Belly Button Flashlight- Angi Weston Returns 4/21/13

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Imagine you have a flashlight coming out of your belly button. You want to shine that light in the direction you want to go. Images like these stick in our brains, waiting patiently to be unstuck for future use. Kona pro racer Angi Weston returned to Oregon to drop and egg of knowledge on our helmet clad noggins and share her wealth of experience.

Angi "Kona Pro" Weston

Angi “Kona Pro” Weston

With our White Salmon, Wa teammate Jill playing host in the gorge, we opted for a less windy and poison oak free trail on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, starting the day at the Family Man trail, part of the Post Canyon Trail system. Deanna and Mary were new to the clinic this year but Remy, Beth Ann and I were returning students.

ReRack van maiden voyage

ReRack van maiden voyage

We were joined by Bo Grayzel, owner of ReRack and our newest sponsor. Bo tagged along so we could take our new sponsor perk, the 15 person ReRack van, on the Les Femmes maiden voyage.

We started our chilly morning with basic drills of bike/body separation on and off the bike, stopping the bike without skidding and gradually moving into manuals, bike lifts and bailing safely off the bike.

Invisible bike conga line

Invisible bike conga line

The North Shore Bail consists of slowing your bike to and almost stop, unclipping and jumping up over the top tube to the ‘cheap side’ of the bike while still holding the handlebars. A little fearful of catching my right foot on my top tube, I did and Alice Pennington reverse cyclocross dismount, pulling my right leg over the top tube and sliding off the saddle. Effective but not as cool as the NSB.  Angi placed a couple of sticks on the ground and had us practice RATCHETING our pedals, making a painfully slow figure 8 around the close set branches without falling over or putting a foot down. There were a couple of ‘tip overs’ but we all mastered this skill with a few tries.

Deanna getting some 'skinny' time

Deanna getting some ‘skinny’ time

Lunging off the skinnies in the bike park was our next task and pretty fun for everyone. Each rider took turns riding the low wood ramps and practiced lunging off with Angi giving feedback. No injuries today, just low speed (or standing still in my case) tipping over. Beth Ann somehow ended up  under her bike going 3 mph when she hit a big root and laid on the ground laughing, with one foot still clipped in to her bike. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We graduated to the big dirt jumps for more practice. Jill has clearly mastered these since this is basically her back yard, hitting some big air and giving us all something to work towards.

Jill getting big air!

Jill getting big air!

The last part of the day was spent putting our new skills to work riding the trail to the bottom with Angi taking turns behind each rider to provide suggestions and feedback. Several stops were made to work on descending and launching off of large root sections.  It was great to see how far our skills have come since we started riding together 3 years ago!

Trail Practice

Trail Practice

THANK YOU to Angi for her time and talent and the chocolate bar she gave us after the clinic. We are hoping to expand this clinic next year to a weekend of skills an riding with an emphasis on trail practice. But for now, we will turn our belly button flashlights on and hope we don’t need a North Shore Bail any time soon. 

Remy, Deanna, Jill, Mielle,  Mary

Remy, Deanna, Jill, Mielle, Mary


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