Girls and women often have a big respect for riding bike parks, single trails and its possible dangers. But if you end up too tense and stressed on your bike, you will not be able to enjoy the trails or the landscape to the fullest – not to mention the risks that arise exactly through such behavior.
35-year-old Austrian bike pro Angie Hohenwarter knows these problems all too well from the beginning of her career. Here is her 101 to improve your riding technique and optimize your mindset, while enjoying the trails of Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis.
Austrian pro rider Angie Hohenwarter started riding contests at a very young age and has competed in 4X, Cross Country and Downhill. Her best result was a fourth place at the 4X World Cup in Schladming in 2008. When she isn’t racing, Angie spends quite some time in the family-friendly bike region Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, where she runs the Trail Session and teaches girls and women how to surf trails and ride walls. If there’s one woman to ask about improving your riding, it’s her! In the interview, she tells us why Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is the perfect place to work on your technique and what it takes to do so.
You spend a lot of time in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis to shred the bike park and the single trails. What makes this place so special?
I love to have a well-shaped bike park and natural single trails in one place – it definitely won’t get boring here. As my bike sponsor Propain is also partner of Bikepark Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, I get to be here even more often than before, which is great.
What does a perfect bike region for women looks like?
Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis comes pretty close. Newcomers can slowly approach different challenges, while for advanced riders the bike park offers enough possibilities to surf trails or jump tables and doubles. In general, the region has a lot to offer; bike park, single trails, a bag jump and of course the mountains and the landscape, the good food and the nice people, all in one spot!
How important is training on the pumptrack for girls who want to push their skills on the trail?
Mountain biking is incredibly diverse and pumptrack riding improves the skills of any rider. Pumping through the rollers to gain more speed, pushing through the berms or just feeling safer on the bike – what you’ve learned on the pumptrack can easily be applied to the bike park or on the single trail.
Especially women sometimes are really tense and nervous before going to the bike park. What is your tip for them to ease their mind?
Don’t get stressed out, especially not by faster riders. Have fun and find out beforehand about the region and its trails. That already helps a lot. If you still feel insecure, book a guide, learn the basics and have the locals show you around.
Surely, you know the feeling of being nervous or afraid before riding a difficult section of the trail. How do you deal with such situations? Do you have an advice for others?
My secret is to sing in difficult sections. That way you don’t think too much about roots, rocks or other dangers and stay focused on the essentials. More important though is the right position on the bike. You should definitely know your basics and continue from there. That’s how you have the most fun on the trails.
What is your advice to girls who want to learn how to jump?
Here in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, there are many different types of jumps – tables, doubles, drops, road gaps. Tables are perfect to start with, because they are very forgiving if you jump too short. Before you ride a table with a lot of speed, just roll over to get a feeling for it. Very important for jumping is the bike set-up. If the rebound on your suspension comes too fast, you might end up doing an unplanned front flip – just kidding. But: The rebound should be on point.
To learn how to drop I suggest the drop row with different heights at the finish area of the bike park. Or the bag jump, where you have a soft landing and mistakes don’t have heavy consequences.
In general, if you are patient and approach jumps step by step, it will work out! You’ll see!
A lot of female riders have wall rides on the bucket list. How do you approach them? What’s important?
For the perfect pic, you clearly have to ride along the top of the wall Jokes aside! To begin with you want to find a wall ride with a nice, rather flat roll-in. Then you ride along the wall like a berm and try to get a little higher each time. Of course, only as high as it still feels safe. Don’t worry, most wall rides look more challenging than they really are.
Everyone who has ever been to Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis talks about the cabin drop. This signature feature surely is interesting to a lot of advanced female riders.
Oh yes, who doesn’t know the cabin drop! If you feel safe riding drops and berms, you can ride that one, too. But first, put your bike aside and take a look at the drop by foot. If you decide to ride it, you should be absolutely convinced and determined. You will love the feeling after the landing.
Want to push your limits on the mountain bike and improve your riding and bike park skills? Head over to Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis! The high plateau in the Tirolean Alps is the perfect place to face your personal bike challenges and tackle the obstacles in the bike park or on the single trails step by step. If you are looking for professional guiding and coaching, you might as well sign up for one of the Woman’s Workshops with Swiss Downhill Mountain Bike national coach Alice Kühne. The workshops for novice and advanced riders are the perfect opportunity to expand your skill set and have a lot fun.