When Katerina Nash comes to town - Tricia's journey back into biking

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Tricia, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    About a week ago I was hanging out on Pugski, reading the Mountain Biking 2018 stoke thread, feeling guilty for leaving my bike in the shed. I mean, the bike wants to get out and get dirty, right?
    Then, out of the blue, I get a text from a friend. "Hey, you should come to the Katerina Nash Clinic with me on Sunday."

    Its been a very long time since I've gotten excited, really excited about riding my mountain bike, and I wasn't sure if there was anything that could ignite that old fire I once had.
    I got my bike out, checked the air in the tires and invited a couple other women to come with me.

    It turns out, The Tahoe Mountain Bike Girls, formerly known as the Luna Chicks, host this annual clinic day every year. Since Katerina is sponsored by Clif, and Clif also supports the Tahoe Mountain Bike Girls, Katerina comes to this event and holds one of the clinic sessions.
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    The day started with grouping. We spent time assessing ability and timidity, then hit a mellow trail to warm up. One of the first things I noted was that this trail system, which I have never ridden before, has some incredibly fun flow for a variety of skills from intermediate to expert. Many of the blue trails reminded me of some of the trails that got me excited about mountain biking 15 years ago. This is the kind of terrain that I had hoped to find but kept finding myself on highly technical stuff that didn't help my confidence.
    The first section that we rode included a fairly interesting rock garden with multiple skill levels going through it depending on the line you picked. I used to ride rock gardens all the time, but have avoided them since moving to Tahoe because they're more jagged and (to me) scary. The instructor reinforced skills that I knew but had let slip away, like momentum, body position, loose arms and look ahead. I listened to the voice in my head that says, "You got this!"
    The first line I picked was mellow, but when we looped back around I took the most aggressive line and freaking loved it! :yahoo:
    (sorry, no pictures of the rock garden)
    After the rocks, we headed to the parking lot to practice "load and explode", getting the wheel up and over logs, rocks and other such opportunities that we may find on the trail.
    This was an interesting task for the one lady who had a rigid fork/hard tail Gary Fisher, but she did great
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    This was a fun little drill to get in the habit of timing it well.

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    After this, we rod some super fun, flowy trails to get to the warming hut area where they had some skills things set up.
    Imagine my disappointment when I realized that the skinnies class is about riding a skinny, not being skinny :(
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    Skill #3- drops. Kristen, a down hill mt bike instructor from Northstar lead this. I've had the good fortune of spending time with her from my days. She's awesome!

    I did the little drop but decided that I prefer air in my tires, not under my tires, at least for now. I'll work on that ;)
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    We got to ride the fun flowy trail back to the Cinnamon Twist Trail, which is where we met up with Katerina for our cornering session.
    What a treat this is.
    We rode the Cinnamon Twist loop twice with a few breaks to get some input from Katerina and watch her demonstrate.
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    The day ended with refreshing drinks and chat about the take aways of the day.
    My take away is this; mountain biking is a freaking blast if you find the right terrain, the right riding buddies and the right mindset.
    Its been far too long since I've been stoked to ride my bike. This clinic along with the dropper post that I had installed a few weeks ago gave it back to me.
    I arrived home tired, dirty and excited, so much so that I think I drove Phil nuts talking about the day.
    I woke up Monday eager to ride again, which hasn't happened in a very long time.
    :yeah:

    Phil and I loaded up my bike, went to the shop to get a demo bike for him, and hit the trails.
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    I was hoping to ride again today but my sit bones need a rest.


    Thanks for reading.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  2. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    Awesome! Anytime I read an account of somebody's bike juju being reinvigorated, I'm happy.

    New toys, new places, new people, whatever. Gotta love anything on two wheels!

    Really love your comment about preferring your air in the tires, not under them (yet)!
     
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  3. Thread Starter
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    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I would like to comment on one thing that I loved about the ladies who were coaching this clinic.
    There were 5 different levels of riders (I'm guessing) 75 or more ladies, on a variety of different bikes.
    Some bikes were older, bordering on vintage, and some were similar to mine, a 9 year old 26er with good components, and some were really new, 27.5 or 29'ers with all the bells and whistles.
    I've been in groups where I've felt pressured to upgrade my 9 year old bike to a 27.5, but not this group.
    Every lady was encouraged to do the skill being coached on the equipment they came with and the coaches had tricks up their sleeve to make adjustments for different equipment.

    Everyone was told that the best bike on the trail is the bike that gets you on the trail.

    Laura, the lady on the old Gary Fisher bike with rigid forks, hard tail and v brakes had to do things differently than those of us with suspension, but she did everything that the rest of us did. Heck, she did the bigger drop that I am not ready to do.
    :yeah:
     
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  4. Plai

    Plai Paul Lai Skier

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    Nicely done.

    +1 on liking the air in not under comment.

    This past weekend just did my first ride with frequent drops/jumps. I also had to warm up to the idea. After a couple of smaller (6 in) ones, was able to drop one about a 1ft. Wow, I survived. I'm sure your confidence will come.

    Edit: Forgot to mention that I'm now so excited I keep finding myself looking up trails in NLake Tahoe. Just getting ready for whenever I happen to be back up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  5. Pumba

    Pumba Out on the slopes Skier

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    This sounds awesome!! Next time I’m in Tahoe can I ride with you? I’ve always wanted to try mtb.
     
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    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Absolutely, if you're around when its ridable. :D
     
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  7. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I hope it's never ridable when Pumba comes to town ;)
     
  8. Pumba

    Pumba Out on the slopes Skier

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    Heyyy, what does that mean!? ...just want to try a few modest jumps/drops and We’ll be fine :wave::thumb::wave::thumb:
     
  9. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    We still prefer snow!
     
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  10. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    That's awesome @Tricia! I'd love to ride with you too. I need some mtn bike riding partners that aren't trying to kill me.
     
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  11. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    Looks like it was a lot of fun!

    Yeah, flowy trails are the best!

    That C-Dale Phil is on looks nice with the tires with the tan sidewalls.

    Up until a few weeks ago I had not ridden a MTB in almost 10 years. Technology has improved bikes a great deal but the feeling is the same and technique is similar.
     
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  12. laine

    laine I ski like a girl. Fast. Skier

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    This makes me so happy that you got your mountain bike juju back!

    It really is so much fun!
     
  13. Crank

    Crank Out on the slopes Skier

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    Happy for you! Great pics too.
     
  14. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I will have a review up shortly, it is the Moterra
     
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  15. Thread Starter
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    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    When are you around?
    I feel the same way.

    Its funny, when someone gets head games skiing we tell them to go back to green or blue runs to get their confidence back, but after my crash and head games set in, I had several people tell me about "mellow" trails that were not mellow to me, or were boring fire roads that didn't feel like mountain biking the way I liked to ride
    The Tahoe Donner trail system has green, blue and black diamond trails to meet the needs of a lot of cyclists. This is the first time I've found a trail system that has the kind of terrain that can build my confidence on real mt bike trails.
    Here is the trail map.
    Screen shot is only a small section of the map.
    Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 6.57.39 AM.png
     
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  16. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I could meet you in Truckee anytime I'm not at work. My schedule rotates, but I'm off many Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Which days are you free?
     
  17. Pumba

    Pumba Out on the slopes Skier

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    I should really try to get out there for a short summer trip so I can try mtb with you guys. My parents live right there (Tahoe donner)!!! We could end our rides with bbq on the porch.
     
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  18. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Let's do it!
     
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    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    The heat has been crazy here. High 90ºs near our house and high 80ºs-low 90ºs near Truckee so I had not been planning any mountain bike rides until this heat breaks but Laura, a friend who went to the clinic with me, texted me this morning and wanted to get out for an early ride. By the time we actually got our stuff together and hit the trails, it was a little after 11, but we were at Tahoe Donner so it was a little cooler, (thought not much cooler; 85º when we started)
    I stopped at the shop and picked up a Cannondale Trigger W to demo, and Laura rode my Trek.
    I liked the Trigger, but I was on the small, and think I needed to take out the medium, but when I was getting set up, I felt like I was between sizes.
    Next time I'll take the M.
    We ended up riding nearly 4 miles when the pollen started getting to me. My lungs were burning and I was losing my voice, so we headed back to the truck, but not before we hit a rock garden and a few bridges.


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  20. Pumba

    Pumba Out on the slopes Skier

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    Random question - how late into the fall is mountain biking possible in north Tahoe? I’ll def be back in ca in early November. Wondering if that’s too late to partake in the fun, sans heat...at least you guys have low humidity though.
     

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