Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Dirty Dirty Dirty!!!

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside thoroughly used-up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW! WHAT A RIDE!!" ~ Unknown

I LOVE the above quote and every now and then I get the chance to do something that contributes to that goal. This weekend was no exception.

I spent the weekend, with my cousin Lisa, attending Dirt Series, a mountain bike clinic for women (they have co-ed clinics too). The goal: to have as much fun as possible while learning some new biking skills to get me down the North Shore mountains in one piece, bumps and bruises not withstanding!

Was the goal achieved? You betcha! I had a brilliant time! It was an amazing weekend filled with tons of learning (I can hop over things now!), pushing fear boundaries (I rode some wicked downhill with drops that had me shaking on my pedals!), and building new friendships. Not to mention the coaches were fantastic and it was so empowering to be with 59 other women as we took over the mountain trails.

On Fromme Mountain, this guy was riding up beside me and Megan and said 'I have never seen so many women riding!' He promptly then rode into the ditch. Guess we were a bit of a distraction?! I told him he might want to be careful on the trails because there were 60 of us out there on various trails! Too funny.

I have some wonderful bruises to show for my efforst this weekend, one about 2 inches in diameter on my upper thigh - the result of my first endo! The girls were mightly impressed when I leaped up after the fall, hands in the air like a champion, proclaiming 'Yeah! My first endo!!!' And of course a myriad of other bruises here and there. Oh, and there was my squished ankle...which happened when I put a little too much pressure on the very touchy disc breaks. Oops. This one definitely hurt, but it's starting to feel better. My theory - if you are going to participate in this sport, you are going to have some boo-boos. (Refer to quote at top of page...)

OH! And I almost forgot the cherry on the top of this whole weekend! I got to demo a Trek Remedy 9.8 carbon fibre dual suspension bike! It only retails for $4900!!! I have never in my life gotten to ride such a fine fine piece of machinery. It was heaven!

I am so stoked to be getting back into mountain biking. Espeically now that I have two new trails to practice my new skills on and new friends to go with! The North Shore mountains rock!

Below are some photos of the weekend...the trail ones do not do the drops justice!

Peace out my fellow adventurers!

Figure 1: Starting to gather for the skills session

Figure 2: Can you feel the excitement??

Figure 3: Lisa....can you feel the excitement??

Figure 4: Some of the skills equipment

Figure 5: The gals of Group C heading out for their first ride (Griffin Trail, Fromme Mtn)

Figure 6: Turn at the tree, mind the first drop!

Figure 7: Turn right 90 degrees, avoid the ditch, then ride down this rock ramp and drop off the rock at the end. Easy.

Figure 8: This drop looked much higher from the viewpoint of the bike!

Figure 9: Droool...Trek Remedy 9.8C

Figure 10: The Women of Dirt Series!

Figure 10: Day two skills - one of the ladies learning to do jumps at the bike park

Figure 11: Practicing front wheel lifts

Figure 12: Lisa practicing front wheel lifts!

Figure 13: Getting some instruction on the Bottle Top Trail, Seymour Mtn.

Figure 13: Bit of a left turn at the tree, 3 drops over roots and go across the bridge...this was late in the day and none of us mastered the drops. To be conquered next time!

Figure 14: Bit of downhill.


  1. The pictures don't do the drops justice??? Are you kidding me? I get the point just fine, thank you very much! Hee-hee!!

    That looks like soooooo much fun!! I would love to have participated -- is there a "Z group" though? Hahahaha!!! Like I said before, my mountain biking skills consist of riding up gravel/dirt roads. Roads. As in wide, vehicle-bearing roads.

    Those trails are amazing and have my heart pounding just looking at the photos!! Good for you Susi!! Become a mountain bike ninja princess and then you can teach me how to hop over a log too!! I've ALWAYS wanted to learn that! Hee-hee!!!

    So funny that that guy drove into the ditch with all you women out there!! Hahahahaha!!

  2. I loved the pictures too! You did a great job expalining and the pictures just added to your excitment. I'm glad you had a wonderful time and learned a lot!!

  3. Moeder says it looks like fun. Is the new love of your life really only $5G's. Just what you need for cycling on the roads in North Van. Justify anyway you can!!!

    Wish I was younger and the wrist worked.

    Lisa and you looked like you had FUN but somewhat coloured with bruises.