I attended the Ladies All Ride clinic in Sedona, Arizona in early April and had the most amazing time. Technically, it would have been even more amazing if I was not dealing with a foot injury but I still had a good time. It’s taken me some time to put into words what I got out of the weekend but I will do my best. There is something incredibly powerful about stepping outside your comfort zone and learning new things. Do that in a group setting and the result is pretty spectacular. I spent two days with a group of women learning new skills, stepping outside our comfort zones, and trying (and conquering) what we previously thought was impossible.
I usually ride with my husband and he is a far better rider than me. When we come to obstacles he tackles them and then suggests that I do too, but I often talk myself out of it and chalk it up to him being a better rider. At the Ladies All Ride clinic I was placed in a group of ladies at the same skill level. Throughout the weekend we worked on conquering different obstacles and when I would get scared and would see one of the other ladies do it, I knew that I too could do it. Sometimes it’d take longer to get comfortable with it but I’d try it. It was a safe place to try new things and everyone from the riders to the coaches were incredibly encouraging.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the camp. Everything I’d read was positive but I was worried I’d be in over my head. Fortunately, that was squashed quickly. Lindsey of Ladies All Ride started the camp by telling us about her mountain bike and life journey. It was a good reminder that we all have our own story and that life is a work in progress. After the opening pep talk we all lined up and the coaches showed us the skills we were going to work on. They demonstrated the skills themselves so we got a chance to see what they looked like. Honestly, at this point I was thinking there is no way I am going to be able to do that stuff. By the end of camp I could actually do a lot of what they were doing. Not as good as them, obviously, but I can actually get my wheel of the ground now. Both front and back!
After the demonstration we split into groups and got to know one another. It was helpful to hear the other ladies’ individual stories about how they got into mountain biking. After that we started working on skills. We’d learn something new, practice it a bunch, and then move onto a new skill. We learned things like proper body position for different situations, braking, cornering, wheel lifts – both front and back, I could go on and on. All the groups seemed to work on similar skills but depending on the skill level, some progressed much faster and moved onto more advanced skills.
We had an awesome lunch and then it was off to the local trails to practice our skills on the trail. Full disclosure…I didn’t go to the trails either day. 🙁 I was nursing a foot injury and was trying not to aggravate it too much. I am so bummed that I didn’t get to hit up the trails. After everyone was back from their trail sessions it was time for happy hour and some classes. They had a couple different classes to choose from – bike maintenance, nutrition, exercise.
Day two followed a similar format. We did more skills building sessions, ate lunch, and then hit the trails. During lunch they had a sweet giveaway with tons of gear from the sponsors. I won a brand new pair of Vittoria tires!
I had a great time at the Ladies All Ride clinic and plan to attend another one next year. Regardless of where you are in your mountain bike journey, I would definitely recommend attending a skills clinic. There are quite a few that travel the country so if Ladies All Ride doesn’t come to a city near you, look for one that does. I promise you won’t regret it. Happy shredding!