Mountain biking (MTB) tends to be a male dominated sport; the gnarlier the terrain the lower the ratio of women to men. Mountain Moxie – a Vermont based women’s race team – is aiming to change that trend.
Mountain biking has been growing tremendously in the Green Mountain State, making it one of the major economic drivers in the area’s tourism industry. Trails are being built at a faster pace than one can conceivably ride them and Burke Mountain Bike Park was just awarded a Bell Built trails grant to build a state of the art flow trail – part of a $100,000 grant that funds three mountain bike trail projects in the United States. With the growth of MTB clubs, trails, and business comes an increased interest in riding. Mountain Moxie is riding that wave by encouraging women of all ages to become involved with mountain biking.
The team of women that make up the Mountain Moxie group ranges from veteran mountain bike racers to women looking to race for their first time. The goals of the racing group are to explore mountain biking experiences by focusing on building self-awareness through the pursuit of sport; to provide camaraderie and support for groups and individuals for riding, training and racing; to enhance technical skills for racing; and to contribute to the larger MTB community.
The groups strives to support women and young girls who are hoping to challenge themselves physically and mentally through racing events and need the support of their peers or who are looking for mentors to find the inner strength and courage to compete with confidence and skill.
The races the group participates in take place across New England and the Northeast during the warmer months. Races include downhill, enduro, and cross-country disciplines ranging from larger regional races to smaller local rides. They include the Canada Cup, Wilmington Whiteface 100K, Eastern States Cup Enduro, and weekly race series at Catamount Outdoor Center and Millstone Hill in Vermont. The team also puts on monthly group rides and Single Track Mindfulness clinics that combine yoga and riding for the ultimate learning experience.
In continuing with their mission, in 2012, the group started Moxie Sparks, a program that focuses on mentoring young girls getting into mountain biking. The program includes a mentorship scholarship program that teams up with the Stride Foundation and Little Bellas – two Vermont based groups supporting access to sports for women. The lucky young ladies get to participate in weekly mountain bike clinics with a group of their peers and the Mountain Moxie team helps the girls with improving their skills, racing and having fun.
Visit the group at mountainmoxie.org or start your own group to grow the numbers of women making the healthy and fulfilling choice to hit the dirt.