Ambassador Debby Phelps recounts her week spent in Scottish bogs and highlands.
Written by Stacey Zander, Photography by Steve Zander and Max Kirks
The older I get, the crazier life seems to become. I have two jobs, and I’m a VIDA Ambassador. My husband is building an addition on our house in his free time after work. We have a 7-month-old and a 2-year-old. To say we’re busy is an understatement. But every now and then we get to take a break from it all and get the heck out of town.
Last weekend we made the trek from Denver to the small town of Cortez in the southwest corner of Colorado. My uncle lives there on a farm, and we had family converging from all over to get together for the first time in years. Road trips like this changed a bit once we started having kids. We used to be wild and free. We could stop anywhere we wanted, take the bikes off the rack, and do a quick loop on a newly discovered trail before continuing on our journey. Nowadays, we have the privilege of juggling never-ending potty stops, poopy pants, hungry tummies, teary eyes, and one very restless toddler. A wise friend with two babes of her own once told me, “You can do anything with kids, it just comes down to how much you want to torture yourself in the process.” Truer words were never spoken. Needless to say, we powered through the 7+ hours of drive time to get to Cortez as quickly as possible.
Family was our #1 priority on this trip. #2 was, as always, mountain biking. Luckily, we have an entire extended family of at least part-time shredders. So outside of going on tractor rides, playing cornhole, and building massive bonfires, we all had a specific destination in mind: Phil’s World. For those of you who don’t know, Phil’s World is a 28-mile circuit of fast and flowy trails right outside of Cortez. While not being super techy, it offers tons of satisfying and fun desert singletrack with plenty of great viewpoints along the way. Its claim to fame is a section of roller coaster jumps and berms called Rib Cage that gives PBR in Fruita a run for its money. Having never ridden Phil’s World before, I was anxious to try it out, and I can now say that the trail system lives up to the hype. If you’ve never been, go check it out!
So, was it worth the 2 full days of driving with little ones for just a short weekend visit? For us, it definitely was! This trip was a much-needed getaway spent with family and bikes, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Although our epic mountain bike adventures may be few and far between these days, it doesn’t mean we’re ready to give up the sport altogether. On the contrary, we are continually figuring out how to integrate mountain biking into our family time. I believe it’s never too early to share our love of riding with our kids. These days if we’re headed to a trailhead, we can throw a portable crib and a strider bike in the back of the truck, then take turns doing laps and hanging with the kids. Or, if we’re lucky enough to have sitters around (like we did on this trip), we can even get a few miles in together! So while family continues to be our #1 priority, mountain biking can always remain our #2.
By: Kristin Schwarck
Given my profession as an orthopedic and sports physical therapist, I spend a good portion of my day listening to my patient's pain reports. I'm regularly asked about aches, pains, numbness, and tingling related to cycling. Aside from regular visits to the pain cave, being on the bike should be comfortable. One of my first recommendations for cyclists is to schedule a bike fit when they are experiencing symptoms, get a new bike, or make any changes to their bike.
When your bike fits you properly, you will see these advantages:
Injury Prevention - due to the repetitive nature of cycling, overuse or stress injuries can develop if you are aligned poorly. A good fit will put you in a neutral and symmetric position.
Improved Comfort - common complaints are pain, numbness, and tingling. Most often these symptoms occur in the feet, knees, saddle area, back, neck and hands. Proper positioning should eliminate these issues.
Increased Efficiency - when you're positioned correctly, the muscles have the ability to move through their full range and recruitment which creates strength, power, endurance.
More Fun - When you're comfortable on your bike you are going to be able to ride longer and stronger.
By: Taylor Bonga
Bikes take us to places our feet or cars may never be able to. They help take our minds far away from obligations and responsibilities. They help us overcome challenges both on and off our wheels. They bring new friends and a strong community.
These are just a few reasons why I like bikes in general. They have made a permanent place in my life and an everlasting impression. Now, it's my mountain bike where my love grows. I have a Yeti SB5c and it is my absolute favorite bike I've owned thus far.
Let's start with the most important, it looks really good! I mean, turquoise is my favorite color so we got that checked!
It rides like a dream. I've actually joked that it may have made me a better rider... now this may or may not be true. It feels like it, but honestly it may just be the confidence I have grown which in turn is aiding in my ability to ride features and trails I haven't in the past.
Climbing has never been more fun! And trust me, I'll be the first one to tell you climbing is for the birds! I met a man on Dakota Ridge who wanted to ride with me and take notes on how well I was climbing with my Yeti. That was pretty cool and definitely a first.
The suspension feels amazing! I can open it up all the way on the tougher technical descents and I feel like I'm riding through butter! Ok not quite butter, but it's the smoothest ride down I've ever had! Or maybe I'm riding some more cross country type trail or racing for the Beti Bike Bash, I just move my sets to the middle and I have more room for speed!
It's been durable, fun and an all around great bike! It's never too much and never too little. I feel like it's gold locks' perfect bike! And mine too.
Carrie Dittmer and her daughter Ariana inspire others as VIDA Ambassadors, coaching with clinics, and being involved in their community. Ariana, now 23 years old, raced mountain bikes throughout high school in Golden, Colo. and for Colorado Mesa University in recent years. Carrie shares tips on how to make mountain biking a family activity for years to come.
Three countries, two bikes, and two girls full of hope— a mission on two wheels through the French, Swiss and Italian Alps to inspire, raise support, and bring hope to those touched by cancer. Brianna Roth and Christian Little set out in September 2017 to mountain bike through the Alps from Mont Blanc, to the Matterhorn, finishing in Aosta Valley (Italy). Read on about their story in honor of Bri’s mom and her desire to ride her bicycle again.
VIDA heard from Beti Bike Bash workshop participant and first time mountain bike racer Kimberly Herndon about her day with VIDA coaches and ambassadors at the Beti Bike Bash Workshop at Philip S. Miller Park. Thirty women gathered to build and hone a strong skills foundation and prepare for the following day's Beti Bike Bash event.
VIDA Ambassador Sparky Moir set out this season to push herself in a new arena. She not only jumped straight into the Pro Women's cross country field, but she has been creating quite the stir on the front line as the season's biggest surprise to hit the scene. Read on about Sparky's breakthrough race at the Grand Junction Off-Road, and how she pedaled her way to 7th place!
We excited to announce our new home base in the Rocky Mountains at Trestle Bike Park on June 25-26, 2016 for our largest clinic to date. Colorado’s Favorite Ski Resort is also a three-time first place winner in the MTBparks.com Riders’ Choice Best Bike Park Awards for the Rocky Mountain Region, creating the perfect playground for VIDA’s unique women’s mountain bike program.
This time last year, VIDA Ambassador Holly Borowski set out her first bikepacking route on the Kokopelli Trail. During this trip she fell in love with simplicity of mountain biking all day in beautiful scenery, and the autonomous feeling of having her daily essentials along for the ride. You can read all about it in her blog Going the Distance— Holly's First Bikepacking Adventure. Since then, Holly has been scheming an even bigger adventure and last month she completed the Arizona Trail (AZT). Read on about her journey, and learn some tips for your next (or first) bikepacking endeavor.
VIDA Ambassador Michelle from Minneapolis has been keeping it hardcore in the city and striving to get more women out on the trails. We can't wait to reunite with her and get her to her first VIDA clinic next week! In the meantime, Michelle paused to share some of her feelings regarding the upcoming clinic.