Written by Guest Blogger: Vanessa Knee, Founder and Head Coach of Jindabyne Girl Riders

About Vee: Vee is the founder and head coach of Jindabyne Girl Riders. Chasing the snow as a passionate skier, she moved to Whistler, Canada, for the spring of 1991 and was introduced to mountain biking. Vee spent most of the 90’s in Whistler year-round, living the dream of skiing all winter and riding all summer. During that time, including summers at home, she rode her way to the state and national level cross-country races to compete in the World Cup in Sydney in 1999. Vee has been involved in the outdoor and fitness industry for over 15 years as a fitness and personal trainer, yoga instructor, mountain bike instructor and guide. Vee brought the national She Rides program to Jindabyne in the Spring of 2015 and holds a PMBIA Level 1, MTBA Level 1 and TAFE bike-guiding qualifications and has extensive experience teaching and guiding in the Snowy Mountains.

As the summer biking season is in full swing, we are all out on the trails enjoying them like it’s fresh powder!

The Jindabyne Trail network is growing bigger and better every summer, providing ample opportunities for riders of all abilities. If you haven’t already visited some of the amazing trails in the area, be sure to check out Thredbo’s Mountain Bike Park, the Thredbo Valley Track, Lake Crackenback, Bungarra, Tyrollean and Millcreek and the network’s newest addition, Curiosity Rocks to Trout Hatchery Bay.

The 2017 Interschools is fast approaching, set to be held on 16th-19th March in Thredbo. The event weekend is jam-packed, with something for everyone:

Thursday 16th March – Sprint X-Country teams event
Friday 17th March – Flow Trail Race
Saturday 18th March – Downhill & Pump Track
Sunday 19th March – X-Country

If you are planning to enter a school team for this fantastic event, here for more information.

To ensure you are maximising the time between now and your event, here are a few tips to help you best prepare:

  1. Practise on the race course: Make sure you head to Thredbo and ride some of the cross-country or gravity trails so you get to know the course well.
  2. Increase your training volume: Try to make your training rides a little longer than the course itself, building good endurance, so when it comes to race day, you can go a little harder but the duration will be shorter. Plan to start riding at least 3 days a week in the lead-up.
  3. Train with a buddy: Always have a riding partner; if not Mum or Dad, have a good friend or two you can buddy with.
  4. Take the altitude into consideration: If you don’t live in the Snowy Mountains, remember that there is some altitude; with the Thredbo trails sitting at an elevation of 1365m, it is a good idea to get some practice in riding in the mountains.
  5. Hone your technical skills: Getting out on your bike often and gradually building up to more technical terrain and features will always help to increase your confidence while riding. If you are wanting to enter the competition for the first time, and would like some help with your skills, there is no better time to get involved! Jindabyne Girl Riders has 3-week intensive programs running in Term 1. These skills clinics are a great place to start riding and improve riding skills.
  6. Set small achievable goals: The best part about entering an event such as the Interschools is that it gives you a challenge to work for over a few months. Setting small achievable technical, fitness or process goals such as learning to ride a berm, or decreasing the time it takes you to ride up the Friday Flat Loop hill, ensure you focus on things that are in your control which will make the experience that much more enjoyable!

I say that as long as you are enjoying your riding and having fun with friends then you can only keep getting better!

Dates for the mountain bike clinics will start 2nd week of Term 1: 

Week 1:

Tuesday 7th Feb — 4:30pm-5:45pm.

Saturday 11th Feb – 9am-10:15am

Week 2:

Tues 14th Feb ——-4:30pm-5:45pm

Sat 18th Feb ———9am-10:15am

Week 3:

Tues 21st Feb ——-4:30pm-5:45pm

Sat 25th Feb  ——–9am-10:15am

The clinics are open to boys and girls ages 6-14. Visit the Jindy Girl Riders website for more information.

I hope to see you out on the trails,


Snowy Mountains Grammar School Mountain Bike Program:

The mountain bike program at SMGS provides students with a broad foundation in Downhill, Free-ride and Cross-Country riding skills.

The program increases riding skills, improves technique and provides students with the opportunity to develop to national level racing. Pre-season conditioning and fitness are also included in the program.

The program runs from Term 4 to Term 2.

Once they have completed the Downhill training program, participants can compete as part of the school team in Downhill, Dual Compressor, Cross-country and Dual Slalom events. The team compete across NSW, Victoria and the ACT and our focus in competition is on team involvement, race safety and performing to the best of individual ability.

To learn more about the Mountain Bike opportunities at SMGS, click here!