I joined my first mountain biking team this year — the San Francisco Bay Area LUNA Chix. The local team is made up of 10 intelligent, fun and fit women who all have a passion for cycling and advocacy and I feel very honored to be part of it. The LUNA Chix Program includes 26 LUNA Chix Local Teams and the LUNA Chix Pro Team. The local teams include women at all levels, from beginners to casual competitors. The pro team includes 7 of the country’s most amazing (and winning) professional athletes. Several times a year the pro team gathers with the local teams and share their considerable experience and provide encouragement. And once a year all 26 local teams and the pro team gather in Berkeley, California for the LUNA Chix Summit. (Clif Bar & Company’s way of arming the LUNA Chix across the nation with the tools needed to run a successful team)
I had been looking forward to the Summit for several months; I was getting a great opportunity to spend a lot of time with my new teammates, and learn training and teaching techniques from industry professionals and LUNA’s very own Pro Team LUNA Chix.
The Summit is a 3 day event, starting Friday morning and ending Sunday afternoon. I was not able to make it during the day on Friday, so my first event was the kick off dinner on Friday night, held at Clif Bar’s headquarters in Emeryville, California. This was going to be the first time I was meeting some on my teammates as well as the other local teams. I had a fun time socializing over a delicious catered dinner with desserts and an open bar. Once we were all settled in our seats, there was a presentation with speakers from the LUNA Marketing Team, the Breast Cancer Fund and two team leaders from the local teams. Afterwards, the pro team was introduced on stage and were asked several questions. The kick off ended around 9pm, and there were buses shuttling everyone back to the hotel in the Berkeley Marina. Since I’m local, I pedaled home and put myself to bed. Saturday was an early start with the meeting time scheduled for 7am. All the local teams had training clinics, whether it was the running team, triathlon team, road cycling team or mountain bike team.
There are 5 local LUNA Chix mountain bike teams in the U.S. and each team has 10 members. Our coaches Saturday morning were – Marla Streb (U.S. National Downhill Champion), Georgia Gould (Olympic Bronze medalist), Teal Stetson-Lee (Collegiate Cyclo-Cross Champion) and Alison Dunlap. (UCI Tissot Mountain Bike World Cup Champion) I don’t think you could get a more kick-ass group of female coaches. After a brief classroom session we were shuttle to Tilden Park in Berkeley, California where we practiced skills. Afterwards we rode back to the Berkeley Marina Double Tree Hotel for a number of afternoon lectures on Nutrition, the Breast Cancer Fund, the LUNA Brand and the LUNA Chix Program— a very informative day, I enjoyed it. Later that day there were additional MTB clinics offered on bike maintenance, bike fitting and advanced MTB skills.
On Saturday evening, the silliness began! There was another delicious catered dinner, an open bar, plenty of entertainment with the pro team on stage again, movies and lots of socializing. My team is so much fun—we decided to stage a little photo opt in the hallway and had a few of the pro ladies join in on our fun.
The next morning was another early start for all the local teams, the mountain bike teams were shuttled to Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, California at 8am for a team ride. Afterwards there was one last lunch and then a bunch of sad good-byes. What a fun weekend, I can’t wait to do it again next year!