ski bummette

Southern girl playing in the Rockies, living in a Dude's world, and writing about adventures in the great outdoors.

Archive for the category “biking”

“If She Can Do It…”

“This is mountain biking! It’s not chemistry class!”

Ladies, if you are in the Seattle area this Thursday evening, stop by Saint Andrews Bar & Grill at 6 pm to see the world premiere of If She Can Do It. Or if you are anywhere else in the world, watch it on Pink Bike at 6pm PT.

The documentary, shot by film maker Mark Brent, known for Awesome Land, was filmed at Sugar Showdown this past July at Duthie Hill Park in Issaquah, WA. The event was hosted by Kat Sweet of Sweetlines, a service dedicated to the coaching, training and empowering of women through mountain bike courses and events. The event itself was a women-specific two-day clinic and competition focusing on providing a supportive environment while bringing women’s freeriding to the forefront.

Watch women from across the country come together to push their fears aside and to learn what it is like to crush it on a mountain bike. It is inspirational to see women just like yourself take it to the next level, doing things on a bike they never thought they would do. It is one thing to follow your man on the trail and write off not doing the tricks he does “because he’s a guy” and it is something totally different to be surrounded by women and think, “well, if she can do it…” Next thing you know, you are flying off that drop-off and landing it better than any dude.

Interested in events and classes through Sweetlines? Continue to check their website for updates and to read all about Miss Badass herself, Kat Sweet.

 

Event Details:
Who: Hosted by Kat Sweet of Sweetlines and Mark Brent of Awesomeland
What: If She Can Do It documentary film premier
Where: Saint Andrews Bar and Grill, 7406 Aurora Avenue North, Seattle, WA and online at www.pinkbike.com
When: Film at 6:00 p.m., PT on Thursday, November 15, 2012 (Saint Andrews Bar festivities begin at 5:30 p.m.)

 

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The Invisible Bike Helmet: Symbol of the Impossible

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/43038579″>The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/focusf”>Focus Forward Films</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Whether or not to pass a law requiring cyclists to wear bike helmets is a hot topic around the world. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, 91% of cyclists involved in fatal bicycle crashes in the US in 2009 were not wearing a helmet. It also states that not wearing a helmet increases one’s risk of head injury by at least 85%. And yet every year people are injured in bike accidents because they chose not to take this preventative measure. But why?

At least one reason (albeit a vain one) we could all agree on is helmet hair just doesn’t look good on anyone. And when you are riding from home to the office, a hat doesn’t always work. Not to mention how silly bike helmets look while riding across town. If only there was a way to look good while being safe on wheels.

“Cars are so yesterday. Bikes are the future.”

                                                        – Terese Alstin

Two Swedish designers, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, spent seven years on the impossible: an invisible bike helmet, the hövding. They teamed up with a head trauma specialist, studied movement patterns of bike crashes and normal riding, and raised 10 million dollars in venture capital to get this revolutionary tool underway. The helmet is actually an airbag, designed with different hairstyles, head gear, and head shapes in mind. It is stored in a collar with a removable outer shell so you can trade out designs based on what you are wearing. The collar includes sensors, which detect the difference in “normal”riding behavior and “accident”  behavior. When it senses the rider is in an accident, it will send a signal to the gas inflator in the back of the collar. The gas inflator, which uses helium, will then inflate the helmet around the rider’s head to protect them as a normal “visible” helmet would.

Thought to be impossible not only because it was a new inconceivable idea, but also because the creators and managers of the operation were women, Anna and Terese were determined to prove critics wrong. Regardless of their gender, regardless of their “place” as a woman according to others, regardless of the impossible, these women created a stylish tool of the future. “It is chicken to be a realist.” I couldn’t agree more.

“She Jumps” Beauties, Skis and Guns

It is full-on fall here in Crested Butte, my favorite season. It is the time of year to sharpen the chainsaw and build the wood piles just right. It is a time for baking with pumpkin, drinking hard cider, and prematurely wearing down jackets. The weather is perfect for those last few mountain bike rides before trading it in for different toys. But more than anything, it is a time to watch every video possible about skiing. We are getting excited about skiing pow even before the first dusting, so what better way to anticipate a perfect ski season than watching some rad ladies rip in beautiful Alaska?

Who says men have to be a part of a perfect weekend filled with sick lines, sleds, and guns?

Alison Gannett: Badass Beauty on Planks and Wheels

Photo by Sarah Mah Rarick

Depending upon who you talk to, the name Alison Gannett can mean a lot of things. To a ski-bumette, she is a rad skier who holds her own as a professional world-champion big mountain free skier; to us green babes, she is an innovator in the eco-friendly way of life who actually “walks the talk;” to a bike chick, she is a kick ass mountain biker who manages to take her skills on the snow to the trails; and to a novice at almost any extreme sport, namely, skiing, mountain biking, or surfing, she is an amazing teacher who knows exactly how to ease women into their next personal level of fitness.

During this summer’s Bike Week, here in Crested Butte, I was lucky enough to be able to take one of her skills courses. A small group of women came together, most of us beginner bikers who were scared to go to that next scary and thrilling level. With the help of Alison’s excellent teaching strategies, we were all cruising over obstacles that had always been daunting on the trails. So, thank you, Alison, for the power you provided each of us in the saddle.

Ms Gannett was gracious enough to answer a few questions ranging from her skiing career, being a ski-bumette, her local Paonia farm, and why she loves our valley.

When did you start skiing and when did you decide to go pro in the sport?
I was full bore into my environmental career when a Warren Miller film crew saw me free skiing in Crested Butte and asked me to be in their movie. They talked me into competing, which was a tough but rewarding route into my new career as a professional skier. I was a teased traumatized chubby dorky math geek, always sucked at conventional sports, even kickball.
When you were/are unsure of a situation on skis or on a mountain bike, how do you get through it?
I now try to put aside the little voice in my head that tells me I can’t do something, think of some situation similar that went really well, and then talk myself into the fact that I am a strong powerful person that can do this, and then I try to stop overthinking and just go.
What made you want to start Rippin Chix, and what is you favorite part of teaching a clinic?
I started Rippin Chix in 2002 because I realized that sports had given me incredible confidence that spilled over into my everyday challenges in life. I also realized that not many programs were teaching women in baby steps, women were being turned off from sports forever because some guy’s only advice was “just go for it”.
As a respected female bad-ass, have you ever felt that being a woman has created more obstacles for you in your career advances?
Being a woman has been a bit tough, as my sports are very “dude” centric, with T and A for gals being more important than talent. I wanted to prove that gals could ski crazy lines and jump big cliffs. Sometimes it has paid off being a woman with perseverance, as some ski companies would hire me to do women’s designs as they only had men in the office.
How did skiing affect your outlook on environmental issues?
My favorite thing about skiing was not the championship titles or starring in ski films, it was creating my own women’s only ski expeditions to wild countries and places that had never been skied. Since I wanted to marry my career as an environmental scientist, I would photo document glacial recession. For my Global Cooling Tour, the most powerful part for most people is seeing that lines I skied just ten years ago are now gone.
What led to your decision to buy a farm, and what is your favorite part of running it?
I have been trying to walk the talk for over ten years now, especially after working with some people like Al Gore, who inspired me to not do what he was doing. I wanted to reduce my carbon footprint and see what worked and what did not – firstly starting with travel, then house, vehicle, and ultimately the biggest elephant in the living room – FOOD. My favorite part is bringing weeds to the pigs, and my least favorite part is letting the chickens out at 5:30am.  The cool part of this giant experiment, is that we have halved our carbon footprint with keeping an outdoor sport lifestyle!
and just for fun,
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
My favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley is all our trails and public lands! We often take for granted what many people don’t have!

Jill Kintner’s New Ride

The beautiful and talented Jill Kintner, a world champion cyclist, recently teamed up with Norco and Yess to design a very integral part of her biking career… a new custom mountain bike. Check out the video to see the bike being carefully manufactured to Ms. Kintner on the podium after proving its worth at the 2012 Sea Otter Classic. Thanks Jill for being one bad ass woman!

Learn more about her unique bike on Norco’s blog.

The Basics of Bikes: Colorado to Carolina

Photo by Trent Bona

When I moved to a ski town, honestly I hadn’t put much thought into the few summer months we have. I love playing outside, so naturally I was excited to hike, fish, camp, backpack, etc as the snow started to melt away my first spring in Crested Butte. I hadn’t thought about how much I would miss the adrenaline rush of going downhill on skis though. Luckily my problem was quickly solved when I turned my attention to bikes and single track. However, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. I was used to falling at speed on skis, and the snow provided a soft cold pillow every time I ate it. On a mountain bike, the rocks and hard ground (and occasional poison ivy patch in the southeast) provided little cushion.

Last summer was a lot of learning in some of the most epic mountain biking terrain available, and this off season road trip has provided plenty of opportunities to get comfortable on 2 wheels across the country. The southwestern desert provided a bounty of rocks to maneuver over and around as well as the opportunity to learn to change a flat tire because of a quite defensive cactus. The southeast has countless trails for all levels of riders through thick vegetation, not to mention it has been so much fun to ride in my home state of North Carolina. With a great teacher and travel partner by my side, I have come a long way. I’ve learned that falling is a part of getting better, that regardless of everything I learned about being a lady, spreading my knees wide and sticking my butt out will only help me on a bike, and that mountain biking, like most things I love, is all about having fun in the great outdoors.

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