Saturday morning, the sun rises in the crystal blue sky, and for the first time in many days the morning temperatures are pleasant. More than pleasant, even a bit chilly!
We load water and a small snack into our backpacks and put the mountain bikes on the back of the car, before hitting the road to our first ever “Learn to Mountain Bike Clinic.” When we arrive at Snowbasin, the weather forecast is perfect, the gondola is already spinning, and the outside temperature is only 61 degrees. Heaven.
After signing our release forms and squaring up with the activities desk inside the Grizzly Center, adjacent to the rental shop, we grab our bikes and head over to the grassy area in front of the Learning Center.
My son is bursting with excited while my daughter and I are slightly more nervous. I used to mountain bike a bit in college but have only gone a handful of times in recent years. While I am excited for the kids to learn some new skills, I also know this clinic will be great for me too!
We meet up with Amy, two other clinic guides, and seven other mountain biking beginners. We are a mixed group of children, teenagers, parents, and older gentlemen. It is so fun to be part of a mixed group of ages and genders, all trying something new. It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ” – C.S. Lewis
First up? Bike safety checks. All the bikes are checked for working brakes, shifters, and tires.
Next we round up in the grass for group introductions and talk through the itinerary:
1-1.5 hours of Skills Practice
Brief bathroom and snack break
1-1.5 hours Exploring Snowbasin’s Trails
Many mountain biking skills needed on the trail can be practiced in a less threatening environment. And this is exactly what the Snowbasin clinic leaders do.
They have different skill stations for us to observe and practice things such as slow riding around cones, switchback turns, and riding over obstacles such as rocks and roots both while pedaling or in ready position. We also practiced multiple ways to start on the bike when going uphill.
Exploring Snowbasin’s Trails
After a quick bathroom break and snack time, we take our newly honed bike skills to the trails.
The easiest trail at Snowbasin Resort is the Inner Moose Loop, located near the parking lots. We practice the trail going both directions before dividing into small groups according to ability.
Amy, my kids and I do one more lap of the Inner Moose Loop including the new connecting trail to the Outer Moose Loop and then practice a bit more on the wood obstacles outside the Learning Center before calling it a day. The other group does the outer Moose Loop and then moves onto the Maples Trail.
We all learn a lot, have a ton of fun, and overcome some fears when it comes to biking on single track. I leave feeling very impressed with our morning of fun!
Mountain Biking Clinics are available every Saturday Morning from 10:30-1:30 through August 20. Attendees must be 7 or older and children between the ages of 7-12 must have an adult with them.
Alyssa Erickson I am a wife, mom, rock climber, skier, coffee lover and all around adventure lover with a passion for writing. I have my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado and am the founder of KidProject.org. I live and play near the Wasatch Range, partnering with my husband and teaching my kids to make the most of life and the One who gave it to us.