Sports

Ladies getting dirty

 | June 28, 2010

Fun loving, mountain biking females may want to check out the upcoming Ladies Freeride Camps at Sun Peaks Resort.

The camps will be held July 4 and 11 at Sun Peaks and are for women looking to improve their riding while biking with similar levels of riders. They’re a fun way to get dirty, without the competition and stress caused by trying to keep up with boys. Heck, after you’re done with these camps you’ll have no problem keeping up with the boys.

Cheryl Beattie, owner of the Bicycle Cafe in Kamloops and instructing the camp for a second year has nothing but good things to say about them.

“I like to see the relaxed atmosphere because the women feel at ease and not self conscious,” she says. “They’re able to be themselves and feel like they can really learn.”

Cheryl Roos, who participated in last year’s Ladies Freeride Camp completely agrees.

“I’d have to say my favourite thing about the camp was the gain in my skill level,” she says. “The atmosphere was encouraging. The all women group was the way to go for me.”

Beattie says she’s seen the number of female mountain bikers, freeriders in particular, explode over the past few years. She also runs weekly ladies’ cross-country and shuttle rides from the Bicycle Cafe in Kamloops and has herself competed in the sport throughout B.C., and the United States, while making trips down to Costa Rica in the winter to ride. Talk about a two-wheeled multitasker.

Beattie says, while she started out cross-country riding, downhill biking has been her prime focus lately.

“I love spending the day on my bike, challenging myself and spending time with my riding friends,” she says.

The camps at Sun Peaks will focus around freeriding, or park and all mountain downhill mountain biking. They are geared towards low-intermediate riders who want some lessons on how to tackle tricks, jumps and obstacles in the bike park. They’ll also be riding excellent Sun Peaks single track trail, which is conveniently lift accessed.

Camps like the ones being offered are great to get a step up on your riding, making other tracks around the Kamloops area seem like a breeze. Nothing beats professional critique, and positive instruction.

Johanne Rene, who is still fairly new to riding says although she didn’t attend the camp last year she has definitely gained a lot of confidence from Beattie through instruction during the other rides Beattie hosts in Kamloops during the summer.

“She’s good at assessing a rider’s abilities and potential, and manages to draw it out by talking you through sections you thought you’d never have the nerves to manage on your own,” she says.

And while you can’t expect results instantly, in some cases it might only take a few hours, according to Roos.

“My goal was to have fun and get to an intermediate level on my bike that year,” she explains. “I had achieved that goal for the year before lunch!”

So why not join the girls and get dirty for a couple days of hard, challenging but fun riding? You’ll be hitting obstacles before you know it.

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