Teach, Ride, Repeat
There are those events that I look forward to every year and then new events that I put on my calendar. Since I'm a Libra, I really like the balance that familiarity brings yet I yearn for some new landscapes and challenges.
I always like going to Dirt Rag's Dirt Fest. This is a one of the biggest festivals on the east coast. I see tons of folks that I know and manage to see some sponsors like Stan's No Tubes and this year Scot Nicol of Ibis was there. It's important to see, face to face the people that make the awesome biking lifestyle possible. This year, I was going to be the charismatic Leigh Donovan's assistant instructor. Leigh is kinda old school and is in the BMX hall of fame and so SOCAL.
I learned a lot from teaching and riding with Leigh. She is really into cornering and manualing and made that a priority in her teaching. She brought a lot of personal experience from her riding and also great life lessons. Those personal anecdotes and warm feelings are the things that make the women's skills clinics so much more than technical tips about a bike.
The other new event that I taught at was the Midwest Women's Mountain Bike Clinic. I know, it's a long name! It's being going on 11 years. One of the most remarkable things was there were 22 instructors. It was pretty incredible being around that many MTB instructors. I love the collaboration and feedback that we give each other to make us great instructors. And Indiana actually had some great trails, too!
The last big event of this time period was the Canaan MTB Festival. This was the eighth, and biggest year. I started this festival as a way to give back to the little town of Davis that has given me so much. A local artist designs the poster every year and we have had some wild and wonderful interpretations of what it means to ride in Canaan. We do a bike trials(including trials for kids), a ladies day, group rides, and a bike hash. We also have a raffle with all proceeds going to our local IMBA chapter, Blackwater Bicycle Association. We had perfect weather this year. The best thing is seeing people enjoying each other's company with the trails as the medium to do that.
I've had the chance to teach and ride with more little kids these days and it makes my heart soar! Kids and bikes seem like such a pure and natural fit. I've really been trying to get these kids to learn some solid skills at a young age, so they will have lifelong good habits on the bike. And of course have tons of fun! I'm really stoked that ZOIC makes such a great kid's line of MTB clothes, too.