ABOUT BEING ENDURO GUIDE #2
Here comes another one about who’s chief in the woods 🙂
So, now we know few crucial things about every rider in the group we guide:
- Riding skills
- Fitness level
As mentioned above, all this allows us to correctly choose warm up, riders order in a group, tracks and pace.
Next one sounds provocative some way, but still helps riders to focus on riding and stop doing stupid things (yes, it happens) like heroic attempts to conquer uphill that exceeds their skills, jump over some river or so.
Task N3 is to make it clear who is guide, whose instructions are the only to be listened. With all due respect, riders often had never ridden mountains like ours before and for that reason, they didn’t get it seriously enough. I mean, we don’t require non-smiling faces, of course not, but basic understanding of where we are and what we’re doing is minimum.
What are the so-called instructions and rules that should be followed:
- Signs given by hand
- Going off bike if requested (steep and dangerous downhills)
- Riding some obstacles around if rider is consider as not enough skilled or too tired for that
- Allowing help even if rider doesn’t want to get help
- Helping another rider in difficult situation
- Riding always with helmet and googles on
- Strictly following guides trail if requested
- NOT riding some section at all
Allowing everything just to please client is actually a disservice because at some moment mistake is inevitable. If you don’t pay attention to stupid and dangerous acting and riding performed by just one rider, believe me, very soon you’ll have a bunch of wild and naughty riders of apocalypse. And that can result not only as a problem with locals (people and animals) but as injuries as well.
So, we never hesitate to kindly ask one or two riders to slightly change behavior and riding. We usually explain what difficulties may occur if something happens – fixing the bike (the least of our problems), problems with authorities (if speeding through villages), evacuation in case of injury.
I have to say that we’ve had only few problematic riders but, thanks God, we’ve never had any accident or injury which required evacuation.
OK, now the group warmed up, got used to the bikes and understood that rules are just to make all riding days safe, fun and with increasing difficulty. Challenging every minute.
Task4 is to give riding tips to less skilled riders discreetly. There are always sections that are challenging and require slightly more experience that we have. In front of these, I see thrill in the eyes very often. Caused not only by awareness of lack of skill as much as by being not good enough in front of friends. Of course, that’s ridiculous, but it’s expected as well. In that case, you got to explain some specific facts about that section, give some tips about particular techniques needed. However, the main thing is to encourage less skilled by explaining briefly what should be done and what is the goal for that particular place.
- Riding next to rider through difficult parts also helps with confidence.
- Waiting for him at some place where he will need help for sure.
- Walking next to rider while telling him what to do. Calming him because it helps to focus.
- Giving him another try
- Emphasizing what’s good
- Fixing the bad
What do you actually get by this?
You’ll have really happy rider who has just probably won, overcome some fears and learnt new things. Therefore, we always pay attention to giving tips and helping when someone it really needs. We do it all day long, we don’t help as much as we encourage and teach.