I had an awesome opportunity this past weekend to attend the VIDA MTB + Lululemon mountain bike and yoga clinic at Snowmass. I joined 9 other ladies to improve upon my mountain bike skills and practice some bike-specific yoga moves.

Given that I’m still quite new to biking, this was perfect timing for me to attend. You know, before I’d likely get too set in my ways with incorrect skills that I would have taught myself. And man, I’m glad I did. After just 2 days riding with our coach, Elinor Wesner, and the other women, I’m riding away with tons of specific skills I can practice and lots of knowledge that will, without a doubt, improve every aspect of my riding.

Since this post could easily go on forever with everything I’ve gained from the weekend, I’m going to narrow it down to just 4 key takeaways. If you’re on the fence about attending a bike clinic or workshop (and a lady), here’s 4 reasons why you should attend a VIDA MTB Series clinic in 2016.

  1. “No, it’s not a sketchy trail; it’s incorrect body form.” – Despite an obvious need to understand and perfect basic skills in any sport, this usually never ranks at the top of anyone’s fun-o-meter, and therefore regularly gets overlooked and ignored. Thankfully, VIDA was able to make practicing some basic skills quite fun and interesting—even when we were just riding around on flat grass. Most of day 1, which was the skills portion of the weekend, was dedicated to proper riding form and cornering. To my surprise, my form was pretty awful (okay, maybe not all that surprising). But, even more surprising, most ladies—even the most advanced of the group—had room to improve. Elinor repeated several times throughout the weekend that “it’s not a sketchy trail; it’s incorrect body form.” And she provided specific reasons and proof why everything about the body form should be perfected; the bent elbows, butt up, heels down, aiming with the knees, etc. To learn how each element can really save your ass in a section that you find difficult was awesome and it really resonated with me.

    VIDA MTB Bike Skills Body Form

    We took the time to really break down the proper body form.

  2. A kick-ass community – There’s a reason why VIDA provides women’s only clinics and workshops. It’s because it truly matters. While women are just as good as riders as men, we certainly learn and thrive differently. Thanks to Elinor and all the other riders, the entire weekend felt incredibly supportive. Everyone was cheering each other on, no one was leaving each other behind, everyone was jumping in to help where we could, and we finished the day together with a beer and a sunset. All in all, the group was truly kick-ass.

    VIDA MTB Snowmass Group Ride

    Taking a breather on our group ride to break down some skills to practice on the next section.

  3. Everything you need – Not only did we have the professional coaching and an awesome group of ladies, but they also provided us with an on-site bike mechanic from Ute City Cycles. He was not only there to help us repair anything if needed, but he checked out everyone’s bike and made quick changes throughout the day so we’d all have better performing and fitting bikes. He swapped out a bar and a seat post, adjusted suspension, brakes, and more. It was a seriously awesome resource to have on hand.

    VIDA MTB Snowmass Practices Skills on Trail

    Group train headed into the wall ride to perfect our cornering technique.

  4. And a damn good time – Seriously. The VIDA MTB ladies know their stuff and are striving to provide some of the best clinics around. I left Snowmass with a whole lot of knowledge, new ladies to ride with, and an intense urge to ride more and ride harder. The skills, the morning and evening yoga, the camaraderie and more all made for the perfect weekend.

As a beginner rider, I know I have a ton to learn. Fortunately, I feel that the weekend has already set me up for quite a bit of success. I’m super stoked to get back out on the trail to continue to practice all the skills I learned and watch myself progress with the new knowledge gained. And if it wasn’t made clear above, I’m definitely looking forward to attending another clinic in 2016. Perhaps, next time, at a higher skill level.