"It had rained all night, and was still raining. But we here in the NW know that a little rain shouldn't get in the way of a nice ride".
So much for "responsible" mountain biking.
To: mountain bike <email@example.com>
From: Kat Wamba <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 13:27:01 -0700
Subject: Spokeswomen Bike Camp, days 1&2-Kat's report (long)
So I was off to Whistler this weekend, eh? I know there's a big group of
BBTC femmes heading up for the clinic next month, but I was by my lonesome,
and this is (the first part of) my story.....
I headed up Friday, half hour border crossing, many detours through
Vancouver due to construction (don't get me started on Vancouver's lack of
bypass roads!), and arrived in Whistler around 4:30pm. The festivities
wouldn't start until 6pm with a bike maintenance clinic, so I figured after
I'd checked into my hotel I'd go for a bike ride and get the lay of the
land. I tooled around for a while, oblivious to everything, and suddenly
realized I was hearing a rubbing sound. And I'd been hearing it for a while,
it just hadn't permeated my Whistler-induced fog. Checking my bike, I found
that when reassembling my bike after the trip up, I must have jostled the
rear brake (how I love cantilevers!), as it was now rubbing against my tire,
and had almost worn thru! Unhooking the rear brake, I rode to the nearest
bike shop-the tech was surprised the tire hadn't already blown up on me.
But... He was out of XC tires. So I had to tool around with no rear brake
for about 20 minutes, checking for an open bike shop that had XC tires. I
finally found one, and I got a great deal on a nice tire.
By this time it was time for our bike maintenance clinic and welcome party,
so I rode back up to the Glacier Shop with my new tire slung over my
shoulder, and one of the techs and I went over my bike, installed the new
tire, and did some basic bike fit stuff. Then Sally Carmichael and the other
instructors (Diana, Jo, Sylvie, Anne, and Anie) passed out beer and told us
what to expect in the coming days, and we all introduced ourselves. There
were 20 of us total, with myself and a woman from Indiana (ah! the power of
the Internet) being the only Americans.
The next morning as I got up, I became aware of One Main Thing: it had
rained all night, and was still raining. But we here in the NW know that a
little rain shouldn't get in the way of a nice ride, so we all suited up and
gathered at 9am for a morning of skill building. We were divided into groups
according to skill level (I was in the intermediate group), and we went to
work, doing mini-clinics on descending, climbing, front wheel lifts,
descending stairs, ratcheting and quarter-punches, high-speed braking,
cornering, bike/body separation, trackstands... I'm probably missing
something, but you get the idea-they put us through every pace they could
think of! I surprised myself with the things I took to really well. Of
course, there were things I thought, "Oh, that will be no problem!" that I
could barely do at all. Some of you coming up next month wanted the skinny
on the instructors: honestly, with every single instructor I would think,
"This is my favorite instructor!", and then we would switch groups, and I'd
have that moment all over again. They were all awesome!
We had several bear sitings, but I'm told that's common.
At lunch, I was surprised to see fellow BBTC-er Eric Stobin show up.
Apparently his company is one of the Spokeswomen sponsors, and he happened
to be up riding this weekend and decided to say hello to Sally et al., in
person. He ended up riding sweep on one of the afternoon rides. (But really,
Eric, how many guys wouldn't just "coincidentally" be up riding during a
camp weekend, if there was a prospect of riding with a group of almost 30
After lunch, we went for rides. My group decided to go up into the bike park
and do some downhilling. So we loaded up into the lifts and off we went. Let
me pause here and point out, it's been pouring down rain since last night,
and it's not letting up. Or as one guy from Vancouver put it to me, "Yeah,
it's really pissing on us, eh?" It seemed like the entire mountain was mucky
and slimy, and visibility was really poor. I was feeling confident after the
morning sessions, so I was practicing my cornering and high speed braking-on
my little hardtail with cantilever brakes :) One minute I was careering with
glee around a corner; the next I was face down in the muck, very
surprisingly unbroken, but with the wind completely knocked out of me. I got
up, brushed off as much mud as possible, and gave myself a little pep talk.
Off I went again-only to have exactly the same thing happen on the next
switchback. I was really shaky by this time, and although I made it down
without further incident, that was my last run of the day. Some girls were
in similar circumstances as myself, others were not letting a little mud
keep them from practicing catching big air, and one amazing rider even
challenged Sylvie Allen to a race (I think she won). I finished off the day
with a nice mellow dark beer with the rest of the group at our favorite
hangout, soaked in the hotel hot tub, and was in bed by nine....
Day Three to come.....