For the Ladies – Women’s Mountain Bike Racing Done Right

Event
Yeti Beti takes a ladies-only approach to grow the popularity of mountain biking with women.

Friendly courses, low entry fees and central location are all key ingredients to the Beti Bike Bash.

Chances are if you’re a female mountain biker, you were probably taught how to ride by your boyfriend or husband. Not that this is a bad thing; men can be excellent teachers. But when it comes to really getting women into mountain biking, the best teacher is a fellow female.

Like most female mountain bike racers, for nearly 15 years, Amy Thomas raced on a predominantly male team. Although she had fun racing her bike, the high levels of testosterone, male war stories and ugly clothes that didn’t fit left her desiring more out of a mountain bike race team.

Team Yeti Beti is onto something big – female-specific mountain bike events.

So in 2007, Thomas and four other friends defected from their co-ed teams and assembled an all-female mountain bike team called Yeti Beti. Set up with clothing that fit, Yeti bikes and other Colorado-based sponsors, the Yeti Beti team has seen great success, with a growing roster and a long list of impressive results. Although Thomas had helped put together an all-women’s team, there still was the challenge of getting more female participation at races.

Although every race promoter would like to have more women, most race promoters take feedback from the majority of participants who are usually male sport class riders. Promoters cater events to male feedback, which is typically not in line with what women want in an event.

The Beti Bike Bash is a women’s only mountain bike race.

“The male factor is one of the biggest hurdles to getting women out racing,” said Thomas. “While most men prefer the sufferfest war stories of racing, most women prefer the social aspect of racing. They put a priority on networking and meeting new friends.”

So Thomas teamed up with Sarah Rawley of Mountain Grown Marketing and put together an event made specifically for the ladies. In its fourth year, the women’s only Beti Bike Bash provides a welcoming and fun atmosphere for females of all ages and skill levels. Held at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood, CO, the Beti Bike Bash features a course that’s not too technically challenging yet still a great workout, and with no men on the course, provides a much less intimidating and welcoming environment for women getting into the sport.

About the author: Kurt Gensheimer

Kurt Gensheimer thinks the bicycle is man’s most perfect invention. He firmly believes ‘singlespeed’ is a compound word. He sometimes wears a disco ball helmet. He is also known as Genshammer. He is a Gemini and sleeps outside in a hammock.


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