Mountain Biking is all about sharing the ride. You share your trail, the excitement and the good times!
The South Asian Games 2019 Women’s Downhill Champion, Nishma Shrestha has been working on imparting her biking skills to new riders. Recently the 25year old Kathmandu native organized a mountain biking skills clinic which pulled in a number of enthusiastic riders from Nepal. Freeridermag caught up with the champion racer and coach to know more about her recent mountain bike clinic.
FRMTB: Hello Nishma, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Nishma: It’s been 5-6 yrs since I started my journey in mountain bike racing. I started as an XC racer back in 2014, then switched to DH and Enduro racing by 2016. I prefer the Enduro style of riding more because our trails in Nepal are mainly natural, hiking, walking trails. I currently ride a Yeti SB5 which I purchased 2nd hand from my friend. I don’t have any sponsors right now.
FRMTB: How has your riding and training been since the pandemic situation hit Nepal?
Nishma: Since the pandemic started, I haven’t trained like I used to, but I am riding quite often and keeping myself fit both physically and mentally. As we don’t have any races happening in our country and lockdowns happening for 2-3 months, it’s quite challenging for me/us to find a way to motivate ourselves and keep riding.
FRMTB: What is the women’s ride clinic that you lead all about?
Nishma: “Skills & Thrills MTB Camp” is a platform for everyone who wants to learn the basics of mountain biking before riding on a trail. Basics include body position, breaking techniques, cornering, etc.
Its for those riders who already know how to ride a bicycle and are interested in mountain biking, but don’t know how to. Though our mountain biking community is growing, we really don’t have a place or a platform where amateur riders could learn the basic techniques or even a trail where they can gain their confidence. This has caused several accidents and injuries to our fellow riders in the past. I too didn’t get a chance to learn the basics & was straight up introduced to the trails!
FRMTB: How did you come about with this ride clinic?
Nishma: I’ve been a UCI & National level-1 certified coach since 2016. I have been conducting small skill development training sessions since then but as I’m a racer myself I couldn’t manage my time for these sessions often. Now, because of this pandemic situation I got more time to think about it and decided to conduct these sessions often. I prepared for this session with lots of online research and seeking help from other qualified senior instructors. As I didn’t publicly announce the event, I didn’t have any support or sponsors. It was my friends who helped me a lot during the event for making it a success. For the future sessions I do expect to get support and sponsors.
FRMTB: How many and what levels of riders joined in for Skills & Thrills MTB Camp?
Nishma: In this camp we had a total of 13-16 riders of a wide age group. We had the youngest girl, only 13 years old and the oldest rider was a 50 year old lady. It was great seeing them learn new skills and improving their riding. All the participants were amateur riders who wanted to improve their riding by learning new techniques and this clinic helped them achieve that.
FRMTB: What are your thoughts on the future of women’s Downhill & Enduro mountain biking in Nepal?
Nishma: I’ve been riding mountain bikes all these years primarily with male riders. Now since this Skill & Thrills camp, I saw the curiosity and interest among more women participants. It’ll be amazing if I get to ride all the fun trails with other female riders! I will help them in all possible ways to make it a reality in the near future!
FRMTB: How are your plans looking for the Asian Enduro Series, Nepal National DH Champs? Do you plan to compete in other international competitions soon?
Nishma: There aren’t any races or competitions happening these days so I haven’t planned anything for it but I would love to participate in any national or international competitions happening in the coming days.
FRMTB: Any shoutouts for brands, friends who made the Skills & Thrills MTB camp possible?
Nishma: I’d like to thank everyone who has been supporting me, encouraging me and motivating me to keep riding forward in my mountain biking journey. Thank you so much.