It’s always great to ride in mixed groups. However every now and then there comes a moment, when girls get fed up with chasing the boys. Not because they can’t keep up, but because they would like to spend some time to work on certain techniques or choosing different lines, to improve their times and riding experience. The “Women’s Workshops” have been introduced to Bikepark Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis by UCI Masters Downhill World Champion Alice Kühne for those, who are not only looking for loads of fun, but also want to improve their skills. There are still three more opportunities this year to join other like-minded “gravity girls”: it will be time to send it again on July 30th, August 27th and September 24th.
In Alice Kühne’s eyes there is nothing better on this earth than spending time in the alpine fresh air and charging over trails through the mountains. Biking is her passion and she wants to pass her love for two-wheels on to more fellow women. “My camps and the ‘Women’s Workshops’ here in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis are meant to encourage more women to ride and also create an opportunity for them to find more women, who are enthusiastic about mountain biking”, explains the sport scientist, who underlined her skills during the UCI Masters Downhill World Championships last year by winning the title.
The workshops are not just about having fun on a bike and shredding trails for a couple of hours. It’s mainly about “taking the time to work on different techniques or areas in which they want to improve themselves”, Kühne adds. The group starts off by riding on the pump track, where the passionate Swiss biker takes a first good look: “I can see how they are standing on the bike right away.” The ladies receive the first feedback straight from the get-go, before they continue with more sophisticated aspects of biking. One specialty of the workshop is, that they can express, what they would like to work on in the following hours. “We are lucky that Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis has drops, jumps and root carpets and can offer everything for each skill level. I like to address each field, that the girls mention, individually.”
Kühne delivers a great part of her expertise in the first half of the workshop. Thanks to video recording the guide can give specific feedback regarding riding style and technique. On top of this the girls can see for themselves, how they are faring on the bike. “The immediate feedback with the videos is just great! One’s own perception tends to differ greatly from reality”, acknowledges workshop participant Barbara, who loves the easygoing atmosphere: “I feel really comfortable here. It doesn’t feel like a constant competition and we support and encourage each other. It’s motivating to see, what the others can do.” After a short lunch break the second half of the day is all about executing, what has been learnt in the morning and shredding through the bike park.
Alice Kühne has been organizing camps and workshops for four years now. “There is so much on offer for men. It was about time to create something for women as well. It is important to ride with the boys, but sometimes they seem to have difficulties to gage women properly. My experience has shown me, that an individual evaluation is more effective and they are encouraged, when they see a woman demonstrate. More often than not, they say to themselves ‘If she can do it, then I can do it!’. That is not always the case with the boys”, explains Kühne, who also manages the “Pink Gravity Team” and tours through Europe. Barbara faced her least favorite discipline during the first workshop of the season in June: Jumps. “I was always pretty scared of jumping, so we worked on that. It’s a pretty rad feeling to be sailing through the air. I now even have the courage to do small jumps, when I am riding alone.”
The next “Women’s Workshop” in Bikepark Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is already casting its shadow. All gravity girls out there, looking to improve their biking skills and shred the park in a small group of maximum five participants can register by writing an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The next session with guaranteed action and excitement will be held on July 30th. More workshops follow in the late summer and fall on August 27th and September 24th.