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Mountain Biking

Updated: Sep 8, 2018

Anybody who knows me knows that I love mountain biking. It gets me out of the hustle and bustle and into nature and is one of those grin inducing experiences for me. Even my mountain biking concentration face includes a smile.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the sport by an inspiring woman, a Pilates client and friend, Kate Fluker. Kate was the New Zealand female champion for Cross Country (XC) Mountain Biking at the time and is still one of the top ranked women in NZ. Kate invited me to join her on one of her recovery rides around the lakeside trail in Queenstown. Jumping in and heading out for that first ride and two subsequent rides on the gentle trails around Lake Wakatipu were so much fun, a good challenge and great social time. It was then topped when she organised my first experience of single track with another phenomenal woman, Cookies MTB Coaching, who coaches women and children. I’ve not looked back.

Those two women were the perfect introduction to mountain biking for me. Love for their sport, genuine desire and encouragement for women to give it a go and the most important thing; support and no pressure to be anything more than there on my bike. It would have been easy to try it once, have a crap time and give up, but being around such awesome women made this initial exposure so positive. Since then I’ve ridden with all sorts…some very patient and some not so patient and I love it!

Thanks to that great introduction to the sport I still mountain bike today. I’m getting out there and giving it a go. Since moving to the Gold Coast 8 months ago I've been riding with a supportive crew of women each Saturday through my local bike store, Giant Nerang, and we’ve even started entering more challenging events (some of us at the back as recreational riders). I’ve entered various events over the 3 years I’ve been riding with no designs on winning anything except the experience.

There are so many bonuses that are side benefits for me

- The most important thing - I’m having fun!

- I’m outside in fresh air in nature and that rocks

- Cardio fitness. It can hurt my lungs riding up hill, but it’s so freaking fun I don’t care

- Building strength in my legs - an essential for me

- Core stability and arm strength from stabilising as I ride over uneven ground

- I have to be 100% present while I’m doing it so it doubles as a mindfulness practice

- I can try stuff, challenge myself as much or as little as I like either riding over or around something or getting off my bike and walking if that’s what I need to do

- I can whoop (ok and swear) to my hearts content and it’s totally ok

- I stop caring about pulling hilarious concentration faces because I’m so focused on what I’m doing rather than what people think of how I look or how I’m doing it

- I can ride on a lake or beach side trail or I can hit the single track or if I’m feeling really really brave try a little downhill

- When I’m trying new things I sometimes fall off my bike. I pick myself back up, dust myself off and keep going and it’s a great metaphor for life for me

- I am part of a wider mountain bike family who welcome me wherever I go

- The list could go on, but you get the idea, I love it!

Have you ever wanted to try mountain biking?

Have you tried it and were overwhelmed by it?

If you knew you could head out, give it a try with a supportive group of women and guide or coach to show you the ropes (kit supplied) with no pressure would you give it a go?

Fun, nurturing mountain bike offerings are not far away.

Caution you may have an awesome time and want to drink a coffee / cider / beer / wine / champagne / basically anything goes to celebrate

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