CLIENT REVIEWS

"Crystal gives extremely specific directions and explanations for skills one is not confident doing. She has realistic expectations but does not baby you. She is extremely patient and has a fun personality to boot. Most world class athletes do not have both athletic ability and the ability to teach but Crystal is one of the very few exceptions." ~Marti Shea

"Over the last several years, I have had the pleasure of working with Crystal Anthony as one of her cycling athletes (cyclocross, road, mountain bike). During this time, she has taught me a great deal about training, racing, nutrition, injury prevention, strength training, cross training, and recovery, as well as about myself as an athlete. Moreover, Crystal has helped me to understand the key aspects of training at a higher level and has played an integral role in my jump from amateur to elite cyclist.

 

A few years ago, I found myself in the uncomfortable and terrifying position of searching for a new coach and was looking for someone who could support me in the next stage of my athletic career. My goals revolved around racing the UCI Pro/Elite Cyclocross circuit, contending for a Masters Championship at the USA Cyclocross National Championships, and securing a team sponsorship with Vanderkitten. All relatively high, specific goals. To top it off, I was hoping to find a female coach who would understand my crazy work/life schedule as a secondary school teacher. Enter Crystal Anthony…

 

Taking advice from a respected cycling friend, I contacted Crystal and asked if she was taking on anymore new clients. After our initial phone conversation (which turned into more of an interview), I was sold! Not only did I think that she possessed all of the characteristics I had been looking for, her calm nature, professional demeanor, knowledgeable understanding of training and racing skills, and extensive athletic history made her the perfect choice. Little did I know that this would be the introduction to a fabulous year on the bike and the beginning of a new, longterm coach-athlete relationship.

My experience working with Crystal since the 2017 road and cyclocross seasons has been nothing but positive. As a coach, she is both professional and knowledgeable; she provides extensive and valuable guidance to her clients; she creates individualized training plans and stays in constant contact with her clients; she provides advice for nutrition and lifestyle choices; she assists with significant athletic decisions and answers important questions; she holds both herself and her athletes to a high standard. Yes, she does all of these things, but Crystal’s most unique coaching quality is her ability to support her athletes on multiple levels: physical, mental, and emotional. The psychological aspect of training and racing is significant and must not be ignored. An athlete can be at prime physical fitness, but if her mind isn’t in the right place (psychologically), none of that matters.  Crystal’s superior coaching style takes into account all aspects of being an athlete: life, work, family, health, diet, training, competition, sleep, stress, etc. This is what makes her a truly fabulous coach." ~Alex Forte

"Crystal is awesome.  She's got an unbeatable combination of technical coaching ability and racing wisdom that gave me as a rider confidence that I was as ready as I could possibly be for my events.  In 2017 I focused on doing a cyclocross season that included many new races for me, including racing overseas for the first time. I also had to do my training within the constraints of my day job and being the mom of four boys. Crystal designed power workouts that were time-efficient and progressive, was flexible and creative in working with my daily bike commute to make sure I could get the work in (and also getting me to take some easy days), and eventually had me peaking with power numbers that I haven't ever achieved in the past. I'm not super-techy, but she generated power-based workouts that made sense to me, and always reviewed my files and had feedback within a short while after I'd uploaded them.

 

Because she's got years of experience racing at such a high level, she's a really excellent source of race planning information and post-race analysis. Each of our weekly talks gave me new insights into how the last race went, and how I could apply those lessons the following week. When I was preparing to go to the Masters World Championships in Belgium, she designed and helped me implement a series of workouts targeting the long stretches of sand that were the main challenge on the course. Her many trips to Europe also make her an expert on how to pack, and what quirky things to expect while shopping or at the race venue. By the time I left for Belgium, I couldn't have been more prepared physically, logistically or mentally for the challenge.

 

In sum, she's the kind of coach that puts thoughtful time and attention in to working with her athletes, and who uses the high tech tools available to us without having them overwhelm the process of becoming a better racer." ~Libbey Sheldon

"Crystal has a gift for teaching people the skills they need to be a great mountain biker. Even though I have been riding for 15 years, she was able to teach me new techniques to make me a better rider. She is also very genuine and down-to-earth. Her clinic was the best!" ~Leah Mitham

“Crystal and Craig nailed it! Yes, Bentonville, Arkansas is the perfect canvas for a mountain bike camp.  No secret there.  Mountain bikers like to eat food.  No secret there either.  Crystal and Craig (Crystal did all the prep and most of the cooking - sorry Craig.)  painted that canvas with traditional meals prepared in colorful non-traditional ways.  Delicious food filled each day with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  A personal favorite was Crystal’s zucchini lasagna with macadamia “ricotta” cheese.   This dish changed my mind about using zucchini in place of flour noodles.  I am already planning on making it at home.  One way to sum things up…  No shortage of great trails!  No shortage of great food!  No shortage of great company!” ~Mark Deaton

"The camp was a hat trick; great town and trails, excellent and thoughtful instruction, fantastic food, and great company (wait that's four, so it was a grand slam)!" ~Mike Harring

"As a female master athlete and one who is has never had any formal mountain bike training, I was intrigued by a camp that could help me in all aspects of my training.  I have done a fair amount of reading on nutrition and even had some food sensitivity testing, but had not made it a priority to pull it all together.  Crystal and Craig made it so easy to eat like I knew I should be - gluten and dairy free with more protein.  I ate well, had plenty of energy for long days in the saddle either riding or practicing skills, and my energy levels never crashed, which is not something I can say about my efforts on the bike :-)  I also lost the bloat I had coming into camp and felt leaner and stronger.  As much as I rationalized that I should change my diet before camp, the results are strong proof points that I need to turn my home fueling around.  There were so many good meals, it's hard to say which one was my favorite.  The food was so tasty and completely satisfying.  The faux cheesecake was definitely a highlight. I was really sad to leave the trails and ride the road back home.  So well done Crystal and Craig.  The weekend exceeded my expectations!  Thank you!" ~Michele Satrowsky

"This camp was a huge success for me because of the huge confidence boost in bike handling skills I gained. Crystal and Craig are full of patience and offer creative and effective drills obviously developed out of their years of experience. The atmosphere they create couldn’t be more supportive, relaxed and fun. Their consistent, gentle pressure to repeat attempts at an obstacle or skill as a means of building confidence and success make this camp incredibly effective. And the food is amazing!"

"Crystal & Craig’s Super-Amazing-Crazy-Fun Kingdom Trails Women’s MTB skills weekend is a conglomeration of epic trails, beautiful scenery, solid training grounds, fantastic people, game-changing pro tips (from real pros), delicious food, great beer, and superb accommodations! This was one of the best athletic decisions I’ve ever made. Anyone who is looking to get into mountain biking or who just wants to work on skills, it will change your entire approach to riding trails. Crystal and Craig make a fabulous team (both on and off the bike), helping with everything from basic cornering skills to healthy eating and cross-training tips. It’s totally worth the time and money (and you get to eat real, homemade, healthy food made for you by Crystal Anthony herself!). I will definitely be back and can’t wait until next year!" ~Karen Nash

“I was not sure what to expect of myself going into the weekend after my horrible crash 6 weeks ago in a gravel race- suffering a concussion and stitches around my eye. I had signed up for the clinic way before the gravel race in hopes to learn how fun MTB is instead of not enjoying it so much. I needed to get my mojo back. It was amazing the difference from the first ride to the last. I really made the connection with the bike and working with it instead of it working me.  I'm the boss not it! It was just what I needed to regain my confidence and find my position on the bike. The camaraderie and support from the other women really was special as we all tried to face our fears and learn new skills, then add absolutely delicious food! Wow what a weekend!” ~Ashley Stanton Niehoff

Thank you, thank you for a terrific weekend. I had some misgivings about being the one non-racer, but I am incredibly glad I joined you. I learned and practiced MTB techniques, tried new things, conquered some fear, and (mostly) rode Sidewinder! ...You, Craig, and all the ladies were very patient and supportive--much appreciated. ;)  Also it was an amazing treat to eat delicious healthy food for 3 whole days without lifting a finger. Absolute life of luxury!” ~Sarah Chapman

 

“Camp was really amazing -- I loved all of it -- the accommodations, the incredible

meals, the advice and guidance, ALL of it. You are such a natural at coaching --

kind and  patient -- spending time as needed with each of us to help us move forward in our goals to become better riders. When self -doubt would creep in, your smile and encouragement would just push those doubts aside, and as tough as it got sometimes, I never lost my enthusiasm because of it. Thank you. I really appreciated that. You're an inspirational leader and I am truly in awe of your talents.” ~Katherine Brown

“This was my first time attending a mountain bike camp and receiving instruction on how to ride. Wow - I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I've been mountain biking for a few years now but have never been able to learn new skills so quickly and easily. The trails at Kingdom Trails have to be ridden to be experienced - so much fun. The entire weekend was superb, from amazing food, top-notch accommodations, professional bike support, good people, and plenty of time to truly relax. Thank you ...for an excellent weekend. I can't wait to return next year for more.”

"Camp.  I think we all have idea of what camp will be like: from the weather, other campers, sleeping arrangements, activities, and most importantly the food. Precede camp with the words “Mountain Bike” and other ideas and thoughts come into play: drills, riding, unfamiliar trails, unfamiliar people, equipment issues, and unfamiliar food. 

Food. Every mountain biker seems to like to eat and despite what anyone might believe, we have discerning palates. It’s not all burritos and beer (although those do rock); we can be fussy, complicated, and have picky digestive systems.  We need nutrition for sure, but it absolutely has to taste good.

So when I signed up for skills camp in Bentonville Arkansas (yes Arkansas…and yes the trails were amazing) all these questions and concerns came into play…but rest assured my worries were dispelled, my belly was calmed, and my taste buds were entertained.  The riding and skills camp was top notch, both Crystal and Craig were professional, but the food was really at the forefront. You absolutely did not go hungry, your belly was quiet, and body was nourished.

 

Crystal’s food was on point in regards to nutrition, quality, quantity (for sure), and taste.  Most would believe that a gluten-free and dairy-free approach to food would render you hungry, bored, and nutritionally depleted. This was not the case.  From satisfying and balanced  breakfasts, to energy-replenishing lunches, to soul-satisfying dinners,  to desserts (yup desserts... the kind that you had NO IDEA they were “healthy”) great food was the theme all weekend.

 

Meals? Personally am a breakfast snob.  I like to have nutritionally balanced breakfasts but don’t want to leave with a heavy belly or sacrifice flavor.  The Snickerdoodle Smoothie Bowl was my favorite (truth be told I have made it twice since returning back home).  It was delicious and not your standard “pancakes and eggs” or “avocado toast” for breakfast…and talk about the Matcha Overnight Oats… those were not only easy on the belly, you also felt ready to ride,  and they gave just the right kick needed on the last long day of skills camp.

 

The breakfasts did not overshadow the amazing power lunches (I personally loved the Creamy Greens Soup with Tahini), and the soul soothing dinners.  My favorite was the Bibimbap…a wonderful assortment of veggies, lean protein (pork) and a spicy sauce you just couldn’t get enough of.   The best part of all of the meals is they were healthy, like the kind of healthy you would expect from a spa (and they included desserts …raspberry "cheesecake”-check. Chocolate "mousse”-check. Chocolate chip cookies-you know it).

 

At this camp you did not go hungry but you did not feel like you ate a brick, it was nutritionally balanced, easy to process/digest, and tasted awesome. All of this made it easy to participate in all the skills and ride the amazing trails in Bentonville. I have already made plans to make some of the other meals (recipies were conveniently included as you left this camp via paper or by email) we had over the weekend. 

So has the clinic changed my thoughts on healthy, gluten free-dairy free meals being tasty and satisfying?  Absolutely.  And if you are curious, you need to check out one of Crystal and Craig’s clinics…not only will it make you a better mountain biker, but it just might change your mind and make you a believer in a “healthy” mountain bike skills camp." ~Sandy Marshall

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