Clubhouse Chronicles: Looking ahead to the summer at AVSC
AVSC executive director
Last week, we celebrated the end of our competitive season with our annual awards banquet. We recognized community members for their hard work, great results and strong character.
It was nice to gather and reflect on all that’s gone on in the past couple of months, a time during which athletes and staff were constantly on the go, bouncing around the continent, and in some cases, the world. It’s always nice to hit pause and appreciate all our teams have accomplished, but unsurprisingly, after a brief respite, our athletes are eager to get back into the mountains and push themselves and their peers!
We are looking forward to a great summer at AVSC. Summer is a fun time for us — full of cross-training, exploring our backyard on bikes, foot and more. We build strength, we work with new coaches and teammates, and some of us will travel far afield in search of snow. Much of this training is intentional, building toward starting our winter season on the strongest foot possible. Yet it’s also a time to try new things, work on our general athleticism, explore our surroundings and have a lot of fun. We have an awesome lineup of programs to keep local athletes of all ages busy, whether they’re currently enrolled in an AVSC program or not.
We are excited to be celebrating our 10th summer of mountain biking at AVSC. This summer, we are offering four levels of programming, starting with free introductory programs and continuing all the way up to a full-fledged mountain bike team, which will compete in the Aspen Cycling Club mountain bike races as well as the Aspen Snowmass Enduro series. A developmental program will bridge the gap between the two. On top of the technical skills honed, bikers at all levels will learn about bike maintenance and safety, environmental stewardship, and our local trail systems.
Last year was our first offering free introductory mountain bike programming, thanks in large part to a fleet of bicycles donated by Giant; we’re excited to build on that this summer in Carbondale and Aspen. AVSC’s mission is to provide all youth in the greater Roaring Fork Valley the opportunity to excel as athletes and as people through winter sports — biking in the summer is a natural extension of that effort. Our coaches inspire our athletes to excel, chasing passions and developing grit while becoming a part of our mountain community and culture. Whether on snow or dirt, the value and ethos of the experience remains the same.
The competitive bike team will be coached by Sari Anderson (our Spring Gulch Bill Koch Youth Ski League director), a former professional mountain bike and adventure racer who has many (multi-sport) endurance titles under her belt, including a U.S. Mountain Bike Marathon National Championship title. Sari is excited to provide high-level training, take our competitive bike program to the next level, and offer some special clinics such as women’s-specific rides.
Beyond mountain biking, we have many summer programs both at home and abroad. Thanks to Aspen Skiing Co., our freestyle and snowboard athletes will work on air awareness at Buttermilk Glacier, the training park that is built out of the leftover snow from X Games. Our eldest alpine athletes are headed to Norway to train with Lars Kristoffersen, father of Henrik Kristoffersen, Olympic medalist and 2019 World Cup champion. We have trampoline and ramp camps at the Hildebrand Sideyard Project at the AVSC clubhouse, a favorite of Olympic silver medalist Alex Ferreira. There are fitness camps geared toward our Nordic athletes (starting at age 10) that anyone — Nordic athlete or not — is welcome to join.
Check out http://www.teamavsc.org/summer to register or learn more.
Clubhouse Chronicles is a twice-a-month, behind-the-scenes column written by the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club during the winter months. It runs in the Friday Outdoors section.
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Keegan Swirbul was set to carry on with his nomadic career this summer with Ljubljana Gusto Santic, a professional cycling team based out of Slovenia