What started as an idea turned into a success story! January 9th and 10th, The Wheel Mill hosted its first Ride Like A Girl Weekend. The event brought in almost 130 ladies throughout the weekend, and for once, the males in the park felt a little overwhelmed. Both MTB and BMX instruction was provided by six amazing lady coaches: Carley Young, from Pittsburgh, PA, Ride Like A Girl founder and BMX coach; Nina Buitrago, from Austin, TX, women’s sport advocate and total shredder; Cory Coffey, from Detroit, MI, who paved the way with the first female backflip; Karen Brooks, from Pittsburgh, PA, cycling advocate and women’s Monday night coach at The Wheel Mill; Hillary Marques, from Frederick, MD, accomplished downhill and slalom racer and coach; and Kathi Krause, from Mahwah, NJ, Dirt Rock n Root Training founder and coach.
The goal for the weekend was to create an atmosphere for women cyclists to be inspired, motivated and educated, and to help them take their riding to the next level. The coaches helped riders to understand that fear is not real — it is a product of our imagination, and it actually stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Being fearful when you ride holds you back, so each coach gave detailed instructions on how to handle areas of the park that participants may not have tried on their own.
The park held almost 100 women on Saturday, far exceeding our expectations, as we had only about 30 riders registered on the Tuesday prior. The coaches did an amazing job separating the group into different areas by skill levels and having a schedule to follow to make sure everyone was able to learn everything they came for. Classes were held in every room of the park. Riders advanced from beginner to intermediate skills as the weekend went on. The best part was hearing crowds of cheering women as one of the riders finally accomplished something they had been working on. Everyone developed a real camaraderie after working together throughout the day. It was great to see that once students perfected a skill, they would pass on their experiences to other ladies. The feedback we got about the event was better than we expected. Instead of a wish list for the next time they return to the park, many women went home with their list of goals accomplished.
This event would not have been successful without the support from Harry Geyer and Mike Potoczny at The Wheel Mill. Thanks to all the coaches who came out to share their knowledge with the lady shredders. Riders received a loaded goody bag with a T-shirt when they signed in, and each day we raffled off some sweet prizes thanks to all of our sponsors.
Please support and follow those who support us! Also feel free to tag them when posting the awesome goods you won from the weekend! The Wheel Mill @thewheelmill, Ride Like A Girl @ridebmxlikeagirl, Pro Bikes @probikesllc, Jaunt @livejaunt, Plus Size BMX @plussizebmx, Transition Bikes @transitionbikes, Over the Bar Café @otbbicyclecafe, Fischer Nutrition @fischernutrition, THE Industries @vsiproducts, Dan’s Comp @danscompinstagram, Shadow Conspiracy @theshadowconspiracy, Subrosa @subrosabrand, Profile @profile_racing, Dirt Rag @dirtragmag, Iron City Bikes @ironcitybikes, Empire @empirebmx, Croftgate USA @croftgateusa, Alius, G-Form @gformprotects, Shimano @shimanomtb, Morpheus Bikes @morpheusbikes, Dirt Rock n Root Training Kathi Krause, One Feather Press @onefeatherpress, Damsel in Defense Jen Halahan, Fox Girls @foxwomens, Terrible One @t1stagram, Industry Nine @industry_nine, Bike Pittsburgh @bikepgh, Month of Mud Greta Daniels. Also a huge thanks to Steer and Wheel food truck for coming out Saturday to feed our ladies!
The Wheel Mill provides a $5 discount for women every Monday night and Karen Brooks is there to give some instruction to help get the most out of your riding. If you missed this weekend, don’t worry — we are working on doing some shred sessions every few months and another 2-day event this summer that will be an indoor or outdoor lesson. Please make sure you follow The Wheel Mill on Instagram, Like their Facebook page and check for details on their website: www.thewheelmill.com.
Here are a few comments ladies made about the weekend:
Was such an amazing day! – Sally Sherman
Before this weekend I had zero concept of a manual and couldn’t push through berms. Thank you Nina so much for your help! You’re the best. – Ann Silva
Thanks to Carley and the whole Ride Like A Girl team for making an amazing weekend a reality for my daughter. It was priceless to finally see her connect with a community of like-minded individuals who share the same position and challenges. – Robb Hedrick
Totally worth the trip and we look forward to the next one. I loved that I was able to participate with Riley both at our own skill level. I loved that I got to hear what you were all teaching so I can mimic that at home. I loved the no-pressure feeling and the level of support you guys gave to absolutely everyone. One of the best women’s events I have ever attended! – Jennifer Pennucci
I had a great time today! Thanks to everyone at The Wheel Mill for putting on this event. Thanks to all the awesome coaches for the inspiring words, tips and encouragement. You are the best! It was great to meet and talk to so many other ladies who love riding bicycles and aren’t afraid to go outside of the comfort zone for the chance to have a little fun. – Diana Miller
Thanks again for putting on such an awesome event. I honestly didn’t think I would be 1.) this sore or 2.) walk away with this many new awesome skills! I achieved a lot of goals this weekend! Can’t wait until the next event! – Jess Nelson