Open Team Ride on Saturday, March 10th
The West Coast women are excited to add Heather Van Valkenburg to the roster!
Heather lives in the Vancouver/Portland area but can be found shredding all across the Pacific Northwest. She's and experienced racer and has been making cameos in WCWC's mountain biking photos over the years, as she's been a go-to partner in crime for many of our fat tire-inclined teammates when they hit the trails.
Heather says: "Although I've raced almost every cycling discipline (no BMX... yet), my heart currently lies on my mountain bike. I plan to do a few enduro races this year, but really want to adventure, camp, and just continue to be outside. I love hiking, camping, and backpacking too."
Did you know that every Thursday night is Ladies Night over at the Lumberyard, Portland's own indoor bike park? Women get discounted entries and bike rentals. This week, the deal is even better. WCWC and the Lumberyard are sponsoring free entry to the first 20 women who come! Bike rentals are just $10 if you'd like to try one of their purpose-built bikes.
We'll also be partnering with Pulehu Pizza, the pub inside the LY, to offer cans of Oakshire beers for just $3, with a $1 from each beer going to support scholarships for Oregon's new chapter of NICA. The newly-formed Oregon Mountain Bike League offers opportunities for students in grades 6-12 to learn to ride, grow their skills in a supportive environment, and race their mountain bikes against other teams across the state.
Please come on down to Ladies Night, meet some cool chicks on bikes, test your skills, and support a great organization. It's all going down Thursday from 6-10pm at 2700 NE 82nd Ave in East PDX. See you there!
Have you ever heard of Mountain Bike Orienteering? Neither had we, until we met first-year team members Sue and Abra. They’ve introduced us to a whole world (literally) of this niche sport that combines riding on trails, racing, and backcountry navigation and map-reading skills.
Competitors are handed a map shortly before the race start with checkpoints (called controls) that they must reach in a certain order, but how they get there is up to them. That’s where the navigation skills come in - choosing the most efficient route (smoothest trails, least hills, etc) is key to speed. Whoever makes it to all the controls and back to the finish line in the shortest time is the winner.
Like anything related to mountain biking, the sport requires a great deal of fitness, and also the ability to improvise when things go wrong (like getting a flat tire), while also forcing athletes to think and plan under pressure. While it’s still a fairly small scene in the US, it turns out that MTBO is huge in Europe, with orienteering festivals including both bike and foot races with upwards of 11,000 participants.
So what else would true WCWC ladies do, but spend their entire summers adventure racing in Europe? Sue and Abra have headed overseas for 5 weeks to train, race, and do some sightseeing in between some of the largest MTBO events in the world in Sweden, Lithuania, and France.
If you’d like to follow along with their travels and learn a bit more about this emerging discipline, check out their blog right here. Sue and Abra host orienteering events in the Northwest as well, so if you missed the event at Growler’s Gulch this spring, stay tuned for your chance to give it a try!
Our new kits could not have come at a better time, when the sun decided to shine in Oregon! And WCWC has taken full advantage of this weather to show off their new gear!
Last week we hosted a panel discussion on one of our favorite subject, bikepacking, over at Oakshire Brewing in Eugene. One question that came up was around what to stuff in your packs, and what is better left behind. Below is a handy-dandy packing list with our suggestions of what to bring with you on an off-road trip. Download the full list here.
Well, it's been a couple weeks since our inaugural BB&B happy hour over at the Oakshire Public House, but forgive the lateness on a recap. Spring Break followed hot on its heels, complete with sunshine (as long as you got out of the state) and tons of saddle time.
Around 40 women came out to celebrate bikes and meet other like-minded ladies. As it turns out, there is a great need in the South Valley for women to have an outlet for connecting and organizing. The one thing we heard over and over was "I had no idea so many women rode around here." The close second was "I ride with a bunch of old dudes but it's lame, maybe we should ride together instead?"
The afternoon felt almost like a cyclist's speed-dating event, as phone numbers were exchanged and facebook accounts were connected. We gave away chamois cream samples to nearly everyone who came, and raffled off prizes from our amazing sponsors every 15 minutes. The prize table was so stacked, we're pretty sure 3/4 of the crowd went home with some goodies. Joe worked his magic with the brand new ReTul saddle fitter, letting everyone in attendance know what size their sit bones were in order to guide them in future saddle purchases. The guys from Ding Ding cycles fixed up several bikes, and even tuned the suspension of mountain bikes that people brought.
We called the party a smashing success! So good, we plan to have another meet up in June. Have any of you wanted to get into BIKE PACKING?? Or maybe you've done a bit, and you're looking for some new route ideas? Well, keep your eyes peeled, because in early June we'll be hosting the 2nd BB&B event focused especially on overnighting by bike! Our ladies have a lot of experience, here in Oregon and beyond. We'll bring our own expertise and call in a few friends to help as well. We really hope to see you all there again!
Have you ever suffered from the discomfort of bad saddle fit? Does your rear end scream at you to give it some rest after a couple hours on the bike? Do your nether regions feel constantly smashed and angry midway through your basemiles season? Then join us March 18 from 4-6PM at the Oakshire Public House in Eugene, OR, for a happy hour saddle fitting and chamois testing event!
We'll have expert bike fitter Joe Holcomb from West End Bikes on hand with a brand new ReTul Digital Sitbone Device, designed to target the perfect saddle for your specific anatomy. Plus, we'll have a variety of complete size runs of woman specific mountain bike and road shorts, chamois and more from Qloom, Cuore, Showers Pass, and others, so you can find the perfect padding/saddle combo for any of your favorite ride.
Bring your bike along! We are setting up stationary trainers for your use, to give you a chance to actually sit on a saddle and see how it feels in action. And since it's at Oakshire, there will be amazing beer at special pricing, and plenty of swag from Zealios skin care (think chamois cream), Rolf Prima, and Specialized. It's a great chance to meet the ladies of our team in person, chat about what we're up to, and find some great new gear to keep your ass happy all season long.
Our team is pairing up with the Hammer Velo team as well as other cycling teams in the Portland area to raise money for Doernbecher Families in need for the Holiday season. On December 19th we will be delivering all of the family bundles by bike, so be on the lookout for Santa-hat clad cyclists around Portland on that day! We are so excited to be able to help these families and to be included in a special part of the Holiday season where we can give back to the community.
We have a link up here where you can donate to the cause. All money donated will go directly to the families and getting them the things they need for the holiday season. We thank you for your generosity and donations and wish you all a happy holiday season!