Ever fancied giving downhill a go? Ladies do DH was started by Amanda Tanfield in 2017 to encourage more ladies into downhill from beginners to those starting out in racing. The group has grown into a social community with monthly rides and for 2018 the first ladies only downhill race at the Forest of Dean.
Amanda Berry joined the Ladies do DH for their monthly ride in May, here’s how she got on
I’ve wanted to join one of the Ladies do DH days for a long time now but could never get over my anxieties of what the other women would be like, would my riding level hold them back, would I be way out of my comfort zone… the usual stuff a lot of us stress about but this time I made the decision to give it a go and stick to it!
I met up with the ladies in the morning for a cuppa at the Pedalabikeaway cafe and everyone was so friendly introducing themselves which immediately put me at ease.
The day started off by having a go on the drops line, and then we went onto berms then onto a line of jumps. I was put even more at ease as it was so chilled; just a bunch of women chatting, laughing and riding.
We then headed to the top of the trails to play on the Sheepskull run. Amanda had changed this from Cougar Roots for me as I wasn’t ready to face my nemesis having crashed on it 2 months previous. We played on the berm section at the top which was good fun then went onto the roots.
Amanda got us to do the trail in sections which was really helpful as you get to session the sections. I watched the other women having a go at straight-lining the roots; some were doing it for the first time which was incredible and everyone was cheering each other on, it was so nice to be part of this.
Amanda overcoming her fears with the help and encouragement of the other ladies on the day
It was at this point that I started to panic a bit as I knew the steep shoot onto the fire road was next. All the women were on the fire road waiting for me but I froze, I have ridden this so many times before but I am going through a real confidence crisis with my riding at the moment in that everything scares me. Amanda just kept talking to me, installing a confidence into me that I could do it, so I trusted her and down the shoot I went. I was greeted with cheers from all the ladies. I then had to face the shoot into the next section of trail. Again I froze but again, I wasn’t left behind. Amanda was stood at the bottom talking to me, I told her I was going to push down it but she told me to trust myself and didn’t let up with the encouragement. I was panicking over holding the ladies up again and feeling silly but with Amanda’s encouragement I went for it and made it down to be greeted with high fives and loads of smiles from all the ladies who were genuinely pleased for me.
I started the day full of anxieties but I left having made a lot of new friends and a feeling of accomplishment. I have talked myself out of joining one of these days so many times before, making all the excuses I could think of but taking part has squashed my anxieties and preconceived ideas of what it would be like to join in one of these days and I can honestly say I am really looking forward to being part of the next one.Amanda Berry
Ladies do Downhill Race, Forest of Dean
Ever fancied giving downhill racing a go? Ladies do Downhill have organised the first ladies only downhill race at the Forest of Dean on Sunday 15th July.
We pleased to announce that Flow MTB will be supporting the first ladies only downhill race organised by Ladies do DH at the Forest of Dean on Sunday 15th July.
The race is aimed at those looking to give downhill racing a go and all features will have a roll-able option. Come along and meet other riders Friday evening for a pasta party/BBQ. Saturday morning starts with a track walk and you’ll be able to session the track ready for race day.
Race entry is £27 plus £1 application fee bookable via the British Cycling website with categories for all age groups. Prizes for top 3 in each category plus a glass of bubbles and stickers from Ladies do DH for everyone who enters.
- Ripper Age 10-12
- Juvenile Age 13-14
- Youth – Age 15-16
- Junior – Age 17-18
- Senior – Age 19-29
- Master – Age 30-39
- Veteran – Age 40+
- Grand vet – Age 50+
Have you got a story to share?
Attended a skills course and want to let others about the new skills you learnt? Entered a race and want to shout how well you and all the other ladies did? Taken part in an MTB event, holiday, social ride and think others would enjoy reading about your experience too? Maybe you’re organising an event and want to publicise it to more female riders or maybe you just want to share all the benefits mountain biking brings to you.
We’re looking for guest bloggers to write interesting stories for our website. Whether you’re new to mountain biking or a seasoned rider, if you’ve got something you’d like to share that may help promote and encourage more women into mountain biking we want to hear from you. Any blog chosen to be published on our website and we’ll send you a voucher for future use at Flow MTB, find our more here.