In case you haven’t heard, Bike Glendhu’s Women’s Ride Wednesdays presented by Mons Royale are back this year and we’re stoked at the prospect of these ride nights being bigger and better than ever.
So, are you still sitting on the sidelines, wanting to get into MTB but not really sure where to start? Well, pop up a comfy chair and a cuppa, because we have some tips for you!
Okay, before we even get to the bike, let’s start with what you should wear to go mountain biking.
If you’re not quuuite ready to make the investment into a full kit, that’s totally fine! You can rock up to women’s night wearing a breathable t-shirt, some tough shorts (avoid yoga pants, because there’s lots of ways to tear them) and some flat-soled shoes; Vans or Converse will work just fine and are better than running shoes. If you’re able to borrow or pick up a pair of bike gloves, trust us, your hands will thank you. You can even grab some in the BG shop at Base 334.
But if you’re ready to start stocking up on MTB apparel; awesome. We recommend getting a pair of bike shoes first. This is because MTB shoe soles are made with rubber that’s designed to give you a better grip on your pedals – kind of like a climbing shoe. For a beginner, this added grip can give you all kinds of confidence to rip new trail features. Not sure where to start looking? Our friends over at Ride Concepts have an awesome selection of practical and flash women’s MTB footwear.
Moving along, you should know that there’s a few hotly contested “this-or-thats” in women’s mountain biking; the first of them being “chamois or no chamois?”
If you don’t already know, a chamois (pronounced “shammy”) is a bib or short that has soft cushioning sewn in, providing a supportive layer between your sit bones and your bike seat. For those who are pro-chamois, they’re a godsend. For those that are anti-chamois, it’s like wearing an adult diaper. This one, we’ll leave up to you to figure out.
Another “this-or-that” in the clothing department is tees or singlets? Long and short sleeve tees usually provide more protection from the sun and in the case of the fall. While singlets are much cooler, you do run the risk of some road rash. Again, both are totally fine in the MTB world, it’s just a matter of individual opinion.
Regardless of which top you’re rocking, if you’re pro- or anti- chamois or if you’re looking to upgrade to some MTB shorts, our friends over at Mons Royale know that merino trumps all. So, whether you’re going on a multi-day mission, hitting your local jumps or just lapping Bike Glendhu with the gals, keep your cool this season in the world’s highest-performing natural fibre. Check out their new Summer ’23 range here.
SMASH THE INTIMIDATION FACTOR
It’s probably time to acknowledge the elephant in the room. The intimidation factor is a major issue when it comes to getting more women into mountain biking. And we get it, for a long time mountain biking was seen as this hardcore, men’s world.
But that’s just not the case anymore.
And we know, trying something new is scary and anxiety-inducing. But when you give in to that anxiety, inevitably, you’ll miss out.
So, let’s break it down. Where is this intimidation coming from? Are you afraid to feel inferior or to embarrass yourself? Do you feel like you just “can’t do it”? Do you feel like you’ll compare yourself to others and that you’ll never stack up? Because this is all completely normal!
Here’s the best part though: Women mountain bikers love to welcome new women mountain bikers into the crew. We love to see someone out there giving it a go, embracing the challenge and overcoming their fears. There’s absolutely zero gatekeeping here.
So, come on in! The dirt is great.
KEEP A RIDE LOG
A great way to reinforce your newfound confidence and progression is a ride log. And if this sounds like too much admin, just remember – you don’t have to log every ride! Maybe even start out just by logging your Women’s Ride Wednesdays. What tracks did you ride? Which features did you struggle with? What were your accomplishments?
If you’re ever doubting yourself or your abilities on the bike, a ride log is great way to look back at where you started and truly see how far you’ve come.
Want to progress even further? It’s great if you can hit the trails frequently on your own. But if you’re looking for that little extra nudge, check out a skills clinic. Our friends at Black Fox Ride offer weeks-long courses, as well as weekend camps!
Skills clinics are great places to learn basics like your riding position, looking ahead on the trail, finding your line, cornering, climbing, brake modulation and more.
And if you’re a seasoned rider wanting to learn a specific skill like jumping, advanced women’s clinics are also available.
FIND A FRIEND
Bike Glendhu’s Women’s Ride Nights are a great place to dip your toes into the mountain biking pool. For one, there will be a ton of other women there just like you; starting out and maybe looking for a few buds to learn with.
We also get a ton of novice and expert female riders out there for these evenings and like we said above; these riders love nothing more than to see newbies progress! So don’t be afraid to say hi to someone new, ask questions and ride with women who are better than you are – it’s one of the best ways to learn!
For more info about Women’s Ride Nights presented by Mons Royale, visit our Events page here.