My Story

My name is Caroline and I love trail riding! That, however, was not always true.

I was a road rider in a former life. In 2013, I reconnected with a school friend on Facebook and since we were both single and into adventure racing, we picked a race in the Tampa area to compete in as part of a team. The race was on Saturday, and I was flying to Tampa on Friday, so Bill decided it would be fun to take me mountain biking. At Alafia State Park.

So, we rented a trail bike for me, and hit Alafia. I’ve been back since and I know now what happened, but that day we didn’t know we missed a turn and ended up on Magic Island. This is what that trail looks like:

Photo still and video credit @Freddie V Click here to see the whole video

So, there I was, on a bike that was not set up for me, pretending to be cool (so Bill wouldn’t think I was a whiner) with handlebars that felt 3 feet wide. I fell several times and finally, cut my face. I was thankful for that because it meant we got to go back to the car!!

What followed was two years of bruised, cut shins, foul language and frustration, along with some fun squeezed in between. I mostly rode JD, and although I could get through the trail, I was not in control of my ride.

Look at the difference in focus and positioning. In the photo on the right, I look like I’m having fun, but I also look like I could have problems if the trail does anything besides stay perfectly flat.

About 3 or 4 years after I began riding, I was at the trail and out of frustration someone asked me to teach their girlfriend what I knew about riding. I did teach her what I knew that day, but I wanted to be sure that I had the best info and the best techniques (professional teacher habit).

I was certified as a Level One Instructor by PMBIA in July of 2017 and begin teaching skills clinics for Club Scrub at Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

I came to realize that while skills clinics are good for basics, even beginner riders come with different skill levels. Skills clinics are like putting 2nd graders and 5th graders in the same PE class; yes, they are both elementary students, but they have different physical abilities and it’s almost impossible to differentiate instruction for each individual student.

I believe that one-on-one or very small group instruction is the way to go because we can focus on YOUR skills, not yours and everyone else’s.

My goal is simple: to help you become more confident and prepared for riding on the trails by correctly teaching skills and strategies in a positive, supportive environment. Let’s do this!!

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