Tashia (she/her) first found VNTRbirds through our women’s community ride days,
Good Vibes Ride Day. From that first group ride, she knew she found a crew of women that would help encourage her mountain biking progression in the rocky mountains of Colorado. Originally hailing from Bend, Oregon, the 29 year old has been mountain biking since halfway through college, and doesn’t see an end to the relationship between her and her bike any time soon. Tashia now has taken her first mountain bike instructional clinic with VNTRbirds and claims it definitely won’t be her last!

“Never thought the day would come when I’d actually enjoy tech. This was a big summer of progression on my mountain bike and so much of it is thanks to the clinic with VNTRbirds”.  

~ Tashia D.

What encouraged you to join VNTRbirds for a MTB specific course?

I bike with my boyfriend and all the bros we’re friends with a lot. He has tried to give me some tips but sometimes your S.O. is not who you want to hear it from. I had gone to a couple of the good vibes ride days and felt like the VNTRbirds clinic would be a great way for me to intentionally progress with mountain biking in an environment that I’d be more receptive to learning in.

It turned out to be more affordable than I had originally expected, so I finally went for it and am so happy I did. It was my first MTB clinic and won’t be my last.

That’s amazing to hear. What were some of your goals going into the clinic?

I’ve always felt like I can hang on the uphill but turn into a grandma on the downhill. I wanted to work on downhill technique, including technical terrain and cornering, and generally overcoming some fears about going faster.

Learning to release the brakes and “let it roll” to have a smooth ride on berms

Did you achieve these goals? How have they changed since your instruction?

Yes, and more! Even though I’d consider myself somewhere between intermediate to advanced, we started out with some fundamentals and it was really valuable. I never knew I’d been doing some things wrong all along and now life is much easier. One of the biggest highlights was getting the “leaning” rather than “steering” your bike on corners. That was a big mind shift for me and has really changed how I ride.

What has been your biggest accomplishment for the season?

Riding Lenawee last weekend! I feel like there is so much hype around the technical terrain and exposure. I was scared of this trail for years, but everyone I bike with raves about it. I thought maybe one day I’d be ready as if very far in the future. A few weeks after my clinic with VNTRbirds, my friend Hannah suggested we go for it. I’d been feeling good about my riding and Hannah is a great riding buddy, so I said yes. It went freaking great! I definitely walked a couple of little sections but was able to ride most of it, which was way more than I expected. Best of all, I actually enjoyed it rather than being afraid the whole time. It was a huge milestone in my progression as a mountain biker.

Cruising around the open bowl of Lenawee off Arapahoe Basin

Did you have a fear or a plateau that joining VNTRbirds helped you get over or worked through?

I think it was really validating working with a certified coach. Biking with all the guys I’m often in the back, but she made me realize that I’m better than I thought and to get out front!