Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Week's Gift for Gravity Girls: Twin Six Tops and Socks

Are you gift shopping for your BFF (Best Freeride Friend)? Maybe you're sending subtle hints to your significant other about which goodies you really, really, really want? Or perhaps you're that significant other and you're desperately looking for the perfect gift? What really matters is that you've come to the right place. Each week we'll post a new No-Brainer Gift for Gravity Girls. Not only will these packages make shopping quick and easy, but they'll also save you a few bucks in the process! Joy!

This week's addition to the Gravity Girls' Gift Guide is the Twin Six Tops and Socks Gift Pack. This package lets you pair a Twin Six Masher or Two Wheels for Life t-shirt with the Skull or 3-inch Argyle socks. You'll save more than $4 when you buy these items together.

Friday, November 28, 2008

December's Featured Rider: Katrina Strand

It's hard to discuss Canadian downhill riders without mentioning Katrina Strand. She's a Whistler, BC local who has dedicated her career to gravity riding. Katrina and Claire Buchar are the Candian DH Girls, and the two were ranked 19th in Decline Magazine's 26 Most Influential People in Mountain Biking earlier this year. When Katrina's not racing World Cups or Canadian Nationals, she coaches other athletes through her business, Katrina Strand Fitness Coaching. Oh, and can someone get this girl a frame sponsor?--FF

Name: Katrina Strand
Home: Whistler, BC
Age: You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever?!
Favorite type of riding: Downhill! But there isn’t any type of biking that I don’t like – you’ll see me at the dirt jumps and the velodrome, riding cross country, all mountain , BMX, and road
Why you ride: Challenge, adventure, fun
Sponsors: Oakley, Maxxis, Shimano, Mavic, Fox Shox, Crank Brothers, Syncros, Dakine, e13, Giro, Fizik, Whistler Bike Park, Evolution Bike Shop, Peak Performance Massage Therapy

On a rainy summer day in 1997, my best buddy Lisa Lefroy and I grabbed her dad’s cruisers and brought them up the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. We were the only people out there, slip and sliding the whole way down. At the end of the day, we were scrapped, bruised, muddy and happy. Shortly after I bought my first mountain bike!

When I first started mountain biking, my intentions were %100 genuine. I loved being outside with my friends, riding trails, going on adventures, and challenging myself. Ten years later, I have traveled all over the world with my bike – from South America to Jamaica, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. I have represented Canada at the World Championships, had top-three finishes at the Canadian National Championships, and top-15 results at World Cups. I have written several media and editorial projects, been in countless marketing campaigns and magazine articles, coached thousands of people and co-created the only women’s-only freeride event in existence, The Gala.

Through all of this, my intentions remain the same – I ride because I love to ride! All of this came through being passionate about mountain bikes. I work hard because I want to work hard. It has not been glamorous in any way. I have, for lack of a better expression, worked my ass off! But, I love it. I am so lucky to have found my passion – so when the hurdles get big, it doesn’t scare me away, it only makes me jump higher.

I’m starting off 2009 with a trip overseas to Australia and New Zealand. As for the rest of the year, I’m not so sure yet. I am still working on a frame sponsor so we’ll have to see. But whatever happens, the future looks bright. I’ll always be a rider and I will always be out there, riding in the woods, looking for the next adventure, pushing my limits and laughing with my friends.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Twin Six Jerseys and Tees Are in Stock!

We just received Twin Six's latest jersey design, The Masher, as well as their new Masher t-shirt and Two Wheels for Life t-shirt. In addition, we've restocked quite a few of our best selling Twin Six classics, which are currently on sale. Click here to check out the entire Twin Six line on Freeride Foundation!

Monday, November 24, 2008

17th Annual Southridge Challenge Downhill Results

Maxine Irving set her camera down and rolled into the start gate to handily win the 17th Annual Southridge Challenge downhill race this weekend. This race, which was held at Southridge Park in Fontana, CA, was the final event on the Soutridge USA 2008 race calendar. The Winter Series downhill and 4x races start January 10-11, 2009.

Pro Women
1. Maxine Irving
2. Kim Hard
3. Joy Martin
4. Christine Hirst
5. Sarah Jansen
6. Vaea Verbeeck
7. Jill Hamilton

Expert Women 34 & Under
1. Francine Johnson
2. Erika Noel

Expert Women 35+
1. Laura Noonan
2. Nancy Harris
3. Erica Phillips

Sport Women 34 & Under
1. Margaret Gregory

Sport Women 35+
1. Carla Bray

Beginner Women 35+
1. Lala Mijares

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2009 Sea Otter Road Trip!

Allie and I are always looking for ways to get to more races and save money while doing it. We figure that there are more people out there like us. So, we're putting together a 2009 Sea Otter Road Trip.

Save money by traveling with a fun group of riders! Save time by letting us work out the travel and lodging details! Rooms are already filling up, so we'll guarantee you're not sleeping in the dirt. Tell your friends. Boys and cross country or road racers are welcome too!
  • You'll get a ride to the race from Park City, or various points along I-80, 5 nights of lodging at Holiday Inn Express, rides to and from the race venue every day, and a ride back home.
  • 12 spaces are available.
  • The fee includes gas and full insurance coverage on the rental van and drivers.
  • The van will leave early in the morning on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 from Park City, UT and arrive that evening in Monterey, CA.
  • The van will leave early in the morning on Monday, April 20, 2009 from Monterey, CA and arrive that evening in Park City, UT.
  • If you live outside of Park City or Salt Lake, you can travel there and then hop in the van!
  • Each rider may bring a maximum of 2 bikes.
  • The $385 rate is valid through Dec. 31. On January 1, 2009, the fee will increase to $475 to account for increased room rates.

  • Compare the $385 to camping at the venue for $70/night ($280 for 4 nights), $319 to fly from SLC to Monterey (, or putting more than 1,800 miles on your own vehicle.

Click here to find out more and/or to reserve your spot!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Springy Thingies: Learning about Suspension

Not only do we want you to look hot when you're riding your bike, but we also want you to look (act, and ride) like you know what you're doing out there. Most experienced riders have learned the ins and outs of their bike's suspension. However, it takes a bit of tinkering to figure it all out. Tinkering with your ride can seem like a sketchy operation, and so we've enlisted some guidance.

We've consulted with Fox Racing Shox's Elayna Caldwell about some suspension basics. This article is the first in a series. Once you pass the online quiz, we'll move on to more in-depth material. (Ha! There's no quiz, but there will be a follow-up article!).

Elayna Caldwell is the Marketing Manager at Fox Racing Shox. She's been riding bikes since 1991 and she has some mad hot-dog-eating skillz too.

"I love all kinds of riding, I really love my Swobo Folsom cruiser for around town, it has a coaster brake and I can skid." She says. "I love singletrack of any kind. 'Extreme cross country' is a term I like, little bits of air here and there but I am not really rad. I’d rather not be in body armor and a full face, would rather be in baggies and a t-shirt. Yes, I said T-shirt."

FF: Even though suspension is the main reason we love riding downhill and trail bikes, it seems like this component is often overlooked. Maybe we set up our suspension when we pick up the bike at the shop, but then never touch it again. How can riders benefit from properly adjusted suspension, and at the most basic level, how can you tell if your suspension setup needs some adjustment?

EC: Suspension is the most important part of any bike. You are lucky if the shop sets it up for you. Most women I see have improperly set-up suspension. It is usually far too stiff. Whenever I give a clinic, I like to reinforce to women that they should "play" with their suspension. You won't break it.

A properly set-up bike allows greater rider confidence. Your wheels will track better and your bike will respond appropriately. For example, if you have too much air or too stiff of a coil spring in your fork or shock, when you hit a bump, it will not absorb it as well and it will feel harsh. A properly set up bike will absorb the bump and feel smoother.

FF: Is basic suspension adjustment something that the average rider can do themselves, or should riders visit a shop to make these changes?

EC: Yes, you can do it yourself and please do. Every suspension company should have a ‘how to’ set-up guide in the owner’s manual. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, it is all on the website. Set-up is explained very well on Fox's service site.

FF: There are a lot of terms that apply to suspension. What does each term refer to, and how does it affect the feel of the bike?

Travel – The amount of (inches or centimeters) a fork or shock can move. For example our F120 RLC has 120mm or 4.7 inches of travel.

Rebound – All suspension does two things: it compresses (when it goes down) and it rebounds (when it comes back up). I know that is super over-simplified, and not very technical. All of the adjustments on a fork or shock control the speed at which those two things occur.
Compression (High vs low?) – This is my easy way of explaining and how I understand it when the engineers explain it to me.

High Speed Compression means the speed at which the fork or shock is moving is fast. So, you could be going fairly slowly off of a big jump, and when you the ground and your fork and shock compress very quickly, you just experienced High Speed Compression.
Low Speed Compression means that the speed the fork or shock is moving is slow. You could be riding pretty fast over some tiny little bumps, but your suspension is not moving very quickly. That is Low Speed Compression.

Damping (or is it dampening?) – Oh, thank you for asking. It is Damping. Dampening is to make something wet. That reminds me of my favorite sticker: "your stupid" [get it?]. Anyway, damping is what controls the speed of a fork or shock's rebound and compression. For example, our 40 RC2 downhill fork has a cartridge in the right leg called the Damper. You would not believe how much time the engineers spend working on this. Good damping is what separates a good fork or shock from a mediocre one. However, if improperly set up, it won't feel good.

Other important terms?

Sag – And no, we are not talking about boobs. This is the most important thing about set-up and how to set up. Sag is the amount your suspension moves when you sit on your bike in the garage. Typically, and this varies from bike to bike, so check your owners manual, you want about 25-30% of the available travel to sag when you do the garage test.

So you have a 6-inch travel bike like a Nomad, for example. the fork probably has about 160mm or 6.3 inches of travel. When you sit on your bike with your full weight and put your feet on the pedals, you want it to compress about 2 inches. If it does not move that much, you need to take air out or change the coil in your fork, depending on if you have an air spring or a coil spring. If it moves too much, you need to add air or change to a firmer spring. You will need a friend to help you with this. They need to hold the bike while you are on it, and they can mark the stanchion (fork's upper tube) with a Sharpie to see how much sag you have. The same goes for rear shocks.

We'll get intimate with the bits and pieces that make up your suspension next month! Oooh!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Sweet Deal: BetterRide and Freeride Foundation

Freeride Foundation has teamed up with Gene Hamilton's BetterRide mountain bike camps to offer special pricing for the Women's Downhill Camp, February 27-March 1, 2009 at Bootleg Canyon, NV.

The 3-day camp normally costs $599, but if you sign up by November 30 and mention you're with us, you'll get a 15% discount ($90). If you can't make it work by the 30th, sign up by January 5th and get a 10% discount. Click here to sign up!

The El Rancho Motel is the recommended lodging, and we'd like to help everyone attending to share rooms to save even more cash! If you'd like to bring a friend or three along, don't worry--you can all get the discounted Freeride Foundation clinic rate!

Monday, November 17, 2008

This Week's Gift for Gravity Girls: Stars and Bars Gift Pack

Are you gift shopping for your BFF (Best Freeride Friend)? Maybe you're sending subtle hints to your significant other about which goodies you really, really, really want? Or perhaps you're that significant other and you're desperately looking for the perfect gift? What really matters is that you've come to the right place. Each week we'll post a new No-Brainer Gift for Gravity Girls. Not only will these packages make shopping quick and easy, but they'll also save you a few bucks in the process! Joy!

This week's addition to the Gravity Girls' Gift Guide is the Stars and Bars Gift Pack. This package includes the Sombrio Lofter jersey, the Harlot Logo socks, and the Kona Supreme gloves. Buying the Stars and Bars Pack saves you $30 over buying each piece on its own.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The FOMO Effect

FOMO, according to Yeti's Ariel Lindsley and Abby Hippely, is the acronym for the "fear of missing out." Ariel explained this phenomenon last summer when discussing the need to pack motos, downhill bikes, and cross country bikes for a weekend trip to the Sierra foothills. The need to over-pack stemmed from the FOMO. What if everyone else was riding motos, but he and Abby had only brought bikes? And what if someone wanted to go to Northstar after an early morning cross country ride?

The FOMO's are felt far beyond choosing which equipment to haul around the country. Remember the last time you rode at your local resort with your favorite riding buddies? And remember when you were so tired that you could barely wrap your fingers around your grips and you were ready to call it quits? But then, the posse decided take another run, and you went too, even though you knew you'd ride like poo? My dear, you experienced the FOMO. The thought of all of your friends hanging out on the chairlift without you, and riding your favorite trail while you sat at the bottom by yourself, was too much to bear. You sucked it up and rode like poo, just so you could make sure that nothing cool happened without you.

The FOMO isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it's what motivates us to try something new or to get out and ride when we had planned on taking the day off. And if you have the room to travel with every toy in the garage, your recreational options while on the road are limitless.

The FOMO effect schooled me today, though. After two weeks of cold, rainy, and snowy weather, the sun came out all day yesterday. Temperatures reached the mid-50s today. I decided it was time to pedal. I haven't ridden in two weeks, and 3 hours of singletrack shredding sounded like the perfect way to spend my Saturday afternoon. Besides, if I didn't get out to ride today, tomorrow, and Monday, I might not get to ride dirt again until spring. FOMO!

Two hours and 20 pounds of mud later, a comment made by Gob Bluth of Arrested Development was stuck in my head: "I've made a huge mistake." By the time my wheels stopped rolling due to mud the consistency of a Frosty, blended with mini-sticks and scrub oak leaves, it seemed silly for me to reverse my direction on what I knew was a loop. The FOMO struck again! Had I simply retreated, I would have saved myself 1.5 hours of hiking, sliding, and stopping to de-mud-ify my drivetrain and tires. But no, I was convinced that tacky sand and hours of fun were waiting just up the trail and around the corner, so I pressed on. Of course, the slimy conditions never changed.

This lesson is one that I've learned before. How could the trails actually be dry two days after two weeks of precipitation and freezing temperatures? The FOMO's pull proved too strong to resist. Acknowledging the FOMO's existence may be the first step toward preventing it from landing me in more undesirable situations. The second step will be to not give in to its incredible power. At least now I know that I am not going to miss out on anything by going for a run tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Race 4 Tara 2 Results

Last weekend, Sand Hill Ranch in Brentwood, CA hosted a day of mountaincross racing to benefit Tara Llanes. The event raised over $8500 for her! Lainey Aldridge won the event for the Pro Women for the second year in a row. Only the top 4 riders are listed in the results, which can be found at

Pro Women
1. Lainey Aldridge
2. Tasa Herndon
3. Kelly Moore
4. Rosie Bernhard

Amateur Women
1. Sandra Ross
2. April Malvino
3. Juliana Quintero
4. Glenda Barnhart

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mongoose Hillbilly Bike Bash Results

The first-ever Hillbilly Bike Bash went down in history at Vail Lake Resort, CA last weekend. After dabbling in cross country and endurance racing for the last few years, Stephanie Gaudreau returned to her Pro Downhill form with a decisive win. For more information on the event, visit Yee-ha!

Pro Women
1. Stephanie Gaudreau
2. Joy Martin
3. Christine Hirst
4. Sarah Jansen

Expert Women
1. Nancy Harris
2. Jill Hamilton

Sport Women
1. Erica Phillips
2. Lisa Tucker

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2nd Freeride Foundation Flyer Emails on Friday!

The Freeride Foundation Flyer, (or the FFFlyer) mails again on Friday, November 14. The Flyer is chock full of goodies like sale announcements, product previews, and some more stuff that I'll come up with later, but that you definitely won't want to miss. This newsletter will be mailed only to current Freeride Foundation customers and account holders who choose to receive it.

If you want to be on that exclusive list, click here and create an account. Be sure you've subscribed to the newsletter! Current customers, now's a great time to log into your account and confirm that you're subscribed as well.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Plattekill's Final Downhill Race of 2008

The last race Plattekill's season was held in Roxbury, NY this weekend. The race was also the final race of the New York State Downhill Championship Series. Kristine Koch took her first Pro/Expert win at the double-points race. Vicki Koch held onto her significant points lead to win the overall Pro/Expert Women's series. Click here to view the entire series points and rankings.

Downhill Race
1. Kristine Koch
2. Vicki Koch

Junior Beginner
1. Taylor Allison

Friday, November 7, 2008

Freeride Foundation Is Going Global!

I just finished setting up international shipping options for Freeride Foundation! Since my brain is officially fried from this project, I'm reproducing our own press release below. Pass it on!

Freeride Foundation—the first and only online retail store dedicated to female gravity addicts—wants women the world over to look and feel their best while shredding singletrack. This unique website now ships women’s-specific downhill and freeride clothing and gear to 68 countries. Due to increasing requests to ship products internationally, Freeride Foundation has increased its sales area from the US and Canada to all of North America, Western Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. All of Freeride Foundation’s current brand offerings (Sombrio, Harlot, Twin Six, and Kona) are available for international purchase.

“We are excited to offer our growing product selection to women around the world. This expansion is timely as well, since Australia and New Zealand’s racing season is now in full swing,” says Jackie Baker, Freeride Foundation’s owner and founder. “The gravity disciplines are hugely popular in regions we’ve targeted. Now women in these areas can easily purchase the finest downhill and freeride clothing.”

Freeride Foundation now offers several shipping options to all customers. USPS Express delivers products within 1-2 days domestically and 6 days internationally. USPS Global Express delivers products internationally in 1-3 days. All orders totaling $100+ ship for free to the US, Canada, and Mexico. All other international orders totaling $200+ ship via USPS Express for just $20.

Freeride Foundation’s goal is to provide women with a comprehensive catalog of downhill and freeride clothing and gear in an inviting and entertaining environment. In addition to carrying women’s riding clothes from the industry’s top brands, the website offers an online community for gravity girls. To see if Freeride Foundation ships to your location, and to join the Freeride Foundation online community, visit

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Buy The Way Bobby Sees It on Freeride Foundation!

Just in time for chilly weather and shorter days, we're bringing in some sweet riding movies. The first movie to arrive is Poison Oak Production's documentary, The Way Bobby Sees It. We reviewed this movie earlier this year, and now you can own it. Or, give this inspirational DVD as a gift! It's perfect for anyone--whether or not they ride bikes.
Click here to buy your copy!

DirtRag Women's Weekend at Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park

Set aside the dates of February 20-22, 2009 and book your tickets to Cleveland, Ohio! The annual DirtRag Women's Weekend at Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park is set to go off! We'll post more details as we get them.

Just know that if you show up in Northeast Ohio that weekend, you'll be greeted with loads of fun riding, great riders and coaches, and maybe even a super-sick non-Women's-Weekend-sanctioned night skiing session at my alma mater, Brandywine. Oh, we know you want to travel to the Heartland now!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!

Yeah! I doubt any US citizen could possibly have forgotten what day it is, but just in case: It's time to vote (if you haven't already)! Grab a Bike mag and a Decline mag (it may be a long wait), and go exercise your rights!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Australian National Series Downhill #1 Results

Claire Whiteman won the first downhill race of the Australian National Series, which was held in Adelaide, South Australia on November 1st and 2nd. The next round of the Series takes place November 29-30 and includes 4x and downhill. More information on the series can be found at

Elite Women
1. Claire Whiteman
2. Leigh Douglas
3. Sarah Booth
4. Cara Smith
5. Emma Lewis
6. Leonie Picton
7. Lea Harley
8. Joanne Fox
9. Jayne Rutter
10. Shannon Chugg

Women Under 17
1. Em Hockey
2. Bec Kriss
3. Jaz Rosa
4. Christie Batt

Women Under 19
1. Shelly Flood

Masters Women
1. Carol Moore

Veteran Women
1. Julie Harris
2. Melanie Spurling

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Inside Scoop: Neven's Collegiate Nationals

It's always interesting to discover what "really" happens at races. Without actually attending the race, watching a Freecaster broadcast, or getting a complete report from a racer, it's easy to take a list of results at face value. Yet you know that every rider out there has a story about how they crashed, narrowly avoided crashing, or had the most amazing and glorious race runs of their lives.

Collegiate racing tends to bring out even more of these stories because it's just so much fun. This year's National Championships took place in Banner Elk, NC. Neven Steinmetz trekked across the country with the University of Colorado cycling team and her sights set on a Dual Slalom Collegiate National Champion's jersey, and perhaps one in downhill too.

On paper, Neven should have been a ringer for the dual slalom title, and was a strong contender for a downhill win too. However, an untimely bailout at the crux of the downhill course during pre-race practice on Saturday ended her chances for downhill domination.

Says Neven, "It was just super muddy and slick. I knew I was going to crash, so it was either endo into some rocks or try and bail over the berm--as it turns out, also into rocks! I thought it might just be sprained and tried to ride down, but I had to put my foot out moto-style at one point because it was so muddy. When I felt the bones move, I knew I wasn't going to be racing the DH an hour later!"

Still, the dual slalom was more than 24 hours away. Being the focused athlete that she is, Neven decided to take her chances and attempt to snag her dual slalom win. We don't want to suggest that it's a good idea to race bikes when you know you're broken. Not only is it easier to cause more damage to the already broken parts, but it's pretty easy to throw yourself on the ground again and end up with more than one broken limb. Neven knew she was taking a chance that might send her into the operating room, but she was willing to deal with the possible consequences for the sake of another University of Colorado win.

In the true spirit of collegiate cycling, her CU teammates borrowed a wagon and pulled Neven up the hill to her heats. She made it through the rounds and finished 4th. More impressive was the fact that she managed to minimize the harm done to her heavily wrapped and air-casted kankle by running one clipless pedal and one flat pedal. She gimped her way back to Boulder to receive the good news that no surgery would be required--just 6 weeks of crutches plus some rehab.

So kids, the morals of the story here are: Stay in School!; Don't Try This at Home!; and When in Doubt, Have Your Friends Pull You Up the Hill in a Wagon!