Thursday, November 06, 2008

Women's MTB Clinic

All photos courtesy of my lovely assistant Julie.

Mountain biking chicks are cool.

As I write this, I am deeply immersed in hamburger season and I am thoroughly enjoying it! I decided to take a fairly new approach to the season this year by trying out a couple of greasy spoons in the Des Moines area that have stood the test of time. My latest adventure… George the Chili King baby! A buddy of mine, Greg and Mr. Orbea, Phil Godkin hit up the Chili King and enjoyed a plate of chili cheese fries, a deep fried tenderloin coated with a layer of chili and some home made onion rings. Good stuff and worth an annual visit during hamburger season. The only problem with the place is that they don’t serve beer with food that was meant to be washed down with a cold one.
A few weeks ago I played host to the 2nd Annual Women’s MTB Clinic. This year I teamed up with I.O.W.A. and it paid off as we had a little over 80 women at the event, with around 25 or so participating in the mountain biking portion of the clinic. Last year we were able to use the trails over at Denman’s, the perfect terrain for a beginner level clinic. Not too strenuous, not too technical but with plenty of obstacles such as logs and tight, twisty corners to work on beginner level skills. With all of the rain that we had leading up to the event, we were forced to use the Hillside trails.

Working them Skizllsss among the beautiful fall colors.

Jedi Master John Conlan showing the pupils how a Jedi's strength flows through The Force.

The clinic started out in Greenwood Park, where I had them work on some basic skills, such as cornering, riding over sticks and small logs. Then we rolled over to a pretty steep, somewhat technical, long hill where I taught them how to climb and suffer. I had a great support crew that consisted of John Conlan, Matt Zepeda, Kyle Sedore, Taylor Webb and Dave Mable that helped me out. We lined the hill, offering encouragement and even gave a few a small pushes to help them make it to the top.

Taking a load off after a succesfull hill climb.

Emily Schaapveld showing the others how to get it done.

After that we rolled over to the Hillside trails and took the easiest route to the top. There were a few that had a tough time making it to the top, however I think that all were still enjoying themselves. We rolled through the southern half of the Hillside and practiced riding over some logs and roots. We also worked through some tight, fairly technical turns.
We capped the main portion of the clinic with a drawing for a bunch of schwag that included 6 pairs of women specific Oakley sunglasses, 4 pair of women specific shorts from Louis Garneau and a bunch of stuff from Rasmussen Bike Shop. After the drawing, I took Julie, Elaine and Emily out for another round on the more technical, northern part of the Hillside and we had a ball riding some of the sweetest singletrack that Iowa has to offer! All in all, the clinic was another huge success and I plan to continue with it, making it an annual event! Thanks to everybody that showed and thanks to John Conlan, Matt Zepeda, Dave Mable, Kyle Sedore and Talyor Webb for taking the time to help me out!

Thanks for reading,


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