Introduction by Francis Cebedo:
Ladies, are you ready to actually enjoy mountain bike descending? Are you ready to learn in an environment that is challenging but will actually build up your confidence? Gentlemen, you want your spouse/partner to ride better but you’re actually not the greatest teacher in the world. And not every female rider thrives in a group ride with a bunch of dudes racing each other.
So here is the Dirt Series mountain bike skills camp. It was born in Canada by a group of lady shredders and it is sponsored by Trek along with a few other companies. These women know what they are talking about and they know how to break it down and communicate them. And unlike a bunch of pros who just soar ten feet up in the air naturally, these coaches actually understand proper technique and know how transfer the knowledge to riders of different abilities.
The coaches are of the highest abilities and you cannot out ride them. And if you do, they will recruit you as a guest coach. The groups are broken up into many groups that will challenge and and nurture a rider of any ability. And a great testimonial this camp is most students feel they got their money’s worth at $325. They either come back the next year to take another session or they volunteer their time to give back to group.
Description by Cherubin Cebedo:
The Trek Dirt Series is a two full-day mountain bike technical skills camp. In its twelfth year of operation, the Trek Dirt Series offers something for every level of mountain biker. Founder and Director, Candace Shadley, created this mountain biking technical skills camp primarily for women, but it also offers a few select number of co-ed camps as well. What inspired her to create this women-centric mountain biking instructional camp? Candace saw a need and demand to grow the sport of mountain biking specifically with women in mind, so they could learn the necessary skills and techniques needed to ride a mountain bike. Not only do the camps teach the participants mountain biking skills, it gives them confidence in a non-competitive environment.
The Trek Dirt Series is based in the beautiful Coast Mountain range of Whistler, BC. Some of the camps are held in Whistler (which is probably the most popular of the camps), but they are also held throughout Canada, Alberta and the United States from Oregon, California, Utah, Colorado and Washington. It really has grown in its twelve years of operation and will hopefully expand further. The camps are held on the weekends and are two full days. Each day includes a technical skills session in the morning and instructional ride in the afternoon. They bring all of their equipment from the teeter-totters, planks, drops of varying heights and many other tools necessary to teach the many skills you will learn during camp.
On Saturday evenings, they feature bike maintenance clinics, bike set-up opportunities and a social time to get to know the other camp participants. I found myself exchanging “camp” stories of my day with the other women I met. It was pretty interesting to hear about what they learned that day or how the trail conditions were that they were able to practice on.
Each Trek Dirt Series camp ranges from 35-70 participants and they maintain a 1:6 coach to participant ratio. The camps are led by experienced coaches with backgrounds ranging from Pro or National DH or XC medalists, professional athletes, personal trainers, yoga instructors. They vary greatly in their expertise, but they share one passion. They all enjoy spreading their love for the sport of mountain biking. They are eager to teach and help other women become as passionate about mountain biking as they are, and they have all the confidence in the world in each participants’ abilities. They are there to inspire you, give you support, and motivation.
Prior to attending camp, every participant is required to fill-out a thorough questionnaire that determines each of their skill levels, cycling ability and interests. The questionnaire is a little intimidating, but it gets you into the right group with those of equal skill levels and similar interests on what they want to learn at camp.
Most participants range from novices just starting to mountain bike to those mountain biking enthusiasts who want to master more advanced technical skills. There are also quite a number of participants who are cross-country, free-ride, downhill, endurance and adventure racers too. The Trek Dirt Series really offers something for every level of mountain biker.
If you want to learn more about the camps, visit www.dirtseries.com. It’s not too late to sign-up so checkout their schedule. The cost for the camp as of 2012 is $335 US or $335 Canadian depending on the location of the camp.
Continue reading for Cherubin Cebedo’s Trek Dirt Camp experience…