BettyGoHard - Taking the Intimidation out of Action Sports - providing the tools & information to build confidence, skills & friendship to help women of all ages, levels and lifestyles Get Out and Be Active!
To be honest I hope that nobody is reading this - it is the long weekend after all, and you should all be out playing!
I posted a link on the Betty facebook site to a recent article on Pinkbike entitled 'Why no Y?', another article lamenting the lack of ladies in MTB. You can read the full article on Pinkbike, and look at the pretty girl riding pictures.
I was motivated to write a response to this article because I believe it is time that we all admit that the MTB industry is changing, and changing for the better. MTB is no longer struggling in the backwater, it is gaining traction and becoming a sport that is gaining participation from men women and children from all walks of life.
I know I live in a bike-mad part of the world, but I started out in places where biking was a minority and girls even more so. I have traveled around and seen what works, and I want Pinkbike to share the success stories, not just the sob stories.
Forgive me, but I have published my response directly with Pinkbike in the hope that they put it on the front page and get some real dialogue going.
Please visit my response 'XX or XY? Bikes don't care', leave a comment and help me build something positive into our fantastic MTB community!
I hope your long weekend is full of sunshine and action!!
I have never considered myself a very competitive person. In primary school I stayed clear of anything that involved sports and a prize preferring to stick to book learnin' which I was far more comfortable with. High school and university I played some basketball and soccer and started running by myself for fitness. In university I met my future husband who allowed me to tag along when he went bike riding and for the last 10 years I have been slowly catching on to this biking thing.
Last year to beat the winter blues I entered mself in a running group that was training for the Whistler half marathon. I got a lot out of the training and race prep - improved fitness, better eating habits, new running skills. It really got me thinking how having goals in our sports can help push us to new skill levels - and through that new levels of enjoyment.
This year, I decided to lady up and race in the local downhill MTB series. I live in Squamish, BC so the toonie races are run by the amazing Squamish Off Road Cycling Association. Every two weeks, they pick a different local trail to race, and have a BBQ social afterwards. Not a high stress race environment, but some of the tracks they race are deliciously gnarly. It has taken me a couple of years to muster the courage to give it a go.
So why chose this year to race? Number one - bucket list. I am turning the bg 3-0 this year, and I am trying to celebrate all year long by doing fun and challenging new things. Racing DH fits right in to that category! Number two - I had a great riding season last year and I finally feel I am confident enough on my bike to give it a go. Number three - I got my first ever DH bike. Everything is falling into place!
Of course, everytime I point my bike downhill over challenging terrain there is the potential for injury, and adding the need for speed into the mix can increase it. I choose to accept that risk, and to do everything I can to minimize the chance of something happening - I will ride within my limits, take time to look at the tracks beforehand, keep fit, wear appropriate protection and make sure the bike is always in good working order.
My goals this season are to ride smooth and ride in all the races, even the more challenging tracks at the end of the season. We are now two races in, and already I am kicking myself for waiting so long. We have a great group of girls turning up to race, everyone friendly and there to have fun no matter what bike they are riding or what their skill level is.
What I am really enjoying is spending time getting to know one track really well. For the first two races I have I have spent time pushing up, observing sections and riding them over and over. I think analysing the track, trying different lines and practising tricky sections over and over are going to improve my riding in the long run. It also gives the opportunity to watch other people ride and learn from how they tackle technical sections.
So far my results are pretty good - second and third place. I even find myself thinking 'I could have shaved a second here, could have added a pedal there!'. I am certainly no Ann Caro - but I am really enjoying racing DH. I encourage you to get out and have a go at a race in whatever your chosen sport is. You might not win, but you may push your skills to a new level. And remember to have fun- social racing is , after all, an excuse to hang out in a beautiful forest, talk with friends and play bikes. Everybody wins!
The Betty team is heading out to Panorama this weekend and I am super excited about trying their newest feature - the Mouse Trap. Designed by 25-year-old Kyle Wynia of Abbotsford, B.C., The Mouse Trap was Wynia's design entry into a joint contest put on by Panorama Mountain Village and Rockstar Energy Drink.
The Rockstar Bike Rodeo—Dream it, Drop it! contest had mountain and stunt bike enthusiasts enter their own stunt feature designs. Wynia's winning design was selected by a panel of judges, including pro free-rider Kurt Sorge.
The feature was debuted on July 16, 2011, and was christened by Wynia and Sorge before it was officially opened to the public; it received positive feedback from riders, spectators and Panorama staff. The new feature, The Mouse Trap, consists of a steep lead-up with a jump, which lands riders on a wooden track. At the end of the short track, riders can either launch up onto the adjacent wall and ride it across to the finishing mound, or make a full jump off the launch ramp to the mound if they so choose.
If you didn't know Panorama Mountain Village is just 15 minutes north of Invermere in B.C.'s Columbia Valley. They are open till September 4th so get out this weekend for one last chance to experience lift assisted downhill at its best. Panorama offer a variety of trails for many different levels of riding with fun stunts and challenging features for those looking for a bit of adrenaline. For more information, visit the resort's website. And we will see you there!
Schedule of Events:
XC “no drop” group rides
- Beginner – Evening Ridge, Shasta, Expresso
- Intermediate – Log Jam, Frog Jam
- Meet at Mountain Station at 5pm
DH Rides – free shuttles courtesy of Dirt Tours to Giveout Creek Trails
- 4:00 Shuttle leaving from Sacred Ride
- 5:30 Shuttle leaving from Gerick's
- First come, first Served
Fat Tire Kick Off Party: Starting at 7:30pm at Jackson’s Hole and Grill, enjoy food and drink specials and good times!
Rosemont Events: kids XC, Dirt Jump Jam, BBQ, kids activities, trials demos
10:00 sign in/registration (available for all events)
10:30 2-5 year olds race; awards
11:00 6-8 year olds race; awards
11:30 9-12 year olds race; awards
12- 2 Dirt Jump Jam
11- 2 BBQ hosted by the Kootenay Lake Outdoor Skateboard Park Society; Kids Activities – bike decorating, face painting, activities courtesy of the NDCC
5:00 Parade Gathering: meet in front of Gerick’s Cycle with decorated bikes
5:15 Parade Start – to Sacred Ride
5:45 Crit starts: 2-5 year olds
5:55 6-8 year olds
6:10 9-12 year olds
6:20 13-17 year olds
7:45 Clunker Crit – it’s free! Bring your funkiest bike and join in!
8:00 Awards (teens and adults)
Post Race party @ the Royal - they will be offering food specials and have donated prizes for the crit...even the crowd can win, so don't forget to come down and watch!
Sunday: Morning Mountain
8:00 sign-in/ registration
8:45 race instructions (@ start)
9:00 race start
11:30 race end
11:00 DH Sign on and practice runs
1:00 DH race start
We've got a kids tent and activities, so if Mom and Dad want to participate in an event, the kids will be occupied. And if you are worried about being hungry, don't be - we've got food vendors (BBQ, wraps, gelato!).