*Disclaimer: I attended the VIDA weekend under a comped invitation in order to test and review the organization and their teaching style. I was not asked to publish a positive review in exchange, and I received no financial compensation for this review. At OWA, we aim to publish reviews that, after testing, we feel would be beneficial to women outdoors.
I can’t believe how much I learned in just two days.
Day 1: Basic bike skills & yoga
The first day at the VIDA & Lululemon Colab started with yoga to help awaken and energize our bodies. The rising sun, hot air balloons, and cool mountain air made a peaceful setting for our morning practice. The yoga instructor guided us through moves that targeted the muscles we’d be using for our upcoming day of mountain biking.
With our muscles ready to go, we moved to a grassy field to begin the biking skills portion of the weekend with Elinor Wesner, a pro downhill and enduro racer. We spent the morning learning the ins and outs of proper body form on bikes and the basics of cornering.
The skills were explained to us, then demonstrated. Once we had the visuals, it was our turn to give the skills a try.
Since the riders in our group ranged from beginner to advanced, our coach tailored the lesson to each individual. Normally, VIDA clinics split groups by ability, but due to the small size of our group, our coach kept us together. She then customized the techniques to the individual. To do this, she’d meet us at our level by giving us a skill goal. It was only after allowing each person to practice and achieve their goal that another skill was added. This made the progression smooth and kept anxiety low.
It was clear from the beginning that our success was her success. For example, when the women in our group crushed it on the wall ride, her energy was contagious. Though we relaxed during evening yoga, her excitement remained with us. It fueled our motivation to gear up and get on the trail for the second day of the clinic.
Day 2: Group trail ride & yoga
8:30 a.m. found us stretching into the day with morning yoga. Our yoga instructor tailored the session to suit our aching muscles. During the practice, we learned how to both prepare and repair our biking muscles — an invaluable lesson as we strove to push our bodies and skills further on our bikes that day.
With our bodies awakened and loosened, it was time to put our new skills and knowledge to the test. We hit the Tom Blake trail at Snowmass Mountain — an intermediate, flowy singletrack with a gradual climb through an aspen grove.