Women’s mountain bike clinics debut for $15 at Frisco Peninsula June 9, June 30, July 21
Frisco women’s MTB clinics
What: A series of three women’s-only mountain bike clinics lead by local XTERRA triathlete Jaime Brede, with a mix of flatland drills and trail riding at the Frisco Peninsula
When: Thursdays, June 9, June 30 and July 21 from 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: Frisco Adventure Park
Cost: $15 per person
The series is made for riders of all abilities ages 18 years and older. Classes are capped at 15 riders. All participants must bring a bike, helmet and flat pedals (clips not recommended). Pre-registration is required. To register or find out more, see http://www.FriscoRecreation.com or call (970) 668-2558.
Even a simple exercise like weaving through cones can build a mountain biking machine, especially when that machine is itching for the snow to melt.
“These are the types of tools that anyone, especially in the High Country, can do when we’re waiting for the trails to dry out,” local triathlete Jaime Brede said. “You can take these skills into a parking lot, even when it’s drizzling, and they will make you a better rider.”
She would know. For more than a decade now, Brede has been climbing the female XTERRA rankings to become one of the top off-road triathletes in the nation. She’s also coach for the Summit High School team (second place at the 2015 state 4A championships) and head coach for The Cycle Effect, a local mountain bike team for middle and high school-aged girls in Summit and Eagle counties.
The XTERRA format replaces a triathlon road ride with a burly mountain bike leg, and so learning to comfortably handle a bike for miles and miles is a must for Brede — and that’s where the cones come in.
“These are very fundamental things,” Brede said. “But, even seasoned riders will come away with something to think about.”
This summer, Brede pairs with the town of Frisco for three mountain bike clinics made just for women. The clinics are held Thursdays (June 9, June 30, July 21) and kick off this coming week at 5:30 p.m. on the flat, forgiving trails of the Frisco Peninsula.
Brede, a licensed USA Cycling Coach, will split the 1.5-hour clinics into two segments: fundamentals on flat ground and a trail ride on the nearby singletrack.
“The beautiful thing about the peninsula is you have trails right next to you that lend themselves to ascending and descending,” Brede said. Along with steering fundamentals (aka cone drills), she’ll also lead the small group through braking drills, vision drills, and learning the proper ways to weight and unweight the bike through tight corners. After about an hour on flat ground it’s off to the trails for 30 minutes of in-field practice. The best part: You can take every last drill home, no extra equipment required.
Summit local Lea Chandonnet wants to learn something a bit trickier at Brede’s clinics: confidence. The 27-year-old Michigan native is an avid trail runner and started “seriously” mountain biking two seasons ago, when she bought a used full-suspension model from a friend. She already made one investment, she says, so why not figure out how to kick a** before another?
“I’m psyched for this,” Chandonnet said. “I wanted a new bike, but I thought I should invest in my personal skills before I splurge.”
She also wants to keep up with her boyfriend, but learning on a ride can be tough. The clinics are a laid-back way to work on skills without worrying about a long grind back home.
“I like learning with women,” Chandonnet said. “It can be more relatable and more relaxing. While I’m trying to keep up with my boyfriend it’s not really a learning experience.”
Again, take it from Brede: even the pros can learn better at a clinic. She recently took a course in Eagle with DirtSmart MTB, a Denver-based outfit, and will bring what she learned to the Frisco clinics.
“I learned that mountain biking starts with your feet, and a lot of people don’t think about that,” Brede said. “We think it’s just your legs and upper body.”
Amen. Bring on the cones.
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