Monday, December 31, 2018

January News

Happy New Year to everyone from FWD Headquarters!

I would like to remind everyone that FWD Membership for 2019 is now open. You can officially join FWD with a minimum donation of $20.00 that must be paid cash or check to DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails.

There are some great perks to joining FWD thanks to our sponsors: Decorah Bicycles, Impact Coffee, Pulpit Rock Brewing, Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Co., and T-Bock's.

You can get all of the details here.

If you are new to Fearless Women of Dirt and are looking to hook up with a FWD Chapter, you should visit this page. We have official chapters in Cedar Valley, Des Moines, and Chicago.
If you do not live near those areas, check out the FWD Ambassador page to find a Fearless Women of Dirt Ambassador close to your area.

We have a few months to go before the riding season officially starts and we are making a few changes to the setup this year. We encourage you to check out our ride page to see what the updates are. We will create events on Facebook as we schedule them up, but also do our best to post them on our website for folks who aren't on Facebook.

Don't forget to have your ride waiver signed!

I do plan to have a FWD Women's Night, but am looking to switch up the location and format. It's likely going to be more of a meetup format in a casual setting which can make it easier for folks to drop by. 

It might seem that we are moving away from introducing women to mountain biking and catering to those who already ride, but that isn't the case. After reflecting on the rides I offered during 2017 and an awesome experience I had working with someone during 2018, I wanted to make events specific to new riders that would really ease them into the mountain biking experience. I don't want to say I went about the rides "all wrong" but I know that I could've done better and aim to do that.

It's very difficult to focus on giving new riders a great experience when we do not have a trail system that works for that. The Carlson property trails will aid in that, but it'll be a while before everything is 100%. I also want to create rides for those who are comfortable mountain biking, so I made the choice to separate the rides/events so there is not a question as to who the ride or event is for.

The beautiful and challenging aspect of Fearless Women of Dirt is that I can change it as often as I want, whenever I want, to better accommodate the needs of the local riding community. Sometimes that means I need to change it to better work with my own life. It's difficult because it makes me feel as tho I'm pulling away from the original goal, but it's evolution. This is just the start and I truly feel that once we have more trails built, FWD in the Decorah area can really take off and start resembling the picture I had in my head.

Until then, we will keep moving forward along with helping other communities establish FWD chapters in their area. I want to give a big thank you to those who have supported Fearless Women of Dirt since its creation and I can't wait to see what the 2019 season brings! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October Updates

We are pleased to announce that we are adding two Fearless Women of Dirt Ambassadors to our lineup, both who will be creating FWD chapters in their areas. This means, not only are we expanding FWD into Chicago and Des Moines, but we will also have a total of 3 FWD chapters outside of Decorah!

FWD membership opens up on January 1st, with a minimum donation of $20.00 to be made to DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails. If you join FWD, you not only donate to our next trail system, but you also get some sweet perks!

Meet our newest Ambassadors!
Leah Barry
I love riding my bikes off-road! My love of dirt began as a little girl, and was reignited as an adult when I discovered cyclocross racing in 2015. After trying triathlon but discovering I really only liked the biking part, I competed in Afterglow, a late-season, casual race. I raced on my single-speed commuter, with a slick back tire, and despite wiping out in the mud (or because of it?) I fell in love. I love racing the Chicago Cyclocross Cup each fall, and competing in various gravel races such as Barry Roubaix and Rough Road 100, but had wanted a mountain bike for as long as I'd been riding. I decided this year would be the year I finally go for it, and ended up falling in love with the Jamis Dragonfly. On June 8, 2019, I plan to put my mountain bike and body to the test at the Sancho 200 in Traverse City, Michigan, riding 200 miles of scenic terrain. Until then, I'll enjoy my Dragonfly racing short track at Big Marsh Bike Park, riding the pump track, and hitting whatever trails I can throughout the Midwest. 
Aubrey Massmann
I’m 24 years old and a PNW mountain enthusiast currently transplanted to Des Moines, Iowa for medical school. Funny enough, I was introduced to mountain biking after moving to the Midwest. In retrospect, I have this funny belief that all things present themselves when we need them most, especially thrilling outdoor sports that require us to face our fears and better ourselves.

Five years ago, my father passed away suddenly after a long battle with illness. He had always been the driving force behind empowering messages; ‘be strong, be courageous, try your hardest, embrace the things that scare you’, etc. In the wake of his passing, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d really followed his advice. In fact, I really hadn’t at all. I had yet to push the limits of my comfort zone, try hard, or face fear. So, a week later, I signed up for a mountaineering course and purchased an ice axe, crampons, and a textbook about knots and crevasse rescue in hopes of honoring his memory.

Since then, I've found myself seeking more and more time in the wilderness in search of opportunities to grow in these ways. In hopes of sharing the empowering force that I discovered outside, I adopted the budding new Outdoor Recreation program at my college, led hikes, backpacking and climbing trips, and taught skills to students in my spare time.

Moving to Iowa last year, I feared I had left a part of myself behind and my connection with the outdoors would wither away. However, much to my surprise, I stumbled upon mountain biking and quite literally fell head over heels in love with it (learning to ride clipless has involved some pretty dorky crashes). My bike life is just beginning, but I’ve never enjoyed a sport more!

Also, we are going to collaborate with Ladies Who Shred and have a fun FWD/LWS mashup! Our skills days will be in support of Ladies Who Shred. Ladies Who Shred was created by Amy (who will be featured on Josie's Bike Life, soon!)

About Ladies Who Shred:
A community for ALL levels of Lady Shredders that encourages women (ALL sizes, ages, ethnicities, non-binary/femme, financial means and more) in adventure sports and the outdoors.

Trail Work Days
Keep your eyes peeled in 2019 as Fearless Women of Dirt will host a couple trail work days next year! These will be scheduled on a Tuesday or Sunday afternoon. Fixing some shoring to raking and picking up litter. We'll take a few hours to do something good, and then hit up Pulpit for refreshments after!

If you're wanting to help out with trail work before then, DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails will be having a work day on Sunday, October 7th starting at 11 a.m. For further details, go to

Be Involved
We highly encourage women to join in at our DHPT meetings that are (most times) held the 1st Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.
There are awesome things coming up, like NEW/EASY/FUN!!! mountain bike trails. Anyone can be involved and it would be awesome if more women were!
To be on the mailing list, send an email to
If you're unable to make the meetings, you will receive meeting minutes. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Fearless Women of Dirt Updates

Due to the unpredictable weather on Tuesday, September 28th we canceled our women's night.
In light of that, we have some current updates we want to share with you pertaining to FWD and the direction we're going next year.

We have acquired 22 members to Fearless Women of Dirt. Memberships will officially open up on January 1st. We plan to do a suggested $20.00 minimum donation for membership, but if folks want to donate more they sure can.
Decorah Bicycles will not be hosting their annual Bike Month fundraiser, instead they will have a donation box out during most of the year to collect money for DHPT.

The fundraiser has been successful, but over the past 2 years it’s been more difficult to gather donations. Especially from those out of town. Folks have also asked when and where to donate to the trails during the year. We figure some may be inclined to donate smaller amounts more often if they had a place to do so.

For FWD sponsors, we have the same fantastic lineup of Impact Coffee, Sugar Bowl Ice Cream, and Pulpit Rock Brewery. Same gist for their perks. Pulpit Rock after scheduled rides and Sugar Bowl will be active May-August. Decorah Bicycles discount of 15% for all active members.
If there is a local business you think would be fun to work with or on board with FWD, please share!

FWD Night for 2019
Thinking Tuesday, April 30th

Try having a bike ride start at 5 p.m.? Just social from 6-8? Keep it 7-9?

Hold the social at bike shop or make it more casual? End of season women's night?

FWD Rides-
Structure for the FWD rides will be changing until the Carlson Property trails are officially built.
We will not have beginner-focused rides regularly.
We will not have kids rides scheduled in advance.
We may have rides for these two categories on a sporadic basis depending on schedules.

1st Wednesday and 1st Sunday of the month will be p.m. rides for intermediate/advanced riders.
We will start our Wednesday ride at 6:30 p.m. due to the difficulty of being able to leave right at 6 p.m.

Sunday ride will go on as planned- but I will no longer (at this time) offer morning rides.

May 4th - should be International Women’s Mountain Bike Day. It would be cool to have a Saturday morning ride and a Saturday p.m. ride.
Josie can lead one at 5:30 p.m.
This will be intermediate/advanced rider focused.

May 11th- Skill building Saturday starting at 5:30 p.m.

Instead of “beginner” rides, Our aim is to have a couple of skill building days. This will provide a foundation for those who are new to mountain biking and need to learn the basics. This will also help us as more experienced riders to be mindful of our technique. Literally, we will learn together.

There will be a renewed focus on integrating more new riders once we have a new trail system.

Josie talks about restructure-
The learning curve is steep with our current trail setup, and it takes a lot of gumption to stick with it as a new rider. It’s also challenging to set aside time to create rides and not have folks show up.

Ideally, we’d have a group for experienced riders and a group for newer, less experienced riders. Both groups would have a sweep and a ride lead. We typically do not have enough riders joining our rides to accomplish that.

It’s been too challenging to have such a diverse mix of riders show up at one time and it creates an unfair situation for all of those involved. We do not have the ideal setup to handle the mix of riders we currently get, nor do we have a great setup on legitimately introducing new riders to mountain bike trails without a steep learning curve.

For 2019 our rides will be intermediate/advanced focused with some all-levels welcome skill rides thrown in for good measure.

We will have two rides happening once a month- this might help drive up attendance.

This will also allow me to be free enough to have one-on-one rides with folks newer to riding.

Anyone joining our rides is expected to have had at least one season of mountain biking under their belt or a handful of rides with our FWD Ambassadors or myself to give the “all clear” to participate.

Currently I see 2019 as a focus on building relationships with women mountain bikers from other areas, and possibly collaborating together for rides. I am going to pursue expanding Fearless Women of Dirt into other communities while slowly increasing visibility in the Decorah area.

Amy- Fearless Women of Dirt Cedar Valley

Currently into Des Moines and Chicago for 2019. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August Updates

Greetings everyone!

The summer season is winding down and school will be back in session soon. I (Josie) have been busy with dealing with all that goes into settling my dad's estate while trying to find time to ride my bike. Man, it's been a job, and there is still much that needs to happen before everything is truly settled. It's progressing, and that's a good thing.

Our next FWD night is coming up on Tuesday, August 28th! Super excited to share the evening with friends. Talk about the season, create goals for next, and ride bikes!

We have officially put up a tab for FWD Chapters! Check it out here.

We have officially opened up accepting applications for 2019 Fearless Women of Dirt Ambassadors. We would love if we had folks apply who would truly go forward with creating a FWD riding group in there area, or incorporate a FWD ride within their current riding group.

Applications will be accepted until October 1st.

A reminder that we have some awesome FWD swag available for purchase at Decorah Bicycles.
Also, if you are looking to order a sleeveless jersey- we can take orders for them ANY time!

Going to Chequamegon 40 or PertNear 20? Let me know so we can meet up!

Friday, June 22, 2018

June/July Updates

It's been a continuous catch up in life right now, and I'm grateful and appreciative of the folks who have been so understanding. There has been a lot on my plate with the estate, and the amount of cleanup that is required. It has drastically limited my availability for rides, which is a frustration, but at the same time it's simply a fact of life.

I was able to take a reprieve from estate-duties and was able to spend time with fellow FWD Ambassador, Amy and some friends from out of town. It was awesome! Granted, our ride was short due to rain, but we still had fun. It was awesome to connect with women from a different riding community to bond over biking.

At the time of posting, we have a total of 21 FWD Members! Awesome!
I would say our biggest challenge this year has been getting folks interested in our Mother/Son rides. Unfortunately, at this time, there won't be plans for Mother/Daughter rides due to Tuesdays being one of my prime days for dealing with estate stuff.

We tried to have parents register for these rides, but that didn't work out the best. We created Facebook events, but in true fashion, it's never certain who will really show up or not. We sent out a schedule of rides to our email list, but it didn't result in any communication either way (attending or no.)

Due to this, we have FWD Ambassadors showing up for rides with no one attending. We all have busy lives, but for us to offer rides, we need to have enough folks vested in participating to make it worth our time for hosting weekly events.

So, we have created a survey to help us with planning for the 2019 riding season with FWD Mother/Daughter/Son rides. We ask that if there is any interest at all in participating, that you fill out the survey. This will help us figure out what route will be best to take for setting these rides up next season- be a weekly option or a once-a-month option.

At this point, we still plan to have a FWD Women's Night event in August- why not celebrate the community of women mountain bikers? That date is Tuesday, August 28th. We'll see about having a ride prior to the event. If we do, plan a 5 p.m. start time for the ride and the social time to start at 7 p.m.

Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more info!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

May Updates

We had a wonderful kickoff for our 2018 riding season with our Fearless Women of Dirt Women's Night! Martha Flynn came and talked to the women of FWD about Little Bellas and what the Little Bella's program entails. It was great to learn about the program and the how it helps to build up a sense of camaraderie among the girls.

Decorah, in reality, is a small-sized community and this program typically looks to larger-scale communities, however Martha felt that Decorah would be a fantastic area to have a Little Bellas program established.

It would likely draw youth from other communities, but the issue at hand is the lack of trails suitable for the program to be established. You have to have the trails first, before you can be considered appropriate as a chapter location. There will be further discussion on that as things develop, but at this time Carlson Property conversation is still happening- but currently looking at more of a fall timeline.
Fearless Women of Dirt membership is officially open and we have 13 women on board as members of FWD! The total donation amount being given to DHPT sits at $270

The membership fee is $20.00 and is a cash or check donation given to DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails.

There are perks from multiple establishments: Impact Coffee, Sugar Bowl Ice Cream, Pulpit Rock Brewery, and Decorah Bicycles. You can read more about the perks here.

We hosted a ride on Saturday, May 5th that coincided with "International Women's Mountain Bike Day." Decorah Bicycles offered free demo mountain bikes for the women attending, and celebrate the riding season they also extended the free demo mountain bike option for the 1st Sunday of the month rides, too!
We're also working on getting more content up on the Fearless Women of Dirt Youtube channel. 
Slowly but surely you'll see clips of rides, highlights from out group rides, and more videos of Josie delving a bit more into #bikelife and answering some of your burning questions like:
Overcoming Fears of Mountain Biking
What was your first season like?
Clips vs. Flats
Event participation
Why do you wear lycra?
Essential Gear
What was your prior biking experience?
Why do you name your bikes?

Josie is open to receiving question ideas! Comment, email, or send a message on what you'd like covered and we'll get it added to the list.

Don't forget! Ride waivers for any FWD ride and FWD Mother/Kid rides need to be filled out prior to joining. Let Josie know which rides you're looking to attend per the Mother/Kid rides. Participants are limited to 10.
Sunday, June 3rd at 9 a.m.
Saturday, June 16th at 9 a.m.
Saturday, June 23rd at 9 a.m.

There is a special Mother & Kid ride on Sunday, May 13th for Mother's Day!

Decorah Bicycles is hosting their raffle/fundraiser for DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails during the month of May. If you purchase a $5.00 raffle ticket, you'll have a chance of winning one of these gift certificates

There is not a cap on how many raffle tickets you purchase, but it must be a cash or check payment.

If a check, write it out to DHPT.

If you do not live in Decorah but want to participate, send a check to:

Decorah Bicycles
101 College Dr.
Decorah, IA 52101

We encourage all trail users to participate with the fundraiser by donating $5.00.
It takes a good number of volunteer hours to keep our soft trails in tiptop shape. Plus, with the future Carlson Property trails, creation will take a lot of funds.

You may have noticed that all rides that I (Josie) had planned for 2018 that I would be hosting have been cancelled for the time being. Some of you may have heard, but my father passed away in a tree cutting accident on Sunday, May 6th.

I'm his only child and have not only the new journey of walking through life without my father, but the "adulting" that comes with the passing of a parent.

Because of the traveling involved and knowing how I can be when exposed to large amounts of stress regularly or suddenly- mentally I am not able to lead rides to the best of my ability.

This means all FWD Wednesday, Sunday, and Mother/Daughter rides are off the books at this point.

After time goes on and I find things more manageable, I will reinstate some rides as I can.

It breaks my heart to cancel rides, but I do not want to bring anything less than my best self when it comes to the rides. Fearless Women of Dirt means too much to me to provide a half-assed experience.

I will be mountain biking as I am able, and still plan to attend a couple of events in honor of my dad.

Keep an eye out for rides that our FWD Ambassadors will be hosting. I'm also enjoying the photos that folks are sharing with their own FWD rides with friends! Please keep them coming, they bring me great comfort. #womeninspire #fearlesswomenofdirt

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

International Women's MTB Day

It might be a little early to think about riding mountain bike trails, but we can always hope that things will be firm in a couple weeks! We are hoping to host a women's mountain bike ride on Saturday, May 5th in celebration of International Women's Mountain Bike Day

No, you are not wrong in believing that you have never heard of this day before. It's new! IMBA has had great success with their Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day, and this is a spin-off of that. The goal is simple- "Local organizations and individuals are encouraged to use the day as a driver for grassroots engagement, festivals, rides, awareness campaigns and other activities to both celebrate and encourage women mountain biking."

Fearless Women of Dirt is partnering up with Decorah Bicycles and will be offering free, demo mountain bikes for use during the ride. This will be an awesome opportunity for women to try out a new style of bike, say plus-sized wheels or full suspension. The ride will be led by Fearless Women of Dirt Ambassador, Kim.

If you are in need of a bike, please send an email to or call Decorah Bicycles during business hours. There are limited numbers of demo mountain bikes available.
The ride will leave the Decorah Bicycles parking lot at 10 a.m. but due to the setup of the demo bikes, it is ideal that you show up by 9:30 a.m. to ensure there is enough time to get things ready so you can have an enjoyable experience.

Check out the event on Facebook and be sure to select "Going" if you are planning to attend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April Updates

Spring in Decorah is off to a slow start with surprise snow and temperatures below average for this time of year. Folks are antzy for dry trails, especially with the 2018 Decorah Time Trials around the corner. It's unknown yet as to how firm the dirt trails will be by April 28th...only time will tell.

Fearless Women of Dirt Membership is in full swing and we have had women sign up! We expect more will register at the FWD Women's Night event on April 24th, but you are welcome to stop by Decorah Bicycles at any time during business hours to take care of your membership payment.

The ride we plan to have at 5 p.m. on April 24th is yet to be determined due to trail conditions. It's far too soon for us to promise a mountain bike ride yet. As the event gets closer, we will finalize details of where we will ride.

We are also in the early planning stages of a skills clinic that will go over some basics of bike handling, shifting, and braking that Travis and Josie will host. The plan is to have one in May and one in June, but with current weather conditions showing unpredictability, they are waiting a few more weeks to finalize the May date. This will be an event you will have to register for, as you will be using a mountain bike from Decorah Bicycles and there are limited numbers. This is due to the clinic being hosted on a grassy area and wider tires will feel more stable (than a hybrid or road bike.)
This is a great opportunity for folks who would love to learn the basics, and these basics can be applied to any type of cycling. 

FWD Mother/Daughter Rides
Current schedule for the FWD Mother/Daughter Rides:
Tuesday, June 12th and 26th at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 10th and 24th at 7 p.m.

FWD Mother/Son Rides
Current schedule for the FWD Mother/Son Rides:
Sunday, June 3rd at 9 a.m.
Saturday, June 16th at 9 a.m.
Saturday, June 23rd at 9 a.m.

*all rides subject to change depending on trail conditions

A reminder that registration for our Mother/Kid rides will be opening up on April 24th. If you cannot attend the event, you are welcome to email Josie to sign you and your child up for these rides. We are limiting the number of parents/kids to 10 total. Send an email to Josie to register. Please list off the days you are planning to attend and if you are attending the Mother/Daughter or Mother/Son rides.

We can increase the number of participants if we have volunteers who are interested in helping out either Kim or Josie on these rides. Email if you wish to help out!

Please remember that we want to ensure that all bikes being used for these rides are in good working order. Bikes should have functioning brakes and if they have gears, they should shift smoothly.

We are not able to perform tune-ups on bikes during the ride- it is your responsibility to ensure you and your child have safe and functional bikes for these rides. Please plan ahead and get your bike(s) serviced before the riding season, especially if your child is also participating in the Decorah Parks and Recreation Mountain Biking Class. FWD Ride Leads can make the call on any bike they deem unsafe for the ride they are leading. This is to ensure the safety of all involved.

Please keep in mind that planning ahead does not mean bringing your bike in on Monday morning and having it finished by Monday afternoon. Most service jobs are completed at Decorah Bicycles within 24 to 48 hours. 

If you wish to rent a bike for the mountain bike ride the cost will be $20.00. The rental also includes a helmet. (Which is a must for any of our FWD rides!)

In addition, if you are not on the FWD Mother/Kid Ride email list, please send an email to Josie and she'll put you on the list. This will be used to send out reminders of rides if a ride is canceled due to weather, and inform you of any special events FWD might be hosting. Email is a truly solid way of staying connected with any changes, as there have been instances where updates on a Facebook Event page were not seen. 

We've had several ask about ordering the sleeveless Fearless Women of Dirt jersey. We will take orders for any of our Fearless Women of Dirt jerseys (short sleeve, sleeveless, and freeride) during our FWD Women's Night.

*If you ordered a jersey through the Team Store, it should be mailed out by April 11th from Borah Teamwear. If you find yourself with a size that does not work for you, Borah Teamwear WILL assist!

Decorah Bicycles currently has short sleeve, full-zip FWD jerseys in stock!
(XS-XL available)

If you are not able to attend the FWD Women's Night and wish to order a jersey, email Josie your size and style option before April 28th. We will publicize this on our social media accounts closer to the date. This is an opportunity to order any style of FWD jersey, particularly if you need a size larger than XL or you need a XS size.

We're very excited for the riding season to start, but we know that there are folks who are nervous about attending a group ride. We've compiled a Group Ride 101 post that should answer most questions. If you have further questions or concerns, you are very welcome to email Josie. Our hope is that Fearless Women of Dirt will grow and eventually we can set up further rides to better cater to the varying rider levels that would like to attend.

This is another handy guide to read prior to joining our group rides. This will cover some basics of common accessories or gear items that can improve your experience with mountain biking.

We are going to cover several items listed on this guide with our GRAND PRIZE at our FWD Women's Night! We will have a Specialized Tactic helmet ($75 value), a pair of fingerless BG Gel gloves ($35 value), pair of Specialized Sport shorts ($50 value), a Decorah Bicycles jersey ($80 value), and a Specialized Cap ($25 value). This setup will work with you on mountain bike rides, gravel, or pavement.
What do you have to do to get this awesome setup? Join our FWD women's night!
What we'd love even more is if you became a member of Fearless Women of Dirt, that will truly complete this awesome package prize.

We will have other great prizes from our sponsors for the evening: ESI Grips, Joshua Tree Life, Impact Coffee, Decorah Bicycles, Shebeest, and Specialized Bicycles.

Notes on the FWD Women's Night Format-
We plan to have some sort of ride leaving from Decorah Bicycles at 5 p.m. Ideally if you need a bike, you should plan to be at Decorah Bicycles by 4:45 p.m to get set up.

Our ride will be determined on trail conditions. If the soft trails are not in good condition, we will ride the Trout Run Trail. Our end time for the ride will be approx. 6:30 p.m./6:45 p.m.
Travis will be at the shop to let folks in if they beat us to the shop.

The social event will officially start at 7 p.m. Please be at the shop before 7 p.m. so you do not miss out, but if you absolutely cannot be at the shop before 7 p.m. you are still welcome to come! If you missed out on anything you wished to learn, Josie can fill you in later.

We will draw for door prizes at the end of the presentations.
Post prize drawing we can take jersey orders, membership payments, and complete ride registrations.

If you cannot stay until 9 p.m. and you want to purchase a FWD membership, order a jersey, or register for one of the Mother/Kid rides- Travis can assist with those if we're still in the discussion format. Membership/Ride registration can also happen at any point during regular Decorah Bicycles business hours.

We have a poll going on our Facebook page pertaining to group rides. Due to our late spring, we're not entirely sure on what the soft trails will be like for the start of our riding season. Options include riding the Trout Run Trail loop or riding Trout Run Trail to River Road and riding to Lower Dam and back. We're also open to riding part-way to Bluffton, tho it depends on rider level/confidence of those attending. Ideally, we want to host a weekly ride of some sort and figure that either of these options will provide an opportunity for us to ride together. We can even incorporate some skill lessons that can be practiced on our ride that can later be transferred to the trails!

Last but not least....
Decorah Time Trials! They are happening and will be held on Saturday, April 28th. Even if you have no desire to participate (since the weather is super questionable) the participants love to see your smiling faces down in Death Vally or at the Finish Line! (You can even drive up to Van Peenen Park and catch some of the action!)

Attending as a spectator is free. If you wish to join the Time Trials the short course fee is $15.00 and the long course fee is $25.00

Awards will be at T-Bock's in the upstairs.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Fearless Women of Dirt Membership

For 2018 we have created and established official Fearless Women of Dirt membership. Our main reason for creating a membership for FWD was to give back to our soft trails group: Decorah Human Powered Trails.

DHPT is the group that builds and maintains our off-road soft trails used by riders, runners, walkers/hikers, and horseback riders.

Since we are so fortunate to have trail usage without any daily or yearly fee, we figured that having a FWD Membership consisting of a yearly payment to DHPT would be completely doable. The money raised from the FWD Membership goes directly to DHPT so they can continue to do their great job of building and maintaining our off-road trails.

You might be wondering:
"I joined Fearless Women of Dirt on Facebook. Aren't I a member?"
"I've joined FWD Group rides. Aren't I a member?"

Under this new format, you are considered a Fearless Women of Dirt Supporter. Still, very important as you are supporting our efforts to making a more diverse riding community for women and youth. However, unless you pay the membership fee to Travis or Josie at Decorah Bicycles, you are not technically a member of Fearless Women of Dirt.

This is a yearly membership that runs from April 1st-December 31st and we will contact you by email to remind you of dues.

Fearless Women of Dirt Supporters get a reduced rental if they join a group ride hosted by Josie or one of the other Decorah Fearless Women of Dirt Ambassadors ($20.00 plus tax)

Fearless Women of Dirt Members will receive some perks with our local sponsors as a "thank you" for joining and further supporting our off-road riding community.

#1. Reduced mountain bike rental at Decorah Bicycles that you can take advantage of at any time. You can even bring a friend and they can take advantage of the reduced rental cost if they are riding with you! $20.00 plus tax instead of $40.00 plus tax for up to 4 hours of riding. *member card or bracelet must be on your person to receive this perk.

#2. 15% off of everything in store or ordered in at Decorah Bicycles from the day you sign up until December 31st of that year. This can be used on bicycles or accessories purchased for your use only. It cannot be combined with any other discount/sale and is not applied to service work. *member card or bracelet must be on your person to receive this perk.

#3. $1.00 off your coffee at Impact Coffee *member card or bracelet must be on your person to receive this perk.

#4. A free beer post-group ride at Pulpit Rock Brewery. ($4-$5 value) *member card or bracelet must be on your person to receive this perk post group-ride. No exceptions.
With your $20.00 cash or check payment to DHPT (checks made out to DHPT) you will receive an official membership card, Fearless Women of Dirt bracelet, Water Bottle, and sticker. The day you sign up you'll also receive 20% off of any Decorah Bicycles or Fearless Women of Dirt branded jersey, socks, or Decorah Bicycles t-shirt! (20% discount can only be used on Decorah Bicycles or Fearless Women of Dirt branded jerseys/socks the day of signup.)

We want women who join Fearless Women of Dirt to feel like they are involved with something more than just a riding group. We are a community of women working together to support our local trails, establish relationships with our local businesses/supporters, and increase youth ridership.

If you have questions or wish to become a sponsor of Fearless Women of Dirt, please send an email to

Sunday, March 4, 2018

FWD Group Ride 101

The concept of joining a group ride for the first time can seem very intimidating, especially if you are newer to the world of cycling. We hope this list of tips and tricks will help you feel more confident in joining one of our group rides in the future!

Quick links:

What to do before you join a ride-
Have your local bike shop assess the bike to make sure it is appropriate for the group ride you wish to attend. All of our FWD rides are off-road focused, and if your bike is an upright hybrid, it will not be suitable for use during our group rides.

If you are planning to use your own bike or you wish for your children to attend any of our Mother/Daughter/Son rides, please bring the bike(s) in ahead of time to have them gone through mechanically. We want everyone, youth and adult, to have a positive experience on our rides. If you  haven't had your bike dialed in mechanically for several seasons, it's likely time. Please not bring your bike in the day of the ride and expect it to be tuned up on the spot! Plan ahead and have your bike(s) gone through before the first scheduled ride that you wish to attend.

Bikes being used on our rides should have functioning shifters/brakes, brake pads that are not worn out, straight wheels, and tires that are not skidded off. Safety is our #1 priority, and if your bike does not meet the criteria of being a safe bike, Decorah Bicycles will supply you with a bike for that ride.

Decorah Bicycles has off-road bikes available for a reduced rental fee of $20 plus tax. This is an excellent way of trying out a new, updated mountain bike.

Have your FWD ride waiver signed for yourself and your children if they are attending. If you do not bring a signed waiver or if you have not emailed a signed waiver- you will fill one out before leaving on the ride.

What you need-
Your ride waiver (which is good for the year!)
A positive attitude!
Hydration (all of our rental bikes have water bottle cages installed.)
A snack (you never know when you might "bonk.")
Lightweight gloves, either fingerless or full-finger. (Preferably full-finger.)
Comfortable clothes that are easy to ride in. Any athletic wear will do. Keep in mind that padded cycling shorts will benefit you more than yoga tights. Clothing that is lightweight and wicking is of benefit.
Sunscreen/Bug spray.
If you are a FWD Member you will want your member card or wrist band for post-ride refreshments.

What you should do-
Please show up before the designated start time, especially if you need to be outfitted with a bike. Getting you set up on a rental bike takes time (about 10 minutes or so) and if we have multiple to set up, it takes even more time.

We meet in the Decorah Bicycles parking lot unless otherwise specified. If the ride is scheduled before or after business hours, our front door will be locked. We ask folks attending to come to the back door, which will be unlocked. You'll have access for last minute purchases, restroom usage, etc.

We are doing our best to stick with a structured schedule with a definite start/end time, and if you show up at 5 p.m. when we're just about to leave, that puts a delay on the ride and makes the overall ride end early. We want riders to show up at least 10-15 minutes early so we can collect waivers, get riders set up, and talk about our ride itinerary.

What to expect- 
We will give a general overview of the ride once we know who is attending. Rides focused for newer riders and skill-building will have some pointers given and practice time before we hit the trails. Depending on the ride, we may also work on some skill building during the ride.

All regularly scheduled rides are listed under the FWD Rides tab. They list departure/end times, pace, and rider level they are suited for. If you have questions you are always welcome to email

Sunday and Wednesday p.m. rides will come back to Decorah Bicycles to drop off bikes that were rented out before heading to Pulpit Rock.

FWD Members must have their card or bracelet on their person to qualify for their beer perk.

Other tips/suggestions-
There are a couple different ways to keep up-to-date on FWD Rides and Events.

We will update and post any event changes or notices on our website:
We will update and post any event changes or notices on our Event pages/Facebook page.
We will send out an email to those on the mailing list. If you wish to be added to the list, send your request to

Keep in mind, if a ride is scheduled to be held on a day when the bike shop is closed or if it's before/after business hours, you will not be able to call and check the status of the ride.

We will do our best to get updates out on our media platforms at least 2 hours before the ride would be scheduled to start.

Most importantly-
Our goal is to have fun while riding bikes!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

March Updates

Who is ready for riding outdoors? I know I certainly am! With the lack of favorable riding conditions, things have been going in full planning mode.

We are going to have a busy season this year with different events and rides- we're stoked! This means there will be even more opportunities for riding, engaging with other riders, and learning more things.

Deadline for ordering your Fearless Women of Dirt jersey is March 11th. We highly encourage anyone who is looking to own a sleeveless FWD jersey to order through the store as Decorah Bicycles is not planning to carry sleeveless FWD jerseys at this time.

Decorah Bicycles has fresh stock of *new* Decorah Bicycles and Fearless Women of Dirt socks! $11.95 and you can mix/match the pairs if you're feeling spunky. We have S/M and L/XL options available for both styles. Super cool secret message on the bottom of the FWD socks!

Tuesday, March 13th we are having a women's clinic that is co-hosted by Decorah Bicycles and Specialized Bicycle Company. This will be a mini-maintenance clinic where you'll learn how to fix a flat and common things to do to make sure your bike is in good working order. We'll also discuss our FWD rides, the upcoming Triathlon 101, shoes/pedals, and other accessories that can make riding more enjoyable. The event is free, but you must register as there are limited spots available.

Decorah Bicycles will be hosting a Tri 101 discussion with local triathletes geared towards women on Sunday, March 25th. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will be an educational format in which folks who are curious about Triathlons to come and ask questions. We know this isn't an off-road specific event, but there has been increased talk/interest in the triathlon scene in Decorah. We see this as a way of partnering up with folks who are involved and being able to talk about cross-training opportunities that can be had with riding off-road.

April 1st is when the Fearless Women of Dirt membership officially opens. $20.00 cash or check donation to DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails will give you awesome perks for the 2018 riding season! We are super excited to be working with the local businesses who are providing perks for members. It's greatly appreciated!

Your donation to DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails will be super important as they will start groundwork for new trails this year! We will share and discuss more details about the new trail system during our FWD Women's Night. These new trails will provide an excellent opportunity for new riders and youth to have fun on the dirt.

Tuesday, April 24th is the first Fearless Women of Dirt Women's Night of the season! Please register by clicking "going" or send an email to so we can have an estimate on those attending. We'll have some fun samples from doTERRA and Shaklee available along with door prizes from local FWD supporters and Specialized Bicycle Company!

We will be opening up registration for our Mother/Kid rides on Tuesday, April 24th during our Women's Night. There will be FWD Mother/Daughter rides and FWD Mother/Son rides. You can register for as many/few rides as you like. We will have ride waivers available for you to fill out or take home.

Experience level: Child has been able to ride a bike w/out assistance for a year and age range approx. 5-14ish

We are still hammering out details as to how many adults/kids we should have attend. If we have other moms join who are familiar with riding off-road, that might increase the # of participants we can handle. Figure 5 moms to 5-6 kids, depending of a mom has multiple children who would want to participate. Big thing is we ideally would like 1 adult to 1-2 kids and hopefully a fellow FWD volunteer to assist!

If you do not have kids and are interested in volunteering with our FWD Mother/Kid rides, send an email to

We will not be charging a fee for those attending these rides, but we will be accepting free-will donations to DHPT: Decorah Human Powered Trails towards the construction of a new trail system that will be more new-rider friendly and NICA compliant.

Decorah Time Trials is scheduled to be on Saturday, April 28th! This is a race-style event, but all are welcome to attend or spectate. There are plans to have a shorter course, which will be excellent for those looking to get their feet wet with their first event along with youth.

Travis and Josie also plan to host a couple mini skills clinics that will go over the basics of bike handling. The plan is to have one in May and one in June. Currently they are in the finalizing stages of the day/time setup. The topics will include how to properly brake, how to shift, how to climb/descend with your butt off the seat.

We have been asked about FWD Wednesday rides, and yes, they are definitely happening! The first Wednesday ride will be Wednesday, May 2nd leaving from Decorah Bicycles as close to 6 p.m. as possible.

You can see our regularly scheduled rides here. (Including dates for Mother/Kid Rides)
Rides hosted by our Ambassadors will be scheduled as they can- we will update our website and Facebook pages along with sending out an email to everyone on the FWD mailing list.

Don't forget! You can follow Fearless Women of Dirt on Instagram!

Friday, February 2, 2018

February Updates

We are looking forward to the upcoming months, that's for sure! Before you know it, the riding season will be in full swing! Until then, it's dreaming of dirt-covered singletrack vs. ice covered. Riding has been pretty minimal at this point, but we're hopeful that conditions will improve and we can hit the trails!

We will be using this website as a platform to share FWD business be it events, additional rides, ride cancellations, changes, etc. Consider it a newsletter that you don't have to sign up for!

If you would like direct-to-your-inbox updates for rides, cancellations, or events send your email to:

Team Store-
One big update for Fearless Women of Dirt is the re-opening of our Team Store through Borah Teamwear! Available this time is the option of ordering a full-zip, sleeveless or short sleeved Team Cut jersey. A sleeveless jersey option has been commonly requested, so now is your opportunity to get one!

You have until February 28th to place your order!

Borah Teamwear is based in Wisconsin, so very local. Plus they have great customer service and have been a blast to work with. We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity for Team Store so we can more easily provide the FWD jersey.

Some of you may be looking at the Team Store and wondering "Where are the Freeride jerseys?!" Have no fear! You can order a Freeride Jersey directly from Decorah Bicycles. As of writing this post, there has been an order placed for more Freeride jerseys, so if we figure out what size you will be in search of, we can set one aside for you! We can also order additional sizes if needed. There will be a wait time, but if we order now you'll definitely have the jersey before prime riding season!
Do not hesitate to email: or message our Facebook page for further details.

Freeride jerseys cost $69.99 and it'll be $4.00 for shipping.

More news on the style front- we will soon have Fearless Women of Dirt socks from SockGuy! We are very excited for the opportunity to represent FWD not only on a jersey, but on wicked cool socks! We do not have any sneak peek images yet, but they will be themed to match well with our FWD jersey and Decorah Bicycles jersey. Decorah Bicycles socks are being made as well!

We will be working with Specialized Bicycles with a women's-only clinic that will be held on Tuesday, March 6th. We will release more details on our Facebook page when the event is finalized. There will be limited spots available for this clinic- you'll learn how to fix a flat, about group rides, and more! We are planning it to run from 6-8 p.m. Some details might change, so we'll keep you posted! We will update to the Decorah Bicycles page and Fearless Women of Dirt pages once we have details hammered out.

We are gearing up for our Fearless Women of Dirt membership that will be opening up officially on April 1st! We are very excited about this and we hope you will be, too. There are some GREAT perks that will come from your $20.00 cash or check donation to DHPT. Decorah Human Powered Trails is the group that builds and maintains our soft trails. (Soft Trails: off-road/mtb trails)

We will release more information as April draws closer. You can also get an in-person rundown of the membership if you join our FWD Women's Night on Tuesday, April 24th!

If you would be interested in being a Fearless Women of Dirt sponsor- please send an email to

We are thinking about additional FWD Women's Nights that would be used as general skill building either on bike or further knowledge on some mechanical aspects- flat fixes, helmets, flat pedals/shoes, etc. We will see what our summer schedule allows, but we are aiming to have more clinics in the fall/winter months. We will consider having a clinic of some sort in the summer season if there is enough interest!

One thing we are implementing this year is a straightforward start and end time for our Wednesday and Sunday rides in May-August. We'll start heading back to the shop at a set time, which should help us end either at or slightly before the "official" end time. We will do our utmost to be aware of the group and experience levels to ensure we can keep our schedule on point.

We currently have a survey open to see on interest for some additional morning rides for Fearless Women of Dirt along with Mother/Son rides. We would love your opinion!

We will have a post published before the riding season that will talk about tips and suggestions on making your group ride experience enjoyable!

Additional news-
You may have noticed that our Fearless Women of Dirt page has changed from FWD - Fearless Women of Dirt to just Fearless Women of Dirt.
#1. Easier to search for or explain to someone where to go.
#2. We purchased
#3. We're on Instagram as fearlesswomenofdirt

Also, the Fearless Women of Dirt group is no longer. All activity is on our Facebook Page.

Fearless Women of Dirt stickers exist! They are free at Decorah Bicycles, or if you live within the United States we can mail you a sticker. Woot!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Riding Pines East and West

Adventures with the GoPro! In this video, you'll be getting a view of two trails that we often recommend new riders to check out: Pines East and Pines West. These are two new-rider friendly trails that folks of all ages can go out and enjoy on bike. These are the two trails that helped me get comfortable with mountain biking, especially when I took the time to ride them during the winter months of 2013 into early 2014. 

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more beautiful than riding the Pines trails in the winter time! Especially when snow still hugs the branches of the pine trees. Sometimes a breeze comes up and blows bits of snow off, and it looks like you're riding into Narnia or a magical fairy tale! 

When there is enough snow, the roots and crevices will be completely covered and filled in, making for a wonderfully smooth ride. I'll admit, the winter seasons seem to be changing for the midwest, and we haven't gotten much snow this year. What little we did made the pines beautiful, but I wouldn't say they made the trails completely smooth and bump-free. However, when riding a fatbike, you don't notice it as much. Riding in the snow, you'll be more focused on the experience vs. thinking about the roots. Especially when you see squirrels scurrying out of the corner of your eye! (Keep an eye on the trail, or you'll be like me and start going off-trail, ha!)

The Pines trails are located in Van Peenen Park
Read more about the off-road trails in Van Peenen.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Why Fearless Women of Dirt?

Originally my friends and I thought the title "Badass MTB B*tches" would be a great name, but in order to promote the group thru Decorah Bicycles and beyond, it had to be family friendly. Fearless Women of Dirt [FWD] was the brainchild of Travis and I sitting on the couch in our apartment trying to come up with a name for the group that could be shortened and not sound dumb when doing so. I wanted the initials to make sense and to have meaning.

The last thing I wanted was for my group to have a name that would make me feel like I named a boy Sue. That's just not cool.

Fearless was a term that I did not resonate with when I got into mountain biking. I was the exact opposite of fearless. I was at best, fearful, if not absolutely scared sh*tless- but the thought of breaking out of that box and becoming fearless drove me to keep trying.

"Couldn't you be Courageous Women of Dirt?"
It's basically the same word, but it's spelled differently and doesn't have that annoying little word "fear" in it. Even used in a positive context, the word "fearless" seems to ignite negative feelings because it also has the word "less" in it; everyone can argue that they have fears.

"I will never be without fear! I couldn't join your group!"
Listen. I still have fear, too. I look at the term fearless as something to strive for, not something you have to be. I'll always moments where my heart beats with rapid-fire pace as I'm riding something new and unfamiliar.
I go to races with anxiety. Sure, I might do well, but until I'm riding my bike I'm an absolute wreck. I hide it by being quiet and going into my head- this means I'm pretty boring to talk to at the beginning.
Trails with drop-offs to the side or wooden bridges still make me hold my breath while I ride- especially if they are on a system I've never ridden before.

"So why did you create a group with the term fearless, when you are so totally, not."
Who says I have to be?
My whole goal and purpose with Fearless Women of Dirt and my other site: Josie's Bike Life is to keep the mountain biking experience personal and unfiltered. Not every person goes out with immediate success. Some take months or years to feel confident on their local terrain. It can take many, many hours of practice and patience before one really feels they can have fun with mountain biking.

Fearless Women of Dirt welcomes all riders, those who have been riding trails for years and those who are looking for a place to start.
Fearless Women of Dirt wants to be a place where any female rider can feel welcomed.
Fearless Women of Dirt strives to keep mountain biking fun.
Fearless Women of Dirt is a group that encourages and supports all riders.

So what if the name feels like something you "can't" fearless. FWD is something we all do on a daily- we move forward. Forward in life and forward on the bike.

Experience the camaraderie and join the movement!