Trek Dirt Series 2011
It’s Sunday afternoon up at Whistler. The second full day of my Dirt Series mtb skills camp, and coach Candice is explaining the technique for drops. All I can focus on is the backdrop of godlike scenery.
That’s not entirely true. Also muscling its way in for attention in my swooning brain is the recollection of everything I’ve just accomplished in a day and a half at this camp: monumental things on a bike for me, like smooth, controlled descents down long steep rock faces; near-vertical roll-downs that shoot into giant-rock gardens; upper-mountain double-black technical singletrack (that I’d love to actually see someone ride at mach speed), and yes, soon, higher, more dialed drops.
It’s a feeling as big as the mountains encircling you. It’s called, ehem, “accomplishment.”
See, the cool thing about the Trek Dirt Series—the renowned traveling women’s mtb camp for 11 successful years—is that the coaches don’t let you puss out at the mouth of the trail demon. They’re warm and energetic, but they’re tough. They’re Whistler gals. So you have to man-up, summon every technique they’ve patiently drilled into you, and then send it into that bitch of beast…and hope for the best.
Front brake, weight on both tires, look past the turn, let the bike eat up the bumps, shift the hips, let the reins go!
And the “best” comes. It happens. You pull it. And your pair afterward? They’re that much bigger. Along with your stoke. It’s zinging all up and down your highway of veins, bubbling up in a big smile.
I don’t need to tell you how two knobby tires and a suspension fork can change your life. But if you have even a curious notion about the Dirt Series (site here), let me blow this one out of the hills for you: Two years of getting broken-off trying to figure it out, blind hucking it and/or ultimately pussing out? Or two days of confidence-boosting, technique-armoring, your-trails-at-home-now-look-like-singletrack-rags clinic?
You’ll be back for more.