The Winnipeg Velodonnas have put together a season of spectacular women’s bicycle riding including clinics to improve bike handling skills and maintenance as well as a friendly social environment where exercise and well-being are encouraged.
The highlight of this season is the hosting of a world-wide women’s event at the local level: The Women’s Rapha 100.
This particular event will be held at Kildonan Park on July 26th, and is FREE for any women wishing to challenge themselves to completing 100 kilometers by bicycle, and has the organizers very excited.
“The women’s 100k is an annual world-wide event hosted by Rapha, creators of simple cycle wear,” says local sportswoman and race organizer Kim Mitchell.
“This is the second year for Rapha’s event and the first year that Winnipeg will host a ride. I would really like to see 100 women join us on July 26. The response, via our Facebook event, from those excited to attend has been incredible.”
The response has been so great for the Rapha event, that within a week of posting, the Dirt Skirt team had more than 50 confirmed with another 25 women stating a possibility of attending.
“We are in our 4th year of hosting women’s only races in Manitoba,” says one of the other organizers, Moni Robertson as she describes the Dirt Skirt Series.
“We are also participating in other women’s events which coincide with our clinics – the CycloFemme Day, the Specialized Women’s Ride Day, and the Rapha 100.
“Everything we do follows the original philosophy created by the founders of the Velodonnas back in 2003 – To provide opportunities for women to gain riding confidence on the road or trail – (to) provide dedicated riding time focused on skill development. I think over the years we have also increased the fitness component. All in all, it gets more women of all ages on their bikes,” adds Robertson.
“I liked dirt skirt because it allows females to race with each other and encourage each other,” says Natalie Young who enjoyed the experience last year.
“Dirt skirt also allows females to have fun and be as competitive or as not competitive as they want, and it is open to all skill levels, so if you are a beginner looking to try something new then dirt skirt is perfect for you.” she says.
“By taking part in dirt skirt you will not only be getting a good workout, you will also make so many great friends and you will be part of an amazing community with people who want to help you achieve your goals,” Young adds.
The next event will be a Mountain Bike Skills clinic, held at Bird’s Hill Park (the Burr Oak Trails) on Sun. May 31, and this will be a practical teaching workshop emphasizing pedal strokes, seat position, pack riding and surviving group riding.
This event will occur simultaneously with the Worldwide Specialized Women’s Ride Day, and is free for all Manitoba Cycling Association Members and only $10 for anyone else who just wants to experience some fun firsthand.
Inclusive with all of the Dirt Skirt events and clinics, there will be Monday Night rides hosted by the organizers. There is a 7 p.m. start, with various locations throughout the city, and all that is needed is Manitoba Cycling Association General membership (yearly non-racing is $50), and a road worthy bike.