Many of us have known for a long time that mountain biking and women go together like peanut butter & jam, wine & cheese and some times unfortunately blood, sweat & tears. Riding on the dirt is for all abilities, athletic aptitude, body type, demographic and even geographic persuasion. Lately, us ladies have been getting some long-awaited and well deserved attention from bike companies that want to help us dispose of our disposable income.
Whether or not you believe that ladies need our own specific bikes (we will open this can of worms later on CJ) we for sure need to feel included, welcome, safe and part of the mountain biking world. Everyone likes to be part of the club. We need to be able to not only start but keep progressing our riding in a way that keeps us coming back every year wanting a new bike, helmet and all the outfits (yes I said outfits!) and gear required.
Thanks to Bell’s Joy Ride program, ladies now have a fully supported as well as funded, organized program to help all women experience mountain biking in a safe, fun and all-inclusive open armed welcoming way. Last year a call to action was sounded by Bell, asking applicants to describe why they should be chosen as one of the lucky 6 (and 2 in Canada) Bell Joy Ride Ambassadors. Over 200 applicants applied and exposed something that a lot of us ladies already know. Women love to be connected and share their passion for athletics and the outdoors. The large participation in applying gave Bell the idea to build a comprehensive map resource to connect women’s riding groups across America. Soon, no matter where you live or travel to, your girls will be there to ride with. What a great way to connect people. I feel a little bit sorry for the guys, but I am sure no one would exclude them if they showed up.
Six lucky ambassadors announced this past December include:
- Karina Magrath, Coeur d’Alene, ID
- Veronique Pardee, Tucson, AZ
- Samantha Jones , Kansas City, MO
- Amber Krueger, Madison, WI
- Missy Petty, Knoxville, TN
- Kendell Ryan, Richmond, VA
The Bell Joy Ride Ambassador program is the brainchild of Jessica Klodnicki, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Bell. It was started to help inspire ladies of all levels to come together and ride in a fun, non-race oriented environment. “I’ve cultivated a local women’s mountain bike group that has blossomed to more than 300 women and have seen firsthand the power of women coming together to create riding communities. I can’t wait to see the enthusiasm for mountain biking that our Joy Ride ambassadors will create.”- Jessica Klodnicki
This weekend Crankjoy is lucky enough to be headed to the Joy Ride Camp in Santa Cruz, to meet the ladies and join in the festivities. There will be wine, food, tours, meeting and most of all a massive Girls Rock ride and after party hosted at Ibis Cycles. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates. There might even be some group ride photos including my favorite totem pole lady head-stacking shot!
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