This year marked the 8th year of our Women’s Ride Month.
And what a month it’s been. From yoga, to mountain bike skills session, to maintenance night and lots of group rides in between.
We were blown away by how many new faces we saw and the number of ladies who either learnt something new or who got their biking stoke back.
There was so much stoke that we thought we would link up with some of the ladies who took part in this year’s WRM and find out what their thoughts and feeling were about the month.
"I went to the launch party and was wonderfully surprised by how full it was with a diverse range of women: younger and older; from newbies to experienced riders; from casual to competitive and from all disciplines of the cycling world."
Kia ora! I only recently moved to Dunedin (this year), so I was looking to get involved with the local community, explore more of my new city and meet new people. This was my first WRM, and it was an awesome experience! I went to the launch party and was wonderfully surprised by how full it was with a diverse range of women: younger and older; from newbies to experienced riders; from casual to competitive and from all disciplines of the cycling world. I was really inspired by the speakers who told us about their cycling journeys – it was a great opening to the WRM month. I signed up and took part in the Gravel Social Ride from Dunedin to Waitati and the All Bike Social Ride (Port to Port ride). I shared my experiences with other women who bike and told them to get involved. I also separately signed myself up to the White Rocks Gravel Adventure in Enfield (also in October), because I wanted to get out on the bike as much as possible – that was definitely something I would not have done without the WRM. It gave me more of a ‘give it a go’ attitude with less of a fear of failure. I guess the thing I enjoyed most about the rides I did was riding with a group of women, having a chat and encouraging each other on. Being in a group helps you push on when you otherwise might have eased up or turned around. It was also a chance to get into the (guilt free) bike + coffee/cake stop lifestyle, which is definitely a keeper! Although I am a regular A to B cyclist, I mostly ride on my own. This was a much more social experience, and I really enjoyed riding with other likeminded people.
I would love to keep having Women’s rides (and adding to my Strava history haha). I think the type I enjoy the most are kind of ½ day mid distance, exploratory type rides with on and off-road components and with a pub or coffee stop! Perhaps weekend day trips to ride on the other easy graded trails nearby, such as sections of the Clutha Gold or Otago Rail Trail, or other trail centres like Naseby could be something for the future? Going forward I would personally like to build up my distance riding and continue to get stronger on hills. At the moment I can comfortably ride about 40-50km, and I would like to see that build over the next year.
My next challenge is the Macpac Motatapu mountain bike race in March 2022! Bring it on.
"Through all the events, I met some incredible wahine and built up my own community of cyclists - whether that is for social rides or epic adventures!"
This was my first ever WRM! An inspirational start at the WRM opening night! The opening night provided an awesome opportunity to be introduced to fellow riders and inspirational wahine; all of whom became familiar faces throughout the month. From there I attended the gravel ride to Waitati, the super fun Friday Morning Blasts, the restorative Yoga Session and the 100km ride! I loved all of them. Each event was a superb opportunity to bring along a friend who was entering or reentering the cycling world; kind, supportive and encouraging vibes all around.
And as cheesy as it sounds, I made some new friends. Through all the events, I met some incredible wahine and built up my own community of cyclists - whether that is for social rides or epic adventures!
WRM provided an array of cycling experiences, I am looking forward to some bike packing speakers and events for next year *hint hint* ;)
Thank you Cycle World for being such a community orientated organisation and all the hard mahi you all put in for your cycling whanau!
"I seriously wondered if it was a wise idea at all so soon after my amputation."
Thank you for inviting me to speak at your launch event, if that had not happened then I wouldn’t have even known that you run this event throughout October.
I have to say I am slightly jealous, I wish I lived in Dunedin and not in southland, because nothing like this happens local to me.
I foolishly challenged the audience to the 100km ride at the launch event, and thus ended up as an entry myself.
I have only ever ridden that far once in my life, I was considerably younger and still had both of my feet! I seriously wondered if it was a wise idea at all so soon after my amputation.
My ambitious nature almost got the better of me, when I realised that there was no way I could keep with the group riding my shiv I was asked to pull over and offered an e-bike. I was heartbroken that this meant i had failed in my own eyes, but Ray and Tom insisted that was absolutely not the case and that the team were determined to help me get there.
Hats off to both those boys, because I would not have made it without them. They were bunch riding with me to help me draft, riding ahead and cleaning junctions and shielding me from the wind so we could catch the group again. I’m so proud I didn’t quit, but boy it was close.
I would love if this happened closer to home, or even if the weekend events happened every so often so i could come up to Dunedin for them.
"I would love to see more mountain biking trips in the future – maybe day trips away to places"
This WRM was my first and I thoroughly enjoyed the events put on. I took part in the Waitati loop to the brewery and the 100km road bike. I was blown away by the support I received in these events, especially the 100km cycle – it was a big challenge for me in some very windy conditions, but I had an encouraging support person with me at all times, I was even provided a road bike which enabled me to take part in the event.
It was incredible to have a series of events like this organised in Dunedin. I would definitely take part again. I think more events outside the month will allow me to form deeper connections with the friends I did make over the month and be more inclined to cycle with them outside of organised events.
I would love to see more mountain biking trips in the future – maybe day trips away to places around Dunedin that people who don’t have cars wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. I loved that the social aspect (eg. Stopping for lunch in the middle of rides) was included in the rides.
"Met new people, learnt some skills for riding on gravel, challenged myself to climb a bloody big hill and learnt a new route"
I love WRM, it is always an opportunity to try some new things, meet new people, experience bike envy and get motivated to ride more.
Unfortunately, this time I was away for a couple of weeks so missed some of the events I would have liked to attend, such as the bike maintenance evening as I am yet to have a puncture so like to be able to practice!
The temptation of a beer at Arc was all the motivation I needed to head down to the meeting place on Sunday morning but I gained so much more than a beer! Met new people, learnt some skills for riding on gravel, challenged myself to climb a bloody big hill and learnt a new route.
Since that ride I have got my mojo back and riding both days in the weekends, have had the confidence to retry riding the Karetai Track (with success), and have loved exploring the gravel rides at the back of the Otago Peninsula.
I love that Cycle World continues to offer WRM every year and the support that they give it, I always learn something new, enjoy a new challenge and set myself some new goals.
"It would be great if there were more social rides organized between now and next WRM – I really enjoyed getting out there with a group of people."
This was my first Women’s Ride Month, and I participated in several of the sessions, including the Port to Port and 100 km ride, as well as the MTB skills session and maintenance night. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the sessions! During the MTB session, I learned proper technique – which I’m now trying to implement during my rides at Signal Hill & Redwoods. The maintenance night was also great – being able to get hands-on experience changing a tire/tube and breaking a chain was awesome. Those are things I would normally not attempt but rather just get someone to do it for me. So now I am feeling more confident that I can actually do these things myself. I have always been into cycling but in a casual, go-at-my-own-pace way. Doing the 100km ride was definitely out of my comfort zone – the first time doing 100km AND riding in a group. It was a little intimidating at first because most people seemed like hardcore cyclists. But everyone on the ride was awesome, so very encouraging and I learned a lot of tips for riding in groups, as well as riding in the wind! I hope to come along to the Friday morning blast to see some of the new faces I’ve met. Women’s Ride Month definitely exceeded my expectations and I would love to participate again and try to recruit others. It would be great if there were more social rides organized between now and next WRM – I really enjoyed getting out there with a group of people. Thanks so much to the organizers and volunteers!
"I think the main thing I got out of WRM was meeting some great ladies that I now see quite a lot and we are still riding together!"
The opening night was epic, the speakers were super inspiring and had great stories. They were really friendly and approachable, and all had a great sense of humour! It was also a great event to just meet other women that loved riding their bikes, which was one thing I had been excited about and was not disappointed. Our riding group is growing thanks to WRM, particularly the opening night event and it is awesome diving deeper into the biking community in Dunedin.
The Arc Brewery ride was also awesome, meeting even more great people and seeing friends push themselves out of their comfort zones to do something they hadn’t done before. I hadn’t done that route before either so that was fun! It was really great being around such supportive and outgoing people. There was sunshine, laughter and good food and beer once we got there!
I heard that the mountain bike skills session and yoga session were both fantastic and I’m gutted I missed them! Hopefully, I will be able to make it next time!!
I got back in time to do the 100km road ride which was great! Again, it was so inspiring to be around so many people pushing their limits and others being super supportive to make sure everyone achieved what they came to do! There was a tough headwind and some hectic cross-winds but that made it even more rewarding getting to the 100km.
Even though WRM is now over, I think the main thing I got out of WRM was meeting some great ladies that I now see quite a lot and we are still riding together! So really, WRM is not actually over because we are still out there riding! (I know, that was a very cheesy line).
Watch this space, more rides to come!