26/11/2012 | 2 comments
Bike Verbier T-Mo Girls Week
Words and photos: Kath Ronchetti
For the last week of their season Bike Verbier in Switzerland hosted a girls mountain bike coaching week with World Champion Tracy Moseley. I saw this advertised on the webs earlier in the year and booked myself straight in – I wasn’t going to miss this once in a life time opportunity.
Bike Verbier, which is run by Lucy and Philip, is set in the awesome Swiss Alps offer everything that you could possibly want for a mountain biking holiday. A beautiful chalet with all the creature comforts for you and your bike, outstanding food, (which every time hits the spot after a long day in the saddle), warm hospitality, and their extensive knowledge of the area and its outstanding trails all make it a perfect place to stay.
The view from Bike Verbier chalet
I met five awesome, inspirational girls who all shared my passion for riding bikes. We were all thrilled to be on this holiday to ride the world class epic single track, to improve our skills through the help of none other than T-Mo and also to shred with other chicas. We had a blast both on and off the bikes. The week was filled with some of the best riding that I ever done along with plenty of laughter, whooping and of course Tracy magic.
The A-Team (from left to right): Sarah, Kate, Sarah, Eva, Liz, me and Tracy
Tracy was a first class teacher, her experience and achievements were enough to make you hang on every word that she said, but not only that she has that natural ability to teach. We all progressed so much and had more of a blast down the trails as a result and rode down things which we wouldn’t have done beforehand. I have been pedal happy for around 8 years but I learnt so much during this week. Bad habits were unpicked and new confidence inspiring ones were developed.
The first couple of sessions consisted of getting back to basics – bike and body position, set up, braking, cornering. This took place initially in large wide open spaces with no gradient and utilising a load of cones to mimic trial features. I found it surprisingly hard after years of hooning down singletrack how tricky some of the –on the outset easy -tasks were – it was all about balance, control and body position. All of which are essential for smooth runnings on the real stuff.
Cone practice in the mountains. ( Don’t know why Tracy brought the green pipes though.)
Tracy living every moment with us.
Once we had got to grips with the basics we then took it to the hills- ye-haa! There was a good mix of brain work cone sessions followed by hours of putting it into practice on the oh so dreamy single track surrounding Verbier. The trails included both fast flowing – go as speedy as you dare, to technical gnarl with tight switchbacks, all within Switzerland’s EPIC scenery. So much fun.
Not a bad class room for the week
Dropping in to switchback city
By the latter part of the week, with our new found skills and confidence we were flying. All of us had come with an intermediate – advanced level of riding but with Tracy’s coaching and encouragement we all pushed ourselves and achieved things we thought we’d never do. We all had times when we were taken out of our comfort zones. Tracy and the Bike Verbier guys had the knowledge and experience to know what you were capable of and to encourage you if you want to step it up. I admit I had some moments where I was shitting myself before dropping in, but with the right skills and technique I was amazed at what I got myself and my bike down. The sense of achievement and pure fun whilst doing it made for high fives and big grins all round.
So would I recommend? …abso-bloody-lutely. It really was one of the best weeks of my life. They do recommend you have an intermediate-advanced level of riding for this trip to get the full benefit of this experience. However, whether you become part of girls T-Mo week part deux or not, get yourself some professional coaching – I wish I’d done it years ago. Those bad habits would have been ironed out and although I don’t have any regrets, my riding and confidence would have progressed so much more. And girls – riding with other females is awesome – so inspirational and fun – so try and hunt out your local shredders.
Cheers to my new bike mad friends: Sarah, Liz, Eva, Kate and Sarah for all support, giggles and whoops; to Bike Verbier ,Lucy, Phillip, for your warm hospitality and everything!; Sam for your trail side stories, guiding and encouragement, and Gill for all the delicious food- mmm cake!; and of course to Tracy for her fab company, patience and encouragement – I will forever have your voice shouting ‘ELBOWS’ and be a better rider because of it !!!
Bike Verbier say there are definite plans for another Tracy Moseley girls week next year (dates to be confirmed.) If you’re interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details visit