The Northstar Bike Park has been hosting a women’s only event every Friday with discounted lift tickets and opportunities of guided rides and coaching. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to meet and ride with other women riders in the community. Having led more than my share of group rides, I’m a huge fan of them and the opportunities they provide for networking and meeting new friends. I’ve been wanting to check it out for a while, and last week we took the day off to drive up and attend my first Pumps on Pedals session at Northstar Bike Park in Tahoe.
As someone who spends several weekends a summer riding at Northstar, I am all to aware the bike park is primarily filled with guys and groms burling downhill at high speeds. This can be incredibly nerve-racking to new DH riders, and especially so to women. I think it was a brilliant idea to offer a women’s only event — allowing women who may have been too intimated to ride at Nortstar the chance to experience it in a safe, welcoming, and encouraging environment. It is also a great networking opportunity for a more experience rider to meet other women with a similar skill set.
Coming from the bay area does make attending this event a challenge, but I decided to take the day off so I could join the Shine Riders (the guest coaches of the evening) for a fun session at the park. Lindsay Beth Currier lead the advanced group and Joh Rathbun took the high beginner/intermediate group. There were several Northstar Bike Academy coaches on hand for both coaches – primarily helping with sweeping and making sure everyone was safe and having a good time.
I stayed with Joh’s group, photographing her coaching. (for a DirtRag post) We split into two groups near the end of the evening, and I lead a smaller group of intermediate riders down the Livewire jump trail along with Josh, a Bike Academy coach. Livewire is one of my favorite trails in the parks, but as a black diamond jump line, it isn’t recommended for the novice rider. While everything is roll-able, the high speed traffic could result in an injury if you do not know what you are doing. After assessing everyone’s skill level, I was confident my group could safely ride down it but even more so as there wasn’t much traffic on the trail.
Lucky for me, Jason was on hand to capture our run down Livewire so I could be in a shoot too.
After the event was over, a large group of women hung out near the gondola and chatted for a while. If I lived near Tahoe I’d be in attendance every week. I had a blast — I have never ridden with so many women all at once at Northstar. That was a treat! This up and coming Friday, August 29th is the last Pumps on Pedals of the season; it’s definitely worth planning your week around it.
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