Alison Barnfather

Alison Barnfather, Mountain Bike Instructor with Shred Sisters

A lover of mountain air with a good sense of humour, Alison is the perfect new addition to our coaching team in Calgary. Having obtained her PMBIA back in 2016, past president of SpinSisters and instructor, Alison as a teaching like to  focuses on building a solid foundation for her students to continue to build upon as they fall more and more in love with mountain biking. She has a name for everything she owns (not just her bikes but her vehicles and plants too!) and is often caught singing to herself or giving herself tips while navigating gnarly sections on a trail. You will feel absolutely comfortable riding alongside her and will learn a ton from this wealth of knowledge!

  • When did you first start riding and how did you get into it?

I first started riding as a kid of course and am still reminded by my dad how angry I got when he brought out some training wheels for my first bike. “No way Jose!!” my childhood-self told him as I rode away down the cul-de-sac on my own, crashing into the bushes at the end of the street because I hadn’t quite figured out braking yet!! I started “mountain biking” in earnest about 11 yrs ago when I realized that MTB meant so much more than just riding off a paved trail!

  • What’s the best thing about mtb for you?

Love the ability to explore my favourite places on two wheels gulping in the mountain air while getting an amazing workout and adrenalin rush. No end to the ways to challenge yourself and push some limits.

  • How long have you been coaching?

I have been unofficially coaching for 7 years and officially coaching for 5yrs. I got my PMBIA Level 1 Certification in 2016. All my coaching to date has been with the Spin Sisters Mountain Bike Club.

  • What’s unique about your coaching style?

I love injecting humour into everything  that I do. I am the least intimidating person you will meet (unless you are a guy I am trying to date) and I live to see that “aha” moment when a student figures out a new skill or tweaks a maneuver. 

  • What makes you, you? What’s your best quirk? Fun Fact about you or story?

I love having a running soundtrack or narration to my life.  You may find me singing a tune as I ride or giving myself tips as I descend a particularly knarly section or as I try and work out the perfect line! Oh and I name almost everything I own…bikes, vehicles…plants!

  • Favourite trail?

This can change yearly but I guess I could say Powderface-Prairie Link is a fave , Cumberland Trails, 727, Race of Spades & Mercy Me at Panorama

  • What do you want your students to gain from your coaching/teaching?

My wish for my students is to create a solid foundation of skills that they can continue to build on for years to come! I want them to know they don’t have to be the fastest, most aggressive, or fearless riders to experience all the joys of MTB. Also, it’s never too late to become a solid MTB rider and see positive changes every year you go out!

  • What has been the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given or received in mountain biking or any other sport?

– Strive for Progress not Perfection!!

– Do it for the Love of the Sport!!!

– and my personal face…Cowboy Legs & Cowboy Arms 

Alison 2021 Schedule

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