Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wonderful World of Cycling

There is something special about your first bike.  Most of us were fortunate enough to have the memory of getting our first bike when we were young.  I remember my brother had 'new bike' on his Christmas list for 3 years before he actually got his.  And when he did, you would have thought the kid won the lottery!  I also remember the first time I was grounded from my bike.  Born and raised in Kelowna, the only place I have lived other than here and for a short stint of time was Campbell River.  For some reason, one afternoon, I thought it would be a good idea to ghost ride my bike. So I let 'er rip across our front lawn and it crashed into the ditch.  Oh my gawd, did I get in shit.  I was grounded from using it for a month but the worst was knowing how disappointed my Dad was.  Of course, I never did ghost ride another bike again...

I didn't realized then, just how much cycling would become a part of my life.  I bought my first road bike from Kelowna Cycle back in 2002.  I was a single mom at the time and I remember how hard it was to save my pennies to get that bike.  I was determined to complete my first triathlon in less than 6 months I finished the Oliver Half Ironman.  Once I met my husband, who was an avid cyclist (both MTB and road) my love for cycling really took off and we found ourselves riding our bikes all over the world. 

Idyllwild - 150km / 7,000 feet loop from Palm Springs

Encinitas California

Joshua Tree National Park

Fruita Colorado

I have supported Trent in a lot of different stage races from Canada to Costa Rica and have admired all of his accomplishments since I met him.  I had never heard of races like the Test of Metal or Trans Rockies Challenge and eventually I did my first mountain bike race in 2009, called the Salty Dog 6hr enduro.  Only I broke my rear derailer in the 2nd loop and have to drop out.  I returned with Trent the next next year and got 6 laps in 6hrs and took 5th in my division.  We then continued a few months later to complete the BC Bike Race (an 8 day MTB race from Vancouver to Whistler, via Van Island and the Sunshine Coast) and we placed 8th in a pretty competitive mixed division. 

finish line at the 2010 BCBR
Exhausted but overjoyed!

My dad taught me how to respect bikes and my husband opened my eyes to the wonders of cycling and taught me how to really 'ride' a bike.  So I guess it was only natural for me to eventually move into a roll where I could help teach others too.  I took cycling coaching courses through Cycling BC and started to volunteer coach for youth triathlon club in Kelowna in 2010 and have coached triathletes training for sprint distance to Ironman.  In 2012 I coached employees and clients of RBC for the Kelowna Fondo.
2013 youth tri club kids and coaches

4 years ago, we started coaching learn to ride clinics for Kelowna Cycle.  We are both very passionate about helping new riders and welcoming them to the wonderful world of cycling because cycling has given us rewards and memories that are life lasting.  Kelowna Cycle developed a program where if you buy a new bike, you get a free clinic.  They want to see people enjoy cycling and be safe.  It has been a pleasure to work with such a passionate and community orientated bike shop since 2002.

Last night we launched our first clinic of the season.  Lots of skills practice and time on the bike, as well as instruction, demo's and some lecture with question/answers.  Everyone did amazing and the feedback was positive as people gained confidence and new skills to practice for the remainder of their season.  There are still two more to go.  One is an intermediate clinic and we have one more beginner clinic in June.  Please email me if you want more details: pacesportsfitness@shaw.ca   

Cycling has also become a bit of a metaphor in my life...

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