As the days slowly start to lengthen and the odd miraculous dry patch begins to appear on our trails, there can only be one thing on the mind of every dedicated lady shredder – summer is coming: bike adventure time!
Though riding on your own, with the boys or with small local groups is ok, sometimes it’s nice to try something different and there are a host of companies offering women’s only trips. Some of these are very much orientated around training, whilst others are more designed around just having fun with a great group.
“Without the coaching, I would not have had the confidence to put myself out there and get this massive sense of achievement by riding and racing downhill”
Not everyone is sold on the idea of women’s only coaching and riding, but some really benefit from the environment. Hayley Tutte is a 33-year-old shredder who has benefitted hugely from 1 on 1 sessions with Katy Curd bi-annually over the past 4 years. She told us: “Without the coaching, I would not have had the confidence to put myself out there and get this massive sense of achievement by riding and racing downhill, sometimes better than the men. For my partner, he now has to live with the fact that by introducing me to Katy that I now ride faster than him and have beaten him in a grassroots downhill race by 2 seconds!”
Discussing the difference between a women’s only group and a men’s group, Aneela McKenna – a guide from ‘Go Where’ who organise women’s only coaching – told us: “The reality is that women are still in a minority in mountain biking and might be put off by coming on to a standard trip if it’s mainly guys. Getting a bunch of women together, the vibe is different, there’s great camaraderie among the group, women encourage each other to ride the technical stuff and the noise levels are definitely higher!
“Getting a bunch of women together, the vibe is different, there’s great camaraderie”
“It’s amazing how our guests learn from one another, they watch each other ride, and over a beer after a hard day out on the bike, they talk about their riding, give each other feedback, discuss how they rode that technical section or what could they have done better. As guides we can offer the right advice and guidance, but it really sticks when the support comes from others in the group.”
We’re rounded up some of the best. Though they vary in focus, all of the events we’ve chosen gather women together in a friendly, relaxed environment that is perfect for taking your riding to the next step, increasing confidence and discovering new trails, all whilst meeting other like-minded individuals…