Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dirt Series in Santa Cruz: Mountain Bike Skills Clinic for Women

Candace Shadley, left, founded the Dirt Series clinics. In 9 years, 5,000 students have taken the clinics! Jill Kintner, Olympic bronze medalist in BMX in Beijing at 2008, helped teach the series in Santa Cruz.

Today I was one of 53 women participating in the Dirt Series by Rocky Mountain Bikes, a clinic put on by women for women to improve mountain bike skills! The two-day workshop is hosted locally by The Bicycle Trip and is taught by an amazing team of talented coaches, most of whom are based in British Columbia, Canada. The series is now in its 9th year!! and travels to different locations in the U.S. and Canada through early September.

NOTE: Special thanks to Richard Masoner of Santa Cruz, for taking these 2 great photos in this blog entry of me (and others) at the clinic today. Check out his website: Cyclicious - Bicycle News and Views at

This is the second year I have done the camp. I had such a fantastic experience in 2008 at the Santa Cruz, that I signed up online right when registration opened - and good thing, because it sold out in 3 days flat. The waiting list was so long that another day was added - on Tuesday (space still available).

There is still space left in the one-day version of the clinic Tuesday, April 28, in Santa Cruz: I blogged out this too at:

Today's Dirt Series clinic highlights:

- Meeting at the Bicycle Trip in the morning to register, eat yummy breakfast treats and learn Who's Who of our amazing coaches!

- Practicing how to lift my front tire over logs on the trail! "Front Wheel Lift" skills clinic rocked!

- After morning skills clinics - also including cornering, straight line riding (rode a small teeter-totter!) and descending/braking, we ate lunch at Harbor High - yum! Special thanks to Happy Valley Conference Center in Santa Cruz for providing our lunches!

- In the afternoon, a group of 6 of us plus 2 coaches hit the trails at DeLaveaga Park to put some of our new skills to the test!

- The evening wrapped up back at The Bicycle Trip where we could attend different clinics. I went to Bike Maintenance Clinic taught by Nate and vow to do a better job lubing and cleaning my bike chain!

Tomorrow is the second and final day of the clinic - same structure - skills clinics in the morning, followed by a group ride in the afternoon. Tomorrow, headed to Soquel Demonstration Forest!