Monday, May 16, 2016


I spent last Saturday doing something a little out of the ordinary. Instead of toeing the line at a race, I spent the morning riding bikes with 100 rad women at the Trail Angel's Courageous Women of Dirt Ride. Ok, not THAT out of the ordinary, but a nice change of pace for sure.
All the women ready to ride in Whiting Ranch.
I wanted to help out with the ride to support the organization Project Bike Love which is run by two very awesome women and which I feel totally honored to be part of. The ride/event on Saturday doubled as a fundraiser for PBL to purchase bikes for women and girls in need who live in developing countries. You can read more about it here, but seriously, what an awesome way to give back. I currently own 5 bicycles, and while the bike is a huge component of my job/livelihood, it's incredible how meaningful one bike is to a woman who is desperately trying to get their crops to market to support her family, or to a girl who is trying to travel 5 miles to school. Serious perspective there!

Let's also be honest, I have been dying to find a way to give back in the sense that bike racing is pretty selfish by nature, and I want to spend some time each month doing something for others, and while I'm still trying to figure out what that means along with training, traveling and racing, Erin and Belen (PBL super women) are a HUGE inspiration to me. They have a passion, they get shit done, they dream big and they follow through with realizing those dreams. I'm feeling really lucky/grateful these two came into my life this year because I have a feeling I'm going to learn a lot from them! Oh and did I mention they are also just super fun to hang out with and stoked on bikes.

And lastly, I love being involved in women's mountain biking events. A few years ago at Sea Otter I was told (by a male who worked for a bike company) that women aren't enough of the market to matter, thus putting women in ads, in magazine articles, on websites, wasn't worth it to the industry. Back then I was pretty butt hurt and didn't really get the math, considering we women are more than 50% of the population, but what could I do about it? Not much. Well, in a pretty short period of time I feel like things have changed, A LOT, and seeing 100 women all excited to ride mountain bikes in Whiting on Sat was a pretty powerful scene to me. I can't explain the feeling of pride I had, as well as gratitude towards the Trail Angles for putting on this event. We may do things differently than the men (aka decorating the porta potties) but we are still all united by our desire to ride trails, be in nature, get exercise, get stronger and conquer our fears. Can you tell I got more out of the event than I gave?! haha.

Ok, some pictures:

The porta Potties were decorated to the nines... really dang funny, and a HUGE improvement on the traditional porta potty experience!

The ride was split up into groups by ability level, our intermediate group rocked!!

Belen and Melissa, the other leader/sweep in our group who were crazy fun/funny to ride with!

A mix of groups at Four Corners. Again, so cool to see so many women riding together, having a blast!

The event offered some clinics after the ride, including bike maintenance, fit, trail info, and nutrition (from the incredible Jeanna Miller of CTS). Another aspect of the day I was so excited about, giving women a chance to learn about their bikes and riding in a non-intimidating setting. This sport can be intimidating in a lot of ways, from scary trails, to stuck up pro (wanta be) men in bike shops. I love how eager everyone was to learn and how welcoming the setting is when it's all women :)

There were skills obstacles set up at the staging area so if you had time to kill you could practice skillz. I had never ridden a teeter totter before, pretty psyched to conquer that bad boy!

And finally a group shot of (almost) all the women who participated on Sat. So that's the story of my Saturday! Thanks for having me Trail Angles and Project Bike Love!!! My hear feels so full after being part of this :)

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