Company launches mountain bike coaching in Comox Valley

Founders Chad and CJ Hendren get wheels rolling on new business to address niche need in mountain biking mecca

There’s riding a bike and then there’s riding a mountain bike like a West Coast Canadian. But how?

That’s where Gravity MTB comes in.

Launched last fall, the company brings professional mountain bike coaching to Vancouver Island. Founded by husband and wife team Chad and CJ Hendren, Gravity MTB offers clinics, camps and customized private coaching programs for women and men, youths and adults of all skill levels.

“It is our dream come true to launch this business out of Comox. After researching the industry locally, we realized there was nothing of its kind in the Comox Valley, which, given the growth of mountain biking popularity in the area, provided us with an opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise with local and visiting riders from beginner to elite,” says Chad. “So far our programs are filling up fast so it appears the need was real.”

Chad is well known throughout the mountain bike industry. He competed in his first Canada Cup downhill race in 1996. Over the course of his career, he competed in every Crankworx hosted in Whistler (including all the Enduro World Series events), earned plenty of podium finishes, and has had photos of his riding published in Bike Magazine, Mountain Biking Magazine, Launch MTB, Decline and Flow.

He began mountain bike coaching in 2001 and received certification from the National Coaching Certification Program and the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Chad is qualified to coach beginner and intermediate riders, and World Cup competitors. He has coached the Cycling BC high performance downhill team (Miranda Miller, Remi Gauvin, Forrest Riesco, Nick Geddes, Holly Feniak, and Max Horner), Summer Gravity Camps, the Whistler Downhill Development Team, DFX kids program and race team, Schley Camps and STORMBC.

CJ has a competitive sports background and has been equally devoted to bikes. She has worked in business, marketing, and in the health and fitness industry as an instructor and coach.

The couple has a roster of experienced coaches on the Gravity MTB team including: Leon May, old school national downhill legend; Max Plaxton, XC Olympian and all mountain shredder; Tristan Geisel, mechanic at Trail Bicycles, trail wizard at Forbidden Plateau and amazing advocate for mountain biking; Dan McCrea, CASI instructor and course conductor; and Chris Timms, professional Yogi and Gravity MTB’s spiritual leader.

Gravity MTB’s programming includes:

• clinics and camps in Cumberland and the surrounding region;

• clinics and camps at Mt. Washington Bike Park;

• school programs in the Comox Valley;

• private and semi-private coaching from south of Nanaimo north to Campbell River; and

• race clinics for the Island Cup series.

Off the trails, Gravity MTB is committed to giving back to the community. The company has a Bike Recycle Program with a mandate of keeping bicycles out of the landfill and refitting them for riders in need. Gravity MTB picks up, repairs and directs bikes to select charities for youth and adults living on low incomes and in need of a fresh ride. Bikes of all kinds – mountain bikes, roadies, kid’s bikes, tricycles, run bikes and even unicycles – are welcome. Email recycle@gravitymtb.ca to have an old bike picked up for a new life.

“At Gravity MTB we believe the whole world should be riding bikes whether it’s to commute to school or work, to shred trails, ride in circles on your tricycle in your backyard or race the Tour de France. There are no barriers when it comes to bikes,” says Hendren.

FMI: gravitymtb.ca.

The business can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.

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