Encouraging inclusivity through group mountain biking events

Mountain bikers gathered at Lester Park last Thursday for COGG’s 2nd Annual FTW (Femme Trans Women) Enduro race. 

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“It’s an event that is just creating a safe environment for women who aren’t necessarily always being included in the sport,” said SRAM Field Guide Emily Brown.

The event had a holiday-themed costume contest and plenty of positivity. 

“This is my first Enduro race, but knowing that it’s a whole community of my friends and people I’ve ridden with before makes it very non-threatening,” said participant Laura Miller. “I’m thinking of it as just a group ride and not something where I’m trying to go out and go the fastest.”

According to Ski Hut Events Coordinator Bobbie Larson, women’s programs are frequently asked about because the sport can seem male-dominated. 

“The level of skills in an event like this, it’s more for fun, not for skill level, and so that changes everything. And I think it really allows certain people who maybe aren’t comfortable to participate,” said Larson. “So it’s about inclusion, regardless of how you identify, but regardless of your skill level too. And I think it’s just we really work extra hard to provide that support for anyone not feeling so comfortable.”

If you missed COGGS’ FTW Enduro race, you can still get involved with weekly FTW bike rides on Thursdays at 5:30 pm. Details can be found on the Ski Hut website.

“There are so many different trails and so many different types of bikes that anyone can find what works for them and just to get out and enjoy the trails in a new way,” said Miller. “I’m a long time runner and hiker, but being able to get out on a bike, you see a lot more trail and you get to try some kind of fun stuff.”