Air Maiden Pemberton - Learning From The Best

Jun 24, 2015 at 19:25
by Christina Chappetta  
There was no shortage of smiles, achievements, and gratitude at Lynne Armstrong’s inaugural Air Maiden Mountain Bike Skills and Riding Clinic in beautiful Pemberton, British Columbia on June 13. It seemed like all participants walked away with greater insight into the fundamental skills of mountain biking after working with local legends and coaches from the Whistler/Pemberton area in the morning.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Majestic Mount Currie as the backdrop for the morning's skills lessons

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Sylvie Allen, local celebrity on a mountain bike and creator of Sweet Skills Mountain Bike Coaching, showing the ladies the benefits of staying low and strong on your bike.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Whistler local, Sara Aldridge, putting the moves to use in a safe setting before heading to the trails.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Another textbook demonstration by Sylvie Allen, this time showing how to thrust your bike forward to avoid losing your front wheel off drops or rolls

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
The girls were able to confidently execute the morning's skills while out on the trails in the afternoon

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Looking forward, as easy as it sounds, is often forgotten when we get fixated on a techy bit of trail, here we practiced tight turns and easier line choices

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Riders felt less pressure and more confident to try hard manoeuvres, hovering over the saddle and moving the body weight forward really helps when coming to the apex of a technical move.

After a much needed lunch break at the One Mile Lake and a sit on the grassy beach, the ladies headed back out for an afternoon of shredding the local trails - some of the best in BC - and put the morning’s lessons to use.

We were all very excited and appreciative of the knowledge that was shared from local riders and instructors Claire Buchar of Kovarik Racing, Sylvie Allen of SweetSkills Coaching and Guiding, Emily Slaco a local coach, racer, and guide and also Bree Thorlakson another local and passionate coach who started Pemberton’s Bike Club back in 2011 that now has over 170 members online and goes for rides every week in Pemberton.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Claire Buchar of Kovarik Racing, sharing her wealth of knowledge with the advanced group of riders. Having grown up on the North Shore of Vancouver, Claire knows a thing or two about riding on roots and rocks.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Claire demonstrating the smoothest line through the rock section and giving the girls confidence to try themselves.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
And then of course there is the Air Maiden herself, Lynne Armstrong, who chooses to catch air instead. A huge thanks goes out to Lynne, originally from Scotland but immigrated to Whistler after competing in Crankworx back in 2009 and meeting her now husband, and father of 3 toddlers, Brennan. Without her dedication and focus towards mountain biking and organizing, the Air Maiden event couldn't have been pulled off so effortlessly.

The morning started with a quick Tech Talk about bike set-up and safety and what to bring along on your next ride by Christina Chappetta, a local rider, racer and certified coach in the Whistler area. The amazing local sponsors on hand kept us happy and energetic starting with some energy snacks and hydration to stay on point all day from Pemberton Bike Co and Pemberton Valley Supermarket. After a long day in the saddle and epic trails of Pemberton, the ladies were rewarded with delicious tacos from the guys at Pemberton Taco Co. and quenching bevy’s from Whistler Brewery.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Sylvie Allen, in her natural habitat, helping the ladies achieve the goals

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Being able to practice with small features in a safe field setting really helped confidence levels later on trail. The girls could relate to certain features and sizes much better.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Learning about body and bike positioning really helped the riders be in control at all times.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
Slight lunge/thrust movements help us carry momentum over holes and drops without dropping our front wheel too much.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
The guys at Pemberton Taco Co. truly delivered! Just what we were craving after a long day on the bike.

We couldn’t have done it without the Pemberton Valley Trail Association and the use of their trails and of course the Village of Pemberton for the use of their beautiful beach and registration area. There were enough sponsor gifts to go around, almost every rider walked away with something special to remember the event. Chromag Bikes hooked it up as usual, local and well-known artist Vanessa Stark donated some of her amazing creations and art, Outdoor Gear Canada left the ladies stocked with tuques, water bottles, goggles, multi-tools and more! North Vancouver brand, Sombrio kept some warm and hydrated with super fancy pint glasses and cosy hoodies. Evolution Whistler donated a water bottle for every rider and discounts to use in the store. Dirty Jane gave out even more discounts to the participants to keep them looking good on and off the trails. And of course, a good crash never goes unnoticed or under appreciated. The biggest bruises of the day got to walk away with Pemberton Distillery spirits to help ease the pain.

Air Maiden Skills and Riding Clinic 2015
With more than ever Women’s Specific camps and clinics, the ladies these days are sending it on the trails and able to enjoy the singletrack with newly instilled confidence. Any excuse to meet up with the gals and turn off the modern day distractions while having a time is good enough for me! See you out on the trails.

Words and Images: Christina Chappetta


MENTIONS: @SombrioCartel / @evolutionwhistler / @Chromagbikes / @klarko


4 Comments

  • 2 0
 I will be showing this to the light of my life so that she too may feel encouraged to find the joy in expensive bicycles and bruised knees - Apparently my enthusiasm and stinky bike shorts have yet to persuade her !
  • 2 0
 Taco!!!
  • 1 1
 so that's why Fat Tug had break bumps through the berms last night...
  • 1 1
 Zero comments ! ....lol





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