For practice #2, the bikes came in! I don't have a good picture - I'll post one when I do - but for now, I will just report that they are really nice Felt hardtails.
This year, our goal is to have three practices per week. At practice #2, the group rode on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) for the first time. Some of the students had been on this trail before, but others had not. They did great using their own bikes or the new bikes.
At practice #3, we again headed to the BST. Our big exercise for the day was the baseline time trial. Each athlete was timed on the climb up Dry Creek, which is a pretty steep steady climb having a couple of tricky spots. The goal was not to beat each other, per se, but to establish a baseline measure of fitness and skill for each athlete to which we can compare his or her time at various times throughout the year. Our four athletes completed the trial in anywhere from 14:45 to 20:09. Not too shabby!
We had a good showing of coaching staff (7) and but still only four athletes. More are expected next week.
We had our first official practice on August 14. We tried to practice last week, but the bikes we thought we had were loaned out to other league kids. For this first practice, we were able to borrow a few bikes from the awesome gang at the Salt Lake Bicycle Collective. Only three athletes were in attendance because many of the others are still out on family vacations, etc. The three students were super excited and impressed the coaching staff immensely.
For now, we are not going to use the student's full names on this blog until we have permission from parents.
We held practice on the nice soft grass at a park close to the school to judge the level of confidence each of the riders had before hitting the trail. We practiced braking and easy downhills.
And next moved on to slow speed maneuvering using obstacles placed close together. We took turns weaving in and out.
We did some endurance riding and ended with a game of "Foot Down" inside a makeshift circle. The goal is to get your opponents to put his or her foot down before you have to. It hones slow speed maneuvering.
By the end of practice, our coaching staff all agreed, the students were ready for the trail!