My 12 year old daughter is fearless. She loves any sport that involves going fast and defies gravity. Her favorite sport is rock climbing and she can do that at a gym any day of the year, but when the weather is nice, she is a mountain bike girl all day long. She mastered the uphill skills near our home in Golden, but was not super confident on the downhill sections. Last summer, we noticed that Keystone was offering ‘Dirt Camp’ for kids ages 9 – 13 and she begged to get in on the action. She loved every minute of it and learned some great bike skills. All winter she waited for the 2019 dates to be announced and made sure we blocked the dates off until she could register.
The first session of 2019 Keystone ‘Dirt Camp’ started on June 24. She walked into the bike school building and noticed her favorite bike coaches from last year were back. They all greeted her by name and after a round of fist bumps, checked over her bike for mechanical issues. We walked over to Keystone Sports to get her outfitted with downhill gear, with her coach in charge of making sure everything fit properly.
Coaches spent the first day helping the kids practice the skills they would need on the mountain. Track stands, wheelies, slow speed turns, cornering, etc.. Torrey felt like she mastered the techniques by the end of the day. When she returned to our condo at the Springs building, she was beaming with pride that she had gotten ‘camper of the day!’ She spent the evening in the pool telling her friends that they should go to the next camp session.
The next day, the campers hit the mountain to practice their newly acquired skills. Torrey reported that they couldn’t do some of their favorite trails, like “Girl Scout” because of snow at the top. They were able to do “River Run” and she felt like she was working beyond her comfort zone. By day 3, she said she was really trying to push herself and maybe went too far. She took a hard fall, but was glad that she had a full face helmet and compression jacket. Her instructor let me know that they looked her over thoroughly and felt she could finish the day. At the end of day 4, Torrey was sore and tired. She had backed off on her speed and felt safer, but she was working hard to master the tough terrain of blue trails. Though she was tired, she was so excited to get to class on day 5. As I dropped her off, she asked if she could register for the next session, happening in a few weeks on July 15 -19.
If you have a child interested in developing their mountain bike skills, I highly recommend Keystone Dirt Camp! The instructors are fantastic. In fact, they are considering hosting a similar camp for women that I just might look into for myself and a group of friends. After all, I need to keep up with Torrey! Each camp entry includes one on one instruction, Dirt Camp swag, daily bike, equipment & storage during the camp, a daily bike haul ticket and trail access.