre debris and rubbish brought on a new level of complexity. Lunch time had quickly arrived and we broke for a BBQ, during which Clive had little rest, happy to discuss further what had passed and been covered in the morning.
In the afternoon we covered berms, approach, line and exit. We also covered Bunny hops and lifts. finally as a group we run the red / blue back to the car park around five thirty each taking a turn to watch Clive demo the techniques and skills covered during the day.
I cannot praise Clive high enough, he is able to pitch the course and training to the individual and in a group as varied as ours and did a sterling job. I would not hesitate given the opportunity to use Clive again to progress trail skills. Money well spent and happy to do so again. All there on the day agreed!
Thank You Clive
All the Best
Thank you for making the journey to Kirroughtree and for the MTB tuition which all of us got a lot out of.
For your reference the email addresses of those of us who were on the course are cc’d, Sharon mentioned that you would like for us to leave feedback on a few websites, if you can reply to all with the links to the respective websites we’ll gladly post some positive comments there.
For those of us entered in the Ae Enduro it would be great if you could give us as much of an indication as to the likely route as possible as none of us have ridden there before!
Also any info on the mod to the Fox shock for my Turner would be great, even if it is just clarification of what I need to ask Dave Turner?
Thanks again and we’ll hopefully catch up at Ae, Richard will no doubt have his BBQ out again which you’re most welcome at!
Hope all is good. Nix here from Dudley :-) I've just about stopped aching from our day with you :-) had a brill day and have been practising loads. We rode Follow the dog yesterday and looking ahead and keeping my heels dug in makes so much difference!
And I'll keep practising!!!!!