AORE Partner News February 2015 - Page 2

IMBA About IMBA's Blog: Dig In DIG IN’S VISION To serve as an educational and entertaining resource where female mountain bikers can share valuable experiences, engage in meaningful discussions, and encourage and entice other riders in a way that ultimately promotes the growth of the sport. INSPIRATION There are 20+ women on IMBA's staff, making up about one-third of the organization, and that number is growing. Some of us realized, after noticing a lack of resources and discussions geared toward women mountain bikers, that those of us who have dedicated our play and work lives to the experience of mountain biking just might have something to offer. Mountain biking as a woman is not a singular experience, and Dig In seeks to be a resource connecting female riders to IMBA, a community connecting riders to each other, and a springboard for big ideas. We want to help build an environment where women feel accepted and welcomed. IMBA's female staffers, hundreds of women mountain bikers, influential industry women and IMBA chapter leaders hold both a personal and professional network that will have a hand in shaping Dig In by sharing their stories, offering their perspectives and responding to your thoughts. Through the stories of women who ride, perhaps we can break down the oft-perceived barriers, and focus on enjoying the trail experience. We hope that women who say they "don't see themselves a s a mountain biker" based on current media or personal abilities can brush that off and feel confident in joining us in the simple, universal love of the ride. DIG IN: BEING HONEST ABOUT YOUR STRENGTHS This is the second post from guest blogger Stacey of Evergreen, Colo. She is an artist, mother and avid mountain biker who races with the Denver/Golden-based Dirt Divas. When I first started riding trails, calling myself a mountain biker made me feel like an imposter. After all, I wasn’t hucking my bike off big drops or bombing down technical singletrack–I was just trying to stay upright and survive. Therefore, the first time I joined a women’s group ride, I was intimidated. So intimidated, in fact, that I almost circled the parking lot and drove away instead of getting out of my car. I put aside those fears as soon as everyone started talking. It was the first ride of the season, and all of the women smiled as they doled out what sounded like a litany of apologies. “I’ll just bring up the rear today. I haven’t been on my bike in months!” “Oh, I’m a slow climber; go in front of me.” “I’m terrible at anything technical–keep your distance on the descents!”