Wednesday, June 8, 2011

skills? we've got 'em!

cone slalom: turn your head and the rest will follow

It's not how fast you go, it's how much control you have.

This thought should resonate with each of the more than 20 Divas who showed up ready to learn at Monday evening's Singletrack Skills clinic. Guest coach, Janice Tower, shared with us her expertise as riders navigated the cone slalom, practiced their wheel lofts, imitated a grasshopper and slowly descended a skinny thread of trail. My, how two hours can fly!

A few things covered reinforced what we've been teaching for years: when coasting, ride with the pedals in the level position - what Janice calls "moto." This position allows you to be active and ready for anything on the bike. Ready to slide off the back of the saddle for a descent, approach an obstacle to power over it or lean into a banked corner. Moto is a ready position and much easier for us to yell than "pedals level!"

How far back can you go? Janice holds me as I demo positions for
descending and climbing. Something everyone can practice at
trailheads or while regrouping along the trail.

Another concept we worked on was tight cornering. The tips were helpful to riders of all levels. We probably all know that if we look at something, we tend to move that direction. At previous clinics we've practiced riding tight circles and looking over our shoulder to help us make that circle tighter. While riding the slalom of cones on Monday, Janice kept a close eye on everyone and encouraged us to exaggerate these motions so that everyone was turning their head to look at the next obstacle and letting their arms and bodies follow. We worked on looking ahead to the next obstacle even as we emerged around the previous one.

Preparing for a slow, singletrack descent.

Oftentimes we only look a short distance ahead of us. By looking ahead, we were able to prepare for the next corner. This will come in especially handy this evening as we ride the STA trails and tackle some of the tightest switchbacks in town. Are you ready?

For those who weren't able to be at the skills clinic, I have a few extra handouts which describe some of what we did. Plus, there are about 22 Divas who will be happy to pass along what they learned!

I'd like to extend a big thanks to Janice for volunteering to coach us on skills! And thanks to Jean for once again documenting the event.

No comments: