The Mountain Bike Club
With instruction provided by the Outdoor Education Department, Mountain Biking Club takes place on Mondays from 15:45 until around 19:30 and is available to all boys from the Lower Third and above. With a variety of well-known destinations within an hour of the School, sessions take place in the Surrey Hills, in addition to the purpose built centre at Penshurst.
All specialist equipment is provided by the School and boys are only required to supply suitable clothing. With membership of the Club, boys receive a mountain biking top that helps with safety on the hills. In addition to improving their skills, boys are also instructed in bike maintenance and safety and are expected to help look after the equipment.
Summer mountain biking trips have gone as far afield as Wales, the French Alps, and Spanish Pyrenees.
Mountain Bike racing 2015-2016
Several races were targeted this year, including the following:
- Evans Ride It, Biggin Hill
- Swinley Forest pursuit race (Whitgift led)
- Gorrick XC Saddle Skedaddle, Round 2
- Wiggle Ups and Downs, off-road challenge
Alongside the actual racing, several Saturdays were spent honing the skills and techniques required to become an accomplished mountain biker. These sessions also helped to boost the boys underlying fitness over the winter months, and develop a love for the outdoors and cycling in general.
Next year, the School will target specific races such as:
- Merida Brass Monkeys Eduros (three rounds running from December until Feb)
- Gorrick XC Saddle Skedaddle Spring Series (three rounds running from Jan to April)
- Wiggle Ups and Downs, off-road challenge (April)
Saturday sessions are focussed on developing the skills required for racing. Where possible, boys should be heavily involved in the track programme, in order to boost fitness levels and performance in races later in the year.