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Finding Women to Mountain Bike With

Finding Women to Mountain Bike With

finding women to mountain bike with

This article gives you some great pointers for finding other women to mountain bike with. As with all featured women’s content on Hardtail Canada, this article was produced in collaboration with Canadian MTB racer Jocelyn Stel!

As an organizer of women’s group ride, she has plenty of helpful advice.

I’ll hand things off to her now… 

I love doing a wide range of group rides. If you are a serious cyclist, developing rider or even a casual rider, group rides provide camaraderie, encouragement, challenge and are a great way to build skills. Riding with other women has been a huge factor in how much I enjoy riding my bike.

It took me a long time to find a great group of women to mountain bike with. So, to make it easier for you, here’s a guide for how to find other women to ride with.

Finding Women to Mountain Bike With

1. Don't be Afraid to Ask

It can seem intimidating at first to approach another woman to ask them to ride with you. But, I can guarantee that most women are super excited to find someone new to ride with, so don’t be afraid to just ask.

No matter how fast or skilled you are, it’s always worth it to walk up to another awesome lady on a bike and ask if she wants to ride with you. She might say no. She might say not right now. But mostly, I think you’ll find that bike riders love riding with others — even if not at exactly the same level.

2. Go to Your Local Bike Shop

If there’s anyone who knows where the good women’s mountain bike group rides happen and who to connect you with, it’s going to be the people at the local bike shops.

Most bike shops have some sort of race team or ride group associated with them that they can direct you to. If they don’t already have a group they’ll get you in contact with other women who ride bikes.

3. Go to Events

This is the perfect place to find other ladies to ride with (once everything opens back up). Sign up for a race and then see which women you finish the race close to.

Those are the ladies who mountain bike your speed and will likely be around your skill level.

Go ahead and ask them to ride with you sometime. Don’t be afraid to ask! You can also find non racing events in your area and meet other women there.

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4. Look for Facebook or Other Social Media Groups

womens guide to mtb

I’ll be honest, I’m not great at using Facebook (it’s from my parent’s generation!), but I have heard there are lots of great Facebook (or other social media) groups that can connect you to your local riding community, provide encouragement or advice and even connect you to your local women’s mountain bike group rides.

MTB Ontario and Awesome Mountain Bikers Ontario are both great groups for connecting to the cycling community in general, if you’re in Ontario.

The Durham Mountain Biking Association (DMBA) has a Facebook page that you should check out and they run women’s group rides. There are also women’s specific groups like Dirt Girls and LOST (Ladies on Single Track). 

5. Check Out Your Local Club

Many areas with thriving cycling scenes are seeing rapid growth in women’s mountain biking clubs or groups. You can find these online, through shops or via word of mouth.

Different clubs have different types of rides, so it is worthwhile to check them out and try some of their rides. A lot of clubs – like the Wild Bettys near where I live in Ontario — welcome riders of all levels and are seeing lots of growth.

If you’re a women’s mountain biking group anywhere in Canada, and want to appear on Hardtail Canada, get in touch here!

6. Be the Kind of Person Other People Want to Ride With

Most importantly, be the kind of person that other ladies want to ride with.

I don’t mean that you have to change your whole personality, but remember to be positive, show up on time, be prepared and be supportive of the other riders. Jenny Trew, the lead NextGen coach for Cycling Canada, has drilled into my brain this past year the importance of being a +1 and staying positive.

Everyone is there to ride bikes and have fun – not to listen to you complain. Even if you’re having a bad day try to relax and avoid letting it ruin everyone else’s ride.

Parting Thoughts

Ultimately, it can take some time to find other women that you really enjoy mountain biking with who are of similar speed and skill level to yourself. Women also ride for many different reasons and this should also be considered when finding other women to ride with.

I recommend trying out more than one group ride and riding with as many different people as you can until you find the group (or groups!) that feels right for you. Most importantly, remember to have fun!

Jocelyn's Bio

jocelyn stel

My name is Jocelyn and I am a cross country mountain biker in the U23 category. I am on my bike almost every day and absolutely love riding. I’ve grown up riding my bike and I can’t imagine a life without it.

If you’re interested in reading more about my racing check out my blog Ponytails and Racing Trails  and follow me on instagram @jocstellar02. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!

I am currently sponsored by Cyclepath Oakville. If you live in the area and are looking for some help with your bike they are an excellent bike shop and will definitely be willing to help you out.

Hardtail Canada: Thanks for all the great info Jocelyn! Hopefully this helps other female riders navigate the mountain biking world.

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