Steamboat professional cyclists host Grinta Cycling Camp | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat professional cyclists host Grinta Cycling Camp

Grinta Cycling Camps founders Amy Charity and Lisa Tumminello will host the biking class from today to Sunday.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When Steamboat Springs professional cyclist Amy Charity was racing in Italy, she noticed people would yell, “Grinta!”

Grinta means grit in Italian, but to Charity, she said it’s much more than that.

“It's grit but also force and momentum and the fight,” Charity said. “So when you're racing and you hear Italians saying that, it's that cheer you don't hear in the U.S. It's exactly what you need in that moment.”

It’s that memory that gives Charity and fellow professional cyclist Lisa Renee Tumminello, the name for their annual camp — Grinta Cycling Camp, which kicks off  Wednesday and concludes Sunday.

Charity retired from professional cycling in 2015, while Tumminello remains an adventure racer. But both felt their professional careers taught them valuable skills that a cyclist at any level can benefit from.

“There's so much you learn from the very basics. You learn nutrition and how to descend and corner and pace,” Charity said. “There are so many different elements I learned through racing, and (I thought) this would be a great opportunity to bring it back to Steamboat for people to learn.”

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The USA Cycling-sanctioned camp features rides ranging from 25 to 50 miles in the Steamboat area.  Different skills are taught each day, enabling cyclists of all ages to tackle the rides. The groups participating in the camps range in size from 15 to 20 people, depending on the day, which enables both Tumminello and Charity to give personalized instruction.

“Because we’re tailoring so much of everyday ride time or clinic time to each athlete, everyone can get something out of it,” Tumminello said.

Some cyclists will travel to the camp from as far as Washington, D.C., but most participants are locals.

After hosting the first Grinta Cycling Camp last summer, Charity said they will emphasize more off-the-bike activities like yoga and massages, in addition to nutritional instruction, this year.

Charity said she hopes cyclists will leave the camp feeling like they had four days of fulfillment and fitness and learned new skills on the bike.

More importantly, Charity and Tumminello are hoping they provide a fun experience that teaches the importance of perseverance.

“People pick a bike or a sport because they are doing it for a cause, or you go out there and suffer for a little bit for something much bigger than yourself,” Tumminello said.

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email lvann@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports.