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May 4th is International #womensmtbday

May 4th is International #womensmtbday

Calling all lady shredders to celebrate women who ride!

By: Eleanor Blick
Posted: April 18, 2019
Photo courtesy of: Brandi Keltner

On Saturday May 4th, 2019, join us in celebrating the second annual International Women’s Mountain Biking Day! The day is dedicated to WTF (women, trans, femme) riders enjoying mountain biking with each other and encouraging fellow riders to join them. #womensmtbday is not intended to be women-only; simply women-forward. All riders are invited to join in on the celebration!

None of this requires a big, formal plan. Action of any kind can lead to inspiration, motivation and even more action. Your #womensmtbday could coincide with a ride, a trail build, a skills clinic or an advocacy opportunity. For ideas to ride, build, learn and engage on May 4th, check out the promotional guide. Share your plans on social media using #womensmtbday!

You might be wondering, why only women? It’s no secret mountain biking is a male-dominated sport, and a special day to highlight WTF participation elevates representation. Any sport, community work or advocacy effort will be stronger with more diverse participation. Highlighting WTF participation through #womensmtbday is one of many ways to help make mountain biking more welcoming and more inclusive for all riders and riders-to-be. Check out Dave Wiens’ blog for more on why it’s important to celebrate women’s strength on the trails.

Leading up to the day, IMBA will be asking a few questions on our Facebook and Instagram channels. We would love to hear your responses, and Yeti Cycles has generously offered a women’s apparel kit as a prize for great stories. In the next two weeks, we’ll be asking...

Who's the most inspiring female rider in your life?

“Gunn-Rita Dahle the winningest XC rider of all time (man or woman) with 30 World Cup wins, four World Cup overall titles, 10 World Championships and an Olympic gold medal. Dahle just retired from racing at the age of 45 after a 24-year career. She continued to be a force until the day she retired. Now she works to inspire more people to ride bikes more often.” – Jessica Rockson, IMBA Director of Programs

“My mom. She spends her days teaching kids how to safely ride to school, while finding all the best dirt shortcuts to take along the way.” – Eleanor Blick, IMBA Communications Manager

Why should more women ride bikes?

“When we see other women out having fun, shredding, jumping, we’re not intimidated. We want to join the party. We go ask, ‘how do you go down without going over?’ or ‘how do you go up without getting off?’ Then we do it and can answer the next gal’s questions. From there, the skills and fun spread exponentially.” – Barbara Connolly-Blick, Safe Routes to School Instructor for the Wisconsin Bike Fed, and dirt shortcut expert

What’s your favorite part of riding bikes with other women?

"What I like the most about riding with other women is that while we like to ride hard, push ourselves and push each other, we do it in a supportive and encouraging way. There’s no competition, just camaraderie.” – Jen Hill, IMBA Local Program Associate

“It's one of the best ways to hang out with your friends and encourage and support one another.” – Tiffanie Beal, IMBA Director of Finance

Grab the logo from the promotional guide—then get out and ride!

A day dedicated to women enjoying mountain biking with each other and encouraging fellow women to join them was dreamed up by Andree Sanders of Trips for Kids Metro New York. International Women’s Mountain Bike Day will always be celebrated the first Saturday in May, local weather and trail conditions permitting.

About the author

Eleanor was raised a two-wheeled advocate in the rolling hills of Wisconsin. From racing to riding to work and every trail in between, pedaling is her natural state of motion. Prior to joining the IMBA team she worked in journalism and nonprofit communications in Chicago while leading volunteer…

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