Thursday, May 22, 2008

Velo Girls Coaching Launches New Bike Skills Clinic Modules for 2008!

I've been coaching skills clinics since 2003. I've taught newbies and racers and everyone in between and I happen to think I've done a damn good job of developing a curriculum that meets the needs of a variety of riders. My goal has been to help riders ride safely, efficiently, and comfortably and have a little fun on the bike while they're at it.

Our programs have evolved over the years, from our beginnings with a two-day women's camp (which we still offer), expanding to a one-day men's clinic and even some co-ed offerings. In addition, we've got an award-winning six-week learn-to-race program that's unlike anything else out there. But this year, based on participant feedback, we decided to add something very different and it seems to be a big hit.

For 2008, we're offering a series of 4-hour clinic modules -- an ala carte offering of pick-and-choose-which-skills-you'd-like-to-focus-on. We've called this Bike Skills and we're offering four distinct clinics:

Bike Skills 101 -- Individual Bike Handling Skills These are all the skills that help you as an individual be a better rider/racer. Everything in this clinic focuses on your understanding of balance and weight distribution. It's definitely a transformational four hours. Whether you've been riding for six months or six years, I guarantee you'll leave this clinic with a better understanding of the bike and the ability to ride in a safer, more controlled way.

Bike Skills 201 -- Climbing & Descending Skills
Interestingly enough, the biggest fear I've helped riders overcome is descending. So, in this clinic we focus on technique for both climbing and descending. We start out with a few "parking lot" skills to help riders focus on balance and weight distribution, and then we hit the hills to focus on both fast, straight climbs/descents, and also technical climbs/descents.

Bike Skills 301 -- Group Riding Skills Good stuff for both recreational riders and racers. We teach you how to be safe and efficient when riding with others -- whether it's with one other rider or a group. We'll examine a variety of conditions and learn how to choose the appropriate skills for those conditions: rotating pacelines, reverse pacelines, echelons, etc. Fun with friends -- what more could you ask for!

Bike Skills 302 -- Racing Skills & Tactics
-- This clinic evolved from our Criterium Racing 101 clinic, and covers nuts to bolts the skills needed to begin racing or improve your racing skills. We work on group riding, starts, sprints, lead-outs, and lots of tactical exercises to help you improve your racing experience.

Our first set of clinics was two weekends ago. We offered Bike Skills 101 for Women and sold out not one, but two clinics! 41 women participated in our 4-hour basic skills clinic (and many of these women have registered for future clinics as well).

This weekend is our second clinic, Bike Skills 101 for Men. At this point, I think I've got 10 men registered, which is great considering the fact that most men don't sign up for classes. Yes, I have an MBA in Gender Relations. And I never thought I'd put it to use like this, but it's definitely influenced the way I approach teaching men and women. And I know that men are less likely to participate in a clinic.....yadda, yadda, yadda.....

Anyways, if any men are still interested, registration closes at 9:00pm tonight.

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