Bringing People Together Via a Women’s Mountain Bike Clinic in Southern Wyoming

PEARL iZUMi Crew member Jennifer Hess has been hosting women’s mountain bike clinics in southern Wyoming for years. The impact of bringing women together to progress and learn on mountain bikes have only grown larger each year. 

–Words by Jenn Hess–

How many ideas are you putting off and saying you’ll do someday? Folks often have big dreams that never make it into reality. In 2017 I took that big first step and made my rad idea happen. 

I spent quite a few years before 2017 coaching youth mountain bike camps. The other coaches and I kept talking about how fun it would be to put on an adult camp. After years of riding the local technical trails, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of women on the advanced trails. I wanted to change that. I wanted to put on a camp just for women. I wanted to create an encouraging environment for ladies to progress their skills without judgment or intimidation. I wanted to get ladies to ride the big stuff!  

I put the first Rowdy Gowdy camp together in 90 days. It was a bit rough around the edges, but holy s##t it happened! I devoted most of my free time these past four years into making this fun and powerful event a success. But it would not have happened if it wasn’t for all the support from my amazing community—help came from everywhere. The list of support was seemingly endless: guidance with applications for permits,  creating the logo, printed t-shirts, offering to make food at camp (whoa!), and rad lady riders saying “yes” when I asked them to help coach at camp. 

Our motto has always been to empower women on bikes. This year we put on our 4th Annual Rowdy Gowdy Women’s Mountain Bike Skills Camp.  Each year we sell out. Some ladies have enjoyed it so much that they have attended multiple camps. Several participants have now become coaches. Based on the support and the number of participants attending, and the number of women on our waitlist, we’ve obviously struck a nerve in our community. 

We started something awesome.  I am constantly overwhelmed with joy in the community’s response. I hope to keep spreading the bike stoke and encouraging more women on bikes for as long as possible. 

My fellow coaches and I want to make sure everyone knows that women can ride the big stuff too!  

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