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 - 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 holds the following qualifications and awards:
Gary is also an aspirant Single Pitch Award rock climbing instructor.
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 holds the following qualifications and awards:
Luke 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 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.
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 holds the following qualifications and awards:
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 holds the following qualifications and awards:
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 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 holds the following qualifications and awards:
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
Simon holds the following qualifications and awards:
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.
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!