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  • Writer's pictureAllison Zimmer

Embark on a New Adventure: Women in Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a thrilling sport that combines adrenaline, nature, and physical fitness, making it an excellent choice for women seeking adventure AND a way to push our limits – physically and mentally. While the sport has historically been male-dominated, more and more of us are discovering the joy and empowerment that comes with mountain biking. If you identify as female and you’re interested in exploring the world of off-road cycling, I’m here to inspire you! This is your sign!

Start with the Right Equipment

Before hitting the trails, it's essential to have the right equipment. Invest in a reliable mountain bike that suits your riding style and body type. Remember – reliable does not equal latest and greatest! Consider factors such as frame size, suspension, and tire width. Test ride, a lot! Consult with knowledgeable bike shop staff to ensure you find the perfect fit. Additionally, don't forget essential gear like a helmet, gloves, water, and snacks! The helmet is non-negotiable for me – you only have one brain, and you absolutely have to protect it.

Build Your Skills and Confidence

Mountain biking requires skill and technique, but don't let that intimidate you. Start with beginner-friendly trails and gradually progress to more challenging ones. We have great places in our backyard! My absolute favourite intro to singletrack is Oak Ridge trail at Birds Hill Park. You could also consider joining a local biking group (shoutout: Velodonnas!!) or taking lessons from experienced riders. These opportunities provide valuable guidance and a supportive community, boosting your skills and confidence. Remember, mountain biking is not a sitting sport.

Develop Your Fitness and Endurance

Mountain biking is an excellent way to improve your physical fitness. As you ride, you'll build strength in your legs, core, and upper body. Endurance is a key component of this sport, and as you progress, you'll find yourself conquering longer and more demanding trails, and even racing past the guys! I love tracking my rides on my Garmin cycling computer, it’s so much fun to see how much faster I am on the same trail at the end of each season than I was at the beginning.

Push Your Boundaries

Mountain biking challenges you mentally and physically, pushing you to step out of your comfort zone. As you conquer more difficult trails, you'll discover your own resilience and determination. Embrace the thrill of overcoming obstacles, whether they're on the trail or within yourself. Mountain biking is a constant journey of growth, and the confidence you gain from conquering challenges will extend beyond the sport. Ride that tough root section over and over until you get it! Have your friends help you spot those perfect lines (looking at you, Kerrie!). And remember, it can be a dangerous sport and you’re going to fall. It’s important to get back up and keep learning! I always say that I prefer to keep my wheels on the ground, but my fractured collarbone shows that things don’t always go as planned. Anyway – that’s a story for another time, and I’m ok! Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, right?

Mountain biking offers women an exciting and rewarding path to adventure, personal growth, and empowerment. By stereotypes, developing skills, and connecting with a supportive community, we’re embracing this thrilling sport and pushing our boundaries. So, grab your bike, gear up, and get ready to embark on an incredible journey through nature. The trails are waiting, and the possibilities are endless. Happy riding ladies, and may you find joy, strength, and a sense of freedom on your local trail! I hope to see you out there.

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