Back to (Bike) School

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IMG_0988-Edit BikeSchool is New Zealand’s most recognised, relevant and acclaimed mountain bike coaching service. They aim to be the one-stop-shop for all MTB coaching requirements, across all levels and abilities. Scarlett Hagen saw a gap in the market, and with her skills and experience thought that this could be a good challenge, to try and build the best bike skills business in the world. “We are a relatively new business, but because of all of the volunteer work I have done, it seems like we have been around for ages”.

Scarlett is the owner with over 15 years in the mountain bike industry. She is an ex-Junior Downhill World Champion, and has a Degree of Masters in Sports science with distinction from the University of Otago. As a PhD candidate on a topic concerning MTB affect, BikeSchool has all the scope it needs to be one of the best coaching companies in the world. “We are constantly working to develop new coaching theories, with credible and reliable science behind what we do. It’s easy to just take kids riding and have fun, because the track provides the fun. At BikeSchool we like to methodologically break it down further and actually ensure that they are improving and building skills for life, through a measured and calculated approach”.

Scarlett has been coaching for years, relatively informally and just doing it fun and for free. She has coached most of New Zealand’s top racers, either on home soil before they travel, or overseas at World Cups. “Lots of it is just being there for them to bounce ideas off. The young guys have all the skill in the world but just need to develop that consistency, or they are looking for small areas that they can work on and build into their training plans”.

Obviously with our business name, one of our key areas is coaching kids in schools. BikeSchool coaches work with students on their school camps, or special school bike days. The students gain valuable mountain bike skills such as bike handling, control and safety skills. By the end of the session, the kids are able to ride confidently over technical mountain bike terrain and always have heaps of fun. IMG_1029

BikeSchool’s coaches work directly with the students to ensure that they direct their skills and practice in the right direction, and to minimise small technical errors that could waste them valuable time and energy. BikeSchool is excited to support mountain biking in New Zealand by offering customised bike skill sessions for all keen schools.

An example of one of our contracts is the work we do in conjunction with the Dunedin City Council and Mountain Biking Otago Incorporated to offer coaching for the South Dunedin Cycling Project. “The schools are definitely a focus for us, it’s so awesome to see the kids gaining confidence on their bikes, and some of them just get super hooked”, said Scarlett.

Another key area is women’s specific MTB coaching. BikeSchool offer Women’s MTB Coaching Day’s at various times throughout the year. BikeSchool have linked in with several of New Zealand’s top racers—such as soon-to-be Olympian Kate Fluker, Harriet Latchem and Harriet Harper—to help support women to enjoy and improve their mountain biking endeavours.

Alongside this, BikeSchool run Kid’s Holiday Programmes and Kid’s Bike Rides throughout the year. “Lots of kids just want to get out after school and burn some energy. Alongside some really high achieving kids, I also like coaching and guiding the naughty kids. It keeps them out of trouble and they are always the most interesting. I think it’s good for them to ride bikes”.

BikeSchool offer beginner, intermediate and advanced Group Coaching throughout the year, and also Private One-on-One Coaching on demand for aspiring mountain bike racers and riders.

Running the business is lots of fun. We will keep building it up, and hopefully stay in tune with what the world leaders are doing. “We are confident that our products as the most strategic, well balanced and fun coaching courses available. Each course is tailored to meet the specific needs of the individuals in each course. Through our skill packages, we guarantee that your ride enjoyment, safety and performance will improve”, said Scarlett.

Scarlett left her full time role as Coaching Advisor to run BikeSchool. She aims to develop a business model that employs New Zealand’s top racers when they are home so they can afford to go overseas and race. “It’s a win-win really, because I can help them to develop as coaches, then they can share their skills with the up-and-coming mountain bikers in New Zealand. It will inevitably help develop the level of depth of both professional racers and coaches which New Zealand needs”.

For more information on BikeSchool’s mountain bike skill sessions, check out their website www.bikeschool.co.nz or like them on Facebook using the search, BikeSchool.