Blog post written by Josée Gulayets
Meet Deanne Coish, Calgary coach!
It’s time we felt that we give you a chance to know your fellow Shred Sisters and coaches a little bit better. Often when we’re engaging in retreats, workshops, and private lessons, we are so focused on biking that we might not get the chance to delve into the coaches’ backgrounds. So, we have introduced a new series for our blog. We are going to dive deep into the minds of these wonderful ladies and find out the history of their biking and why they’ve fallen in love with the sport. We are going to kick off our new series of blog posts featuring the wonderful Deanne Coish.
Deanne started first thinking of biking back in high school because of a neighbour she had who was really into it. However, this might not be exactly what you’re thinking. The neighbourhood boys had a different idea of biking than a lot of us might, as their style included dropping off of roofs, finding the highest and longest skinny, and doing stair gaps to flat hoping their crank arms won’t fail. Eventually, Deanne picked up a cross country bike, not exactly to join in on their teenage boy-style of biking, but rather to ride with them along some of the great trails that would lead to the scary locations and death-defying acts. After all as Deanne puts it “someone had to take care of them if they blew up”!
Only having been coaching for just over a year, her coaching style developed organically. Back when she started riding, she was mostly trying to keep up with the guys. As many of us know, sometimes riding with riders more experienced than you tend to not be the most patient or instructional when riding with someone less-experienced. When Deanne began to ride with girls, she found it completely refreshing. Women, she finds, are more likely to share tips and tricks for biking that work better for them and also tend to be ultra-encouraging. In 2015 a good friend and Deanne started up Prairie Girls Racing so they could find more like-minded women to ride with and help build the same nurturing relationships that helped coax Deanne along. The more girls that joined, the more Deanne found joy in teaching someone something new on their bike.
One of her favourite skill to teach is wheelies. I believe Deanne is probably right-on-the-money when she says most girls think this is super difficult to do, as I myself have never been able to do one. She swears it isn’t once you break it down and most students figure it out pretty fast. She loves the excitement people get when they hit that “aha!” moment.
Her own “aha!” moment in biking was all about her knees. She had spent her first couple of years downhill biking with her knees clamped onto her bike. However, once she figured out how to relax and keep her knees wide with elbows out, her skills increased exponentially. Apparently, if you ask any of the girls on the team how they learned to downhill bike, it was due to Deanne’s encouraging screams of “knees out”! I believe it!
With her love of downhill and her encouragement of other women to try it out, it’s no surprise that downhill is her favourite style of biking. Given the option of pedalling up or chair/shuttle, she will always aim for the big bike and ride up. To go with her downhill her musts for riding are always a helmet and gloves. She’s had some rough crashes on trails that she’s ridden hundreds of times. Protectin’ the noggin’ is number 1!
As our coaches are so full to the brim with biking knowledge and wisdom, I had to ask Deanne what her most valuable piece of advice that she was given and by whom:
“Buy a bike” from those boys in High School
Learn more about Deanne:
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Other Activities/Interests: Skiing, snowshoeing, hiking
Favourite Trail: Mercy Me in Panorama
School/Work Life: Residential/Farmland Property Assessor
Racing Category: DH – Master Women
- 2014 Fernie (Sr Women) – 2nd
- 2014 Alberta Provincial Championships, Grande Prairie (Sr Women) – 3rd
- 2010 Alberta Cup, Grande Prairie (Sr Women) – 1st
- 2010 Canada Cup, Panorama (Sr Women) – 1st
- 2009 Race to the River Alberta Cup (Sr Women) – 1st
- 2009 Alberta 4x series Round #3 (Open Women) – 3rd