Youth Development Squad: September 24, 2016

Barrel Lane, Longhope


Coaches Simon Welch, James Welch and Ben Bishop hosted a full house of riders for the penultimate Youth Development Squad session of 2016 on Saturday, September 24 at Barrel Lane, Longhope.

The venue is at the foot of May Hill and was used for Gloucester and Cotswold MC's non-expert Cotton Trial 3 weeks before, and has been used for the sessions in previous years, and offers a great variety of terrain for all abilities.


The younger riders started the day in the stream - some of them quite literally - under the tutelage of Ben Bishop, who is soon to be signed off as an ACU coach by Simon Welch who had an overall eye on that session. The older riders tackled a section near the top of the hill, which was tightened and tweaked by James Welch, who then moved them on to the top of the hill for more twists and turns before lunch. It's not easy setting out challenging, safe sections when the ground is bone dry and there is plenty of grip around!

After lunch the famous stream, which had not a drop of water in it, still provided plenty to tax the riders as they picked their way around the rocks. The older group took on the challenge of getting up and back in to the gully, before attempting the top section which looks a lot harder than it is. Former YDS members Tom Culliford and Sam Smetham were challenged to get out of the very hard route before Simon showed them how it was done.


It ended a perfect day's tuition where every rider made some great improvements, with a smiles on tired faces at the end - the next will be on December 10. Thanks to all the coaches for giving up their time to improve young riders' skills and build on their passion for the sport. It's worth noting that of the 73 riders at the West Glos and Dean Forest MCC Centre Trials Championship round, more than one third were youth riders - the squad is having a positive effect on the future of our sport in and around the centre.

[on 25Sep16]