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Over the last half term, students in Years 9 to 11 had a fantastic opportunity to make the most of the woodland surrounding the school by mountain biking around Hervines and Lotts Woods and, at the same time, developing their cycling skills. External company Bike Buzz provided expert technical advice, along with lots of humour, as the unexplored regions of the more difficult forest routes were ridden valiantly.

A typical session started with bike checks, followed by coaching tips as we rode around and finally a short trip where boys could practise the skills they had learnt. The specialist instructors showed us new trails to be blazed through the woods, and challenging obstacles we never would have thought to cycle before. We are proud to say that during the activities on Monday afternoons only a few scratches were sustained; a great result considering the high speeds achieved! In the last week the students were able to enjoy a merging of the beginner and advanced groups for one last loop around Lotts Wood, where some brave hearts took the opportunity to ride an almost vertical chute into a depression. Another highlight was the occasion when we rode across a muddy field in the rain and the mud collected by the wheels was so thick it stopped our bikes.

All of the participants enjoyed the course as either an opportunity to try something different or refine their skills in this sport. On behalf of the students, I would like to say a huge thanks to the Bike Buzz team of Buzz Lane, Aidan Nixon and Time Pie; as well as to Jo Bellamy and everyone involved in organising the afternoons.