Firecrest MTB’s DeVo leads the way on British Cycling’s Network of Gravity Talent Development Centres

British Cycling can today announce the first of its network of Gravity Talent Development Centres, which have been designed to provide an accessible and inclusive pathway for talented riders, supporting them to progress from clubs through to trade teams and representing Great Britain.

The first hub is now operational in Rushmere Country Park (Bedfordshire, British Cycling Central Region), offering regular coached sessions for riders aged 12-16 to hone their mountain bike gravity skills, with an ambition to increase the number of locations across the country to seven over the coming months.

The most talented riders from the hub sessions will be given the opportunity to attend regional and national development sessions, with the long-term goal of supporting them towards competing for Great Britain and securing opportunities to ride for professional trade teams.

The hubs form part of British Cycling’s long-term plan for the gravity disciplines, which was published earlier this month as part of the organisation’s new Everyone Wins campaign, and covers all aspects of the discipline including facility provision, volunteers, diversity and performance at the highest level for Great Britain.

At the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang a total of six British riders finished within the top 11 places in the junior men’s category, demonstrating the talent of today’s young riders who are seeking to follow in the footsteps of Rachel Atherton, Danny Hart and others who have topped podiums across the world in recent years.

Michael Vickers, British Cycling Talent Development Coach and MTB Downhill and 4X Coordinator, said:

“We’ve seen some incredible results in the downhill disciplines over recent years, and through the new Gravity Development Centres we want to provide the champions of tomorrow with an accessible and competitive environment as they forge their own paths to the top.

“We’re thankful to our partners and colleagues in the Central Region for their support in getting the first hub up and running, and we’ve been really encouraged by the appetite for riders to get involved and the level of technical skills on display. As we increase the number of the centres through the remainder of the year we hope that they will help us to further boost the standard of our national series and championships and provide riders with a really competitive environment to develop.”

Ian Warby of Firecrest Mountain Biking, said;

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Firecrest MTB’s Young Rider Development Programme (known as DeVo) to be the first Talent Development Centre for gravity. The DeVo programme has always been a passion of mine and to be able to line it up with British Cycling’s programmes has been a long term goal.

“The programme has already seen a number of riders go on to do big things with Phil Atwill being one of the programme’s most successful alumni and this is a fantastic opportunity for more to do the same. The focus of DeVo has always been on working with riders of all ages and abilities to get the most from mountain biking and I look forward to developing the next generation of riders and working closely with British Cycling going forward.”

Find out more here>>>

Firecrest Mountain Biking – Covid-19 Status Update

Having just about survived a very challenging end to 2020 and relocating my coaching to Rushmere Country Park I had hoped for a better start to 2021. However, I have been given the news that I was dreading, but felt once again was going to be inevitable in light of the numbers being reported due to the Covid-19 outbreak, that The Greensands Trust have taken the decision to close the Ridge Riders Trails at Rushmere Country Park.

As a result of this closure I am again as I have been in the previous Lockdowns no longer able to run Mountain Bike Skills Courses on the Downhill and Jump Trails at Rushmere Country Park. There are no easy decisions in these challenging times and no one ever wants to hear that they are unable to run the business that puts food on the table and a roof over their head but I, like many self-employed small business owners, find myself in that challenging position.

Needless to say, I will of course again be offering everyone that’s booked a Course the option to re-book once the third Covid-19 Lockdown is over. Again as a self-employed sole trader in a small business your financial support at this time is much appreciated.

Under the guidance issued by the Government for personal trainers and personal training I can run 1-2-1 courses on the Cross-Country Trails at Rushmere Country Park. Whilst these trails don’t offer the technical challenges that are found on the Ridge Riders Trails there are a number of sections perfect for perfecting your mountain bike skills.

I’m able to work on the fundamentals of the Firecrest MTB Skills System and get you riding faster with more confidence. It’s a great opportunity to get back to basics or to work on those habits that are holding you back on the more technical trails.

Obviously there are concerns over travel during the current Lockdown. As we understand the guidance you are ok to travel if it is for the ‘express purpose of exercise’ so travelling to Rushmere Park for a 1-2-1 MTB skills session would be permitted. There is no legal limit set on the distance you can travel for exercise in England. Obviously we are not suggesting you should travel for hours to come and see us but if you did want to book a session and travels to see us you would be within the rules.

Once again I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers, friends and staff for their continued support. Yes, once again we find ourselves in unbelievably challenging times, but getting out for a bike ride will help clear your head and above all it will keep you fit and healthy, with more resilience to fight Covid-19 ‘IF’ you do get it! Stay safe out there and I’ll see you from a safe distance on the Trails (just not on the Ridge Riders Trails until they re-open).

 

Aston Hill Bike Park – Temporary Closure for Tree Felling and Re-investment.

Just as I thought 2020 couldn’t throw any more curved balls, I get the news that Aston Hill Bike Park won’t be re-opening after the second Lockdown and that it will have to close for 6-8 months so that the large number of ash trees with ‘chalara ash dieback’ can be felled by Forestry England.

Aston Hill Bike Park has been the home of my Firecrest Mountain Biking business in various forms for 23 years, so in many ways I see Aston Hill Bike Park as a ‘member of my family’. I have spent thousands of hours on ‘the Hill’ riding, racing, promoting Races, trail building and skills coaching. It has generated so many good memories, friends and standout moments which means this news has been a devastating blow, especially coming on the back of such a challenging year with the Covid-19 Pandemic.

For 22 years I have run Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bike Park, returning to run them full time again from 2015. Firecrest Mountain Biking is my sole source of income so my first thoughts on hearing the news of the closure was to source a local alternative. Fortunately the staff at Rushmere Country Park on the outskirts of Leighton Buzzard, 15 miles from Aston Hill, have welcomed me with open arms. It’s a fantastic venue for my Mountain Bike Skills Training. What it lacks in the elevation we enjoy on Aston Hill it makes up for with a series of short feature filled ‘gravity trails’ and a winding 6 kilometre cross-country trail that has some excellent sections for training.

The best news is that I can continue to offer my full programme of Skills Courses and Training for riders of all ages and abilities across the mountain bike disciplines of Downhill, Enduro and Cross-Country. The even better news for those that found the ground conditions, particularly in the wet, challenging on Aston Hill you’ll be pleased to hear that Rushmere Country Park sits on the Greensands Ridge and has very similar ground conditions to Woburn/Aspley/Chicksands with the sandy loam surface offering up lots of year round grip.

If you have a Course booked I’ll be in touch with all the details you need on your booking and the new venue.If you haven’t got round to booking your Course find out more on our website www.firecrestmtb.com . I look forward to seeing you for some training in the future at Rushmere.

Firecrest is not leaving Aston Hill for good. The silver lining to this cloud is that this is a chance for Aston Hill Bike Park to get a much needed make over, refresh the ageing trails and new trail sections to be added. With heavy machinery coming in to carry out the felling works there will be some sections of trail that will be unrecognisable once the the trees are gone. Over 300 plus trees of concern are peppered across the Hill and other trees are being thinned to improve the woodland ecology. Aston Hill will look a little different when we return which should offer up some great options when it comes to refurbishing the trails.

I’ll be working with Bike Park Chilterns CIC (Community Interest Company) to ensure Aston Hill Bike Park can come back better than ever and we can get back to riding the trails that we’ve all come to know and love and with an added new twist. Keep an eye on my social media feeds for updates, the latest on the work being carried out on Aston Hill, and the Skills Courses I’m running at Rushmere Country Park.

See you on the trails!

Firecrest Mountain Biking – Covid-19 Status Update

Once again in 2020 I have been given the news I was dreading, but felt was inevitable, that Forestry England have closed Aston Hill Bike Park through to the end of the Lockdown on Wednesday 2nd December.

As a result of this closure I am again as I was back in March no longer able to run Mountain Bike Skills Courses on Aston Hill. There are no easy decisions in these challenging times and no one ever wants to hear that they are unable to run the business that puts food on the table and a roof over their head but I, like many self-employed small business owners, find myself in that challenging position.

Needless to say, I will of course again be offering everyone that’s booked a Course the option to re-book once the second Covid-19 Lockdown is over (it’s currently running to Wednesday 2nd December). Again as a self-employed sole trader in a small business your financial support at this time is much appreciated.

Once again I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers, friends and staff for their continued support. Yes, once again we find ourselves in unbelievably challenging times, but getting out for a bike ride will help clear your head and above all it will keep you fit and healthy, with more resilience to fight Covid-19 ‘IF’ you do get it! Stay safe out there and I’ll see you from a safe distance on the Trails (just not the trails on Aston Hill until it re-opens).

Firecrest Mountain Biking – Covid-19 Status Update

Forestry England have updated their guidance and I can return to running group course coaching alongside the 1-2-1 courses I have been running at Aston Hill Bike Park.

This means that I can get back to running the Young Rider Development Programme – DeVo and the Adult Rider Development Programme group courses.

There’s just enough time to squeeze in some Young Rider Development Courses before the end of the Summer Holidays. We are running at Level1 and DeVo Evo Course on Tuesday 25th August and a Level2 Course on Thursday 27th August. You can find out more and book your place here>>>

Again I would like to thank everyone that has supported me through these challenging times. It really means a lot to me to have you checking in and supporting me and my family in all the ways you have. I know you can’t wait to get back to improving your skills too. Thank you.

I’d also like to welcome those who have taken up or got back into Mountain Biking during lockdown. if you looking to improve your skills then have a look through the range of mountain bike skills courses we offer or get in touch. There’s no better time to get off on the right track than at the beginning and i have range of courses for riders of all ages and abilities.

Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you on Aston Hill!

Firecrest MTB on the Downtime Podcast

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s founder Ian Warby met up with Chris Hall from the Downtime Podcast back in February to discuss how Ian got started, his 30yrs in Mountain Biking and his journey through the sport to date.

Discussing racing mountain bikes through the 90’s, how Ian set up Aston Hill Bike Park and how he developed the Firecrest Mountain Biking Skills System and how it’s become the An Operating System for going fast!

You can visit the Downtime Podcast Website here>>>

You can listen to the Downtime Podcast below.

Book your Mountain Bike Skills Course here>>>

Firecrest Mountain Biking – Covid-19 Status Update

Forestry England have updated their guidance and I can return to coaching at Aston Hill Bike Park from Monday 8th June.

At this stage I can only coach on a 1-2-1 basis with social distancing in place, but it’s a start and I’m really looking forward to getting back to Aston Hill Bike Park and getting back to coaching and  developing your MTB skills with you.

I would like to thank everyone that has supported me through these challenging times. It really means a lot to me to have you checking in and supporting me and my family in all the ways you have. I know you can’t wait to get back to improving your skills too. Thank you.

I’d also like to welcome those who have taken up or got back into Mountain Biking during lockdown. if you looking to improve your skills then have a look through the range of mountain bike skills courses we offer or get in touch. There’s no better time to get off on the right track than at the beginning and i have range of courses for riders of all ages and abilities.

Obviously the current restrictions mean that the Young Rider Development Programme – DeVo and the Adult Rider Development Programme group courses can’t be run at this time. As soon as the guidance changes on those I’ll let you know. I know that the DeVo regulars young and ‘old’ can’t wait to get back out training on the Hill. I’m hopefully that we might be able to run some of our popular Summer DeVo Courses towards the end of July or at the begging of August.

Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you on Aston Hill!

Firecrest Mountain Biking Covid-19 Status Update

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Ian Warby – Proprietor Firecrest Mountain Biking

I’m sure this will be the first of many status updates from me as Covid-19 continues to spread.

We find ourselves in uncharted waters, a period where hours have felt like weeks and weeks have felt like years. The Government advice from Monday seems a world a way from the advice they were giving on Tuesday and as a small business owner, like all small business owners, I find myself facing a huge challenge when it comes to making the right decisions with regard to the running of the business and first and foremost prioritising the health of our clients and staff.

Having reviewed all of the guidance and taking into account the fact that we run our Courses in what has to be one of the healthiest environments available, ‘the outdoors’, the lack of contact and the ability to distance from each other, I will continue to offer my Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bike Park.

Obviously I will be taking steps to ensure that I and my staff are healthy and we will ensure that clients coming for Courses are healthy and are happy to do so. I will of course reschedule Courses that have already been booked, or future booked Courses, should the client feel unwell, be in, or know someone in an ‘at risk’ group, or just not want to take the risk at this time, which is totally understandable.

Of course there is also the risk of adding to the burden placed on the NHS from a rider injury at this very challenging time. Whilst Mountain Biking is viewed by many as high risk Firecrest MTB create an environment where you are learning the essential skills of mountain biking under the watchful eye of a Professional Coach with years of experience. All our Courses are tailored to a participants ability, we never have, and we never will, put pressure on clients to ride something they are not happy to ride, and that will never change.

We will however use our 21 years experience of running MTB Courses to ensure you continue to get the most from your Course and improve your knowledge, skills, and confidence on a mountain bike.

In fact we believe if you wish to continue to ride your mountain bike during the Covid-19 outbreak getting some MTB skills coaching is probably the safest way to ensure you can continue to do so safely and not increase the burden on the NHS.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients, friends and staff for their continued support. Yes, these are challenging times, but getting out for a mountain bike ride will help clear your head and above all it will keep you fit and healthy, giving you more resilience to fight Covid-19 ‘IF’ you do get it! Stay safe out there and I’ll see you on the trails.

If you would like to find out more about the Courses we offer and book yours, you can do so on www.firecrestmtb.com I will be posting regular updates as and when the situation changes. If you have a Course booked I look forward to seeing you. If you are thinking of booking a Course rest assured your health is our priority and I look forward to seeing you soon.

DeVo Level2 Saturday Morning Courses – Winter 2020

Level2  Saturday Morning Courses:

2. Saturday 18th January – 10am – 1pm
3. Saturday 1st February – 10am – 1pm
4. Saturday 15th February – 10am – 1pm

BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE>>>

The DeVo2 Mountain Bike Skills Courses at Aston Hill Bikepark will get you riding your Mountain Bike with more confidence and speed. They are a great opportunity to meet likeminded young riders and progress your riding. From getting faster on the trails on Aston Hill through to racing at Local, Regional and National Competitions.

For young mountain bikers coming through our programme of Mountain Bike Skills Courses they build on the skills taught on the Level1 Courses. All the Training Courses Firecrest run provide an insight into the Mountain Bike Skills Essentials that enable you to get the most from your Mountain Bike.

Firecrest MTB’s DeVo Level2 Mountain Bike Skills Courses will be using all the trails on Aston Hill from the Pumptrack to the tight and technical Black Run through to the big jumps and drops on Surface to Air!

All the training is given under the watchful eye of Firecrest MTB’s highly experienced staff providing expert tuition. If you’re looking to develop your Mountain Bike Skills these are the courses for you!

Firecrest’s Mountain Bike Skills Courses are structured to provide a progressive programme of Mountain Bike Skills Training so you can come on them all or just come along on the days you can make to suit.

* All Prices subject to EventBrite Booking Fee.