Preparing for Your First Group Ride
By: Board Member Emily Romero
WMBA’s mission is to build and empower a community of women through group mountain bike rides. It’s a tall order that I think we’ve done well at over the course of the last decade. However, it is still intimidating to show up to a group ride with 80+ strangers and follow a ride leader dressed in the snazziest purple race kit you’ve ever seen - thank you former Board Chair, Sarah Walter. Finding the courage to simply show up is commendable, and for what it’s worth, I still get nervous sometimes after six years of leading rides. Here are a few pointers on how to make sure your first ride with us is a fun one:
Check Your Gear Before Heading to the Ride:
No helmet, no ride, no exceptions. This is the easiest piece of gear to forget when you’re driving to ride! (Shoes are a close second).
Water and nutrition. We live in a high elevation desert, please bring enough water and snacks for an evening of riding.
Spare tube or patch kit. Flats happen. Come prepared with a tube or patch kit, tire levers, and a hand pump or CO2 cartridge to re-inflate your tube.
Name plate. You’ll want to grab your super fancy, laminated name plate that you filled out with emergency contact information and decorated (with all of the glitter) at our Season Kickoff Event (May 30th from 6-8 p.m.)
What to Expect Upon Arrival:
Please arrive to the designated park around 5:30 p.m.. This allows time to unload your bike, gear up to get down, check-in, and find your group. Check our website WMBACOS.org or RSVP to the Facebook event for each ride to find out where we’ll be meeting.
Check-in. There will be a few ladies waiting at tables before and after each ride. They will have a list of members who have signed their waiver and paid their membership dues. Simply give them your name and they’ll direct you to where the ride guides are.
Choosing a Group:
WMBA has 4 group levels: Never Ever, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. There are detailed descriptions of these levels on our website. Note: Only the first 3 rides of the season will include never ever level.
Skills vs. Continuous Rides: within each group level we break off into skills rides (sessioning obstacles and working on skills like cornering, drops, etc.) and continuous rides (more distance, less stopping to practice obstacles).
Unsure which group to join? Feel free to chat with any of the ride guides about where they plan to ride and let them know you need a little help deciding which group to join. Each park is different and sometimes it’s tricky figuring out which group will provide the best ride for you; we get that and we’re always happy to help.
Our rides wrap up around 8 p.m. (as sunlight allows).
Feel free to chat with your ride leader or the board member (located at the check-in area) after the ride to offer feedback or address any concerns. It’s all about our members, so please let us know how we’re doing!
Find Teresa Stephens Cole. She’ll have a hot tip on some non-official WMBA post-ride libations, where you can socialize with ride guides and other members.
I’m really looking forward to the 2019 season and our 10th year as an organization. I can’t wait to see you at the Season Kickoff Event and on the trails!