A few questions on women in mountain biking- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    A few questions on women in mountain biking

    Hi! I'm writing an article on women in mountain biking, focusing on how the sport has traditionally been male dominated (though that is obviously changing). If anyone is interested, I have a few questions that I'm just looking for opinions and comments on. I'm looking for both casual and serious riders. Doesn't matter if you ride for fun occasionally, or racing is your life. I would love to hear your opinion! If you would like to help, please let me know and I'll PM you questions.
    Big thanks!!

  2. #2
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    I'd be happy to answer questions. Casual rider here.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by EKEL View Post
    I'd be happy to answer questions. Casual rider here.
    Thank you so much! My article is due in a few days and I haven't gotten as many responses as I had hoped for. I tired to send you a PM, but for some reason I couldn't.

    1. Why do you think women are the minority of mountain bikers? What makes the sport unappealing to women?
    2. What do you think could make the sport more appealing to women?
    3. Do you have any comments or experiences as a female rider that would could share?

    Thanks again!!

  4. #4
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    PM sent! Good luck with the article.

  5. #5
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    1. Why do you think women are the minority of mountain bikers? What makes the sport unappealing to women?

    I think it is the stereotype that girls cant be out in the woods covered in dirt, etc, etc. Women end up believing this or genuinely not liking it. I have asked all my friends to try mountain biking with me and only a few have agreed. Those who end up going usually get scared at the smallest bump or get intimidated about having to handle and steer a bike through the woods at an uncomfortable speed. There is nothing wrong with it, most women have never done anything like that. I try to encourage them that they will get more confident, only a few have gone again.

    2. What do you think could make the sport more appealing to women?

    Them seeing more women riding! I try to have a weekly wednesday womens ride. Sometimes we get good numbers, other times not. It is usually the same people.

    3. Do you have any comments or experiences as a female rider that would could share?

    When I go to races it is great when women dont act competitive. We are all there to win, yes, but the main reason is to make friends and have fun. Women should be uplifting and encouraging other women.





    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    1. Why do you think women are the minority of mountain bikers? What makes the sport unappealing to women?

    I think this is also in part where you are located? For example, our club in upstate, NY has a large number of women riders, easily equal to the number of male riders. We have done a ton to encourage new women riders including offering free skills workshops to women and leading beginner/women's rides during the week. But for those that were trying our skills rides? One of the reasons was not having time due to work/family obligations. Next was cost - they didn't want to have to buy a mountain bike just to give it a try, and then find out they didn't like it. Some had tried with their significant other but were intimidated because they weren't given clear instruction or they felt hurried/pressured to keep up. Some were afraid of embarrassing themselves in front of others, especially men.

    2. What do you think could make the sport more appealing to women?

    More ads/videos featuring average women riders. I love watching amazing women riders shredding down the trail...but perhaps beginners see that and think they're never going to be that good. Offering more women's/beginner rides, led BY women.

    3. Overwhelmingly I think I learned the most by riding with other women - for a lot of reasons, but first because of the comfort level. I wasn't as afraid to fall, or ask for a break if I was tired, or ask for pointers. I enjoy the social aspect of riding and the kind of support and encouragement you can get from other women (that's NOT to say you can't get it from men - we're VERY fortunate to have amazing men we ride with, too). As I started to progress, I looked to women who were better than I was, and wanted to emulate them and learn how they handled technical features, etc. And the more confident I grew, the more I also looked toward men, because I no longer felt like I was holding them up/back.
    RideGG, Cycle-CNY

  7. #7
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    Thanks so much for the responses!! It really helped me out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdventureSarah View Post
    Thank you so much! My article is due in a few days and I haven't gotten as many responses as I had hoped for. I tired to send you a PM, but for some reason I couldn't.

    1. Why do you think women are the minority of mountain bikers? What makes the sport unappealing to women?
    2. What do you think could make the sport more appealing to women?
    3. Do you have any comments or experiences as a female rider that would could share?

    Thanks again!!
    I know AdventureSarah is done with her article, but this topic is always relevant.

    1. Why do you think women are the minority of mountain bikers? What makes the sport unappealing to women?

    There are several women I ride with at least as often as I ride with men. While they are very competent riders, our riding styles are very different as are our goals, to some degree. They have explained to me (as a one time part-time MTB instructor) that they learn differently than men do. (Duh, right? Still, many of us forget this detail.) Most of the women I have ever ridden with relied so much more on finesse and skill rather than brute force. Many novice men compensate for lack of skill with brute force because they can. The men often ride over their heads until they wreck, while the women work up to skills a little more cautiously (<-- not the best word - maybe more thoughtfully?). This tends to make co-ed groups a little disparate in how they ride. Hence, they tend to separate until they reach a certain skill level. After that, the co-ed groups jive pretty well.

    There is also a fear or lack of confidence being far out in a remote area by oneself. This, in many cases, is a legit concern for females. Although, riding with a buddy makes sense for anyone.

    2. What do you think could make the sport more appealing to women?

    Just knowing that there are women out there who are more than willing to "chaperone" a newb.

    3. Do you have any comments or experiences as a female rider that would could share?

    My wife is a female rider... sometimes. She is rather new, and very cautious, and she doesn't like being last, so she is reluctant to ride with a group. Her fitness is "down" (she was a world class rower for quite a while, so we're talking relatively), so she thinks she will be the anchor. I have tried to explain to her that the women's rides around here are really good in that the skill levels are across the spectrum, and include riders much newer than her, all the way over to certified trainers who love nothing more than to impart some knowledge to those seeking it. I think she would find out that she fits in just fine.

    From my female riding buddies, I've heard all of them lament the "helpful" bros out there who are all too willing to offer "advice" on what the ladies should to do improve their riding.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

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