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!