Dirt Series has always been at the forefront of mountain bike community; established in 2001 with the goal to provide instructional events to women in British Columbia Canada, it has been dramatically impacting the growth of women in mountain biking ever since. As we have continued to expand geographically, in event styles and in numbers of events, our team has worked tirelessly to provide community and on-bike education for over 20,000 individuals to date – and is proceeding to grow to even more into the future.
With the cycling industry continuing to grow at unprecedented rates, and what feels like everyone purchasing a bike, or upgrading their old bike, we need to ensure there are ample opportunities for adults to build skills and confidence on their bikes to ensure growth continues in our sport.
Mountain biking has always been perceived as an inherently “scary” sport, and programming has been largely geared around youth in cycling or racing programs in the past. With more people, especially adult women and people of colour, entering the mountain biking space, communities and adult recreational programming needs to be established to keep these individuals engaged in mountain biking, and growing their passion for the sport that has so positively impacted so many of us!
Across North America, ride clubs and groups have been established to build community at home – catering only to a bike shop specifically, local regions, or trail networks. Members have always joined with enthusiasm to build community – with riders coming out in large groups to participate in these events.
But with the onset of the pandemic, ride clubs disappeared, and opportunities to have community dwindled – leaving riders, with new equipment, out on the trail alone and eventually, bikes have started to gather dust in basements and garages as new riders felt lost in how to feel confident on trail, and to have people to ride with at their level.
Local ride clubs have started to resurface, but not to the extent we saw pre-pandemic – and in the areas that have seen a strong resurgence, demand is even higher than historically – and clubs and shop leaders are stretched beyond capacity or means, leaving new riders without community again.
Beyond lack of opportunity locally, riders are finding the community ends at the edge of the trail network. To encourage riders to visit new trail regions and expand experiences beyond their home bases – a connected network is needed to create community that isn’t restricted to the neighborhood trails…
And so, in response for the cycling community’s need for connection, and growing demand for opportunities and network beyond our backyards, Dirt Series is excited to introduce the first ever International Ride Club. Bringing together community across borders, members are encouraged to ride locally, and venture outside of their home networks – meeting new like-minded and experienced riders, building friendships and connecting the cycling communities everywhere they go!
Ride Club offers rides across North America, in destinations our extensive coaching community currently resides in, and regularly travels to – bringing the “welcome sign” for individuals ready to dust those bikes off and get them on trail again! With riders of all experience levels, rides will be divided by skill level, and participants will be encouraged to pick the group they feel best fit in – providing opportunity for riders to build confidence and community on the trail, everywhere they want to go.
Complete with a members-only “Clubhouse”, the ride club will continue to build community online, connecting the members in the “Clubhouse” to share experiences and photographs, and sign up for more ride opportunities – ensuring connection is fostered across every location we ride in!
You can learn more by visiting our Ride Club Page, which will be updated regularly to include information about preliminary ride locations, members only benefits & events and more.
So mark your calendar for the start of the broadest, and best, mountain bike community in North America, and get ready to join us for a ride!
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