Here are some frequently asked questions we receive from prospective members.
I’m new to mountain biking and not very good. I’m scared I won’t be able to keep up. Our group rides are organized to accommodate all levels of riders. We have quite a few beginners that join WMBA, and our group rides break down into multiple groups based on ability so you can ride with the group which you are most comfortable in. The group rides are a welcoming and non-intimidating atmosphere with a no-drop policy.
Do I need to be a member to come on a group ride? We encourage women to attend one of our group rides or open events while deciding on WMBA membership. Feel free to come out to see what WMBA is about and decide if the organization is what you’re looking for. We allow up to three group rides before we ask that you join to help support our organization's programming.
What do I need to bring on a group ride? It is important to have a mountain bike which is in good working order and you are comfortable riding. Additionally, you will need some other basic cycling equipment which you should never ride without: helmet, water (bottle or hydration system), items to fix a flat tire (tire levers, tube, pump). Optional items: cycling gloves, windbreaker/rain coat, clipless pedals/cycling shoes, energy bar or energy drink, knee/elbow pads.
I’ve been thinking about trying out a race this summer. How do I know I’m ready? What should I expect? There are many great mountain bike races around, so you will definitely be able to find one that meets your ability level. Some races are geared for beginners, while others may have different course options or lengths depending on which category you enter. Races are a great way to challenge yourself and have fun at the same time. Research various races to find one which suits your level.
I’m in the market for a new bike. Can you give me some pointers for my bike shopping? You will find a wide range of bikes to choose, from entry level to expert level riding and componentry. First decide how much money you are willing to spend on a new bike. Next you'll need to think about what type of riding you will be doing (or want to progress to); if you ride hard-packed trails and dirt roads then a hard tail (front suspension only) bike is fine, however if you want to ride more technical/challenging terrain then you may prefer a full-suspension bike. There are many variables when purchasing a bike, so talk to your bike-riding friends, the WMBA members, and bike shop personnel to help you make the best choice to fit your budget and riding style.
How long or far are the group rides? The group ride typically lasts 2 hours, however that is not all ride time. Ride time may be between 60 - 90 mins but will vary depending on the level of the group that you choose to ride with and the trails that are chosen.
Is there an age limit for the group rides? What is the typical demographic? There is an age limit of 15 years old. Anyone 15 to 18 is welcome to join us as long a guardian is going to ride with them during the ride. The majority of women are between 20-50, but we have many women outside of that range that come regularly to group rides and other events and we encourage all to attend.
What kind of bike do I need for the group ride? Any mountain bike that you are comfortable on and is in good working condition will do.
I’m not a member, may I still attend your clinics? Some of our events are open to the public, and other events are reserved only for WMBA members. Please feel free to come to any of our open public events. We also encourage women to come to one or two of our group rides or open events while deciding on WMBA membership.
Is there a place to check if rides are cancelled due to weather? Group ride updates and cancellations will be posted on our website. A cancellation due to weather will be made at least an hour prior to start time. We will also post the cancellation on Facebook and Twitter, so please follow us on those sites to receive instant alerts.