Women encourage each other to push their fitness while having fun.
By offering a friendly, social and welcoming atmosphere for women with an affordable entry fee, copious amounts of swag and a central venue location that’s easy to reach, the Beti Bike Bash has grown steadily every year with more than 300 participants in 2013. As a bonus, all of the growth has been through word of mouth.
“We have girls as young as six years old and women who are more than sixty participating in our event,” said Thomas. “The Beti Bike Bash proves that if you create a welcoming environment with an affordable entry fee that’s pretty close to home, women will come and participate.”
This year the Beti Bike Bash saw a huge turnout of 70 junior female riders, and Stan’s NoTubes helped provide a generous cash payout for the pro women. The interaction between recreational riders and the pro women has been incredibly successful in getting more women to participate.
Pro women and girls alike have an unforgettable time at the Beti Bike Bash.
Not only do the pro women serve as an inspiration, but they also can be terrific teachers. The Beti All-Ride Clinic came to fruition from the successes seen at the Beti Bike Bash. Spearheaded by Sarah Rawley, this new event was held in late June at Keystone Resort featured an all-star lineup of coaches led by Lindsey Voreis, teaching women all-mountain riding skills to boost their confidence to new heights. More than 80 women learned to descent steep drops, negotiate tight switchbacks, get some air and even pull some stunts. In addition to the All-Ride clinic, a two-day Little Bellas camp teaches junior women all the basic skills of mountain biking.
“The more fear you can take out of riding, the more success you will have with women,” said Thomas. “We have only one chance to get new female riders hooked on mountain biking. Holding clinics, doing course preview rides and no-drop group rides are all central to growing the sport with women.”
Although the Beti Bike Bash is only of the only races of its kind, there are a few other events in Colorado catering towards women. Thomas mentioned the Winter Park Series is great for women because of its low entry fees, friendly courses and no USA Cycling license requirements.
A generous cash purse was provided by Stan’s NoTubes for the top pro female finishers.
Women looking for a bigger challenge can also check out the inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road happening this Labor Day weekend. With three distance options (15, 30 and 40 miles) over some of the most beautiful singletrack in the country, The Grand caters to women of all skill levels.
Like it’s sister event, the Whiskey Off-Road, The Grand features an equally split pro cash purse payout. Pro women will race for their share of a total $20,000 cash purse, one of the most generous payouts in the country. There will also be a women’s-only lounge, female-specific manufacturers at the event expo, and as a bonus, every female finisher will receive a Grand Junction Off-Road stemless wine glass to commemorate their achievement.
Although the list of female-specific mountain bike events is still very short, Thomas is proving that lots of women will ride – and even race – given the right conditions.
“The success we’ve been having with Yeti Beti and our events will hopefully send a message to other promoters and manufacturers,” said Thomas. “Cater towards women and they’ll show up.”
Photos provided by Mark Woolcott Photography.