“The never-ending quest to suck a little less.” – Lee McCormack
Privileged. That’s what I am.
This is the second all-day Lee clinic I’ve been able to attend- the first being two years ago at the first Utah Leadership Summit. That was about teaching us the curriculum to teach to the students we would be coaching. This was also about that- reviewing and re-aligning our skills. “We” in this case was a mis-mashed group of experience and in-experience from across the nation.
The morning was skills. Body position. Balance. Breaking. Turning. Up/Down. Safety. Fun.
I’m a good student- so I took notes. I didn’t have paper handy, so I wrote my notes on my arm.
I’ll be honest, I took a lot of crap for creating my little temporary sleeve tattoo- but I’m willing to bet a lot of those guys wished they had done the same. I was able to review my notes, copy them into my teaching manual, and revisit them again and again with my afternoon riding buddies.
Post-clinic we all met back at the hotel to group up for group rides. I was mid-sentence with another coach when in walked Jake and Tap! (Who you will remember from White Rim and 24 Hours). They had come to host us on our rides- they being local NICA coaches and all. I ended up doing the “easier” ride with Tap, two very nice gents from Texas (Tyler and Clint), and Chris, from Virginia.
We climbed up Armstrong- my body protesting at the elevation and the elevation gain. It wasn’t until we were almost topped-out that I realized I’d been in big ring the whole time! (That’s the bigger, beefier, gear for y’all non-mtb folks). We laughed and joked and reviewed my arm notes, and then hit this extremely fun descent.
It was so fun that when we got to the bottom and still had an hour to kill, Chris, Tap and I climbed straight up the ski run (“A big bowl of suck”, Chris said) until we connected to the last part of the trail- then rode the crap out of it. Giggles and giggles. I think when we got to the bottom of one of the runs I was smiling and one of the guys said, “You’ve got something in your teeth”. Yeah. It was dirt. From smiling.