This summer I taught another series of mountain skills clinics for women in Chico. Last year’s clinics were a great success and I had requests from people to do it again so I threw up a poster at the shop with some dates and the slots started to fill up. The July clinic this year was a particularly awesome one. The clinic was pretty much full with 9 participants and we got lucky with unusually mild temperatures. Sandy Rosas joined us as another ride leader and shared her knowledge and encouragement. Everyone got together at the bike shop where I covered the basics of what to bring on a ride, what to wear, and how to set up your bike. Everyone got a chance to check their tire pressure and lube their chain before we cruised through Lower Park. In Lower Park we practiced track standing on an open section of trail and everyone picked up quick and easy. We then tackled the first climbing section of NorthRim trail and talked about line-choice and body-positioning for the ascent. I was super impressed by everyone’s strength and determination. There were lots of encouraging cheers and helpful suggestions by other participants.
We then cruised along Middle Trail and tackled another technical up/down section. Everyone made it through comfortable and got a chance to practice getting their weight behind the back wheel. Further along Middle Trail we worked through the last technical section involving tree roots, a rock slab, and a small drop. This section tends to be the most intimidating one we practice in the clinic and the first couple ladies who rolled up on it pulled off to the side instead of doing the drop. But, as more women worked their way through it and rode it, others felt inspired and went back to try it again. Eventually everyone cleaned the section and the cheers of encouragement could be heard echoing throughout the park.
We then rolled further along middle trail and connected back to the road for one last group shot. As we cruised back along the road towards town, everyone seemed to be in a cheerful mood and shared tips and asked questions to each-other.
Teaching these clinics is always a wonderful experience for me and this summer’s series of clinics was no different. Huge thank-yous to everyone who participated. I am always impressed by the level of skill and determination out there. Hope to see everyone again next summer.
PS- here is a note from Linda, one of our participants: