[Malorie] Mountain biking is a prevalent sport/past time for people living in Colorado. We have a plethora of trails and terrain. Unfortunately, mountain biking has been a male-dominated sport like the rest of them. Not a lot of women mountain bike and if they do, they typically ride with men. Recently I have learned about a women’s only mountain biking organization called WMBA. WMBA (Women’s Mountain Biking Association) is a large organization that caters to all riders. They meet every Thursday for group rides at different locations throughout the Colorado Springs area. There are three distinct groups: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. WMBA also offers skill courses to help work on different aspects of mountain biking like drops, corners, and jumps.
Anywho, that is just a small chunk of what WMBA has to offer female riders. So how did I come about this group? Well, being the socially awkward introvert that I am, my friend Natalia kept asking me to ride with them, but I kept turning her down. Natalia is a beautiful, Chilean mountain biker that tolerates my bullshit. After nearly a year of her and our friend Nikki encouraging me to ride with them WMBA, I caved. If you know anyone who is introverted, you have a greater understanding as to why this was so difficult for me. The majority of the time, I’m rocking the “resting bitch face,” but that does not mean that I’m a bitch. I enjoy being alone and doing activities by myself. I am not that person that needs to have a million friends or be socially active every day. In fact, I probably only interact with other people at work and occasionally riding with friends. This is why I was hesitant to join WMBA. I knew there was going to be a ton of females at each event, and I have found that most women do not like me. If you know anything about me, you would know that I do not have “girlfriends.” Ever since I can remember, I have always had guy friends. I tend to be drawn to the male sense of humor and the rough and rowdy personalities. Men say whatever they want with no consequences, and I seem to lack any sort of filter. Working in the hospital for so many years has exposed me to women and their need to be exceedingly catty and gossipy (if that is even a word). Most women do not cuss, and they uphold a particular image for themselves. I am not like most women. I cuss like a sailor, burp, fart, snot rocket, and say whatever is on my mind. I forget deodorant 90% of the time and rarely brush my hair. So to assume that I was going to fit into a women’s only mountain biking organization was dubious. After my year-long internal debate was finished, I told Charlie I would ride with WMBA once. If I hated it, we would never discuss it again. But I needed to try it. Boy am I glad I did.
It was finally Thursday, and I waited for a text from Natalia informing me the ride was still on. Colorado Springs has been experiencing psychotic weather, and the past month our afternoons have been spent indoors. Once I got the text saying we were good to go, I kissed Charlie, rolled my eyes, and dramatically walked out the door. I arrived at Ute Valley Park about thirty minutes early and was surprised at how many women were already there. Instantly I regretted my decision. I got incredibly uncomfortable at the sight of the large group, and my anxiety set in. I rolled my eyes and told myself to get the fuck out of the truck and start getting ready. So I did. I checked my tire pressure, put my helmet on, and went to the table to sign the waiver. About ten minutes later, Natalia showed up on her white horse and saved me from social suicide. We rode our bikes up to the starting point, and she introduced me to the ladies that were riding in the advanced group. The leader of the ride was Tracy, and I warned her that I was not familiar with the trails and was unsure of my ability compared to the other women. She told me not to worry and just have fun. So that is precisely what I did. I found myself smiling as soon as we took off from the parking lot. I was surrounded by ten other strong, determined female mountain bikers and was loving every second.
I am not sure which trails we rode because I was simply enjoying myself. There was nothing but support from these ladies. As each woman cleared a challenging line/trail, shouts were consisting of, “hell yeah girl,” “go, girl,” were coming from the supportive leaders. I have never had so many people come up to me telling me what an excellent rider I was and how I encouraged them to take the harder line. Damn, it felt good to be a part of something so positive. At the end of the ride, I thanked Tracy for leading us on a fun but challenging loop and asked if there was any way I could volunteer with WMBA. Not only can you do the group rides, but they also need riders to help lead/sweep each group. I can not wait until next Thursday! We are meeting at Bear Creek Park and plan to ride Section 16 into Red Rocks. If you live in the Colorado Springs area and want more riding time, this group is the way to go.