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Second Girls MTB Team Practice Raises Bar

girlsmtwk2Wow!  That’s about all you can say about the fun, energy, and focus of the girls during Friday’s practice.  We continue to be amazed at their positive attitude and desire to improve on the bikes.  Each girl worked hard on our skills drills and you could see the jump in confidence and ability happening in front of your eyes!

Our guest coach Lindsey Voreis set a great example and demonstrated fundamental bike handling and body positioning skills.  She emphasized some key points that we will come back to again and again: 1) staying balanced and loose on the bike in either a 4 or 5 point stance, 2) using your body weight to help get over or get past obstacles by moving forward or back on the bike, 3) letting the bike do the work while the rider stays centered and relaxed.  As a downhill racer, Lindsey really knows that to go fast (and to be safe) going downhill proper body position and use of the bike means everything.

We also focused on cornering and started to work on shifting and braking on ascents and descents.  We rode a short course of increasingly tight turns, emphasizing the same body position skills and also introducing the concept of looking ahead at the terrain.  The rider should be looking 15-20 feet ahead of their current position, especially as they approach and go through a turn.    Where the eyes go, so does the bike!  I think we can all relate to Lindsey’s comment that if you are only looking down at that big obstacle in front of you, there is pretty much a 100% chance that you’ll smack right into it!  We practiced shifting while climbing and descending a small incline — much more of that to come.

Its worth mentioning that having an expert woman rider as our guest coach is really something special.  The girls really focused on what Lindsey was saying and provided a great role model for them.  The Dad Coaches could say the same thing 50 times and it just wouldn’t have the same impact!  We will continue to bring in as many talented and experience female riders as we can to continue to develop that positive role model for the girls.  The more girl power the better!

And, last, but not least, a huge round of applause to Coach Joe for the absolutely fantastic skills training devices he handcrafted for the team.  In case you didn’t see them, check out photos of the Teeter Totter, the Bridge, and the Dropoff.  No one could resist them and every girl rode them over and over and over and over! So did the coaches!  We’ll be rolling out more obstacles and (and hopefully more Joe contraptions!) as the season moves on.

We’ll see you all after Spring Break on April 11.  Make sure you get out on your bikes and practice those skills!

See you soon,

Tim, Andy, and Joe