Silverthorne rec hosts beginner-friendly MTB clinic with Sarah Rawley, June 7 | SummitDaily.com

Silverthorne rec hosts beginner-friendly MTB clinic with Sarah Rawley, June 7

Take it from Sarah Rawley: Mountain biking is just like driving a car — even when the trail throws rocks and roots and deathtraps in your path.

"For some people, biking comes naturally. For others, a front wheel lift or another basic technique just doesn't feel so natural," said Rawley, a local MTB veteran with more than a decade of racing experience under her belt. "That is where mountain biking begins: with the fundamental skills. Once you have those, your confidence will be higher on the trail and you have the toolbox you need to tackle anything out there."

On June 7, she pairs with the Silverthorne Recretaion Center to give mountain bikers of any ability a crash course on the basics, from shifting and braking to where your eyes should be on a steep, winding course. (Hint: They aren't staring at your front tire.)

The beginner-friendly course lasts for two hours and is held on flat ground at Rainbow Park, found just past the sand volleyball courts at the rec center. This is the second year Rawley has partnered with the town for an intimate and nonintimidating clinic, which is capped at 10 total participants to make sure everyone is getting their money's worth. Registration is $15 for rec center members or $18 for non-members. Pre-registration is required before the day of the class.

Like her VIDA clinics — the women's-only series is moving to Winter Park this summer after two years at Keystone — the Silverthorne clinic is made for riders ages 18 years or older and perfect for newcomers who are just getting into the sport, along with veterans who have been riding for decades and simply want to fine-tune their technique with an expert.

"Sarah will be watching the form, the technique — everything," said Renee Rogers, fitness coordinator for the town. "One thing I really noticed last year is that people are able to make so much improvement in just two hours. It's pretty amazing to see that, and she does a great job with this. She's phenomenal."

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Now, back to the car metaphor. For Rawley, driving a car and riding a mountain bike are all about getting comfortable with the basics. Those basics can seem intimidating when you first get started, but, after a quick introduction they soon become habit.

"When you drive a car, you don't think about when to brake, when to use your blinker, how much space to allow — that's all stuff that becomes programmed after years," she said. "It can be the same thing with riding a mountain bike: It's all simple actions."

Those simple actions include braking, steering, foot placement and vision. She teaches all on flat ground, so there's no need to worry about a long, lung-busting ride to finish the day. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to get back to the basics. After all, it's what she's been doing for years.

"This sport really speaks to all ages and abilities," Rawley said. "I still go to beginner yoga classes because I like practicing those fundamental principles, and the same goes for biking. I've been racing and competing for a decade, but I still practice bunny hops in my driveway."

MTB Fundamentals clinic

What: A one-time, beginner-friendly mountain bike clinic taught by local guru Sarah Rawley, with an overview of basic and advanced techniques for riding singletrack

When: Tuesday, June 7 at 6 p.m.

Where: Rainbow Park at the Silverthorne Recreation Center

Cost: $15 for rec members, $18 for non-members

The course runs for two hours and is capped at 10 participants. Registration is open to riders 18 years and older only. Participants must bring a bike, helmet, closed-toe shoes and water. To register, call the rec center at (970) 262-7370 or visit the rec website at http://www.silverthorne.org.

30 days of cycling in Silverthorne

This June, athletes across Silverthorne (and the rest of Summit County) can get their cycling fix with a slew of in-town activities for children, parents, newbies and everyday riders. A look at what’s coming up for Cycle Silverthorne Month:

June 1 — Silverthorne Elementary School Bike to School Day and Bike Rodeo

Bring your bike to school and have a ride for the students-only Bike Rodeo. Yee-haw, kiddos!

June 6 and 27 — Yoga for Cyclists

The rec center hosts cycle-friendly yoga courses both days at 6 p.m. The class is free with daily admission or a rec pass.

June 20-24 — Bike to Work Week

Parents, this one’s for you. Bike to work and stop by local partner businesses (Pearl Izumi, Red Buffalo Coffee and Tea, and Baker’s Brewery) for discounts and specials.

June 22 — Bikes, Burgers, Beers and a Band

It’s everything you love about living in Silverthorne. How can you say no? Send cycle month off in style with prizes, live music, food and, of course, beer. Price is $5 per person from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Silverthorne Pavilion.