|Photo Cred: Tasha Lindemann|
Women Weekends, clinics, jams, whatever you want to call it. They are so important for the development of our community. I will be the first to say, as a shy rider, I progress the most when I attend a women’s jam. Why you might ask? It’s less pressure, more relaxed and it’s almost like we get permission to make mistakes and look stupid without the criticism. Taryn Hipp is hosting the 2nd annual Women’s Weekend in the Woods, and because I want to help promote the event, I reached out to Taryn to ask some question to help plan your trip. If you want to make new friends and learn more, keep reading.
How did the Women’s Weekend in the Woods Jam get it’s start?
Winter of 2017 a few of us from PA went out to Ray’s for Women’s Weekend and met a bunch of women who had no idea that there were things at Posh and Catty other than huge doubles. They just assumed there was nothing for them to ride so they never made the trip. So, we started throwing around the idea of getting all these women out to the trails & they seemed psyched on it. So I sent a text home to all the dudes just being like “I want to have a ladies jam & I want to do it between Labor Day & Halloween” (our two biggest jams each year – when the trails are dialed), they all were stoked on the idea so I picked a date & that was it. I didn’t realize how much work it would be, I just knew I wanted other girls to come to the trails & ride. It ended up being such a huge success, thanks to the endless help/support/love of so many women from around the world so we figured, why not do it again? It also helped to get more women to Posh & Catty throughout the year which was the biggest take away for me personally. I had spent so long riding alone at Posh that when women roll in I get so hyped.
Compared to the first year, what can we expect at this years jam?
I think this year there will be even more ladies than last year because again, I think women were still a little nervous to come out to the trails even after we announced the jam, like maybe they didn’t know what to expect or what it was going to be like. But after seeing all the photos & videos including the edit Bette White made which I think really captured how awesome & supportive everyone was that weekend, while showing how much fun the trails are to ride, I think they are more comfortable with the idea of riding both sets of trails. Go watch Bette’s edit on YouTube!
Is there a certain level you need to have, to ride at either Catty or Posh?
You can literally come to either spot with zero experience on a BMX and still have fun. Catty has a small pump track for beginners as well as a roller line that is super fun to ride (& has a few options if you want to jump some smaller jumps). Posh has a roller line too (also with options for various skill levels) and I just finished a new line at Posh that is just small tables and berms, really easy, totally rollable & super fun for new riders. Both trails have stuff for everyone. We have small gap doubles & tables for women who are learning to jump and bigger stuff for those are already jumping/clearing big jumps. Also, a few women have asked me what bike to bring. It’s a BMX event so that would be best but a downhill/dirt jumper bike would also be fine. You could probably even ride a mountain bike. Just come ride!
For the ladies who are brining their dudes, can they join in on the fun?
Everyone is welcome during Women’s Weekend. We just wanted to pick a couple days where girls could be 100% sure there were other women at the trails to ride with. Both events are also kid-friendly! Also, bring your dogs. Just don’t bring any drugs or alcohol.
Is there anything being sold at the jam, like food and merch?
We will have (vegan, vegetarian & meat) food available as well as merch. The food we offer on a donation basis with all funds going directly to Posh and Catty to help cover the cost of insurance and leasing the land. This year we are planning on having some surprise celebrity grill masters so that should be cool. Livin Hella Good will also be there selling hoodies & tshirts. This year we will also have an exclusive women’s jam tshirt available which I am super excited about. Thanks to Mo Malone for designing our awesome artwork this year. I’m still bummed I couldn’t pull it together quick enough last year to create a shirt with the art Alexis Mabry did (would people buy one after the fact?). Both women are so ridiculously talented.
Is this strictly a jam format or will there be some ladies holding clinics too?
Yeah, it’s just a trail jam. Super mellow, you don’t have to be anywhere at any specific time or anything. We just want people to come to the woods & ride bikes. So as far as clinics, nothing is planned but if women want to share their skills with one another in a clinic-esque format, that is totally encouraged. Last year that sort of happened organically. Women were helping each other learn new things. This weekend is about building each other up & supporting other women in BMX in a non-competitive environment so whatever that looks like for the group of women who come, then I’m psyched. We are going to do a group photo & lady train at Catty at 3pm so if that’s something ladies want to be a part of then just be sure you’re at Catty at 3pm on Saturday. Both jams “start” at whatever time we get the trails dialed & ready to ride. So, show up early if you want to help & stay late to tarp.
Wheres the spot to stay at this year?
There are a lot of locals offering space to folks coming to town for the jam. The best way to find a place to stay is on the event page on facebook. There are also a bunch of affordable hotels in the Lehigh Valley. Catty & Posh are about a 15 minute drive from one another so really, you can stay anywhere in Bethlehem or Catty, even Easton or Allentown & still be a short drive to either set of trails.
Is parking at either spot easy to navigate?
Street parking is available at Catty. We just ask that you park on Pearl Street or 14th (do not park on 12th street) & do not block anyone’s driveway. It’s super important to us that we respect the neighbors. This is why, when coming to Posh we ask people to park at the Giant by Dairy Queen & ride to the trails. There is a map on the facebook event page to help you navigate the neighborhood to Posh (basically, what streets are the most downhill for riding there). It’s less than a mile away. If you have kids or stuff you need to drop off before you park, that’s totally cool. We just ask that you do not park on the street at Posh.
Sponsors you’d like to thank?
T1 is the jam sponsor for a second year in a row & we really appreciate their support. Even when I was like “is this even going to work” the folks at T1 were stoked & never doubted it would be awesome. Also, thanks to Nina Buitrago & Hammer Nutrition we’ll have a bunch of cool freebies for the women at the jam. The trails are sponsored by S&M, Fit, & Empire. We get a lot of support locally from Action Wheels in Bethlehem. There are a lot of companies that support Posh & Catty which is so awesome. I would try to list them all but I’m sure I would forget someone & look like a total jerk.
What can you promise if we show up?
If you show up to the Women’s Weekend in the Woods at Posh and Catty you will make SO MANY new friends. I can also promise you’ll leave a better bike rider. The stoke will be so high & you’ll be surrounded by women who want to build you up & see you succeed. It’s impossible not to have a good time. This whole thing started because we wanted to ride bikes together.
Women’s BMX is such a beautiful thing & it’s just really nice to get to share the PA woods with other girls who love riding bikes. I love that this idea turned into something & I am forever grateful for the help of the women’s BMX community including Tracy, Becky & Tasha who are all Catty locals & put a ton of time & effort into the trails there. Andrea & Becky up in New England who are super supportive of the entire women’s BMX scene but are really creating something big up north. Adrienne & Bette who aren’t locals either but have been working hard to get the jam going both years are absolute treasures. It’s a group effort, we’re all in this together & I’m psyched to see everyone in the woods.
Date: Saturday Sep 22 at 10 AM – Sunday Sep 23 at 8 PM
Waiver (Required): https://pawoods125.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/catty_waiver2.pdf
Full details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/285379645200376/