Pictures & Post written by Kristie Sandquist
Kickstart Ladies Mountain Bike Retreat
When I saw the ad for the Shred Sisters Kickstart Mountain Bike Retreat, I knew this was an opportunity to advance my biking skills and meet a lot of like-minded women in the process. The description talked about riding 2 full days with skills workshops, catered gourmet food, and yoga to wind down the day. All this and it was to take place in the picturesque little town of Invermere, British Columbia? I was in.
I convinced my friend Michelle to join me, and soon we were arriving in Invermere on a beautiful Friday evening.Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised at our chosen accommodation when we pulled up to a massive house that looked like a log cabin, complete with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Most of the women were staying here, and it was a great chance to get to know everyone. There were ladies from Calgary, Vernon, and one from Vancouver. Such a great mix of riders!
The next morning, our coach Becca took us through the basic parts of the bike, how to change a flat tire, and skills like Rock Dodge and my personal favourite, lifting your front and back wheels over obstacles.
After a quick lunch, we headed out to the trail and rode a local trail with a fun and challenging “rollercoaster” section. The trail snakes its way through a ravine in a series of steep loops which was a blast to learn how to ride.
There was also a steep, rocky section we could try and Becca showed us the best line to take. Cheryl was the brave one to try it out and she nailed it on her first run!
Dinner that night was a feast of pasta and homemade chocolate cake. Michelle and I paired it off with a glass of wine because no ladies’ weekend is complete without a little vino.
After an early morning meditation, we were treated to another fantastic meal consisting of an egg and potato bake smothered in cheese, and homemade cinnamon buns. I wanted to stay at the retreat forever just so I could have more of that delicious food! With full bellies we were ready to learn some new skills.
Audrey was our coach for the day and she led us through cornering drills and showed us how to do drops and roll downs. Skills that would definitely be put to the test on the trail that afternoon.
After our lunch of quinoa, tofu, and veggie salad (seriously, did I mention how good the food was??), we took off for the Johnson Trail. This is one of the nicest trails in the area and riders of all abilities can enjoy it. We rode some of the newer, more difficult sections, and it tested not only our physical skills but our mental strength as well.
The rocky sections of the trail were incredibly intimidating, and pushing yourself past the fear can be difficult. On a good day, you can push past the fear and try to go further. A huge bonus about a retreat like this is that you’re not going through it alone. All of us felt out of our comfort zone, and the encouragement from the other women and the comradery of the group helps propel you forward.
Michelle and I had an amazing time and we couldn’t wait to get out riding again to practice the new skills we had learned. The location, the ladies, the coaches, and the food are now fond memories that I carry with me. Especially those homemade cinnamon buns.
Are you interested in a biking retreat with Audrey and her Shred Sisters team? Check out her website at https://shredsisters.ca/ or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a story about a retreat you went to or a great group experience you had on your bike? We would love to hear it, send in your comments below!
Have a look at our next fall Retreat in Golden, BC.