October 21, 2014
The first thing I have to say is that girls love dirt. Of the 13 participants in Adventure Cycling’s Intro to Dirt Touring course in July, six were women.
I must admit that I was quite surprised at both the gender split and the age range of the tour participants. I figured that my friend and riding partner Sharry and I would probably be the only women on the tour, and if not, any other women would be much younger than I. Wrong on both counts.
From riding with the Montana Dirt Girls and my recent experience with a League-sponsored Women’s Mountain Biking Clinic, I should have had a clue. More and more women are discovering the self confidence and joy that the challenge of mountain biking engenders. The six of us who struggled and rejoiced our way from Whitefish to Red Meadow Pass and beyond ranged from the youngest at 43 to the oldest at 67.
The second thing I have to say is that the further I get from the Red Meadow Pass riding day, the more fun I remember having. It was long. It was steep. It was rough. But one of my proudest moments was when two young motorcyclists stopped with us on the road and raved about how impressed they were with the fact that we were on human-powered machines instead of motorized vehicles. “YES!” I thought to myself. “We ARE amazing!”
Want to experience that same amazing, transformative power? In 2015, Adventure Cycling is offering two dirt touring courses, the first in western Maine, heart of the deep woods, the second in Montana along parts of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. C'mon — ride like a girl!
Post and photos by Mandy Hale
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Lydia, Darrah, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our 2015 Guided Tours today!