(Coach Lorri Lee Lown, founder of The Velo Girls)
One of the highlights for me while living in California for the last two years was not only getting the chance to ride with the Velo Girls, but also getting a private coaching session with Lorri Lee Lown, the founder and owner.
When I first looked into the coaching sessions I was really interested in the Climbing and Descending class as the hills out on the Peninsula are incredibly challenging, and having had two bad bike accidents in the early ‘80’s I had a major fear of descending too quickly. However, in order to take my preferred class, I was required to first take Bike Skills 101.
At first I scoffed at the idea, I’ve been riding bikes since I was five-years-old. I know everything by now right? I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Lorri was awesome! The first thing she did when she met me was scan my bike and point out what I needed to fix and why. After that, we dove into the basics of bike handling and proper riding technique, including the importance of balance and weight distribution and bike anatomy. She told me that its when we over think things we get into trouble and that I need to trust my bike and get out of my head. We then segued into hand and body position, shifting, braking, steering and the emergency stop. Lorri then went on to drill me on bike handling skills and for a period of time I repeatedly mounted, dismounted and emergency stopped my bike.
My most favorite part of the day was riding with no hands, something I’ve never been able to master. With a few simple cues (and Lorri right behind me talking to me about body position) I was riding and taking corners with no hands. The session ended with drills on cornering and counter-steering and no, it is not innate.
Even though I have been riding for over 45 years, I wasn’t doing it right and at the end of the session Lorri encouraged me to share what I had learned so that we can make the road a safer place.
xo Kim (Mama Ferg)
Check out the awesome Bay Area Velo Girls
A well deserved stop after a grueling 40 mile bike ride with the Velo Girls through the Oakland Hills and Orinda.