Bell Joy Ride
Towards the end of last year, Bell Helmets announced a new program designed specifically for women: The Bell Joy Ride. By carefully selecting six female ambassadors across the US, Bell hope to build a strong network of female mountain bikers with regular rides, coaching courses and social gatherings.
The mission is to promote and enough women to ride bikes offering a comfortable environment, open to all ages and skills levels so women can meet up and ride together in a non-competitive setting.
Each ‘Joy Ride’ location has a Facebook page and an Instagram feed where rides are publicised and recorded. Amber Krueger is the leader in Madison, WI and says: “For me cycling is all about empowerment. It is such an incredible feeling to be able to build and maintain my sole means of transportation. I have always loved commuting and bike touring but was never really a mountain biker. Riding off-road was scary!
“I moved to Madison several years ago and up until then I swore off mountain biking. My first attempt at it was not so great … it was a dark winter night on the rockiest trails around, with my significant other at the time. It ended in tears. After moving to Madison and finding friends who were willing to take their time to ride with me and show me how to ride while not pushing me, my whole outlook on riding off-road changed!
“For me cycling is all about empowerment.”
“Mountain biking is exciting, beautiful and calming. It is my time to disconnect and just ride. In the last year I have been working with our local IMBA branch – CORP – to find a way to get more women riding. Bell Joy Ride — Madison, WI is in the beginning stages, but the overwhelming support has been amazing! I am really excited to see what 2016 brings!”
In Vacouver, BC, it’s Isabelle Jacques who leads. She became a mountain bike instructor in 2014, having grown up racing cross-country. She says: “I want more women to experience the joy and excitement of a mountain biking lifestyle. I love sharing my knowledge and excitement for mountain biking with others and there’s nothing more rewarding than helping someone ride a feature or section of trail they never thought they could tackle.”
Kansas City ride leader Samantha Jones has more words of love for the scheme, saying: “I truly feel that if you aren’t riding a bike of some type, you’re missing out on thrills, relaxation, camaraderie, and exercise all rolled into one. Bell Joy Ride gives me even more means to enable women to grow their love of mountain biking and inspire in them a passion for the ride.
“Bell Joy Ride gives me even more means to enable women to grow their love of mountain biking”
“Through my pure enjoyment of the sport, my encouragement, my positive attitude, and my existing social circle of mountain biking friends, I believe that I can bring a diverse group of women together for enjoyable rides, camaraderie, and skills enhancement.”
Each leader has an exciting story to share about their riding, and we know within their groups there will be still more. The Joy Ride program is still in its infancy, but with expected success in the US, we can only hope it will make it’s way over the pond to the UK.