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International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. Worldwide, slow gains are being made when it comes to increased media coverage of women’s sporting events, the securing of bigger sponsorship for women’s teams and tournaments, more equal pay for women in sport, better support and greater respect overall. It’s time to place a lot more value on women’s sporting contributions and participation. And it’s time to celebrate the people, teams, communities and media who actively choose to support, cover and feature women’s sport.

This year we thought we’d share a little insight into our team of female riders and celebrate their achievements.

Amy Jones 

Riding for me is an escape; an hour or two of pure freedom from the stresses of work and family life. Nothing matters when you’re on that bike other than the steepness of the hill in front of you (up or down), the line through those roots or the size of the feature you’re about to hit.

It doesn’t come without guilt I suppose; time away from the family, dumping the kids on the husband yet again, but that’s where the racing comes in. It gives me a goal; a reason/excuse to be out there 2 evenings a week and a half day at weekends “training” (aka having a laugh with my mates!). At every start line when my heart is pounding and I’m on the verge of sickness, I wonder, is it really worth it? But the atmosphere of a race; the friendships born out of striving for a common goal, sharing experiences of the hill, both good and bad, make it something I just can’t get enough of, just like my bike!

You can follow Amy’s progress in the 2019 race season

Emily Beckett

I love the challenges of mountain biking and the sense of achievement when I do things I previously thought were impossible for me. I love all the beautiful places we get to ride and the feeling of freedom when you’re weaving through trees or floating through the air on jumps. Racing creates even more of the adrenaline buzz we all get from riding and has introduced me to so many new friends, and taken me to new places to ride tracks I wouldn’t normally.

I work as an Advanced Physiotherapy practitioner in primary care, it’s a really exciting but challenging time in my career and juggling a full time job, studying for a masters degree, planning a wedding, renovating a new house and training for racing can at times feel a bit overwhelming, but it just requires military precision time management. I do a couple of gym sessions a week, some before work, and wattbike sessions at suffershire Cheltenham push me to train hard even when I’m struggling with motivation. I eat well and plan my meals around my schedule and have some quick go to meals, and batch cook and freeze things when I have a bit more time. Getting out on the bike at the weekend is my stress relief, my time to spend with friends and my fiance and I just love it.

You can follow Emily’s progress in the 2019 race season

Heather Kay

It’s difficult to describe why I love MTB so much, obviously the adrenaline rush, the focus when ragging it downhill, being on the edge, concentrating on where every inch your body is, which line you are going to take, looking down the track preparing yourself for the next section… it requires all of your being, your troubles float away, suddenly life is good. So, I guess I can’t talk about biking without talking about mental health and how the downs enable me to forget my woes but also how the ups allow me to think, to process, as the legs turn the cogs of the brain whir and bit by bit I can find answers or learn to accept the curve-balls life throws in my path.

MTB is also about friends, hooning down trails together, high fives, and near misses. Which brings me to racing. Racing used to be about competition but actually it’s more about catching up with racing buddies, you chat and have a laugh, then get into the start gate and all of a sudden, it’s all about the racing and that adrenaline rush! It’s not always been easy to fit that in around daily life, especially when your van gives up the ghost and you’re skint. But funnily enough that MTB community is always there to help you out and pull you through. I just don’t know how I’d make it through the tough times if I didn’t have my bikes.

You can follow Heather’s progress in the 2019 race season

Rebecca Smith

I love the freedom that riding a bike gives me. I can get home from work and be in riding kit rolling through the woods 20 minutes later with my dog for company. Its so easy to get out that even when the weather is bad its hard to find an excuse; its such a good feeling arriving at the pub as it goes dark, dripping wet and covered in mud. After a busy day in the office a blast through the woods, alone or with friends, is exactly the freedom I’m looking for.

Racing is the exact opposite to a quiet blast in my local woods. Rowdy, boisterous and energetic, the atmosphere at races is a real buzz and the fun of whooping and laughing down tracks with friends is hard to beat. I like the challenge of testing myself against tricky features and trying to find the fastest lines. I am competitive and want to do well but I really enjoy the people and camaraderie. With a busy job racing needs to be fun to keep me going back for more. Fitting in the gym, riding, work, seeing my husband, friends etc can be tricky but I honestly don’t know what other people do with their time. That grin on a mud speckled face at the end of a ride makes it all worth it.

You can follow Rebecca’s progress in the 2019 race season

Get 10% off all orders this International Women’s Day enter coupon code IWD19 at checkout, coupon valid until midnight Sunday 10th March 2019.

Photos Katrina Bartlett Media

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