As a new coach with The Cycle Effect, I approached the Moab Leadership Trip with as much excitement and apprehension as a high-schooler attending their first sleepaway camp. Only knowing a few coaches, the familiar insecurity of not fitting in snuck it’s way into my mind. I easily pushed these fears aside, remembering the point of the trip: exploring the vast beauty of Moab on mountain bikes!

One might assume that bringing a group of athletes on a bike trip without guarantee of biking would be a recipe for disaster. I was certainly curious of what conditions we would find, knowing a significant amount of snow had fallen and we expected a high of 35 degrees. Bundled in our warm mittens, toe warmers and face buffs, our crew set out on our exploratory ride. Finding a layer of snow icing the aptly-named slick rock, chose our own adventures through line choice and hiking, carrying and pushing our bikes to follow the camouflaged white trail blazes. I was blown away by the positivity, talent, and support this amazing group of ladies brought to the ride. Coaches and athletes alike were whooping and hollering as though pushing our 30 pound bikes up (and down) slippery snow-covered rock is what we bought them for!

The excitement didn’t end with our rides as we explored Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park and the Kokopelli Trail in Loma. In every instance, humor and positivity was abundant in our adventures. I especially appreciated the vulnerability and gratitude these young ladies shared after our solo, meditative time at Arches and Slickrock. Conversing after dinner one night, we came to see our personal struggles with insecurities and fear of failure are not ours alone. Through biking, we found personal strength to challenge ourselves, fail fast, and grow from it.

My belief in the power of biking was re-instilled through these inspiring women (and Brett!) and their varied riding and leadership styles. We were all reminded of the influence of a positive attitude, benefit of dance parties and the value of zipping our pockets.