UPDATE: Note: As of 7pm 10/20/2012, the Jump Jam event has been canceled. Stay tuned to PTAG website for details of future event. At this time, it does not appear that Month Of Mud has canceled their event, but then again, they’re celebrating mud. That makes your decision all the easier.
If you’re torn between participating in the 2nd ever Super D at the Month of Mud and the PTAG Skills Park Jump Jam official unveiling, so are we. Since Velomuse’s Pittsburgh Chapter is focused on advancing opportunities for women riders this year, we’ve been promoting group rides for various skill levels and types of riding, in addition to leadership training.
On October 21st, we want to amplify our efforts by making a call to action for the women riders that have been out there awhile or were recruited last year and are moving towards the next level with with skills. Promoters at both of these events are trying new things by putting creative minds together which presents unique opportunities. We can safely say that whichever you chose and no matter your past riding and racing experience – you will have the opportunity to learn something, if you present some open-mindedness. Maybe you’ll also see a way for you to help define the sport, as well?
Velomuse has been partnering with local cyclist and creative re-use crafter Nicole Bloch, who enjoys repurposing bike parts into beautiful jewelry. This spin around, we’re coordinating Erra Creations to support a couple upcoming events with a neutral pit zone for women and custom bike jewelry as gifts for all the women participants. So yeah, get out there and find something to learn.
So, is it A?
Photo Courtesy of Alicia Mathers, Visual Communications Coordinator at Velomuse
Last Wednesday, Velomuse coordinated one of our advanced mountain biking and downhill skills workshops for women by teaming up with Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group, the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works to host a light trail maintenance workday as part of the leadership development program. The premise was that putting careful attention towards the design and flow of a trail would improve line selection for all trail users, while defining women’s presence with meaningful contribution to our recreation. We used an existing project list from the park steward to identify problem areas we could knock out as part of our shared teaching experience, for ourselves and other riders.
After a brief tool-hanndling demonstration inspired by IMBA’s trail care crew, five mountain bikers from diverse professional backgrounds demonstrated their initiative by sharing ideas and objectives for each area of concern. We collaborated to come up with guidelines for entrance/exit, how each line will demand body english and visibility and how our strategy would improve safety at high speeds.
We focused on three areas for improvement on the Iron Gate trail: two upper berms and one washed out wide section that had borne a new social trail to its right. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Instead of closing off, removing roots or rerouting anywhere, we repaired and defined the trail with loose trail debris and a tiny bit of benching. About a dozen riders came through the trail thanking us for the work. I made the embarrassing mistake of raking on a slope at a bad angle and a muscle in my back spasmed something fierce. It was unexpected because it wasn’t more vigorous than other trailwork I’ve done, but perhaps I wasn’t using proper form? In any case, I’m improving slowly and expect to be able to trail work in the future. We finished that middle section and packed up our tools as the sun set. Reports have noted that the top portion of the trail flows nicely and it feels safer to travel at a higher speed. I’m hoping that we can return to repair the lower berm and help clarify the split after the new bridge-drop thing. Those are two areas I’ve noticed myself scrubbing speed on, while other areas are faster simply because its been less muddy than I’ve seen it.
The recently appointed Velomuse Board voted to contribute to the mountain bike fest hosted by PTAG, PORC and Allegheny Parks, by offering a Women’s ride option to complement the various group rides at Boyce park on Saturday.
LOCATION: Boyce Park Soccer Fields GPS Coordinates: 40.473388 -79.746945 (links to map)
DETAILS: We are meeting and reconvening at the same time and place as the co-ed options – but will strike our own path at the discretion of the women who join us. We review group ride etiquette and discuss the route plans before leaving, pausing to regroup at all intersections so no one gets left behind. We expect to ride 8-12 miles at a brisk, talking pace on the eastern side of the park taking a short break or two to try new features or lines. In addition to your recently inspected mountain bike and helmet, it is recommended to have at least 50oz of water, a snack, and a basic trailside repair multi-tool for flat repair and adjustments. Medium tint sunglasses, sunblock and bug repellent aren’t bad ideas, either.
CONDITIONS: Thanks to PTAG Stewards, there’s evidence of a lot of hard work with trail maintenance and the conditions have been mostly dry for a few weeks. We might get a few drops of rain tomorrow, but that should only improve conditions – and it won’t be cold, but likely refreshing. We’ll bring some veggie sausages and snacks for after the event, as well. If you want to bring something for the potluck or volunteer, please contact PTAG’s Volunteer Coordinator.
ABOUT your ride leaders: Using backgrounds from wilderness education, coaching, racing and recreational riding; Alicia Mathers and I will consistently anticipate and review individual needs throughout the ride to provide a safe and memorable experience for all levels of women riders. We know the park well, having ridden it frequently for the past couple of years – it is a SPECIAL place and we want you to keep coming back. To learn more about how Velomuse is working to “Create Lifelong Cyclists” and empowering women through mountain biking, click here, or join our ladies’ forum on facebook and subscribe to our feed on twitter/.
More details for the event are on facebook.
Velomuse Board meetings will now meet on the 3rd Monday of each month at Big Idea Bookstore from 6-8pm. The meetings are open to the public for discussion and information, while only Board members will vote on action items. General members from the public are encouraged to attend and participate. We will share agenda and minutes on the Velomuse website: http://www.velomuse.org/
Click the flyer to RSVP on our facebook event.
Velomuse is going out to provide volunteer support on an important trail day this Sunday at Frick Park in Pittsburgh, PA – coordinated by Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group. You can find more information on the flyer here.
In a unique time-lapse photography project, Velomuse’s Alicia Mathers embraced our group concept by taking pictures of our group of mountain bikers tracing lines along the contour of lanscape at night with bicycle headlights. This project has sparked the interest of various riders, bringing together new cross-sections of the community and creating compelling images. Please click the image for the complete photoshoot. Leave a comment if you think you can identify the trails in Frick Park, Pittsburgh, PA. Winner will be notified to receive a prize.
We’re also accepting donations if you want to purchase prints of these images, with the funds going to women’s mountain biking leadership programs.
Our Pittsburgh chapter of Velomuse is targeting development of the women’s mountain bike contingency, and as such, we’re providing much-needed information. Ladies, please join our facebook group if you are interested in mountain biking in Pittsburgh. If you’re not in Pittsburgh, interested in mountain biking or a woman, please just email me and I’ll send you a copy via email.
December 07, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PITTSBURGH, PA - Velomuse welcomes new Board members for the Pittsburgh chapter!
As we’ve grown over the years, our purpose has remained unchanged while the regional participation has shifted. One commonality is that while mountain biking issues are shared, new strategies for pulling volunteers and land managers together are frequently required. Further, since the most important thing is riding – we’ve been researching what folks are doing elsewhere, while keeping tabs on what other folks (mtb and non-mtb alike) are doing right here in Pittsburgh.
In leading by example, we have been able to initiate programs and create relationships that didn’t previously exist: getting permits for bike events in City parks, coordinating film premiers for local and international producers, leading a women’s mountain bike skills series and hosting kids mountain bike rodeos with our own fleet of kids’ bikes and features.
Last year, we had so much variety that it was difficult to keep up with the needs in the community, finding new volunteers for every event – it was a full-time and fulfilling job, despite being unpaid. This year, we’ve narrowed the focus to reconnecting with newer still, cross-sections of the community and using the research to understand where we can best put our focus for 2012, and avoid burnout. We’ve decided it is time to make the Pittsburgh (PGH) chapter of Velomuse an official mountain bike development organization, focusing on women’s leadership. As continuing founder and Executive Director, I would like to introduce you to the all-female Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Chapter of Velomuse:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS - PITTSBURGH CHAPTER
Last winter was my first exposure to indoor mountain biking. As the cold, wet weather creeps in, I will be the first to admit that I can’t wait to go back and continue skills practice on some new features! The website might need to be updated to reflect the new dates for the women’s weekend in 2012, but it should be noted that it is their busiest weekend!