Mountain Bike Skills Coaching from the Experts | Surrey Hills - Just one hour South-West of London | 0333 12 12 125

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Singletrack School Coaching Team

Our regular coaching team include outdoor sports professionals with a wide range of experience, qualifications and awards. They like nothing better than getting out in the outdoors and enjoying the open spaces of the British Isles whether they're coaching groups or just doing their own thing.

Many of our coaches compete in their sports at a National or International level so you may see a few familiar faces amongst them.

Coaching & Guiding Team Profiles

To help you get to know your coaches a little better, we've collected some profiles and photos of our regular coaching team.

Gary Vallance Luke Barkaway Jessica WestonNeil Daly Scott Bugden Rob Reed Jim BarrowSimon Weston Paul Fleming Jack Noy

Gary Vallance - Mountain Bike Skills & Fitness Coach

Gary has a love of the active outdoors that is matched only by his enthusiasm for sharing his skills and experience with like-minded people. He's happiest when wet, muddy or generally out of breath, and this "spaniel-like" outlook is obvious in his day-to-day riding.

Away from two wheels, he's had some success in adventure racing and ultra-running, has co-created city-centre fitness initiatives across the UK, and enjoyed a wealth of good times kayaking, climbing, hiking, running and surfing around the world.

When not coaching, Gary's time is shared between planning adventure sporting events, and managing small projects (which includes his young family).

Loves - New kit
Hates - Nanny culture
Guilty Pleasure - Urban wild camping

Gary coaching mountain bike skills

Gary holds the following qualifications and awards:

Gary is also an aspirant Single Pitch Award rock climbing instructor.

Link to Gary's Strava Profile

Luke Barkaway - Mountain Bike Skills Coach & Bike Mechanic

Luke is an extremely enthusiastic bike rider who has worked as a cycle shop workshop mechanic and manager for the last 8 years in and around London.

In a varied career he has been involved in bicycle design, testing and development for NS bikes, competed in Hill climb competitions, sportives and raced seriously in the downhill scene across Wales and the South of England with some top 10 placements along the way.

Nowadays he enjoys encouraging new people to the sport and developing more established riders with bike suspension and set up.

Loves - The sound of a quiet bike
Hates - Racing
Guilty Pleasure - Racing

Luke with his trademark grin

Rob holds the following qualifications and awards:

Rob is an aspirant GoRide Level II BMX Coach and High Altitude Mountain Bike Leader.

Jessica Weston - Mountain Bike Skills Coach & Guide

Having spent much of her youth spinning road wheels in her native Yorkshire, Jessica made the jump to mountain bikes 15 years ago and has been an active participant in the sport ever since. She is a familiar face at trail centres around the UK, Europe and beyond and loves the challenge of fresh singletrack.

Occasionally it's possible to tempt her from her saddle with the right combination of alpine peaks, Welsh rock or even sea kayaking! As a member of Team EnduroAR she is also a whiz with map and compass and has often pulled a race victory from the jaws of defeat with a deft bearing or two. Jessica also races XC for Dirt Divas.

Loves - Her border collies Twig and Flint
Hates - Bike thieves
Guilty Pleasure - Chocolate

Jessica Weston on her way to win the 2007 Open 5 Race in Dalby Forest

Jessica holds the following qualifications and awards:

Jessica is also an aspirant Single Pitch Award rock climbing instructor and British Cycling Level II Mountain Bike Instructor.

Link to Jessica's Strava Profile

Neil Daly - Mountain Bike Skills Coach & Guide

Neil has been a full time professional cycling coach since leaving the Army in 2010.  He enjoys coaching riders of all levels of ability and experience. In 2011 he helped set up a British Cycling Go Ride Club to encourage young riders to try mountain bike riding. When he is not coaching mountain biking, he delivers Bikeability training to children and adults.

Neil competed in his first road race at thirteen.  While in the Army he led mountain bike expeditions up the Harz Mountains in northern Germany.  In England, he organised and guided a group along the off road coast-to-coast route from Whitehaven to Newcastle. He regularly competes in mountain bike 24hr endurance events, closed road circuit racing and rides for Hounslow and District Wheelers - when he has time.

Loves - Shiny new kit
Hates - Drama Queens
Guilty Pleasure - KP Giant Peanuts and Leffe beer (not in the same glass)

Neil coaching mountain bike skills

Neil holds the following qualifications and awards:

Link to Neil's Strava Profile

Scott Bugden - Mountain Bike Skills Coach & Guide

Scott has always loved taking part in sports from football and cricket to climbing and snowboarding, but cycling has always been his main focus. He has a definite competitive streak that has led him to top five results at national level as a track (velodrome) rider but for nearly ten years he has been riding off-road more and more and now rarely rides on anything but knobbly tyres. He loves riding fast, flowing trails and still enters the occasional XC race.

Scott also has a love of being outdoors and of helping people to fulfil their potential. This has driven him into a coaching career that has included working for British Cycling as a development coach and Welsh Cycling as Welsh MTB coach.

Loves - A challenge
Hates - Being stuck indoors on a sunny day
Guilty Pleasure - Baked goods

Neil coaching mountain bike skills

Neil holds the following qualifications and awards:

Link to Neil's Strava Profile

Rob Reed - Mountain Bike Skills and Fitness Coach

Rob leads a fitness and sport specific life competing in National BMX events claiming 3rd in his Rookie year. His focus for cycling is being fast, powerful and smooth; taking jumps and drops with effortless style.

As a day job Rob develops cycling in the PE National Curriculum and coordinates the 'Bikeability' scheme in the South-East. Rob regularly mountain bikes for pleasure e as well as stints on his road bike in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds.

As a qualified MTB Skills Leader and with 15 years experience riding BMX freestyle, Rob holds all the ingredients for a fun day out learning smooth jumps, drops and hops with style. Besides biking Rob is a keen basketball player, accomplished hiker and enjoys time on the slopes snowboarding.

Loves - Messing around on one wheel
Hates - Horror films
Guilty Pleasure - Chicken nuggets

Rob Reid relaxes on his BMX

Rob holds the following qualifications and awards:

Rob is an aspirant Go Ride Level II BMX Coach and High Altitude Mountain Bike Leader.

Jim Barrow - Mountain Bike Skills Coach & Guide

Jimbo has been running informal guided rides on a Tuesday night in Worthing for 20 years, but in 2000 he created the Sussex-MTB web site one evening because there was nothing on TV! Eventually the site got a forum to organise rides and it has carried on that way since then. It's now one of the the biggest clubs in the South-East.

Back in March 2010 he joined us here at Singletrack School for a mountain bike skills course and was blown away by the way it made a visible difference to people’s ability. He decided there and then to become a coach himself.

Since then he's picked up the CTC Trail Leader Award, Technical Trail Leader Award and crowned it all with his CTC Mountain Bike Skills Instructor Award in June 2010.

As far as riding goes he's tried everything. He has raced XC for over a decade and, after a 26 year gap, has recently gone back to racing BMX. He has also dabbled in road racing and time trials, but cyclocross is the only skinny wheeled pursuit he still takes part in now.

Loves - Shiny stuff for his bikes, especially if its red or green
Hates - Intolerance and dishonesty
Guilty Pleasure - Cake, masses of the stuff, he photographs it all before he eats it!

Jimbo rocking the Soviet look

Jimbo holds the following qualifications and awards:

Link to Jimbo's Strava Profile

Simon Weston - Mountain Bike Skills Coach & Guide

Simon loves the calm of remote wild open spaces and spent 8 years as Chairman of York Mountaineering Club. During his tenure he travelled to some of the world wildest mountain ranges; backpacking in the Himalayas, High Atlas and Corsica, ice climbing in Norway and mountaineering in Scotland.

Simon's first love however is mountain biking and he loves nothing more than combining big mountains with two wheels. He can often be seen out training on the roads and trails of his native Yorkshire. This year he has been racing gravity enduros and next year is all going to be about free riding.

Loves - Speed
Hates - Coen brother's films
Guilty Pleasure - Spam fritters

Jessica Weston on her way to win the 2007 Open 5 Race in Dalby Forest

Simon holds the following qualifications and awards:

Link to Simon's Strava Profile

Guiding Team

Paul Fleming - Mountain Bike Guide

Paul has been riding for most of his life - having raced competitively on both the road and the velodrome. For the last fifteen years he has switched his attention to mountain biking giving him an extensive knowledge of the Surrey countryside as well as many other destinations further afield.
Paul's other outdoor hobby is Civil War battle re-enactments; often wishing he kept his armour on for his fights with the trails!

Paul is an aspirant British Cycling Level II Mountain Bike Instructor.

Link to Paul's Strava Profile

Jack Noy - Mountain Bike Guide

Jack spends most of his time in The Surrey Hills riding his Stumpjumper over every jump and along all the singletrack he can find. Living round here means there aren’t many big mountains to ride much 'Downhill', so all his practice is done on the singletrack trails. He also rides a fair few miles on the road bike each week which goes a long way to maintaining his fitness, but is also pretty fun on the roads round here!

Link to Paul's Strava Profile

Do you need help choosing a skills course, guided adventure or holiday? Send us a quick question online

Call us now on 0333 12 12 125 - Lines open from 8-11am & 2-5pm closed Wed & Sun

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Customer testimonials

"Gary (the coach) taught us a lot of valuable riding skills which will help us to enjoy our mountain biking even more in the future. I will recommend you to my friends.
Mark Williams
Rushden, Northamptonshire
"We had an absolutely fantastic time and we were very impressed with your company's professional approach and communication before and during the course of the day
Mark Williams
Rushden, Northamptonshire
"Thank you for an AWESOME course. It has really helped a lot. Definitely have overload now but I'll be practicing my new skills and booking another course
Yvette Gariazzo
Bookham, Surrey
"Huge thanks for giving my husband a great day's biking. He came back buzzing... you obviously gave him the right combination of excitement and fear!"
Clare Molyneux
Winchester, Hampshire
"Thanks for the great Mastering Steep Terrain course this afternoon - was really impressed with the video coaching. What a great idea!"
Mike Walker
Southampton, Hampshire
"Thank you for a super weekend. Absolutely the best biking in the Surrey Hills"
Geoffrey Saunders
Dorking, Surrey
"Had a great day; learnt a lot including ironing out bad habits and now looking forward to putting the skills learnt into practice"
David Shuttleworth
Woking, Surrey
"I now have the tools to tackle trails and obstacles that I wouldn't even have considered a week ago"
Eamonn Fuller
Hutton, Essex
"The course content was spot-on for me and Jess (the coach) delivered it in a humorous, patient and encouraging style"
Eamonn Fuller
Hutton, Essex
"I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Fast-track Singletrack Skills Weekend to anyone who wants to take their riding to a different level"
Eamonn Fuller
Hutton, Essex
"Thanks for great day on Sunday. What a blast! Both the training and the Hurtwood ride were brilliant. Been grinning like an idiot all week!"
Brendan King
London
"Thanks so much for a wonderful day! We had a brilliant time and are looking forward to building up our confidence and practicing our skills over the next few months"
Karianne Mathiesen
Surbiton
"Had a great day and learnt lots of fundamental stuff that has really helped already with my speed and confidence"
Robin King
Dorking
» Read the full review
"The course was very clear and has left my head buzzing (I want to be out riding right now not behind a desk). Thanks for a fantastic day!"
John Marshall
Maidenhead
"Thanks for an awesome course yesterday guys, really enjoyed it. I'm aching in parts I didn't know you could work today"
Michael Mills
Aldershot
"I can't recommend the Enduro Skills course enough. I never thought I'd be manualling off 1 metre drops without thinking about it!"
Michael Mills
Aldershot
"I found the course really valuable - really interesting what we take for granted! Special thanks to the coaches for running a great and fun course"
Pali Surdhar
York
"The course at the weekend was great (despite the cold). I learned some really good skills which I'll be putting into practice going forward"
Sam Harrop
Streatham, London
"I had a great afternoon with Jess (the coach). Her advice was great for improving my technique and above all my mind set and mental block over the steep roll offs"
Liz Ellis
Dorking
"Really feel I now have a great foundation to improve and get closer to being able to achieve my goal of competing in The Mega in July"
Robin Blake
Brighton
"Awesome morning on Holmbury Hill. Seems I've been doing everything wrong all these years! Jess is a great coach"
Rhys Norster @BikeWheelGuy
Whitstable, Kent
"Please pass on my thanks to Neil (the coach) who made the course fun whilst passing on many invaluable lessons and tips"
Nigel Sergeant
Redhill, Surrey
"Thanks for the fab instruction this morning; you really can teach an old dog new tricks. Really enjoyable and laughy afternoon as well"
Jo Woodley
Newdigate, Dorking
"Your course exceeded my expectations because Jess (the coach) focused the right amount of time on my areas of biggest weakness. I'm looking forward to getting out and practicing"
Nathan Rogers
Tunbridge Wells
"Just wanted to let you know that since my last lesson I have been transformed. No longer am I the slow coach at the back! The lessons were fantastic and I feel so much more confident"
Sabrina Verjee
Croydon
"Just wanted to thank you for a wicked mountain bike weekend. I had plenty of fun, learned a ton, gained buckets of confidence and will come back again for more training"
Henning Lindblad
West London
"I wanted to drop you a short mail to thank you and Jess (the guides) for a fantastic day out on Saturday. I hope to fit another guided ride in before the end of the year"
Anil Sumra
London
"Thanks to Jessica (the guide) for a great tour yesterday, good advice, good company and loads of fun on the downhills. I was buzzing for the rest of the day and slept like a rock"
Danny Reeves
Epsom, Surrey
"Just wanted to say thank you for the course last weekend. The course, instructor & organisation were excellent. After some practice I will be back for the next level!"
Peter Simpson
West Clandon, Surrey
"I went along as a complete novice and had so much fun, the techniques that were taught will improve your riding whether you're a trail expert or a beginner"
Daniel Siddiqui
South-West London
"All at The Singletrack School are very helpful; especially my instructor Jessica who was knowledgeable, patient, fun, informative and, most importantly, a superb rider"
Daniel Siddiqui
South-West London
"I left the session feeling re-energised and looking for more. I've signed up for the Mastering Steep Terrain course already!"
Francis Cooper
South-East London
"Neil (the coach) very quickly identified and unravelled bad habits and described correct technique in a way that had instant results on the bike"
Francis Cooper
South-East London
" I can't believe how much I learned and improved in a few short hours"
Francis Cooper
South-East London
"Thanks for a fantastic weekend. I learned a huge amount from Rob, Neil and Jess especially (the coaches) and can't wait to hit the trails again soon"
Ed Soanes
Staffanstorp, Sweden
"Great day on Sunday on your Hops & Drops course. It was the perfect blend of pushing the boundaries while acknowledging they're there in the first place"
Sandy Vann
Woking, Surrey
"Thanks to Gary (the coach) who was a great teacher & really knew how to push me in the right way that meant I achieved exactly what I wanted to achieve!"
Jo Healy
Hove, East Sussex
"The ride was a great success and the boys loved it. It was great for them to learn some new trails and to see how it really should be done by an expert."
Melanie Harrison
Horsham, West Sussex
"It's the first time I have ridden in The Surrey Hills and was truly impressed with the trails and the fantastic riding available accentuated by your knowledge of the area."
Justin Edwards
Lightwater, Surrey
"Thanks for a great weekend on the Mountain Bike Improver Weekend, both myself and Charlie thoroughly enjoyed it, learnt a lot and increased our confidence."
Justin Edwards
Lightwater, Surrey
"I had a totally brilliant time and finished the singletrack grinning from ear to ear. Rob (the coach) explained everything so clearly. Thanks again!"
Emma Weatherill
Sittingbourne, Kent
"I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Tackling Rocks & Roots course yesterday. Jess was a great instructor, providing a good balance of tuition versus practice."
Richard Nettleship
Guildford, Surrey
"May I suggest that before anybody buys a new bike that they do a course with these people first - far more cost effective. You'll be surprised what any bike can do!"
Phillip Jenkins
Reigate, Surrey
"A massive thank you for The Fundamentals course and guided ride last weekend. I'm still buzzing from it and boring everyone about being able to do a manual!"
Rachel Charlton
Brixton, London
"Had a great time on my Fundamentals course this weekend and the guided tour afterwards. Thanks Danielle and Jessica (the coaches)"
Mike Walker
Southampton, Hampshire
"You put on a thoroughly professional day and I look forward to a similar experience later in the year once I've 'mastered' my new skills"
Barry Taylor
Ashtead, Surrey
"I had a fantastic day today. Really feel more confident on a bike and feel I have much more skills than I did when I started"
Libis Knights
Kingston upon Thames
"Awesome day! Picked up some very useful tips in the coaching session & thoroughly enjoyed the guided ride. Definitely recommended!"
Richard Downham
Farnham, Surrey
"Thanks for a great day out on Saturday, really enjoyed it and learned a lot!"
Daniel Balthasar
London
"I learnt a lot and rode over obstacles & trails I probably wouldn't have tried before - fantastic day, cheers!"
Suzanne Taylor
Middleton, Manchester
"The lesson was fab and then the consolidation at Dalby was excellento! Simon (the coach) was lovely and we all took a lot away from the day"
Melody Dark
Middleton, Manchester
"At the end of each tip, I really quite literally could feel the difference in my riding as a result of the coaching"
Casper Blom
Richmond upon Thames
"It was very enlightening to see how the coach could read my riding and translate the shortcomings into understandable words for me"
Casper Blom
Richmond upon Thames
"I just wanted to thank you for a fantastic afternoon of riding on The North Downs last weekend. The trails were awesome; we were buzzing all the way home!"
Marcus Keet
Eastbourne, Sussex
"Thanks again for the experience on Saturday; very well organised, very informative and very enjoyable"
Jake and Des Mayall
Twickenham, Middlesex
"I had a really fun day. Have been practising a bit on the Barclay's Bike on my morning commute! Can't wait to get out on the bike again"
Jo Denoris
Twickenham, Middlesex
"We all came away feeling that we can take our riding up another level with our new found knowledge"
Richard Sterry
Redhill Cycling Club
» Read the full review
"I left with the knowledge of what actions to take to improve my riding and it already has had an effect"
Jo Gilmour
Brighton MTB Club
"The organisation and delivery of the course was excellent. We shall certainly look to book more later in the year"
Sarah Crawford
South-East London
"It was an amazing day and by just doing the course gave me the confidence to go out on the trails"
Phil Todd
Croydon, Surrey
"Thanks for a great weekend. We really enjoyed it and look forward to another weekend of mountain biking soon"
Jordy Knewstubb
London
"Your professionalism and good company helped turn a chilly day in the woods into a very inspiring day"
Matthew Addison
Muddy Moles MTB Club
"Good sound advice, demonstrations and opportunities to practice"
Paul Loader
Muddy Moles MTB Club
"Everybody agreed that the Singletrack Skills courses made a massive impact to their riding"
Scott Camber
Bucks MTB Club
» Read the full review
"A couple of weeks ago I didn't have the confidence to ride over a match stick, let alone a rooty trail or a few logs"
Doug Shaw
Addiscombe Cycling Club
» Read the full review
"Thank you so much for the skills training. I didn't think I'd learn so much about my riding style (or lack of!)"
Sue Ritchie
Addiscombe Cycling Club
"Experienced MTBers who have reached a plateau in their riding will definitely benefit from skills coaching"
Richard Sear
Diary of a Mountain Biker
» Read the full review
"The coaches had good communication skills and demonstrated everything with great patience and a gentle manner"
Mike Gill
Brighton MTB Club
» Read the full review
"I felt so much more in control. Result - huge increase in confidence and exhilaration!"
Lorna Hendry
Maidstone, Kent
"Thanks again for Saturday - it's always fantastic to learn new things and when it has such an impact - even better"
Richard Shelton
Maidstone, Kent
"I really enjoyed the course. It was great to be shown how to do a manual properly"
Matt Stridgen
Anerley, London
"Putting the techniques into practice under your watchful eye really helped to consolidate the learning for me"
Ann Nealon
Esher, Surrey
"This is the first cycling coaching I have paid for and it won't be my last with Astounding Adventures!"
Paul Loader
Oxshott, Surrey
"I learned so much - who would have thought there was so much science to learn from two wheels!"
Jacqui Parker
Cobham, Surrey
"Thank you for an awesome, amazing and, of course, astounding day!"
Jim Mitchell
Caterham, Surrey
"The day was really great. I certainly got a lot out of the coaching. It will really help with my riding"
Christian Bozeat
Charing Heath, Kent
"I thought that the learning points were put across very clearly and effectively with well executed demonstrations"
Judith Turner
Swaledale Outdoor Club
» Read the full review
"I was transformed from a timid toddler on trainer wheels to a half pipe hero"
Darren
Clifton Cycling Club
» Read the full review
"Learn from professional riders in a really friendly and fun atmosphere"
Emila Zeilinska
Clifton Cycling Club
» Read the full review
"With courses costing as little as £65 it's a small investment, but will have a significant impact on your riding"
Matthew Saxon
Swaledale Outdoor Club
» Read the full review
"With a professional British Cycling Instructor watching your every move, it's surprising how many faults they can find"
Mark Walters
York Mountaineering Club
» Read the full review
"A very positive learning experience. I look forward to trying to put more of it into practice!"
Alex Starling
Barnes, London
"I came away with significantly greater confidence in tackling trails and skills which will enable me to develop further"
Chris Susans
Rayleigh, Essex
» Read the full review
"We all benefited enormously from learning The Fundamentals. I myself just cannot get over the difference it's made to my riding"
Steve Wragg
Billingshurst, West Sussex
"Thank you for the great navigation skills course it was very interesting and I'll put my new skills to good use"
Steve Belsey
Woking, Surrey
"Knowledgeable and friendly coaches and a great balance of learning, theory and practice"
Ian Gilbody
Epsom, Surrey
» Read the full review
"A very enjoyable and educational course with Danielle (the coach)... I will be able to enjoy the downhills a lot more"
Richard Carter
Coulsdon, Surrey
» Read the full review
"I still have a lot of practice to do but I am really delighted with the progress I have made just after one lesson"
Melody Dark
Middleton, Manchester
» Read the full review
"Very professional outfit offering well structured courses to take you to the next level and beyond!"
Stewart Lomax
Redhill, Surrey
» Read the full review
"Thanks for a fantastic day. I would recommend it to anyone, really good teaching"
Howard Binysh
Bigfoot Cycling Club

About Singletrack School

Singletrack School provide mountain bike skills coaching, mountain bike technique courses, mountain bike skills weekends, women's mountain bike skills courses, private mountain bike skills tuition, off-road skills instruction for kids and families, guided singletrack rides and cross country bike adventures in The Surrey Hills and beyond.

We also organise and deliver team building and corporate entertainment events for corporate customers, and experience days and social events for schools, clubs, youth groups, stag parties and hen parties.

Singletrack School Sponsors - Cycleworks, Satmap, Endura, Five Ten, Orange, Grangers, Muc-Off, Specialized, Exposure Lights, Buffera and SIngletrack Magazine
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