A brisk Saturday morning in October dawns a bright and clear outlook for the day. For most, it’s a normal fall weekend that may include time spent sleeping in, home chores or getting outside to play. But we aren’t most people, and the women of the VIDA MTB Series spent the weekend wrapping up a long season of events.
This morning brings together 32 women ready to learn, laugh, and challenge themselves in Boulder, Colorado. as they tackle new skills and push their boundaries. Women quickly separate into groups for their morning progression session and to explore Valmont Bike Park. This city bike park is littered with features purpose-built for progression including pump tracks, jumps, slopestyle lines, skinnies, and rocks features. After a quick lunch break the women are back on the trails for an afternoon of continued education. Before we know it, we’re wrapping up the day with a tech talk on bike maintenance and how to get your bike ready for winter storage, presented by Shimano, and followed by our rapid-fire raffle.
This eight-hour day ends a season of:
8 Flagship Clinics including two new locations
2 Skills Nights at Ruby Hill Bike Park in Denver, CO
5 COMBA (Colorado Mountain Bike Association) Shop Nights
4 COMBA & VIDA Group Rides
3 Festivals (Sedona MTB Festival, Beti Bike Bash, Golden Giddy Up)
1 Rider to Racer Program
1 Winter Speaker Series
1 Ambassador Gathering
1 Beti Bike Bash
The women who come to our events make our clinics as unique as they are as individuals. There’s Jana, who had never ridden a mountain bike prior to our clinic. Or Katrina, who was determined to land a five-foot drop off of one of the Lunch Loops drops in Grand Junction, Colo. And Kim, a retired doctor who moved her family to Durango to live a healthy and wholesome life with her children and was determined to build her skills and confidence on the bike. And Cat, a woman intent on racing who registered for her first, second, third, and fourth Enduro style mountain bike race and came to us for planning and training guidance.
The dozens of women we meet create individual connections that last from season to season. VIDA participants become friends among themselves and with the larger community. Ask any member of “Team Bacon” how often they get together for group rides and you’ll begin to understand how deeply bonds are formed
The VIDA team has been brainstorming 2020 clinic locations and events for a few weeks, but planning begins in earnest after the seasons’ end.
VIDA heads to the Sedona MTB Festival (Sedona, Arizona) to kick off its eighth year of programming. This March event is a desert escape for snow-packed Colorado residents who cannot wait to put away their skis to “shred the red” for a weekend. Event dates are March 6-8, 2020 and clinic registration is open!
The next stop on the calendar sees a return to Colorado with a visit to the infamous Lunch Loop trails of the Western Slope. These trails will challenge even the strongest riders, and offer the chance to test your skills on rocky terrain filled with natural jumps and drops.
Local group rides, shop nights and trail maintenance in partnership with COMBA ramp up in March and April on the Front Range. Our Rider to Racer program commences as soon as our trails are ripe for riding in the spring, welcoming eight to ten women in a series of skill-focused events curated to prepare them for their first enduro race later in the season. Program directors work with this group to get them race ready while providing technical instruction, offering nutrition and strength advice, getting gear ready, and helping prepare physically and mentally.
The Beti Bike Bash, VIDA’s sister event, will welcome all levels of racers (including the “Never Ever”) at the largest women’s mountain bike race in the world. VIDA offers a clinic prior to the race, offering beginner-friendly instruction and helping racers prepare for the following day’s event.
As the snow begins to melt VIDA turns to high country riding in Snowmass, Colo., for its first two-day clinic of the year. Gorgeous mountain scenery provides a home base for yoga, tech talks, delicious and healthy meals, and of course riding. Centered at the resort, Snowmass participants will have the opportunity to perfect their downhill riding technique.
And, for the first time, VIDA will head to the Land of Enchantment, to the trails of Glorieta, New Mex., for a weekend clinic and family event including on-site camping, kids’ events, and catering.
VIDA’s mission is to provide women with the knowledge and skill base to increase their riding ability and create confidence in themselves on and off the bike. Pair this with a welcoming and supportive community and it’s easy to understand why we all feel like family.
The official 2020 schedule is coming soon, but head over to www.vidamtb.com for details and information.