Cycling BC coach, Evan Guthrie, had the good intention of running the last outdoor training camp in the interior on October 24th but the winter season fell upon the Okanagan early, blanketing the trail network with 10+ cm of snow. This unfortunately led coach Evan to make a heart-breaking decision and deliver the bad news to his Cycling BC athletes that the camp would have to be postponed.
Fast-forward one week. It was the 1st of November and the weather was perfect; a classic Okanagan fall day with bluebird skies and tacky dirt. Everyone was fortunate to get an extra hour of sleep thanks to daylight savings time before spending a great day on the bike. This week the group was lucky to have local rider Dylan Dasilva helping coach due to his experience racing and skill level on the bike.
This was the largest group to date for a camp in the Okanagan with eight riders ranging in age from 11-21 years old. In an effort to stay warm in the cool and crisp 5-degree weather, the group got started with some warm-up drills. All the riders were spread out over three skill stations; wheel lifts and manual drops, cornering on flat ground, and cornering on a side slope. Once everyone was warmed up, the riders were tasked with a quick racing game of ‘start-stop’ to test their ability to stop quickly and start quickly again when the coach called out the commands.
With their bodies and minds all warmed up, the riders took to the network of trails in Rose Valley Regional Park. After climbing the trails, the first “feature” riders took on was a narrow log ride. Tayte, a U13 rider from Kelowna, was the only rider to conquer this feature on the first try. The riders kept pushing and supporting each other to attempt the log ride. The encouragement was uplifting.
The terrain in Rose Valley is very rocky and loose, which was perfect for the riders to work on their foundational skills. The group rode around to find technical lines, rock rolls, and loose corners to practice on. “First off, I was excited to see so many young riders from the Okanagan area out here, but watching them all rise up to the challenge, trying each feature or section, and encouraging each other is why I love doing this,” said Coach Evan.
“The group was successful in challenging themselves on the technical features on the trail and are now wanting to ride harder terrain. This is how everyone progresses, no matter the activity. Watching some riders be a little more tentative with a section allowed for other riders to step up and inspire the group to ride outside their comfort zone.”
There was a lot of laughter, excitement, positive reinforcement, and even a little smack talk!
Until next time.
Coach: Evan Guthrie