Our first No Apologies skills clinic of the season went off with a bang of laughter, slippery roots and a whole lot of learning. We had the pleasure of using the Alsea Falls trail system as our playground for the day. If you haven’t been there, it provides plenty of opportunities for beginner to advanced riders to find their flow. THAT is exactly what we set out to do with our day.
Because the weather doesn’t apologize either, we were blessed with some nice muddy conditions for the clinic. No problem though, we made the best of things and used it as a chance to build confidence in a less than ideal situations. Sometimes life gives you rain, and as long as you don’t damage the trails, you’ve got to go out and splash mud all over your face.
We started out the day by fine tuning our riding position and bike-body separation skills. These skills lay the foundation for everything else we do on the bike. By focusing and playing with these skills, you set yourself up for success no matter where you want to go with your riding.
After a quick lunch (while the rain came down), we did a few more drills and then split up. Some of us headed to the top of the trail system and others stayed on the lower system. The beauty of having four awesome coaches is that it makes it easy to tailor to the experience to the group.
Kerstin and Rheannon took a group of ladies up the road to ride two awesome trails in the system- Sexy Tree and Highballer. As these trails added some more roots and rocks to the experience, we focused on keeping good solid form and letting the bike dance under us. Dance it did! There was just enough rain to get the full experience of the bike slipping over roots. We broke down cornering techniques and sessioned a few drops. The ladies were ready to tackle Alsea Falls like never before.
Meanwhile, Sarah and Michelle opted to take a second gathering back up Dutchman to session the rollers and smooth corners on Lower Highballer and Springboard. While the climb felt slightly grueling after working on focusing ahead, shifting balance with proper body positioning and wheel lifts, our students were even more empowered to roll right over the top of root ladders and rocks, where they previously had walked their bikes during the first round up the trail. At the top of Springboard, every woman had a smile on her face – the effort to get the goods was paying off! There is nothing quite as exhilarating for a coach as connecting with a student to manifest physical improvement, and most importantly, confidence. As a result, these ladies were able to push through their fears calling on new skills to fully complete corners, pump through the rollers, commit to a line, and ride over or around obstacles without hesitation.
As always, we were honored to work with a diverse and amazing group of ladies. Seriously, each and everyone of you is an inspiration to us. Keep shredding, keep laughing and keep learning. We can’t wait to see you out on the trails! Thanks to everyone who joined No Apologies for an awesome and adventurous day!