What it’s like to… LAND YOUR FIRST BIG DROP

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - MAINTENANCE -

Laura Aliperti, Whistler, B.C.

I’ve been rid­ing ever since I can re­mem­ber. I was very lucky to grow up around my dad’s bike shop in Brazil. I did a bit of XC and marathon rid­ing from when I was 12 years old in Brazil, but didn’t start rid­ing more se­ri­ous sin­gle­track and down­hill un­til I was 18 years old.

My first big drop was the gap in Fade to Black in the Whistler Bike Park. Af­ter that, the big­gest drop was at Kam­loops Bike Ranch on Fist­ful of Dol­lars – that one took a lot of nerve, but do­ing a sea­son at the Whistler Bike Park helped me im­mensely.

[A note from tr­ishb rom ley, in­struc­tor at whistler bike Park :“if you’ ve ever seen the fade to black or fist­ful of Dol­lars drops, these aren’ t small. mak­ing the jump from some­thing semi-roll able to some­thing with real con­se­quences takes time, skill, and con­fi­dence.–Eds .]

It feels like float­ing down ob­sta­cles while rid­ing your bike on trails. The best was look­ing back at a drop that I never thought I’d have the nerve to ride. Rid­ing big­ger fea­tures gives me a sense of ac­com­plish­ment and con­fi­dence for what­ever ob­sta­cle I will have to tackle in the fu­ture. It’s funny how some­thing so in­tim­i­dat­ing can be­come so much fun as well. When I was fi­nally think­ing about do­ing it, the coach­ing I got gave me a lot of con­fi­dence. I was do­ing an in­struc­tor’s course to be able to teach in­ter­me­di­ate rid­ers, and I had done sim­i­lar, smaller drops. Af­ter get­ting a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of all the move­ments, watch­ing other com­pe­tent rid­ers do it, get­ting com­fort­able with the speed and then visu­al­iz­ing how it would feel, it all helped me im­mensely. You know that per­son you hear shout­ing “weeoos” and “wooos” through a trail? Yeah, that’s me – on those oc­ca­sions – very loudly.

Weo­heooo! ”

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