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Ladies attend the first Women's Mountain Biking camp of the season

Women gathered on the slopes last weekend for the season’s first Women’s Mountain Biking Camp.

Run through Fernie Alpine Resort, the beginning/intermediate class catered solely to women, teaching them a variety of skills including neutral positioning, bike body separation, braking, climbing, descending and cornering.

Fernie Alpine Resort Instructor Samantha Sedlowsky said her main goal was to ensure the women were having a good time and getting down the hill safely.

“I think it went great,” she said. “I think everyone had a good time and learned some things and got more comfortable on the downhill trails.”

Although the skill levels among the group of nearly 10 women were diverse, Sedlowsky said the group dynamic was fantastic.

“I think for most women it’s just more confidence inspiring to have other women around them, supporting them, knowing they’re not being pushed too much,” she said. “And having a women instructor as a role model means they can visualize and put themselves in that person’s shoes.”

The women participating in the camp agreed with Sedlowsky. One woman, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008, said developing her skills in a women’s camp helped her to regain her confidence in mountain biking.

“The skills and comradery of having a women’s only camp was really just amazing,” Becky Ragala said. “I think that was one of the big things that really progressed my way of learning mountain biking.”

For Sedlowsky, seeing someone progress and incorporate the skills they’ve learned through the camp into downhill mountain biking is something she can be proud of.

“I really enjoy when someone just does something that they didn’t think they could do,” she said. “I love mountain biking so much. You forget about everything else that’s going on in your life and you just concentrate on having fun and going down the mountain.”

Fernie Alpine Resort will be hosting another beginning/intermediate class on August 2 and 3.

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