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Up North: Women Teaching Women Mountain Biking 101

Created: May 21, 2019 09:31 PM

For the third year, the annual Women's Mountain Bike 101 clinic has helped kickstart the mountain biking season. It's an event just for women , led by women to help them feel comfortable when hitting the trails.

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The Downhill Mountain Bike Park at Spirit Mountain may be closed this Memorial Day Weekend due to the weather forecast, but that hasn't stopped riders from dusting the dirt off of their bikes to get ready for the mountain biking season.

"Unlike with road biking, you're not attached to your bike. You do have to let the bike move underneath you," explained Women's Mountain Bike 101 event organizer Dee Bartlam.

Now that she's been biking for over a decade, Bartlam who is a part of the Duluth Women Mountain Bikers group, shares her knowledge with other women in a mountain biking clinic held at Spirit Mountain.

"There are so many shortcuts that I wish I had known that's taken me twelve years to figure out or just pick up," explained Bartlam. "So to just be able to find out this information in one night is wonderful."

With two demonstrators, Bartlam focused on four basic body positions for riders to think about when out on area trails. During the clinic she explained the importance between the basic neutral position.

"The most important thing is that your pedals are level when you're not pedaling. It's much more stable to be standing on your pedals and nice and relaxed."

The second position she talked about the ready position.

"You are lower, wider, and that makes a more stable body position. You want to use that when the going gets rough, you're not sure what's coming up on the trail," said Bartlam.

She also walked through more circumstantial situations that would cause a rider to have to move side to side or even slide forward or backward when using their bike.

"Maybe it's really narrow between two trees and you have to just navigate your way through. Most of it is for cornering while you're riding this beautiful scenic track we have in town."

The goal of the event is to give women a safe space to ask questions and gain confidence so that when the weather does shape up, you'll see these women attacking every area trails.

Thanks event was hosted by Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS), Spirit Mountain, Duluth Women MTBers, Ski Hut, Trek Bicycle, and Bontrager.

For women looking to perfect their skills, there's a Women’s Mountain Bike Skills Weekend scheduled for June 14-16. Room is still available. If interested, visit Women’s Mountain Bike Skills Weekend.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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