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Women and mountain biking

limewave2012-07-06 13:18:26 +0000 #1
Just an article about how few women mountain bike . . .

www.pinkbike.com/new...hell-Scott-2012.html
lph2012-07-06 13:29:42 +0000 #2
I liked it. (But how did he manage to find so many photos of really hot girls biking?

)

We've discussed many reasons why here elsewhere, but there's one more thing, and it's just the feedback effect. There aren't many women (I refuse to say girls unless we're actually talking about under 25 here) in the sport because there aren't many women in the sport. Many women are put off from a heavily male-dominated sport precisely because it is male-dominated. I like riding with guys, but I don't like riding with only guys, all the time. But at some point there will be enough women involved to defuse that "dude-sport" image. It certainly happened to climbing.
limewave2012-07-06 13:34:47 +0000 #3
I think women are generally community based. Just as you mentioned, more women aren't in the sport because there aren't more women in the sport. . . . I have always been interested in mountain biking. If there would have been a club, a clinic, a camp, something, I would have signed up for it in a heartbeat. But there are very few opportunities (especially where I live) like that. I wasn't about to blindly buy a bike and head out into the woods alone with no knowledge of what to do.
SadieKate2012-07-06 14:08:16 +0000 #4
One of our local shops has a diva night once(?) a month and sponsors a regular women's only clinic. The last diva night had around 50 women show up. The clinics fill up in no time. I've seen the pictures. These are women of all shapes, sizes and ages. Very cool.

This shop is also the only one in town that truly takes the inclusive approach instead of wondering why the women don't show up for the races. Crap, when you have a huge contingent of world-class athletes who use the races for "training" why should anyone else show up? The non-race rides are organized by groups of testosterone-driven wannabe elites who piss off the drivers - and scare everyone else off from forming a real community bike club.

I hope the shop is bringing in scads of sales.
indysteel2012-07-06 15:13:00 +0000 #5
We have a local MTB clinic every year that is expressly for women and girls. As awesome as that is, there's little else that's geared toward women in the area No weekly diva ride or, as far as I can tell, any formal or semi-formal group that brings women MTBers together to ride. I really wish it were otherwise. The clinic's great, but it's hard to take the next few steps afterwards. I had my husband for help, but I sure would have preferred a female mentor of sorts in some ways.
Catrin2012-07-06 13:47:50 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by indysteel

We have a local MTB clinic every year that is expressly for women and girls. As awesome as that is, there's little else that's geared toward women in the area No weekly diva ride or, as far as I can tell, any formal or semi-formal group that brings women MTBers together to ride. I really wish it were otherwise. The clinic's great, but it's hard to take the next few steps afterwards. I had my husband for help, but I sure would have preferred a female mentor of sorts in some ways.

It is going to take a few women willing to start something - perhaps be willing to start a monthly excursion to BCSP? The nice thing about BCSP is the range of trails from beginner to super advanced. I think part of the issue is so many are either busy with a race schedule, children, or both that it makes it difficult to do something more formal.

It would be great to have a female mentor that I could hook up with on the trails from time to time, but everyone is just so very busy. The formal women instructors I do know of in the area are so busy that they just don't have any more time (and I can't afford them right now). I think I would be much further along than I am if I did have someone to work with, but things are the way they are. I still have fun and that is what counts. I will get there.
limewave2012-07-06 13:39:53 +0000 #7
I have this dream of becoming a certified instructor and leading clinics for women and youth in our region. I am taking a baby step in that direction by starting a family xc group. I thought about talking to our local LBS to see if they would sponsor part of the certification and in return I would host regular clinics for them. Right now we can't afford to pay for that ourselves. DH really does not want me to do that--he's friends with the owner. Anyways, I just think there are a number of women really interested in trying mtbing but are too intimidated. If they had a clinic or group environment specifically for beginners they would be willing to try.
indysteel2012-07-06 16:48:23 +0000 #8
I think there are MTBers in town, Catrin, who don't race or have young kids. It's just a question of how to connect with them. I'll be honest that I've been hesitant to initiate rides with some of the women I know who mountain bike because I don't know if our skill levels are well matched. I don't want to hold people up. Nor do I want to ride outside my comfort zone in an effort to keep up. I just have to get over that.

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