The morning had a slight chill in the air, the perfect temperature to cruise around on our downhill bikes at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont.
We started at the Sugarbush Rental Shop, Jake Kenealy and his crew had already set aside our downhill bikes, helmets, and pads. We gathered our gear and rolled out to meet everyone for our bike check and safety talk. We, the Coaches, introduced ourselves to the fourteen new SheJumpers. Ali Zimmer, our experienced professional downhill goddess, Pilar Netzel, our IMBA certified coach, and myself, Meridith, IMBA certified, SheJumps Ambassador and a long-time rider at Sugarbush. We found that our furthest traveling SheJumper was Gabby who drove up from New Jersey. We met Izzy and Elizabeth–our youngest SheJumpers (both age 10), who were the most experienced Sugarbush riders of the group. We all had a bit of mountain bike history under our saddle, and we talked about the similarities and differences of geometry the bikes have. We were excited and ready to head up to the terrain park and work on rollers and berms.
Up at the park, we split into two groups so we could move through some beginner drills to get comfortable on our rental bikes. We played with neutral and ready positions with exercises on breaking and turning. We then used those skills on the berms and rollers in the terrain park before we headed up the Super Bravo chairlift.
We split into three groups to maneuver through the trails of Sugarbush. We used all our new skills and past biking experiences to explore the trails, like Grand Stand, Ruffed Up, and even Over The Ledge. Over The Ledge is a short and super steep rock step that has a wicked left hand turn at the bottom. Our new SheJumpers, Hannah, Kate, Morgan, and Laura all made it over the ledge with the guidance from Ali Zimmer.
Pilar and her group challenged themselves with Ruffed Up, a steep, narrow, rocky, and rooty trail down through the woods. Sammy, Gabby, Ali, and Ray shredded with confidence.
My group: Natasha, Bonnie, Meghan, Izzy, Elizabeth and Sandy explored Grand Stand, Big Birch, and Turkey Tumble. Turkey Tumble was our favorite trail because of the smooth berms and rollers. We applied a variety of new skills and ripped around the berms with confidence.
The day seemed to pass so quickly, I looked down and the time was already three o’clock. Our event was posted to end at three, the lifts ran until four. We loaded the chair and did an encore run.
We all ended our fantastic day with high fives, smiles, and new friends. Thank you to Sugarbush Resort, EcoLips, Munk Pack, COOLA, Treeline Coffee and Chris Norris for being our photographer and all the participants that made our day great! Make sure to check out SheJumps.org and our facebook group to see all of our upcoming events!
Here are just a few quotes from the day!
“Thank you so much! It was such a terrific growth experience for Izzy! She said, ‘Mommy you know what I like best about today? They treated me like an adult! I wasn’t a kid! I felt like I could do it!’
“Thank you for this gift. Teaching young women to have self-esteem, confidence and to believe in themselves is the kind of growth that will stay right with them.”
“I had an absolute blast yesterday! I appreciate all that you, Ali and Pilar did. As always, I learned so much and gained more confidence in my riding. I most defiantly will be riding next year and we’ll cross paths again!!! Hope you have a wonderful winter season!”