Had you been around Challoner’s on an unfailingly wet Monday afternoon this summer, you might have been surprised at the sight before you: about a dozen boys happily cycling off into the mud varnished Hervines Wood.

Mountain goats

Over the last half term, boys in Years 8 to 10 have been able to attend the weekly mountain biking club after school. Led by coach Simon North, we delved deep into the trees and usually ended up in Lotts Wood, where there is a plethora of great trails to ride and a sprinkling of hair-raising bomb-holes. On the outward journeys, we learnt techniques that would aid us in traversing some of the larger descents and obstacles; for instance, we tackled wheelieingto help us to get over logs on the path. This yielded variable results, but made up for it by being quite amusing – perhaps with a bit of practice we will all be able to wheelie by September, when the course starts again.

Although the route out to Lotts Wood changed each week, one overgrown section was an unavoidable source of a few small scratches, almost as if it was welcoming us back. The journey also featured short and steep climbs, which provided rapid descents on the return.

Inside Lotts Wood, there is a small clearing that opens out onto the different trails. In the same clearing there are several bomb-holes. We usually practised on these before cycling further into the forest toward the unmissable larger bomb-holes, with their steep banks for jumping off. Of course, all the exercise was thirsty work and those who forgot their water bottles ended up begging the rest for a sip of water!

We have all enjoyed ourselves incredibly during mountain biking club and also been surprised at how much we have developed as riders. As a result, special thanks must go to Simon for leading the sessions, Mr Burn for helping out and parent Jo Bellamy for organising the coaching with the Sports Team.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ESZAJymndYg

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