Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Building our Skills

The skies cleared and a handful of Divas showed up Monday evening at Jodhpur Trailhead ready to learn some new riding skills. We were happy to find that the trails were dry and there weren't many other people on the trail.

Our focus was on agility, staying active in the bike - instead of staying seated - and riding the banked curves of the Kitchen Sink trail. My goal whether climbing or descending is to ride the banked curves fairly high on the bank - instead of riding in the bottom where debris collects.

Some of the key tips to descending banked curves are: look ahead to the exit of the curve; brake before entering the curve so you are at the desired speed upon entry; stay centered over the bike from front to back; and keep your uphill or outer foot down. Some of these go counter to how we often ride on descents with our butts back behind the saddle and pedals level.

By centering our weight, we keep both wheels firmly on the ground. Keeping the outer foot down, we are pushing into that foot to allow us to counterbalance the bike. Our upper body is out of the saddle and active over the bike. I like to think of keeping my bike perpendicular to the berm while my body moves over the bike.

We began by practicing in a the grassy field (watch out for dog poop!), then moved to the trail. After a few trips back-and-forth on the first stretch of Kitchen Sink, one rider noted with a grin that it "flowed." That is exactly how the trails should ride, flowing from one curve to the next!

When climbing, banked corners can aid in the climb. Use the same technique of looking ahead and aim for a higher part of the corner. By riding higher on the bank, you get a short break from exertion as you drop off the high part. Then you can prepare for the next corner. Try it next time you climb Mighty Bike at Kincaid or the Hillside singletracks.


You can research videos online. The link posted above is first in a multi-part series that describes and demonstrates a few different berms, all demonstrated in the rain! Have fun and ride those berms!

posted by Rose

Monday, June 1, 2015

Matanuska Lakes

Nine Divas dying to ride single-track headed out to Palmer this past Sunday and rode the super-fun, Matanuska Lakes trails - also known as Keplar-Bradley.  It was unusually warm and totally sunny as we zipped around the very-dry trails.

JoAnn showed her excitement with many woo-hoo-hoos as she made her way through the thick, green forest.  There were a few mosquitos, but we weren't totally swarmed.

Julie ducked under a branch to avoid an unhappy wipe-out.

Lisa ducked under the same branch and was obviously very happy!

Cecelia - and everyone else - braved talcum powder dirt that ended up all over our legs. It was a tough ride - lots of good climbs - and we shared snacks and cool drinks at the end.  Who wants to go again???!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

First Dirt Ride

A large, enthusiastic group of Divas showed up for our first dirt ride of the season. WOO-HOO! We rode Campbell Tract dirt and gravel trails and had a fun, fun time!

Michelle provided the Woo-Hoos, Ya-hoos and and Yippees, clinching her spot as Most Excited Diva of the Day!
Ashley proved that young legs, perhaps, are better, and some of us were jealous of them.

Rose to the rescue - AGAIN!!!  She dove right in to help some other riders who were more than thankful for her mechanical prowess. We sure appreciate her!

Gloria and Dora whizzed through the woods on an amazing-weather evening, with happy smiles on their faces.

It doesn't look like anyone is having a bad time!  Thanks to Linda (and Maggi) for leading this half of the group and to Rae for sweeping.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Denali weekend

With huge apologies to JoAnn and Corrine who got wet when they went 2 weekends ago - we had a spectacular sunny weekend riding in Denali National Park!  The sky was blue blue blue and we were not!

Diane, Patti, Dora and Nancy - along with a few friends and spouses - stayed dry and happy as we made our way into the park.  Wildlife was abundant!!

We had frequent wildlife encounters with grizzlies (some with cubs),  moose and herds of caribou!

Look at that BLUE sky!!! Dora and Patti were all too happy to pose at Sable Pass after the long climb up and up and up.

Photos by Dora and Nancy - Dora took the awesome photo of the mama with 3 cubs!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

May 13 Greenbelt Ride

A very enthusiastic group of Divas showed up to ride from the Chuck Albrecht Fields  - a pavement ride on greenbelt trails. The temperature was warmish and the sun wasn't in our eyes as we zigged and zagged our way over the rivers (and highways) and through the woods.....

Our leader - Christine (with a "C") - pointed out many interesting sights along the way and guided us fearlessly away from wildlife lurking in the shadows.

Karen Lee glides effortlessly through a beautiful woodsy section.

Linda emerges unscathed from a dark tunnel.

Maggie is happy about riding the hill she's climbing!

Patti photobombs from the back left corner at the mid-way point.

Nancy hits a bump while photographing from her saddle.

Better late than never!!  Cecelia DID show up!!  YAY!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Denali Park Road

Corinne and I braved the rain. Yes, it started raining on our ascent to Sable Pass and rained all the way up and until we were almost back to our cars. It was very wet. Also, it is almost 9 miles to Sable Pass, not 7.5 as I thought, so 18 miles round trip. I underestimated. I will be wrong again, never fear. The road is in good condition for those of you heading up next weekend. May your ride be “not too windy” and “not too rainy” which makes for an awesome ride.

4 miles in at Igloo where we took off clothes because 45 and dry is warm riding weather

smaller creeks were flowing but still snow filled

here's where the rain started just before the steepest part of the climb.  this is where we were reminded that 45 and raining is cold.

just a little soggy at the top
words by Jo-Ann, photos and captions by Corinne

2015 Spring Formal

Way too much fun at the Spring Formal!

all the usual pagentry ...

bikes weren't left out of the festivities
Rose won Best Decorated Bike with the live flowers on her handle bars and in her helmet

If we had an award for best bag, Maggi would have won.

Nancy was voted Diva of the Day with this outrageous Biker of Love outfit, complete with silver platform shoes that she pedaled in
Diane was fittingly dressed for the Princess award
The tiny pink Cinco de Mayo hat was a nice touch.

dinner at the Snow Goose
photos by Nancy and Corinne