Well used to climbing hard trails on sticky rubber, about a dozen MAD members swapped tyres for sticky soled climbing shoes on a recent visit to Awesome Walls. The event was organised by Conor Craig, assisted by Steve, Dec and Niamh – all of whom are experienced climbers and recent converts to mountain biking. It was a fun evening spent learning the ropes of climbing, pardon the pun. The gang learned about Bouldering, finding a short climb and finding the most challenging way to climb, along with roped climbing, how to climb smoothly up a tall wall and also how to use our bodies and strength in the most energy efficient way possible. Even the strongest of the lads were surprised at just how demanding the sport could be, but how proper use of balance and correct body movement could make things so much easier. These same techniques can readily be applied to bike riding down the gnarliest trails. Everybody wanted more and MAD’s own spider monkeys Conor Craigs and Steve McMullan, both regulars on the bouldering scene, have offered to provide more training and tips for club members in the future.

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