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iRide @ Grand Forks: It’s a wrap

iRide head coach, Natasha Lockey wrapped up school district 51 events last week with more adventures for students of Grand Forks and Christina Lake:

The second week of classes in the Boundary school district was great. I took advantage of local terrain to make our final sessions a memorable experience for the students and I am already receiving booking requests for 2016.

Week two started in Grand Forks at D.A. Perley Elementary where day three focused on body position, changing body position and fine-tuning student braking habits. Ratcheting was also introduced to improve slow speed balance before tackling the game of the day, the ‘slow race’.  However it was the fourth and final session that proved the most satisfying to coach.

D.A. Perley has an amazing school dynamic and the wide spectrum of cycling abilities within the student body were no match for the supportive nature of the students. On the final day we ventured over to the local BMX pump track, adjacent to the school grounds. Initially some of the students were very hesitant to even gently roll over the changes in terrain after experiencing hard falls during previous trips to the track with their friends. Fortunately, with the help of my assistant coaches, the troubled students overcame their fear and rode the full course with the full cheers of their entire class behind them!

Over at Hutton Elementary, we missed the opportunity to venture onto the Kettle Valley trails on week one, so our third session featured the special trip.  After quizzing students on the group riding safety skills learned in sessions 1 and 2, we ventured to the nearby KVR trail system. Classes of younger students enjoyed the paved trail, while the day’s older grades tackled the more sandy sections. The group on the sandy section struggled but had fun and the classes that tried pavement enjoyed getting out and ripping around. Since Hutton doesn’t have a nearby pump track, we used a composition of basic wooden stunts to spice up our 4th and final day on Thursday. In fact, most of the students progressed to riding the full bridge stunt, displaying strong balance and straight-line riding ability.

That afternoon I wrapped up the 2nd and final session of a two day event at Christina Lake Elementary, which proved the most challenging session of the week. I had planned a ride on quiet nearby roads but had to re-adjust due to timing issues so instead we stayed on school grounds and worked on cornering, riding stunts and balance games.  The older classes had many good riders and provided an exciting experience as a coach to tailor my exercises and obstacle courses to keep all ability levels stoked. I found that having two stations – one featuring stunts and creative games and another working on scootering and pair-riding worked best. Of course I brought all of the students together to finish with a creative version of ‘Shark Island’. In fact we played one of the more abstract versions of the game I have ever seen, with bridges between islands and extended lives, all designed by the students. It looked awesome and I certainly wanted to jump in and play too!

I think my favourite part of working with the students in Grand Forks and Christina Lake this spring was the chance to coach such a diverse range of students and witness the different group dynamics.  Each class responded differently to the more creative activities and there was an impressive support structure within each class. They really got along together and that of course is a testament to their teachers. I am excited to continue building iRide’s presence in the Boundary school district and build my rapport with these new dirt-surfers!

If you’re a fan of Cycling BC’s iRide program, check us out on TwitterInstagram, or donate through Chimp to support our programs in your area. To learn more about iRide Summer Camp or book future in-school events, please contact or (604) BC-iRide.