Lift-Served MTB 101

Bike rentals deliver a safe and fun way to navigate lift-served mountain biking. - ©Susan MartoneYou know the phrase, “it’s just like riding a bike.” But, what if said bike is meant to navigate down miles of winding singletrack on one of the East Coast’s biggest ski resorts? Not so simple.

Like many ski resorts across the country, Vermont’s Killington Resort offers lift-served mountain biking during the summer months. From mellow beginner trails to technical freeride terrain, lift-served mountain biking is reminiscent of a day spent skiing or riding during the winter months. Along with a ticket to ride, beginners can opt for rental gear (which includes everything from a full suspension bike to full body armor) as well as a lesson from a professional instructor.

A recent outing with Kinley Tener, one of Killington’s instructors, helped break down the mountain biking mystique and had us shredding the trails in no time. Here were the top five takeaways.

1. Gear Up

Resorts rent top-notch mountain bikes, complete with front and rear suspensions, hydraulic disk brakes and oversized, knobby tires. With all that bike underfoot, it’s also important to take proper safety measures: helmet, knee, shin and elbow pads not only add confidence, they can save your skin if things get squirrely. Pro Tip: Don’t just dust off any old bike and take it down the mountain—part of the safety factor includes what you’re riding on.

2. Learn the Basics

Hopping on a mountain bike and cruising down a ski hill is unlike any other experience, so it’s important to keep yourself and those around you safe and in control at all times. Kinley started us on the basics with a quick beginner run at the base of the mountain. He showed us the ropes on the transmission, brakes and all around maneuvering of the mountain bike. Pro Tip: Don’t grip the handlebars too tight, but instead, keep them light and have one finger on each brake.

Like many resorts, Killington offers a variety of terrain for all ability levels. - ©Jennifer Roe

Like many resorts, Killington offers a variety of terrain for all ability levels.

3. Handling

You’d think you’d just lean back in the saddle, right? Wrong. We learned about balancing our weight, standing up on the pedals and the importance of keeping both feet level. Adding weight to the handlebars gives the front tire added grip when cornering. Pro Tip: Like skiing and riding, look ahead, not down. Your bike will follow your eyes, so look at where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go.

4. Posture

How you hold yourself on the bike feels similar to a yoga pose. We learned it was important to fold at the waist, keep our elbows back and position our faces just past the handlebars. Pro Tip: Embrace the curves on the trail by leaning into them. Pro Tip: Get used to hanging your hillside foot out for balance—Kinley called this “doing the flamingo.”

5. Enjoy the Ride

Ski resorts have mountain bike trails carved out much like downhill ski runs: green, blue and black. There’s no shame in riding a green trail. Choose a line inside your comfort level and go with it. Pro Tip: When picking your line, look ahead and be prepared for any obstacles in your way. But most of all, enjoy the ride!

fashionSKIstas

File Mar 12, 6 55 12 PM

One very underestimated fact about getting your kids going on the slopes is their comfort.  you send them to school in clothes that fit, make them feel good & are appropriate to take them from the classroom to the playground, right?  We buy them team uniforms for all of their after school sports; each team they join is very specific as to what to wear.  So why should it be any different for a day on the mountain?!

Skiing & snowboarding for the first time is very exciting but can be hampered in one fell swoop.  A cold and soggy kid will most likely, not be too stoked on the sport.  Not all outerwear is created equal; investing a little extra on your children’s snow clothing will do way more than keeping their bums dry!

Face it the weathermen are calling for another FROZEN winter (yay!) your kids will be in snow pants and a warm, water resistant jacket way more than you think.  Top of the line outerwear has features you wouldn’t think of and most of our JR’s line will grow with them (extended leg/arm seams), wash well, and are guaranteed to look great for an extra season…  The best part about Jr. apparel lines are the colors, they’re bright!  YOU will never lose your daughter in that hot colored camo jacket with her matching fuchsia pants.  Your little dudes will feel as if they belong in the half pipe in our rad gear, with matching beanies in every color…  but don’t forget to fit them for a helmet too.  Your local ski or board shop is key to that! Get your kiddos fitted for a lid and make sure they don’t only look good, but they’ll feel great and will keep their noggin protected.

#protip

Have your kids wear their Ski or Snowboard boats around the living room as often as you can think of before they get out on the mountain.  This helps with the break in, avoids the sock crumble morning of and is a good way to teach them how to buckle or tie those boots up on the fly!

#oneconversation

who knew??? Vail. CO 1995
who knew??? Vail. CO 1995

I’m a sharer by nature – when asked to bring a piece of me to the table I got a little nervous. So I opted to do this presentation in my most comfortable style.. blog style. I have a cool job, in case you didn’t know how I felt about it. I am often posed with the question how did you get your job, it’s so perfect for you.   this is probably one of my favorite stories to tell and from this moment I truly believed that everything happens for a reason. I was totally employed but felt like I was in a life slump. I was looking for a change but didn’t know how; I’ve been in marketing and advertising for most of my professional career. Going with the flow so to speak but never figured I could have the perfect blend of who I was personally with who I could be professionally. One conversation changed everything for me, and this is not the first time that’s happened. It’s in those moments where you are being totally honest, or talking about what you truly love things can come together. In this case I having a moment with a close friend and former colleague in Colorado and that call inspired me to pop on the Vail Resorts web site (she in a former life lived on the east coast and worked for VR) and the only posting for in my field was this posting for an advertising sales manager with digital experience… the job description was exactly me and not only that it required I lived on the east coast. SHOOT, I applied right away and I got a response from some guy named Todd Peters… Could I meet with him right away? Duh right? So long story short, he just about hired some other guy (I never did find out who that poor dude was) and I think he realized we could be a work match! I Jumped through all the typical corporate hurdles, spent a day interviewing in Colorado and it was a wrap… well not that easy but through that process I was able to really put who I was into this job interview, my passion for being “OnTheSnow” every pun intended coupled with my passion for working hard. We love to say work hard, play harder right?

I mean this is totally who I am; I am social person, I am a great sales person, thrive on creativity but needed to find that perfect balance. For the first time in my entire career I found it here at Mountain News. It’s incredible when you’re passionate about something that the work just comes easier.

I started skiing at age 5, never very good and as a matter of fact the first ski instructor I ever took a lesson from told my dad that “skiing just might not be for Jennifer”.  lol, right?  Push forward 15 years later, I found myself as a ski bum in Vail Colorado, quickly turned into a Snowboarder – leaving behind my 90’s Dynastar skis literally in a rack at the old Lionshead gondola!! I stayed in Colorado for 10 more! I knew when I left Colorado that I was leaving a little of me behind but realized it was time for a new chapter.  I had no idea I’d find my perfect match eventually. that i’d be able to embrace where I live and bring that Snow Bumming passion into my day to day grind.  The last three years have been #EPIC ~ We are a few of the lucky ones!

Our Team Rocks !!
Our Team Rocks !!

Thanks for listening to my share!

#dowhatyoulove #lovewhatyou #beYOU

#ihaveasecret

why we love NY! The Beautiful Catskill Mountains of course #iSKiNY
why we love NY! The Beautiful Catskill Mountains of course #iSKiNY

ok maybe it’s not secret that it’s snowing and it’s been snowing for the last bunch of weeks leaving the conditions in theIMG_4012 Catskill Mountains epically amazing! What you might not know too much about is Plattekill Mountain, located off Route 30 in Roxbury NY ~ living in the Hudson Valley, I’ve heard about the mysterious “Powder Daize” and the lure of this mountain that only opens when the snow is perfection (or Friday – Sundays + Holidays throughout the season!)

A day or two after Storm Linus had left us, Plattekill was still open, which means the getting was still going to be great! So off we went and WOW what a day.  Winding up route 30, looking for our destination was exciting we kept winding up this mountain road waiting to see a sign of the mountain.  Then all of a sudden you are staring a an old school triple chair that goes for what seems miles into the sky…  Plattekill is as comfortable as your favorite pair of snow boots ~ small, unassuming, filled with anything you need to enjoy your day on the hill!

IMG_4007We parked our car just steps away from the ticket window and we were good to go.  No frills, just chills awaited us ~ simplicity is key at Plattekill.  Grab your gear and go, we went with the flow, no trail map needed but here’s a glimpse into their 38 trails, so you can see for yourself. The trails are long and have some of the steepest riding in the Catskills. If riding in tree glades is your thing this is the place, basically just follow the person ahead of you because chances are they know where the goods are.

The best news is that Plattekill is open everyday during presidents week, so there you have it my secret is out! For more info on Plattekill and all of NY State’s great Ski Resorts visit www.ISkiNY.com – and great news for families #iSKINY is still offering 3rd and 4th Grader Passports ~ who doesn’t love free skiing??

Here’s some more fun from our epic day on the mountain – you will be sorry if you miss out on this hidden gem of NY!

xx Jen #keepridingforward #eastwinswinter2015 #ispyNY

we love the touch of the latest Snowfall on our lift tickets!
the Northface double looking so beautiful!
the Northface double looking so beautiful!
with all that fresh POW you might need to dry your gloves ~ luckily the lodge at PK will hook you up...
with all that fresh POW you might need to dry your gloves ~ luckily the lodge at PK will hook you up…
we love the rustic lodge - perfect spot for some après fun #cheers
we love the rustic lodge – perfect spot for some après fun #cheers
Plattekill offers some serious Mountain Biking in the Summertime ~ the MTB trails make for AMAZING snowy glade runs #nojoke
Plattekill offers some serious Mountain Biking in the Summertime ~ the MTB trails make for AMAZING snowy glade runs #nojoke
it was knee deep in the trees #secretstash
it was knee deep in the trees #secretstash

#toocoolforschool

E, Age 4 "skiing was YES fun!" #firstdayfaces
E Age 4 “skiing was YES fun!”#firstdayfaces

Ski & Snowboard School that is… because I can not help myself I wanted to bring another round of friends to enjoy the mountains before January’s learn to ski & snowboard month was over! This time my learners were a mother + 2 daughter team. This gave us a great sampling in lessons, and lesson types  Luckily we ended up at Windham Mountain their pros were ready and more than willing to take this team on.

Dropping little ones at ski school can seem totally daunting ~ Windham’s children’s learning center is super warm and cozy.  They make this process so easy for both the parents & the kids to feel comfortable.  the ski school staffers pretty much wisk your kids away in to a great playroom with a hug, take all their gear out of your arms and send you the parent on your way. this alleviates any anxiety & really doesn’t leave time for that second thought moment. the instructors spend some time with the kids off the snow, help them into their gear and take some time to build a rapport with your kiddos. the inside time definitely helps to improve the communication outside with small kids, they need to feel comfortable and Windham knows this.  The girls had a great day and even got to ride the “big magic carpet” (~ S, age 6) !  not to mention the kids end their day with hot chocolate, a big pretzel & a movie ~ then get sent home with a report card for mom & dad.

Ok, so the kids are adorable and motivated but lets not forget about mom! we as parents are usually in second place to our kids, we take the leftovers so to speak. i’d say for the most part we do everything for our kids and sometimes get comfortable on the sidelines – the great beauty of skiing & snowboarding is it is an ultimate FAMILY sport, it’s something that we can enjoy with our kids and NOT just sit on the sidelines cheering them on! this mom is totally sporty, and fully committed to learning how to snowboard. She loved her private 2 hour private lesson,  Her instructor took the time before the lesson to go over her gear, help her navigate getting in and out of her bindings and even made sure she had a neckie to keep her warm 🙂  She also got to ride the big magic carpet and gradated to a beginner chair lift.  mom was left feeling confident, got the basics down and is ready to #keepridingforward !

Thank you Windham Mountain for hosting this trio, the service was top notch and everyone looks forward to more days on the snow! For my local east coast friends don’t forget to check out ISKINY.com for more #LSSM happens in this month and the rest of the winter.  Happy riding!

xx Jen #getoutside #iskiNY #humanswerenevermeanttohibernate

the instructors at Windham strive to achieve trust & comfort with their students.  It makes for a perfect day.
the instructors at Windham strive to achieve trust & comfort with their students. It makes for a perfect day.

windham makes learning fun for kids of all ages!
windham makes learning fun for kids of all ages!
report cards, never felt soo good!! #starstudent
report cards, never felt soo good!! #starstudent

#bringafriendor2

bring a friend or 2, I dare ya!
bring a friend or 2, I dare ya!

happy new year! and if you haven’t noticed it’s January, it’s that month that everyone gets really into doing new things or revisiting things they loved to do and may have left behind ~ this is where we come in (we are the diehard, never stopped snow lovers!) This month is national Learn to Ski & Snowboard month.  I like to consider myself a voluntary ambassador to snow sports and each year I nudge enough non snow riding friends that someone will come try it out! This year I resolved on 1/01/2015 to help to friends make a comeback to the mountain. Since I am locationally blessed living at the foot of the great New York state Catskills we have plenty of options to Ski & Snowboard. Today we went to Belleayre Mountain!

Belle as the locals refer to it, is a great place to learn or re learn the sport – it’s scenic, it’s got long green & blue trails and it’s just an all around fun small town ski resort. today I had one return Skier and one return Snowboarder; both haven’t skied or snowboarded in very many years but we’re totally ready to start the year out and re-love the snow with me. going out on the mountain isn’t something you can just wake up a decide to do that same day if you are a newbie. We spent the day before dumping out my closet, inventorying everyone’s gear and insuring they had all the layers and clothing they needed for a comfortable warm day on the mountain. we also visited our favorite local snow shop Potter Brothers and rented their gear.  This is the best thing you can possibly do to keep ahead of the curve and make the most out of your snow day.

most of the time i’d suggest putting newbies immediately into a lesson but for the return skier/rider taking the time out with them to review the basics, ride the lift and have a lot of laughs worked great. my friends really focused, took the sport seriously and did a great job.  moving ahead lessons are strongly recommended, I mean who couldn’t benefit from a lesson?

Our friends at Belleayre Mountain are offering a great “Learn to Program”  ~ Parallel from the Start, it includes 3 days of Lower Mountain, Lift, Lessons and rentals ages 13+.  The best part of this program is that your participation turns into a Frequent skier card after your first 3 days.  They want you to learn and return, this is our goal and I am so happy to share the joy!  Overall we had a great day, and I have all month to continue the journey. Check out ISKINY.com for more #LSSM happens in our state this month!

keep riding forward! xx Jen #bringafriend #ISKINY #ILOVENY

#protip rent your skis and snowboards the day before; this saves you time and stress for your actual on snow day!
rent your skis and snowboards the day before; this saves you time and stress for your actual on snow day! #protip
no matter how confident the newbie is about their abilities - it's always best to start the day on the Bunny Hill!
no matter how confident the newbie is about their abilities – it’s always best to start the day on the Bunny Hill! #protip
when you're ready to move off the bunny hill, find a nice long blue run.  we found it in Roaring Brook!
when you’re ready to move off the bunny hill, find a nice long blue run. we found it in Roaring Brook! #protip

IMG_2782-1

#letitgo

IMG_2528-4my yoga instructor, always starts class inviting us to “let it go” – then she mentions the fact that this phrase is the most over used in our day to day life. it’s so easy to say, it’s so simple to think about ~ just push out what ales you at least for the 90 minutes that you are devoting to your mat (thanks Julie, I bow to you 🙏).  but not everyone can just simply do this, my gage in yoga class is always my balance. those days I can’t hold my tree, are the ones i’m really struggling with a clear head. dear Julie says that’s ok, get back up and try again, making the most of these moments.

moving this theory in life, and love can be totally relatable. it’s the day you’re running in circles, taking a wrong turn, forgetting something behind at the grocery store ~ the inner struggle with clearing your head, putting it down and straight up focusing on what’s in front of you. we get ourselves into these modes of comfort in life; It can be with work, home, kids, a lover, friends, you’re in that place where it’s snuggly warm, all is well and bam something changes ~ nothing is more painful than loss of any kind, more challenging than unexpected change in your snuggly world. Just like nothing prepares you for the sleepless nights that come with a newborn, you can be as strong as you want but loss needs to be dealt with in your own way. that change in pattern, that “supposed to be” feeling even though it’s not. you want to stomp, scream, plead, cry (sometimes a lot) and mostly just want to curl back into your cozy bed and pretend all is still the same. it’s those days you can’t stop checking your phone for that message because normally by 8am you’ve gotten several ~ this morning none of them are the right message. it’s unavoidable because these reminders could be as small as a hotel bar of soap, a song or a roadside sign. all of those things can take you right back to that before place and will never be fully avoidable ~ you’ll always remember, always reach for them.

it’s amazing how completely rational we can be, we give our friends the best of advice, we talk ourselves through our own stuff… Yep, sounds good ~ I got this! but at the same time we watch ourselves act completely irrational and defy our own gut instinct… well that’s because we’re human and as much as we like to think we are superhuman, we’re soft inside. our levels of loss may differ ~ like a boy losing his stuffed dog, a grown up love lost, or the saddest loss of all the passing of someone close ~ it’s ok to grieve, let it all out.

So now what?? just LET IT GO? yeah that’s so stupid isn’t it? Nah, the realistic you that lived through the change knows you need to. your friends tell you, your teachers tell you, your lovers tell you, anything you read tells you…  but there aren’t any rules and there are definitely no short cuts. So whatever it is that you can not shake ~ take a deep breath, trust yourself & be strong. you just have to find your own way to make peace. tuck those memories in tight, thank whomever it was for shaping your world & tell them you will always remember, always have them in your hearts pocket. so now you’re ready, say it with me, maybe tonight shout it to the sky…. good bye, I love YOU & yes let that shit go! Cheers to 2015✌️

xx Jen  #keepridingforward #tothemoonandback #yepyou

here's to finding that peace in 2015

#MerryEverything

It’s always seems like there’s a drastic calm after the holiday storm. Time is so not on our side, days speed by (they say that has something to do with getting older?!) Having a stop and look around moment. I’ve muscled through the last year adapting to personal life changes, doing things on my own, doing things together, feeling a range of emotions from SO weak to SO strong and always a little vulnerable. I’ve relied on my friends, old and new to keep me moving ~ as we like to say #KMF.

I used to swear by “everything happens for a reason” – was certain that there was a greater reason for every step. Sometimes those reasons are so obvious, they’re staring you in the face but in contrast sometimes it isn’t until you lose something, or waited and waited for a clue for things to become clear. There’s no force, there is just life and it happens as quick as I can type these words. A friend told me to reflect this week, to take a minute for myself, take care of me- what is that I said?? Because I want to take care of you, love you, I want to keep the peace, keeping it light and loving. We can’t help who we love; there is always that challenge of being drawn to someone or something new. It makes life so amazing, and every experience so unique to you.. Going with your own feelings, blocking out external factors sometimes opens doors you might not have seen before. What once might have seemed totally crazy to you ~ suddenly makes you breathe easier. I for one am grateful for allowing myself to let go, be open minded and for loving hard. I have made mistakes, asked for forgiveness and accepted yours back. I am ready to the next challenges that come my way. I’ll be a little more prepared now, my skin is a little thicker and I think I am even a little bit brighter and most definitely I am the most real.  Honesty does that to a girl, know who you are inside out – let them see you sweat but don’t let their words rule your world.

So Merry Everything my friends, thank you for letting me love you so much ~ thank you for loving me back because I felt every drop of it. I am a very lucky girl, for knowing you and know that I will love you back always.

xx Peace Love & Happiness,

Jen #keepridingforward

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#sportsmom

hey mamas (& dad’s too I suppose) as I sit here once again freezing in the bleachers of the ice rink, settling into a cycle of déjàvous for the next 6 months… I’m watching, talking and maybe doing a little eavesdropping (who me??)IMG_9662

I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this before but there’s a window in time when our kids rule our world – oh yea that’s like their entire life right ?? We drive, we dress, we drag, we clean, we feed, we wipe noses, do homework & maybe even feed a pet or two … that’s just the tip of it.  Our kids rule our days, hours, mins, seconds – my kids common response is “mom I don’t know why you’re tired all you have to do is work all day”

Sports moms & dads spend that time on the sidelines together bonding, commiserating if you will.  Some are more vigorous than others.  But there’s always that eye contact when something is going wrong that helps console you during a moment!  Often we spend our time comparing how much overlap we all have and how many things all of these kids (+ sibs) have going on. And not in a competitive way, its a wow or that’s a lot kind of way.  All these kids are maxed but it works for them, and we make it work for us.  It’s all in the spirit of enrichment and exercise after all!  here I am listening to the moms talking about balancing activity schedules – this one just came from dance class to her hockey practice, someone else’s figuring out how to be at two practices at the same time in different places tomorrow afternoon, I’m driving today – can you pick up and I digress… cloning time?? mines in an afterschool program with heavy playground time, to dinner to practice. we all have multiple over commitments on the weekend – overlapping seasons baseball runs into lacrosse football runs into soccer runs into ice hockey runs into basketball runs into snow season – not to be forgetting year round commitments like music, art or dance. oh yea and then there’s that funky thing called school and homework… WOOF I’m tired just writing about it!!

I guess I am just writing to say good luck to parents on the sideline, here’s strength for whatever it is you’re juggling & just know support is just a glance away.  Stay warm, and cheer loud – these kids love us 🙂

PS. The huge bonus to all of this over commitment is this …

IMG_9663

Keep riding forward! xx Jen #hockeymom (today)

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