Westbank, BC, April 17, 2021 – I first rode the Smith Creek trail network in 2004 on a hardtail with V-brakes, a high post, and a Rock Shox Jett fork. It was my second year of racing the BC Cup events. Fast-forward 17 years and here I am coaching a bunch of young rippers that are around the same age as I was when I first started racing and first rode this trail network. It was a little blast from the past!
This was the first camp of the 2021 season in the Interior region and the weather felt more like it was June than April so we took full advantage.
There was a great turnout for the camp with fifteen riders taking part. This is twice as many riders that we had at any one camp last year, which speaks to the growing interest in mountain biking in the region. We split up into smaller groups among the three coaches (Head Coach Evan Guthrie and assistant coaches Colton Woods and Gareth Williams) to make the group size more manageable. The riders focused on some skill-specific stations in the first couple of hours before taking those skills to the trails. Body position, braking, and cornering were the main targeted skills.
Once the skills were honed, everyone took to the trails in their respective groups and began riding up Smith Creek’s Holy Pail climb. The well-known descent ‘Feel the Love’ was a favourite among the riders and all three groups descended this trail to work on their body position, braking, cornering, jumps and drops.
Some of the older riders who race at the provincial level had an opportunity to brush up on some basic skills and then were led through a workout with race starts leading into a loose, technical cornering. We followed this up with a short circuit that included some sections of trail that would be encountered during a race. The theme of the day was repetitions of the same skills while under the pressure of race-like efforts.
Not only was rider participation high but the level of interest in learning that was coming from the riders was also very encouraging, setting the first camp of the year off to a great start.
Until next time.
Submitted by Coach Evan Guthrie, Cycling BC Mountain Bike Coach
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