Great group! We're in front of Kirt's CLIF pumptrack art, super cool!
Cierra and I demonstrate body position for the ladies
"Pump!" Technique and timing is key. Easier said than done.
Leigh demonstrates going up and over obstacles. "Balance, momentum and looking ahead"... Hmm, sounds like life.
I did about 2,000 laps by the end of the weekend, I'm sure of it. "Push the bike away, bring it back, push it away, bring it back"...
Great group of ladies who are proud to ride like girls...
For the second year in a row, I was privileged and honored to coach at the 5th annual Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park Women’s Weekend. This year, a record 150 or so women showed up. It was unreal to see all those eager women excited to improve their balance, confidence and bike handling skills. Everyone was supportive and encouraging of each other, and that is what makes this event so special.
Last year I was extra inspired by a woman who had a tumor explode in her brain. After brain surgery and therapy to re-learn things in life all over again, she remembered how to ride a bike; she said it was ingrained in her soul. She rode laps around Ray's beaming with delight.
This year I was extra inspired by a 17 year old who truly understands how important her passion for mountain biking is for her path in life. She is wise beyond her years. She puts positive energy into her riding as a means to boost her confidence in herself as she grows up and faces life’s challenges.
This is what I strive to teach ladies of all ages across the country this year: Mountain biking is a healthy passion filled with obstacles and challenges, accomplishments and defeat. You learn to get up when you fall down; you learn to be patient and kind to yourself as you progress at your own pace.
Ray’s is a wonderful place to learn a lot. There were women zipping around on bikes in every direction, bombing over ladders, skinnies and rock gardens, racing laps around the exciting and fast cross-country course, and pumping in circles on the pumptrack.
I was assigned to teach pumptrack all day, and I loved every second of it! For the first half I taught with AllRide Academy super stud, Cierra Smith and we had a blast watching women progress and face their fears! After lunch Cierra headed over to teach the expert jump line with Tammy Donahugh, aka T.D.hugh.
The second half of the day I taught pumptrack with the smart and sophisticated vet by weekday, and downhill racer and rad jumper extraordinaire by weekend, Rae Gandolf. That pumptrack is tight and can be scary, so it was exciting to see how many women benefitted from learning how to move their bikes with their bodies, instead of their pedals! Love it!
Good times ahead for women on mountain bikes. Good times ahead…
Coaches train down the expert jump line. I finally cleared most of them at the end of the day on day 3!! The fifth one is tough! Next time!
Thanks to Ray (left) for having a dream and bringing us together to experience the reality of that dream. Thanks to Trek and Eric Schutt for hosting us, Leigh Donovan for being a fearless leader who will take one for the team, and the coaches: Rae Gandolf, Jaci Riley, Tammy Donahugh, Cierra Smith, Jacke Van Woerkom, Wendy Palmer, and Becky Tesch, you are all full of inspiration and mad skills!