MEET YOUR INSTRUCTORS
Riding bikes has always been part of my life, but it was not until in 2007, when I bought myself a 29er that I fully realized how much I enjoyed riding. I love the challenge the trail provides. With mountain biking there is always something new to learn, whether it be cleaning a feature you have never cleaned, pinning a new trail, or exploring someplace new by bike, it never gets old. I love being outside and find it to be very peaceful, restorative and a great way to relieve stress.
In 2009, I began racing cross-country, placing second in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series (MNMBS) Citizen Women Overall Standings. In 2010, I moved up to Women's Sport and earned second place for Cat 2 30-39 Women at the USA Cycling Cross Country National Championships. But, after attending a women’s clinic in Winter Park, Colorado I became hooked on downhill riding and after achieving a personal goal at the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival Short n' Fat race, decided to focus on riding for fun and developing my technical riding skills and began leading group rides.
In 2015, with the encouragement of some coaches I decided to begin pursuing becoming an instructor. I wanted to give back and help teach others how to ride more confidently, and especially encourage more women to ride. My hope was to help others find that mountain biking is an empowering and lifelong activity.
In 2016, I received both my BICP Level I Ride Guide Certification and PMBI Level I Instructor Certification and began North Star Mountain Bike Guides and also started coaching for VIDA MTB Series based in Colorado; (which has been a great experience which I feel very fortune to be part of). In 2017, I received my PMBI Level II Instructor Certification for "Air". I strongly believe in life-long learning and in continual growth, and I received my BICP Level II certification in 2019.
Hello fellow riders.
A little bit about me. I started my active lifestyle in my early thirties with a combination of health club aerobics, occasional weight lifting, running and cross country skiing. At my health club there were runners and strong triathletes that served as role models and eventually my mentors; which led me to working my way up to doing marathons and ironman distance triathlons. I was never very fast, so going the distance became my mantra.
I won’t attempt to recount my past glories, racing or competing - I was mostly a middle of the pack finisher and a wave 2 American Birkebeiner skier at my best, and coached cross country skiing for a couple of seasons. I gave up on triathlon and running races, transitioning into ultra distance road riding and did some hellaciously long rides that I can now talk about with pride, in the locker room. Sometime in my late 40’s I had my mid-life crisis and started rock climbing; something I thought I could do with my son. He really didn’t go for it; but in so doing I found my wife and we’ve been an active couple ever since.
We have rock climbed in many places, snowboarded out west and for the last 8 years been avid mountain bikers, taking our vacations riding with our little dog Oscar when possible. In the last several years I’ve dabbled in Crossfit and have found the strength training and discipline a great way to augment my mountain biking interests.
I find great pleasure in being outdoors riding single track. It requires your full attention and allows you to focus on the terrain, the quiet of the natural environment provides a respite from many of life's everyday pressures. We have ridden some amazing trails, both out west and locally. Many have been technically challenging and I have learned the hard way that I must have basic mountain biking skills to ride safely and make it home in one piece, so I can do it again.
In the spring of 2017 we rode amazing trails in Moab, Utah and followed this with the BICP Level I Instructor certification, two months later I also received my PMBI Level I Instructor Certification. In the spring of 2018, I received by BICP Level II certification. The skills I learned to teach in each camp are solid, fundamental skills that apply to all of my riding, from easy green or black diamond hard. I would like to pass these skills on to other mountain bike riders, so they too can ride with better control and give them the confidence to go out and have their own adventures riding single track.
Let’s go ride,
I learned to ride a bike at roughly the age of 4, and from that point on I was the tag-along to my older brother, who is 8 years older, and his friends. Needless to say, I was faced with a steep learning curve in order to keep up with the group. I was the lowest rung of the ladder and I was often given the role of guinea pig. “Hey Dustin jump off this bridge onto the creek bed down there” or something like that was muttered often and for whatever reason I never questioned it. I just sent it. Sure I ate it a few times, and scored my share of handlebar ends in the gut, scraped knees and cut elbows, it never really gave me pause. I just went for it.
Early on as a kid I did just send it without much thought, but as I grew up it taught me how to manage fear and take calculated risks to further my skills and abilities. Those early years set the foundation to how I’ve approached pretty much each challenge in life as a whole. Because to me riding bikes is freedom; it does force me to deal with me but through that process I’ve found a great sense of confidence and ability to take on the challenges of everyday life. I mean, when you come to terms with hucking yourself off a 40-foot table or a 100-mile mtb race that starts at 10,000 above sea level just for the fun of it, the minutia of day-to-day life kinda seems easy.
After a few years of having my riding crew expand and bring on newer riders I’ve found that it is just as rewarding to watch someone conquer their own self-doubt and do that trail feature they’ve been eyeing for the last two seasons as it is to do it myself. And that motivated me to earn my PMBIA Level 1 and NOLS – Wilderness First Responder certifications, not only to broaden my own riding knowledge and capabilities, but also to spread the stoke of how great a day out in the woods on bikes with good friends can be.