GoGIRL Time to Reflect
With the AGM quickly advancing next month, it is time to reflect on our aims and achievements of GoG.I.R.L. (Get Into Riding Ladies).
The key questions are:
- Are we getting more ladies into riding?
- Do they feel supported riding together?
- Are we offering opportunities to grow?
From the squeals and numbers of ladies that turned up to our February GoGIRL ride in Sugar Bag last Saturday. The answer is a big YES! YES! YES!
After a quick rider’s briefing, it was decided that I would model Line A, Sonja Line B and Tania was tail end Charlie. There was the usual talk about the basics and the “no pressure” rule. It was especially noted that it is important to listen to your own little voice. I relayed the story of one day things didn’t feel right. I had clipped a couple of trees and I wanted to cut the ride short. I didn’t feel confident to try any new obstacles that day. It was just as well as my head set was loose. (Hence the dodgy steering)! I’m sure we have heard that voice before and wished we had listened.
This should not be confused with negative self- talk. When you say you can’t, is that true? Sometimes “no” is the correct answer. You might not have the skills or the right protective gear to throw yourself down a hill on your very first bike ride ever! Don’t laugh it’s been done. And “yes” the person needed an emergency evac and an extended hospital stay! Everyone needs to make these important self preservation decisions for themselves! Some people like to learn the hard way, the very hard way, the slow and painful recovery way!
Well, there was none of that on Saturday. Having entrusted the ladies to know their own skill level (or lack of), we rode up to the trail-head. After a warm up on 1A, Sonja made sure no-one accidentally took an A-line that they didn’t want to and Tania made sure we didn’t lose anybody on the trails that are affectionately known as “the spaghetti trails”. (Download the STRAVA app and you will clearly see why)!
We then continued on 1B in single file.
It was soon apparent that the ladies were not here for a knitting convention. They not only had come to ride together in a supportive environment but there was a real thirst for knowledge! They wanted to become better riders and take with them some new skills. So there was lots of stopping to model good form, body position, weight transfer, standing up and leaning back on drops. We started with a few smaller roll overs. An easy rhythm soon developed. Model, have a go, cheer, feedback, repeat!
Everyone amazed me with their determination and focused effort. My biggest surprise was seeing the growth in confidence as the ride progressed. There was a collective positive mindset, I can do this and that’s what I saw; ladies going through burnt out logs; over skinny bridges with big drop offs either side, over bigger rollovers, steeper down ramps and up higher ramps through trees. Wow, it was a sight to see. Happy endorphins flowed through me for hours afterwards (or was it the coffee beans… I’m not sure) and I can’t wait to do it all again! But there’s so much more we can achieve. So unless someone opposes me at the AGM, (No Michael you can’t be secretary and the women’s advocate too)! I will be taking on this role again this year!
What do we have to look forward to? I hear you ask. This year we will have coaching for women by women, (subsided by a grant that has been approved), more monthly rides to a few new places and some of our favourites, rides for beginners, more skill sessions, advanced rides and women’s races. There’s something for everyone so continue to watch this space.
Until next time, see you on the trails.
(First year coming to an end mid March)