Finding a sport that can keep you fit at the same time as enjoying it can be hard, but at Live Biking you get both plus that added rush of adrenalin as you cycle around woodland on your mountain bike led by a professional instructor, Ollie Ireland. We went in search of some answers behind all the trees.
Ollie Ireland wants everyone to be included, and that means you too! As owner of Live Biking (I’m assured it rhymes with Hive), Ollie has put every effort into this sporting business to ensure that all participants get something out of it, and at the end of each day he is simply motivated by inclusion.
Live Biking is an organisation setup to introduce children to mountain biking which is done through a number of routes including private sessions and through local schools as part of the curriculum. It also provides classes and sessions for those who have a long-term interest in the sport and want to continue as a way of keeping fit with friends.
Ollie’s route to starting this biking school, took many different turns. He tells us he was once a Ski instructor, spending over three years in the Alps, he worked as a Cycle Development Officer at Bedgebury in East Sussex for a further three years – spending two nights a week sleeping in a tent. He was also a Primary School teacher at St John’s in Sevenoaks for a while and ran Track ‘n’ Trail Biking for three years as well.
All of this experience working outdoors along with his long list of biking qualifications gives him the perfect credentials to teach kids mountain biking (MTB).
Ollie’s biking qualifications include: Go MTB level 5 Skills Coach; Level 2 British Cycling Coach; Level 2 British Cycling BMX Coach; CTC Technical and Trail leader; B1KE ‘Trail Maintenance and Repair’ course.
Samsara Bike Park and Club
Ollie created his own bike park in Sevenoaks at Riverhill where he is also responsible for it’s upkeep. What that gives him is his own private park to use at weekends and The Samsara Bike Club was born. It’s a fortnightly bike club for all ages and abilities from 6 years. “We ride and work on off road techniques” he said. “It is for children and adults who have had some experience of mountain biking and want to develop their skills, and enjoy new challenges.” Sessions are run by Ollie himself. All participants must simply be able to ride a bike on hills with control, be able to use gears, brakes and steering at the right time. They must also own a mountain bike and helmet (both in safe working order of course).
Ollie has also been responsible for creating and upkeeping several MTB trails at schools in the area including Seal Primary, Sevenoaks Primary, St Ronan’s Prep and Churchill Primary.
He works with the schools to introduce biking skills, separate to that of the Cycling Proficiency and Bikeability tests, and it is treated as part of the curriculum. A by-product of these skills-based sessions is teaching, but by no means is it the initial aim.
Council and health rides
As an aficionado of this sport, Ollie has been invited to organise bike rides for the local council including health rides in Knole Park and around the circuit at Brands Hatch.
This year, Sevenoaks District Council are running free bike rides again. Knole Park rides offer a gentle 90 minute ride at a slower pace with breaks and traffic-free paths in the beautiful park. These rides are suitable for families with small children and are open to all ages and abilities.
The Brand’s Hatch rides offer open rides on the Brand’s Hatch circuit where riders can cycle at their own pace, plus there are also opportunities for time trials as well.
Anyone wanting to take part in these bike rides should either contact Ollie via the details given at the end of this piece or by contacting Sevenoaks District Council directly.
Visions for 2018
In 2018, Ollie has set his sights high and wants to see more of the online community get up and get on a bike. He wants to work with more people at a higher skill level than he already does and to progress more participants to that level as well.
He also wants to continue his work with the Sevenoaks District Council together with the Sevenoaks Town Council Partnership and their ongoing initiatives surrounding Greatness Park, where there could be an option for a great bike park.
You can contact Ollie Ireland about all enquiries on classes, sessions and birthday parties at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the phone 07786 914580. Alternatively, please go to his website at https://www.livebiking.co.uk.