Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April's Featured Rider: Lisa Myklak

Lisa Myklak's profile is going to be a bit different. She's so excited about sharing her love of dirt jumping with others that she's dedicated her Featured Rider Profile to convincing you to try it--and explaining how to get started! Lisa is highly skilled at downhill and gated racing, and her dirt jump skills translate into a smooth, fast riding style. Still, she's happiest sessioning jumps with friends. She recently moved to Santa Cruz, CA from Boulder, CO to take advantage of the year-round riding season. --FF

Name: Lisa Myklak
Home: Felton, CA
Age: 30
Favorite type of riding: Toss up between dirt jump and downhill.
Why you ride: I feel most alive when I'm on my bike; it makes my
heart happy
Sponsors: Fox Racing Shox, Black Market Inc., Industry 9, Crankbrothers, Magura, Profile Racing, Jett MTB, e.13, Lake shoes, Hoven Visio
Website: BlackMarketBikes.com

To all ladies who want to dirt jump — do it. You’ll learn SO MUCH about how to handle a bike. The only thing you really need is a desire to learn – bravery will come. Just start by going out to your local dirt jumps or BMX track and rolling around.

There is so much I would love to share about dirt jumping, but here are a few things that I think are key.

Before You Start, Learn This:
Learn how to bunny hop. No jump involved – just learn how to bunny hop on flat ground (not clipped in). You have to pump with your arms and legs and this is truly jumping your bike. My friend Joanna Petterson and I would stack up inner-tube boxes and see how high we could get before knocking them over. If you know how to bunny hop, then you know the fundamentals to jumping. Every jump at every speed can be broken down by how to pump it.

Practice At Your Own Pace:
Guys are notorious for jumping one thing and then stepping right up to another jump. Only you know the balance between pushing yourself and backing off. Part of the fun is learning to jump something smoothly. Good technique takes time and repetition. You know you’ve found the balance when you’re still having fun but scaring yourself a little too.

Really Concentrate On This:
There is a lot of technique to jumping, but it’s also 100% mental. We’ve all seen that rider who just boldly hucks their meat off anything and most of the time they ride away fine. Why? Because they approach it with confidence and commitment. That’s not all of it though. The real trick is to learn to ride with confidence and commitment and at the same time stay relaxed. If you mess up and you’re relaxed, chances are you’re going to walk away alright. I’m not saying just go up to anything and ride it with confidence. But when you do decide to hit something, take this mentality into it.

Something To Keep In Mind:
Dirt jumping is both extremely rewarding and terribly frustrating. One day you’ll get through an entire line of jumps and the next day you won’t be able to jump the second one. Your skills in dirt jumping are very flippant at first. The best cure for this is to go ride something else — don’t let yourself get too frustrated.

One great thing about learning how to jump is that you start seeing everything in terms of lips and landings. This really helps with trail riding. It translates right over. Happy jumping!

Pan American Championships

The Pan American Championships took place a few weeks ago in Santiago, Chile. Diana Marggraff claimed the championship titles in both downhill and 4x.

Elite Women
1. Diana Marggraff
2. Veronica Francisca Miranda Fuentes
3. Rachel Bauer
4. Bruna Ulrich
5. Vanesa Cecilcia Ballarino Kneer
6. Andrea Melian Seguel

Junior Women
1. Diana Lorena Dromundo Vargas
2. Erika Daniela Quintana Sanchez
3. Bruna Somensi

1. Diana Marggraff
2. Veronica Miranda
3. Rachel Bauer
4. Erika Quintana Sanchez

Wear Your Helmet

I like to learn by doing. And this weekend, I learned that helmets are good. I treated a drop like a roller and landed on my face. But the amazing thing is that other than a small bone break, I'm just fine.

Check out my helmet, though. The incident occurred on my cross country bike, on what was supposed to be a mellow cross country ride with friends, so I was wearing my cross country helmet. While my face is a little beat right now, it's pretty easy to see how gnarly this all could have been without an awesome helmet (not like I'd ever NOT wear a helmet on my bike, but you see all kinds of crazy stuff out there).

Another crazy thing is how much sand got smeared into the lenses of my glasses. I'm so glad that wasn't my eyeball!

Anywho, I'm sorry for the lack of riding news in general lately, but on the bright side, you'll be seeing a lot more of it over the next few weeks while I'm on the mend!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Cleaning Sale!

Starting today, almost everything on FreerideFoundation.com is 10-50% off! The last snow storm of the season (we hope!) just rolled through and I'm ready to ride. Grab some new socks, gloves, and jerseys at sweet prices and get out there!
This sale ends April 15, 2009.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Like Riding a Bike, but Better: Gene Hamilton's BetterRide Clinic

I learned to ski when I was 12. Most of my friends were already cruising the intermediate slopes while I struggled to stand up long enough to get pulled to my doom by the bunny hill tow rope. Nonetheless, some saint of an instructor with endless patience managed to mold me into an eventual powder-junkie.

Not taking ski lessons was not an option. There is really no way to decipher the endless amount of subtleties that add up to a safe and proficient skier. Of course, there are examples of people picking up skiing as if they’re riding a bike, but those intuitive folks are few and far between. But when it comes to actually riding a bike, taking lessons is still a new and strange concept. Perhaps because we learn enough skills as kids on cruisers to get us through the initial stages of singletrack mastery, we assume that the way to get better at riding bikes is to keep riding bikes.

That’s what I thought, anyway. If I spend more time on my bike, I’ll get so comfortable that I’ll naturally be able to tackle even the tech-iest of terrain. As my yearly emergency room visits can attest, my method is flawed. So, when Gene Hamilton agreed to hold his first-ever all-women’s downhill clinic at the end of February, I was excited to see what I’d been missing out on for the past 12 years of my riding career.

It turns out that I’ve been missing a lot. I’m actually amazed that I have even made it this far with my riding the way it was. We met Gene in the parking lot at Bootleg Canyon, NV on a Friday morning, the first of three full days of riding and learning. There were 10 of us girls, ranging from pro racers to intermediate riders, and we were all making the same mistakes.
We began the clinic a bike check, to make sure all of our rides were set up properly. Most of us needed to make a few tweaks, like moving our brake levers closer to our bars for easier grip and less arm pump. While assessing suspension on one rig, Gene’s assistant Andy Winohradsky discovered a completely blown fork. Luckily, a quick switch-out with the rider’s (who will remain anonymous to protect the innocent) boyfriend’s bike allowed her to ride successfully for the entirety of the clinic.From there, we worked on mind-blowing exercises like looking ahead, learning to manual, cornering properly, pumping terrain, and braking correctly. You may think I’m being sarcastic, but the truth is that each exercise opened up new doors to confidence and speed on the trail. For instance, actually looking ahead like I’m supposed to proved to be the most challenging task of the weekend. Apparently I like to look about 10 feet ahead when it’s clear, and follow tricky sections with my eyes until my wheel’s made positive contact with the offending part of the trail. I had to try, work, and think non-stop about keeping my peepers on track. But when we combined the importance of really, truly looking ahead with riding some tight, rocky, exposed switchbacks on Sunday, it all came together. Each of us made the intimidating turns with ease when we kept our sights focused.Riding with Gene was great. When we rode singletrack, we rotated through following right behind him, so everyone—even the shyest riders—got a chance to follow someone with proper form and technique. In addition, Gene and Andy gave feedback to every rider as we worked on tasks in the parking lot and on the trail. Even better was the incredible camaraderie that developed between everyone taking the clinic. It was great to see riders improve while practicing each task, and gain confidence throughout the weekend. And, it was inspiring to hear everyone cheering as we each rode down a steep, loose, twisty section of singletrack while applying just the front brake.I wish that a lot of these good habits had been ingrained in my brain from my first day on a bike, like proper ski form and technique were drilled in my head on the bunny hill. However, I’m so glad that I was able to make my downhilling discoveries with such a fun and supportive coaching staff and group of riders. I can’t wait for it to stop snowing in Salt Lake so I can put my new skills to practice on the trail.

For more information about Gene Hamilton's BetterRide Clinics, and to sign up for upcoming events, visit BetterRide.net.

Captions from top to bottom: The crew minus yours truly; Allie asks a question; Learning to corner (aka leaning to corner); Christine cornering the cones.

Southridge Winter Series Finals

The last race of the 2009 Southridge Winter Series was held in Fontana, CA last weekend. Joy Martin took the downhill win over Larua Noonan, clinching her overall series title in the process. Brittany Jackson won in 4X.

To see full results as well as the overall series standings, visit SouthridgeUSA.com.

#6 Results
Pro Women
1. Joy Martin
2. Laura Noonan
3. Christine Hirst

Open Women
1. Margaret Gregory
2. Erica Phillips

Beginner Women 34 & Under
1. Rochelle Spranger

Beginner Women 35+
1. Kim Finch
2. Traci Adams

Open Women
1. Brittany Jackson
2. Robin Vold
3. Julia Zavala

Monday, March 23, 2009

CCCX #2 Results

The second race of California's CCCX downhill series was held at Toro Park this weekend. Expert rider Rosie Bernhard posted the fastest women's time of the day. Racing returns to Toro Park on April 11. Visit CCCX.org for more information.

Expert Women
1. Rosie Bernhard
2. Kelly Moore
3. Morgan Compton

Sport Women
1. Heather McFadden
2. Ashley Hernandez

Beginner Women
1. Kelly Johnson
2. Ayshe Tuncer
3. Jill Henrich
4. Kim Krueger
5. Andrea Locke

Oceania Championships Results

The Oceania Championships were held at Thredbo in New South Wales, Australia this weekend. Claire Whiteman continues her regional domination with the downhill win. And Caroline Buchanan remains untouchable in 4X, taking the win there.

Elite Women
1. Claire Whiteman
2. Caroline Buchanan
3. Amy Laird
4. Sarah Booth
5. Sarsha Huntington
6. Cara Smith

1. Caroline Buchanan
2. Sarsha Huntington
3. Cherie Simpson
4. Vanessa Thompson

We found these results on CyclingNews.com.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Maxxis Cup International #1 Results

The first downhill race of the Maxxix Cup was held last weekend in Gouveia, Portugal. Tracy Moseley took the win by about 19 seconds over Jessica Stone, who is also from Great Britain. The next round of the series is being held today, March 22 in Vigo, Spain.

Elite Women
1. Tracy Moseley
2. Jessica Stone
3. Sophie Borderes
4. Ariadna De Barros
5. Katy Curd
6. Maria Sanchez
7. Ana Martins
8. Armanet Carole
9. Santo Jullyana
10. Aurea Augostinho

We found these results on CyclingNews.com.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Keyesville Classic Results

The 2009 Keyesville Classic took place last weekend in Keyesville, CA. There were no Pro or Expert women at the downhill race. The fastest women's times of the day went to Sport rider Megan Zemny. The downhill was a two-run format, each run on a different course.

Sport Women 30+
1. Megan Zemny

Beginner Women 29 & Under
1. Virginia Cabrera

Beginner Women 30+
1. Wendy McKeller
2. Traci Adams
3. Kelley Brunson
4. Julie Stiarman

Visit Keyesville.com for full results.

SSL Issues Resolved

Last month when I renewed our SSL (security certificate) for Freeride Foundation, there were some glitches in the installation process. The result was that many users saw warning messages that the site was not secure. Please note that during this time, and information entered was definitely secure, and all payment processes took place on PayPal's secure server.

Allie has been instrumental in fixing the problem, and the entire issue was resolved last night. I sincerely apologize for any concern this may have caused. Thanks to everyone who contacted us about the issue, so we could get it taken care of! If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact me at jackie@freeridefoundation.com.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patty's Day Feast Results

I finally found some results from the St. Patty's Day Feast downhill race that took place at Bootleg Canyon, NV this weekend. Melissa Buhl took the win over Jackie Harmony.

Pro Women
1. Melissa Buhl
2. Jackie Harmony
3. Tasa Herndon
4. Linden Lane
5. Francine Johnson

Expert Women
1. Carmen Bastek

If I'm missing anyone, please let me know! The results are also posted at Crash Innovation's Myspace page.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

South African National Championship Results

Anka Martin took home that National Championship jersey at the South African National Downhill Championships this weekend. Normally based in Bend, OR, South African Anka Martin has been training for the Cape Epic for the past month. She's fit and fast, and took second behind Helene Fruwirth (who is Austrian) in the downhill race on Sunday.

Elite Women
1. Helene Fruhwirth
2. Anka Martin
3. Gina Nixon
4. Tayla Brown
5. Victoria Phillips
6. Erna Nel

We found these results on CyclingNews.com.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sand Hill Ranch Spring Gravity Series

The Sand Hill Ranch Spring Gravity Series has taken off. The first two events of the season where held March 7 and March 14. There were no women at the March 7 race, which was a mountaincross event. This weekend was a dual slalom race, and Lisa Myklak took the win over Joanna Petterson. The next race will be a mountaincross on March 28. Sand Hill Ranch is located in Brentwood, CA. For more information, visit Sand Hill Ranch's website.

#2, Dual Slalom
Pro Women
1. Lisa Myklak
2. Joanna Petterson
3. Sondra Williamson

Open Women
1. Kelsey Anderson
2. Heather McFadden

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ranch Style Jam and Dual Slalom

Grassroots Cycles is hosting the second-annual Ranch Style festival in Fruita, CO April 23-26. The Ranch Style clinics, dual slalom, and slopestyle are happening the same weekend as the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. The dual slalom will be held on Saturday, and the slopestyle is Sunday. If enough women sign up for the slopestyle, there will be a women's-only class! Sign up early, so Grassroots can plan accordingly!
Click here to learn more about Ranch Style!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

From BC to Italy in One Year

Ello Mate! I am one plane down, two to go, on my way from Vancouver to Sydney Australia. It's a long day of plane hopping, but I’m not complaining! The funny thing is that it was blue skies and sunny when I left Van this morning, and apparently it’s raining in Sydney now (and for the next week). That seems a bit backwards, but I guess that’s how they do things Down Under. It doesn’t really bother me too much though, because I am certain that the hot sun isn’t far behind the rain clouds, and a warm rain is much more comfortable than a freezing one!

This trip was a spontaneous one--I had more or less accepted the fact that it was going to be a dark, wet Vancouver winter for me, and had started writing several Blogs, most of them about riding in the rain. The off-season (for racing) has flown by. If I wasn’t working on sponsorship stuff (trying to sort out this coming race season), I was working, training, eating or sleeping. Weeks can disappear pretty fast that way! Then along came an opportunity for me to go to Australia to combine a bit of warm weather training/riding with visiting some friends, and I decided it was too good to pass up.

Now I have a bit more “me” time, I’d like to share a bit about my last couple years of racing because they kind of took me by surprise, because I enjoy talking about racing, and because I learned a couple of things along the way that others may find useful to know as well.

My first year of DH racing was 2007. I started riding bikes in 2001 and had worked through my share of broken bones and bruises, so by this time I had at least figured out how to stay upright more often than not--that in itself can be quite an accomplishment! I had always told myself I would never race. I just wanted to ride because it was my passion and not get caught up in the racing scene. I thought riding would become too serious then and all the fun would disappear. But after several years of riding I was curious… how would I do if I raced?

So, I entered my first race of the season, a fun little course on the Sunshine Coast of BC called the Rat Race. I had no expectations of myself and no idea of any racing technique or strategy (finding lines, learning the course, etc.). All I knew was that I had to pedal as hard as I could and try not to crash! I doubt I had any grace at all coming down the course but I gave it my all, finished first in my category (novice), and had a time that would’ve put me in 3rd place in the pro/elite category! I spent the rest of the day on cloud nine, while also coughing up a lung from overexerting myself. I was hooked.

That year I entered every single race I could--13 in total. It made for a very busy summer, but I was determined to get as much racing experience as I could. I highly recommend doing this, and also getting the support of a local shop if possible. Fortunately for me James, owner of Obsession Bikes in North Vancouver, took me on their team even though I’d never raced before. He even sat me down and gave me my first (of many) pep talks to get my brain in the game and start thinking about what my goals and expectations were for the season. I think it’s very important to develop a good working relationship with your bike shop. If you’re anything like me, bike maintenance requirements go way up as soon as you start racing! And remember, a clean bike = a happy bike (and happy bike mechanics).

I also talked to friends who had raced before and others who were still racing, and picked their brains about how learning courses, line choices, bike setup, proper riding stance, cornering, what to eat…. You think you know how to ride a bike, and then you start racing. It’s a completely different world of riding, but it’s fantastic! You start pushing yourself a little harder and actually thinking about your riding, like what you’re doing that you shouldn’t be and vice versa, and discovering what you’re actually capable of! It’s when you start to see changes in your riding that it gets really exciting. Suddenly you realize you’re doing that drop or gap jump that you used to think only crazy people did. Or maybe racing has brought out the crazy in me.

I managed to podium in almost every single race I entered in 2007. I walked away as the Provincial Points Champion in the Senior Women’s Category, and was allowed to enter the Pro/Elite category for 2008. I was actually quite nervous about that, and had no idea what to expect of myself in relation to all those other fast girls. It’s nice standing on the podium, but there’s nothing like some healthy competition to make you really push your limits. I don’t know if it was me trying to be realistic or me doubting myself, but I figured my days of winning were over for a couple of years until I worked my way up to podium status again. When you don’t know how you stack up in comparison to others, you need to focus on personal goals and steer clear of obsessing about results. My goals for 2008 were to get out there and have fun, keep my feet on my pedals, and try and learn something from every race. If I did that, I would be happy no matter where I placed.

I hadn’t really done any specific training over the winter leading up to the 2008 season (I tried, but with no real program or plan, my gym routine quickly got boring). But I had ridden a lot, and that was enough to get me a 2nd and a 1st place at my first two Canada Cups out in Quebec. I was blown away, and even more so when I found out that being the Points Leader in my category qualified me to be on the Canadian National Team and go to the World Championships in Italy! Now this is when I had to pinch myself--I was going to Italy to ride my bike! Whose life am I living anyway? Just look where riding a bike can take you!

Going from beginner to the World Champs in a year is a kind of a big step. I loved riding, and I loved racing, but I definitely felt a little out of place amongst the big names of the sport. At this point I still placed them on a pedestal, and that was a mistake. Everyone out there breathes the same air, rides the same course, and has the same chance at winning as the next person. I had to start thinking like I was a force to be reckoned with. I didn’t know what they could do, but I knew what I could do, and even more than that, I knew that I could do it with a bigger smile on my face than anyone.

As my friend and mental head-shaker James from Obsession keeps telling me, it’s not about what you can’t control, it’s about what you can. You need to turn as many of the unknowns as you can into "knowns," focus on them, and ignore the rest. The World Championship track was by far the hardest course I’d ever ridden, but I knew I could do it… even though I hadn’t had a single clean run during the entire week of practicing! I spent the entire morning of race day sitting in a corner visualizing myself cleaning the course… over and over and over. Race time came. I was calm and ready, and I cleaned it! I honestly didn’t care how I placed, I was so happy with my run!

The 2009 season is yet to start, and here I am again wondering what the year will bring. I’ve spent a lot of time preparing for this season, both in terms of seeking sponsor support and actual physical training. I highly suggest talking with a professional and getting a workout program written up. I’m training at a facility called Level 10 Fitness right now and it’s much more effective and efficient than doing it on my own. There are the usual unknowns going into this season, but instead of feeling nervous about them I’m excited. Whatever happens, I’m going to do my best to make the most of it! I have my goals set for this year, including the same ones I had 2 years ago: to have fun and to keep my tootsies on my pedals! I’ve also started a little racing journal where I jot down the important information I’ve learned and bike setup notes.

Racing has taught me many valuable life lessons, but in a nutshell I’d have to agree with a couple of little critters: although it’s not easy being green (sing it Kermit!), “when your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme” (Jiminy Cricket).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Southridge Winter Series #5 Results

Melissa Buhl dominated the fifth downhill race of the Southridge Winter Series, winning by 11 seconds. Brittany Jackson won the mountaincross race. The next race, March 21-22, is the final race in the Winter Series, and will determine the overall winners. All of the races are held at Southridge Park, CA. For more information, visit SouthridgeUSA.com.

Pro Women
1. Melissa Buhl
2. Abby Hippely
3. Laura Noonan
4. Joy Martin
5. Christine Hirst
6. Gretchen Sylvestre

Open Women
1. Kelly Moore
2. Rosie Bernhard
3. Erica Phillips
4. Annemarie Hennes
5. Amy Cone

Beginner Women 35+
1. Kim Finch
2. Lala Mijares
3. Traci Adams

1. Brittany Jackson
2. Robin Vold
3. Megan Snow

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Birthday Discount Extended

We're extending the 20% ONEYEAR discount through Tuesday. Since we've changed to PayPal, there's a little glitch that makes it look like you're not getting the discount. Don't worry, you are! We're working on fixing this issue, but until then, I'll send a confirmation email to you when we receive your order to ensure that you're getting your discount. The free shipping at $50 has been extended too!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

St. Patty's Day Feast at Bootleg

Thanks to Denmother for reminding us about the St. Patty's Day Feast on our Forum. There will be a Super D race on March 14th, and a downhill race on the 15th at Bootleg Canyon, NV. There's also a memorial ride and party for Brent Thomson after the Super D races on Saturday. Visit Crash Innovations for more information.

Australian National Downhill Series Finals

The final race of the Australian National Downhill Series was held last weekend at Glenorchy MTB Park in Tasmania. Leigh Douglas took the downhill win and clinched the overall series title. Sarsha Huntington took win in 4X.

Elite Women
1. Leigh Douglas
2. Emma Lewis
3. Claire Whiteman
4. Cara Smith
5. Leoni Picton
6. Sara Booth
7. Jayne Rutter
8. Rebecca Foxen

Under 19 Women
1. Jasmin Rosa
2. Emily Hockey

Under 17 Women
1. Katelyn Humphris
2. Christie Batt

Elite Women
1. Sarsha Huntington
2. Cherie Simpson
3. Julia Boer
4. Vanessa Thompson
5. Jayne Rutter

Under 19 Women
1. Emily Hockey
2. Katelyn Humphris
3. Jasmin Rosa
4. Emma Vejvoda

We found these results on CyclingNews.com.

Friday, March 6, 2009

2009 Gravity East Series Calendar

The 2009 Gravity East Series calendar was announced last week. There are 11 races from May through October, from Virginia to New Hampshire. The series consists of downhill and dual slalom races. This series looks sweet!

For more information on the Gravity East Series, see www.GravityEastSeries.com.

May 8-9 Massanutten Resort, McGaheysville, VA www.massresort.com

June 5-7 Wisp Resort, McHenry, MD www.racersedgeonline.com

June 13-14 Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Champion, PA www.7springs.com

June 27-28 Windham Mountain, Windham, NY www.windhammountain.com

July 11-12 Highland Mountain Bike Park, Northfield, NH www.highlandmountain.com

July 18-19 Attitash, Bartlett, NH www.attitash.com

Aug 1-2 Sugarbush Resort, Warren, VT www.sugarbush.com

Aug 29-30 Whiteface 5K DH, Wilmington, NY www.downhillmike.com

Sept. 26-27 Blue Mountain Resort, Danielsville, PA www.skibluemt.com

Oct. 3-4 Mount Snow, West Dover, VT www.mountsnow.com

Oct. 10-11 Gravity East Series Finals, Plattekill Mountain, Roxbury, NY www.plattekill.com

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Zealand National Championship Results

Can you tell that it's officially become cycling season? There is so much going on right now! New Zealand's National Championships were held in Nelson last weekend. Although she took 4th overall, Harriet Harper was the top-ranking rider from New Zealand for the Elite Women. She takes the title of New Zealand's National Downhill Champion. Amy Laird took the title in dual slalom. New Zealand runs a 4x a their national championships, but it seems that there was only a class for Elite Men.

Elite Women
1. Emmeline Ragot
2. Sabrina Jonnier
3. Harriet Ruecknagel
4. Harriet Harper
5. Amy Laird
6. Gabrielle Molloy
7. Katrina Strand
8. Dawn Daley-Coers
9. Rita Langley

Open Women
1. Georgia Wight
2. Sophie Tyas
3. Veronique Sandler
4. Madeline Taylor
5. Amanda Pearce
6. Sarah Atkin

Dual Slalom
Senior Women
1. Sabrina Jonnier
2. Amy Laird
3. Harriet Harper
4. Katrina Strand

We found these results on CyclingNews.com.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

2009 CCCX Downhill #1 Results

The first of seven CCCX downhill races was held March 1 at Toro Park, CA. Kathy Pruitt was the lone Pro representative, and Rosie Bernhard took the win for the Expert women. The next race in the series will be held at Toro Park on March 22.

Pro Women
1. Kathy Pruitt

Expert Women
1. Rosie Bernhard
2. Sharon Hill
3. Kelly Moore
4. Anne Marie Hennes

Sport Women
1. Kirsten Moore

Beginner Women
1. Kelsey Anderson
2. Kelly Johnson
3. Jill Henrich
4. Ayshe Tuncer
5. Kim Krueger
6. Andrea Locke

Marla Streb's Costa Rican Mountain Bike Camps

Marla Streb's mountain bike skills camps in Costa Rica are finally starting up! The 3 day, 4 night camp is all-inclusive, so you get personalized skills clinics, lodging, meals, zip-lines, surfing, yoga, wild animal parks, jungle epics, waterfalls, and more! Improve your confidence and skill under the instruction of Marla, who is a 2-time Singlespeed World Champion, 2-time US National Downhill Champion, and the 2003 World Cup Downhill Finals Champion.

There are women's only camps on the schedule as well. And, when you get to Costa Rica, you'll be riding a sweet Orbea Occam freeride rig, so you don't have to stress about shipping your own ride.

Just bring your helmet, sunblock, and sense of adventure! Check out Marla's website, StrebMountainbikeCostaRica.com for more details.

Oh, and check out this photo--believe it or not, she's 8 months pregnant here!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday to Us: We're One!

Last year at this time, Allie and I were hopped up on gummy bears, M&Ms, and eventually a little champagne. We launched FreerideFoundation.com one year ago, and it's been amazing to see how the site and the community have grown. We hope to keep the momentum going through the 2009 season!

To celebrate our birthday, we're offering everyone 20% off all items not already on sale from today through Saturday. Enter this discount code at checkout: ONEYEAR

In addition, Free Shipping will start at US orders totaling $50 or more. Just choose the Free Shipping option at checkout.

Thanks to everyone who has supported Freeride Foundation this year! You're the reason we're here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March's Featured Rider: Bobbi Kae Watt

Bobbi Kae Watt is a gated-racing specialist based in Colorado. Although the super-smiley former BMX racer is best known for her aggressive mountaincross and dual slalom racing, she's at home on cross country trails and epic road rides too. Bobbi currently works in orthopedics at the Boulder Medical Center, and is attending school for her degree in Integrative Physiology. She's working toward becoming a PA, so she can fix the rest of us when break ourselves.--FF

Name: Bobbi Kae Watt
Home: Broomfield, CO
Age: 29
Favorite type of riding: I truly love all of the many disciplines of riding, from long grueling climbs on the road bike to tearing up a mountaincross track. A BMX rhythm section is where I first felt the "flow." But I can get that same feeling climbing a mountain on any bike. My favorite race, EVER was the MSC dual slalom race at Keystone, CO in 2005. The course was just how I like them--fast and flowing with lots of air time. I like high speeds, technical rhythm sections, flowy jumps, and tight racing. Naturally, coming from BMX, I like gate starts and feeling the explosiveness down the first straight.
Why you ride: I love riding. It's something my husband (Fast Jon Watt) and I get to spend lots of time doing together. There is always something new to learn.

Sponsors: Oakley, Team Tough Girl, Scott, Mt. Borah, SRAM, Powerbar, Uvex, Go Fast, Hydrapak, Feedback Sports, Save our Soles, DT Swiss, Nite Rider, Maxxis, Rock Shox, Avid, Truvativ, Ritchey, Fizik, Crank Brothers, Rockymounts

I originally started riding BMX, but not until I was 19. Running was my first love, when it comes to sports. I became so addicted to the smooth, flowy feeling of riding BMX. My husband is to blame for crossing me over to the dark side. He is an outstanding rider and has so many crazy skills! Initially I was a little intimidated by the "mountain." Riding with gravity is completely different than riding a BMX track. Jon first introduced me to cross country so that I could essentially gain some respect for the mountain and get comfortable with gravity-fed riding.

I think it was at a Big Bear national that I saw the mountaincross course and thought, "It's like a super-sized BMX track!" That's when I started the gravity stuff, and I've been hooked ever since. On occasion I race some BMX, on my hardtail mountain bike. I still have my 20" and was planning on riding it again this past fall, but being hit by a minivan while riding my bike to class, postponed those plans.

The skill that really helped things click for me was learning to move around on the bike and allowing myself to really become one with the bike. That may sound kinda out there, but it's the truth. You can do anything once you figure out how to move your body on the bike to get it to do what you want.

I think my confidence to race just comes from my desire to do it. I have the desire to ride the courses and to be aggressive while doing it. If I'm on my bike, you'll typically find me with a smile on my face. Of course I like to win, but with mountaincross and slalom, once the gate drops, it is what it is. So much can happen in a race, so you have to be sure you enjoy what you're doing, regardless of the outcome.

Dirt Series Mountain Bike Camps

Here's a press release from the Dirt Series mountain bike camps and clinics. With multiple dates and locations, these camps are an ideal way to improve your skills while riding in world-class mountain bike destinations:

New cross-country mountain bikers tired of just-go-for-it advice and downhillers itching to give their skills a jump are invited to sign up for North America’s premier traveling mountain bike program, the Dirt Series by Rocky Mountain Bicycles.

The Dirt Series is geared to riders of all motivations and levels with women’s-only and co-ed camps in California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Alberta, and British Columbia.

“Every year we work to refine and progress what the Dirt Series offers,” says camp founder Candace Shadley. “For 2009, we've added advanced level programming, so that even more experienced riders can learn to be smoother, faster and more confident all around. I guess new programming like this is what you need when you've been helping beginner and intermediate riders improve in leaps and bounds every year.”

The Dirt Series by Rocky Mountain Bicycles is famous for its high return rate of repeat offenders. Getting your tire over a log on an up-hill climb or nailing that drop that stared you down last summer is too big a pay off not to come back for more.

This year the Whistler-based program broke a registration record: the May camp in Santa Cruz filled up within 48 hours. With more than 5,000 riders pedaling through the program over the past nine years, word is getting around just as fast as the sign ups, and sometimes the wait lists as well.

The secret to camp sell outs is found in the same balance it takes for a rider to successfully navigate a plank bridge – technique and attitude. The weekend camp includes small-group skill sessions, instructional rides and social time led by motivational coaches who seek to both inform and empower. As national and world champions, as well as health and wellness professionals, coaches bring plenty of tire time and dedication to the camps.

The Dirt Series delivers world-class instruction with the goal of developing skills in a supportive step-by-step process that gets past the fears and into the fun of what mountain biking is all about. Whether that means clocking in air miles or meeting new riding buddies, the Dirt Series by Rocky Mountain Bicycles will make your 2009 mountain biking season one that counts.

Register at www.dirtseries.com.

2009 Dirt Series by Rocky Mountain Bicycles Camp Calendar

April 25-26

Santa Cruz, CA

The Bicycle Trip

May 2-3

Laguna Hills, CA

Jenson USA

May 16-17

Calgary, AB

The Bike Shop

May 18

Calgary, AB

The Bike Shop


May 23-24

North Vancouver, BC

Different Bikes

May 30-31

Whistler, BC

Summit Sports

June 13-14

Park City, UT

Cole Sports

June 20-21

Sun Valley, ID


June 27-28

Whistler, BC

Garbanzo Bike and Bean

July 11-12

Bend, OR

Pine Mountain Sports

July 18-19

Hood River, OR

Discover Bicycles

July 25-26

Whistler, BC

Garbanzo Bike and Bean


August 8-9

North Vancouver, BC

Different Bikes

August 22-23

Canmore, AB

Rebound Cycle

August 29-30

Fernie, BC

Rebound Cycle

Co-ed specialty.

September 12-13

Whistler, BC

Summit Sports


The Dirt Series by Rocky Mountain Bicycles is run in partnership with Fox Racing Shox, Sugoi, Dakine, and Race Face.

It is also supported by Luna, Yakima, Bell, crankbrothers, Maxxis, Kicking Horse Coffee, Sleeman Beer, Mikes Hard, and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.