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The Diva Speaks:

How to Ride like a Girl

14 October 2005

Yes, it's time for you dudes to learn how to tap into your feminine side out on the trails.

You'll need to gather some cucumbers, hot wax, cuticle removers, and your favorite hair conditioner...

C' mon.  Time's a wastin'.

Actually----Have you ever wondered why your friend who's a girl, girlfriend, or wife doesn't want to try riding, or ride with you out on the trails?

Well!  Then this Bud's for you.

This Bud's also for the women who've started riding, and are wondering if they're the only one's "feeling what they're feeling."

And this Bud's for those who accidentally clicked on this page, are bored, and have time to kill before their boss notices they're farting around on the internet.

Before I start, I have to mention that I'm a certified, professional, amateur rider. Proofs of my certification are the scars on my arms and legs from multiple creative dismounts off my bike. I race only when I feel like it, and I ride so that I can eat almost whatever I please. I love getting dirty, bobbing-and-weaving through trees, climbs, and wicked-fast downhills. If I had more skills, I'd try acrobatics in the air...but I've discovered I'm not there yet.

So here are a few mental notes on behalf of us crazy mountain biker chicks who love this stuff just as much as the boys do.

1) Getting started is intimidating. There's helmets, gears, hand-brakes, shorts that make you feel like you're wearing a diaper while at the same time showing curves you'd prefer to hide, and an atmosphere of testosterone-charged dudes who seem to travel at MACH 3 speed. Memories of inadequacy might start to flood back on previous sport attempts, or if good they're memories, the whole gear-helmet-handbrake-don't-hit-a-tree thing just feels like brain overload.  


2) We prefer to ride with other women. At least in terms of getting started. This is the effect of our attempts to reduce emotional trauma caused by number 1.

3) Bathrooms? Hello. Finding a tree is not as instinctive or as easy for us women as it is for guys. Over time we may lose our bashfulness, but when given the option...bathrooms please.

4) Please ride slow. Not all of us have that Kamikaze Switch that engages once we're in the saddle. In addition to that, a common complaint we share is how we hate getting left behind. Largely due to number 1, it takes a while to build our confidence up.

5) We feel bad...for holding anyone back while we're learning. When the gap in skill levels is large, the last thing we want to do is ruin your fun. So a recommendation for you guys is to ride earlier that day, or that week, and get your need for speed and challenges out of the way, so that when you invite your wife, or girlfriend, etc. [hopefully] you'll have more patience...and time.

6) It's more about riding than competing. In general, we ride more for the exercise, for the social factor, for an excuse to be outside, than for a drive to be the fastest thing on two wheels. Now once we get our skills up, we can turn just as aggressive and Kamikaze as the boyz. But we may not have that switch on as often; it all depends on the individual.

So there you have it, an attempt to shed some light on the Mysterious World of the Female Mind.

Tune in next time, for How To Crash Like the Dirt Diva. 

(...not to sound pompus, but I actually have been told that I crash gracefully.  Other times, I just give the people riding behind me a heart-attack.) 


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