I feel to lucky to have been chosen to lead up a team for Crankworx Dirt Diaries. Here is our entry.
After returning from Argentina, I had the opportunity to coach this awesome group of ladies at Tapeworm down in Renton. The Sound Velo/Team Group Health Team has primarily been a road team in the past but as of recently, more of the women are racing mountain and cyclocross. We worked a lot on changing body positioning from that of a road bike to a mountain bike and getting them comfy on more technical terrain.
PS. They have the best collection of puffy jackets ever.
Here is our video from the Scandinavian Video Challenge. Enjoy!
I always find a lot of great new music on my travels so I thought I would share the love. I put together a Spotify playlist of some of my new favorite songs, check it out here!
I loved this place before I even went up the mountain. It has such a great laid back vibe. And the numbers they have rolling through this park are quite impressive! For those who have visited Highland Bike Park, this place has a similar feel. There is a good variety of trails, with nice progressions from trail to trail. And when you are taking a break, there are comfy couches to lounge on with your friends while eating the best food I have ever eaten at a bike park. All of the trails are named after Swedish pop star Barbro, so you’ve got Twist Twist, Lite for Liten, En Tuff Brud etc. My favorite trails were Kristin, Malin and En Tuff Brud. I must say, the berms in this place are some of the best built berms period…soooo snappy. As I mentioned before, days in Sweden are long in the summer, so the lift was running till 10pm! That was a first.
Aside from riding and filming while we were here, we coached a two day camp. We had a really fun and enthusiastic bunch which made some solid gains in their riding in just two days. Seeing people ride corners and technical terrain with ease after some modifications to body position and breaking makes me so happy. Bikes are so much more fun when you feel confident on your bike!
Lofsdalen is growing! This place may be a little small now, but not for long. Right now there are 4 trails, but there are plans for many more. Gravity Logic has been out here marking trails and helping this park to build a foundation for excellence. It is pretty cool to be able to travel around the world and be comfortable on a trail right from the beginning, Gravity Logic definently has a signature!
It was a little wet during our time here but I live in the NW so a little wet weather is always welcome. :)
For those outside of Europe, Hafjell only recently came on the radar when they hosted the World Cup Finals last September. However, Hafjell has had a long history of hosting sporting events, including the 1994 Winter Olympics. Lilhammer! Ahhh ha. Took me a minute too! Hafjell hosted Slalom and Giant Slalom. The Olympic legacy is still alive with the logo cut into the trees!
I was blown away at the size of the park. It is big! Lot’s of trails and tons of variety. Excavated, tech, jump, race…you name it, they’ve got it. A lot of love has been put into this park, the trails are very well thought out and there is a lot of love and passion put into these trails. If you are in Scandinavia, do not miss this place. And say hi to Snorre while your at it, he’s the man behind it all.
Here are a few videos to get you pumped while you wait for ours!
The first thing that struck me about Sälen is the sheer number of kids.
We arrived bright and early at the mountain and the adults were few and far between, but there were kids on bikes everywhere. Coincidence? Think again. Sälen is the largest ski resort in Sweden with over 100 chairlifts across their multiple mountains. In the winter time, this town swells to over 50,000, made up primarily of families. The slope of the mountain is mellow and there are little cabins scattered at the bottom of every lift which makes for a very family friendly environment. The mountain is safe and friendly and the kids roam free. Restaurants and shops are abundant. And pools, waterslide, spa and indoor wave make up a family center for rainy days or winter evenings.
The bike park itself was designed by Gravity Logic so you know it is going to be good. The trails are well thought out and the grade makes it the perfect place to learn. There are lots of little obstacles to play on and hone skills with little consequence. We met up with local phenom, Lucas Soderberg who showed us around the park and impressed us with his sneaky lines and style. This kid is one to watch out for…bike, skis, indoor wave, tramp…skillllls.
The Soderberg family invited us over for a wonderful meal at their house on our final day in town. And some Wii. :)
How have I missed Midsommer’s all my life?!
This holiday was so much better than I had ever imagined. For those of you unfamiliar with Midsummer’s, it takes place on the longest day of the year and is a national holiday here in Sweden. Think 4th of July or Canada Day, but better. The day is made up of lots of delicious food and drinks, a maypole, games (we only made it though one because everyone got lost on the scavenger hunt, haha), more food, dancing and lots of drinking and stories. I haven’t had much Swedish food before so this was my chance, I got it all! Swedes like to drink on Midsummer so a lot of that went on too. Schnapps is the drink of midsummer’s and before every toast a song has to be sung. Lots of songs were sung. We partied into the wee hours…daylight hours because it doesn’t get dark here! All in all it was an amazing day, with a lot of great new friends thanks to Jenny. Thanks Axel and family for having us!
If there is one city that exudes class, Stockholm it is.
We spent a couple of days in and around Stockholm on our arrival and I pretty much fell in love with it. Every one rides bikes, everyone puts time into their appearances and the city is incredibly clean and friendly. The city is full of bike lanes and from my own observations it seems to be the transportation of choice for a morning commute. There are people of all ages, sizes and personalities cruising through the bike lanes! And talk about polished. Everyone is so well dressed, I could just sit there for hours and people watch.
Stockholm has a the largest archipelago in Sweden and the hundreds of islands surrounding the city are popular summer weekend spots for the Swedes. We ferried out to Sandhamn and spent the afternoon on bikes exploring the island. There are no bike trails per say but saying that, there are no cars on the island so bikes are the most efficient means of transportation and there are lots of fun walking tracks that can be doubled as bike trails. The island itself is so incredibly charming. Beaches, sailboats, little red cottages and seafood a plenty.
I made it. Sweden (like Chile & Argentina) has been on my must go list for quite some time. There is an abundance of bike parks, the imagery is beautiful and I had a fascination for all things Scandinavian. So here I am, let the adventure begin!
PS. That’s real wood floors under my feet in the Stockholm airport!
Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica. 4th time to Jamaica and I can officially say I have finally laid out at the beach. hahaha. Ridiculous, I know. This trip was a little different than years past, there were essentially two parts to the trip, a project for the Jamaican Tourism Board without bikes and a week of bike fun (also for the the JTB) with the Jamaican Fat Tyre Festival. I feel like so much has happened since Jamaica, which it has. It’s kinda been a whirlwind of bikes and rad trips and I take way too many photos that sorting through them is a mission and a half when you constantly on the go…soooo I will let the photos and Dennison’s Vlogs tell the story. I will post the videos series we made for the JTB as they are released!
Not only does 2013 mean a new partnership for Katie, it also means a shift from racing to endeavors focused around trips, events and media. “I am incredibly excited about this,” exudes Katie, “it basically takes my strengths and everything that I am super passionate about and puts them together into a package that is who I am from the core. Travel has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, so being able to keep exploring the world with my bike, connecting with people and communities along the way is incredible. I am excited to share my adventures, and inspire women to try new things & push themselves to step outside their comfort zones.” Since Katie travels so often, she encourages you to reach out if you see she is in your area, “I love nothing more than riding with new people in new places,” says Katie, “I want hear from you.” Watch the Liv/giant USA Facebook page (www.facebook.com/livgiantusa) for upcoming rides and events.
“Liv/giant is stoked to have Katie join our program. The brand is dedicated to helping female cyclists reach their goals, and Katie’s personality and riding style will help to inspire women around the country and the world to fulfill their potential as riders. Katie’s product feedback will be invaluable as Liv/giant explores expanding its off-road reach in the future.” -Jackie Baker, Liv/giant Product Marketing Manager
Liv/giant is dedicated solely to female cyclists, and all product offerings are designed to fulfill the needs of women riders of all ability levels. Liv/giant utilizes a 3F philosophy to build each of its bikes: Fit, Form, Function. Fit is the first of the Fs, because it is THE most important. The biggest difference between Liv/giant bikes and anything else on the market is that they are 100% designed to fit women. From considering inseam and torso length to the differences in where women derive their pedaling power compared to men (we have assets), the bikes are built to fit women better. “When I go out for a ride, it is really important that my bike perform on the rough stuff as that is my favorite thing to ride. The Trance XW works because it pedals efficiently and it lets me ride whatever my heart desires…steeps, gnar, jumps, drops.” says Katie, “It is pretty awesome to be able to jump on my bikes right out of the box and get loose. The geometry is spot on and the Maestro suspension feels so good!”
Liv/giant is a cycling brand dedicated solely to female riders and inspiring them to lead happier, healthier, more adventurous lives through cycling. To learn more about Liv/giant, the brand’s bikes and gear, and Liv/giant retailers who carry those products, please visit Livgiant.com.
About Katie Holden
Affectionately known as Holden by her friends, Katie is a mountain bike athlete based out of Kirkland, WA. Her other sponsors for 2013 include SRAM/RockShox/Avid/Truvativ, Smith Optics, Camelbak, DT Swiss, The North Face, Vans, Leatt and Navitas Naturals. You can follow Katie’s adventures around the world via her website www.KatieHolden.com and Instagram/Twitter: @KatieHolden.