Women, bikes and beer. - The bunny hills.

I've decided to write this weekend's adventure as a sort of, level by level in the rooms / areas I was willing to ride in.
Friday morning started with the woman coaches give a quick sum up of where each skill level of rider should go. I am always apprehensive in a new environment, especially one that involves me being daring in front of a group of other people. That seem to be a common amongst quite a few of the ladies.
Off I went to find, what I declared as, the bunny hill room. First was a flat room with some figure eights and a practice crash pad, where 2 coaches were helping the ladies adjust their brakes to fit their hand size and seat post. Most of the rental bikes (and some that ladies had borrowed) are set up for men. As beginners most people, not just women, don't relize that the placement of your brake levers is much different for a smaller hand than for a larger and makes your ride more comfortable and easier to grab that brake lever when needed.

Each of these novice rooms have posters hanging from the ceiling, giving you tips on how to utilize the space to build your skill level. Besides going to Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park for fun, it is a place to build on your skills.
The adjacent room had a taste test of some outdoor obstacles. The benefit of going to the once a year women's weekend is first, no men. Second, their are woman who speak woman-ese and can communicate on how to tackle each of these obstacles. Starting with stance, butt out of the saddle, handle bar position, look ahead, not at your feet and always have a finger on the brake lever.
Here we have some mini obstacles. A perfect start for the ultra beginner. Log roll on the left, rock garden and some wooden slats. I am past this level of mountain biking, but I had a great time encouraging the other woman and young girls to go for it. One girl in particular, said she had not ridden a bike in 5 years, her and her mom were there to try and start a healthy activity together. She was 17 and scared out of her wits, she would not even attempt the foot high log roll, that you can just force your bike to "plow" over. It took some serious coaxing but I got her to do it and it came with the response, "Oh. That was kind of easy." Insert smile and high five.
Next step a couple rollers with a mini berm that rolls into another roller. A berm is when you make a sharp turn and come up off the flatness of the ground and have to go kind of horizontal with your bike and body, a roller is the hill part. On the right of the photo is some of these obstacles mixed together in one fun little loop. In these photo's I am standing on a platform that is about 4 feet of the ground, the roller and heightened looking parts are only about 2 or 3 feet.
It took some woman as little as an hour to master these and move onto the next room. Within 2 hours the coach was done with that room and it stayed almost empty the rest of the weekend. Regardless of woman's weekend or not, if you are wanting to start in these rooms they are nice and quiet. I plan on trying to make  trip out at the start of next winter season and bring my kids. There are no glider bikes allowed, so it's a perfect time for my 4 year old to get a pedal bike. Word of caution, it gets busy fast, and not all the riders are as well mannered as others. And, all the more daring of the kids had full face helmets.
From here I moved onto the beginner room, where I had a few almost crashes and honed some new skills!
To be cont'd....

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