The team from Air Maiden, who brought the first women’s only mountain bike event to the UK back in 2008, are expanding their repertoire of events and coaching clinics for 2017.
Air Maiden has a sterling reputation for being a provider of great women’s mountain bike events, and top quality coaching. After a successful year in 2016, it seems only fitting that founder, Lynne Armstrong, has decided to expand the Air Maiden reach.
To do this, she’s taken on two additional female coaches who will help her provide small group coaching clinics across the country. These clinics will be available to everyone from absolute beginners, to female riders who are already at the top of their game, but still need some additional coaching to hone their skills.
So what else has the Air Maiden team got in store for us this year?
‘I’m excited about this year. The coaching and events side of things has really taken off, and I can’t wait to get started again’ - Lynne Armstrong, Air Maiden Founder
This year marks the return of the hugely popular signature event ‘Air Maiden’ – a weekend long freeride event at Glentress which will see more than 50 women descend on the freeride park to hone their skills. As in previous years, Lynne has appointed an impressive group of experienced and well known female coaches to provide the women with the best quality coaching possible.
Also returning this year is Enduro Maiden - the UK’s first all women’s Enduro. Last year the event sold out quickly, and it’s likely to do so again this year, as it not only provides women with the chance to take part in a grassroots race, but unlike other races, it also includes coaching beforehand.
The Air Maiden team will also be hosting a number of one day coaching events at trail centres across the country, including Hamsterley, Kirroughtree, Laggan, Dunkeld and of course the Tweed Valley. They will be teaming up with none other than Katy Curd and Joey Gough later in the year to put on a coaching day down in Chicksands.
‘I want to make sure that girls get the opportunity to be in the spotlight, and not just to be sidelined by the boys, something I never had growing up.' - Lynne Armstrong, Air Maiden Founder
This year also sees the birth of the Minimaidens Attack Squad. Lynne believes it's important to encourage young girls coming into mountain biking, so that they discover a passion, remain within the sport, and help grow the women's industry.
Air Maiden teamed up with fellow coach and rider, Elisa Smith, to get MMAS off the ground back in September 2016 when they offered a one off coaching day for girls aged 8-13yrs. Lynne said: ‘The response was so incredible that we had to run two days to accommodate everyone, with girls coming from as far as the Black Isle in the North, and Leicester in the South!’
With the help of local rider and upcoming coach Lucy Grant they also produced a short film aimed at capturing the essence of what MMAS is all about. The resulting 3 minute film was submitted to the amateur short film at Peebles Outdoor Film Festival, and won. You can see the full video below.
Air maiden is a fantastic organisation with the drive to nurture the increasing number of female mountain bikers. The slow change for gender equality has begun to take shape in recent years, and with women specific groups, events and advocates at the helm, the future is looking nothing but bright.
For more information about any of the Air Maiden events, clinics or the Mini Maidens, head over to their website here.
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