It has been an exciting season of women’s programming, and after our August 15th ride event I thought it couldn’t get any better. Then somehow, we managed to save the best for last.
Last Saturday’s mountain bike demo event was designed to introduce (or reintroduce) women to the joys of mountain biking, and offer clinics we thought were needed in the community. We also wanted to familiarize riders with a local NYC trail system, and give women the chance to test ride some of the best women’s-specific mountain bikes on real dirt.
Cunningham Park in Queens was our base of operations, and it’s approximately seven miles of trails held something for everyone. Emily led a group ride from Bicycle Habitat’s Prospect Heights location to show how easy is to ride there. Others chose to take the LIRR or F train making Cunningham one of the most accessible systems in the area.
Our first clinic was Safe Crashing and the most important of the day. My husband and I have been teaching this skill since 2005, and it never fails to help take the fear out of falling. By realizing there is a correct way to fall, beginners and seasoned riders alike gain confidence and stay relaxed when the inevitable happens. The point is that yes, crashing happens and it isn’t a big deal if you know how to hit the ground and not get hurt. Plus you get to feel like a kid again somersaulting and hurling yourself into crash pads!
Then we moved on to Introduction to Mountain Biking designed to help women with little to no mountain biking experience successfully navigate the beginner trails and enjoy the different demo bike personalities. Emily provided an overview of the bikes, I covered body position and balance, and Andree explained shifting and braking. We then went on a lap of the test ride route together.
After lunch, demo testing went into full effect and the eight brave ladies of the Intermediate/Advanced Technical Riding clinic gathered to pow-wow about terminology before heading to the first exercise. In an hour and a half we covered a lot of ground, advancing everyone from straight lines on the ground to log rides 5 feet in the air! Nice job ladies!
All in all it was a fantastic day. BIG THANKS to Specialized for bikes, transportation, and lunch. Thanks to Nuun for bottles and hydration, Power Bar for ride fuel, and Sixpoint for beer! But most of all, thanks to the staff and management of Bicycle Habitat for providing the service, labor hours, and everything else necessary to make this event a success.