She’s the one pedaling behind you, sometimes offering silent encouragement with every turn of the crank, sometimes keeping up a cheery monologue to help drown out your inner demons.
She’s the one that whoops loudly when you try a feature and clean it, and the one that smiles warmly when you fail and look around to see if you should be embarrassed.
She’s that bright spot ahead of you, leading you and your tribe into the woods for yet another amazing day out on bikes.
She’s our Girls Rock Guide.
The lifeblood of our organization, our Guides are arguably the most important part of us. In the words of Alexis Morgan, Girls Rock’s Board Vice President, “Our volunteer guides are at the heart and soul of our free, monthly no-drop ride. Without our volunteer leads and sweeps, the rides just couldn't happen.”
So we’d like to take a moment to shine a light on the women who make our monthly get-together possible… And invite you to volunteer as well. Most if not all of them started out as casual participants; riders just like you. “All our volunteer guides are ladies who started out as participants; who enjoyed the experience of riding with women; learned some skills; made new friends, and then decided they wanted to pay it forward by helping lead a ride themselves,” says Alexis.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about volunteering with our Guides, but were worried that you didn’t have the experience or knowledge to? Well Cynthia Busenhart-Robison, a Girls Rock Guide of two years, will put those fears to rest: “Don't think that because you don't have any previous experience that you can't do it. Now is a great time to get involved with the new Guide Training Program that is being developed and implemented. It's a great opportunity to learn how to guide and there is lots of support available to you to help you develop guiding skills. I myself am looking forward to it.”
Angela Jensen, a long-term participant and Guide agrees, adding, “There are so many great things about guiding from growing the community to meeting new people. But selfishly, guiding is also an amazing way to grow your own skills and experience as a rider at any level.”
Becoming a volunteer Guide with Girls Rock is also a fantastic way to add a new dimension to your passion, and even lift you out of the occasional biking rut, since heading out with newer riders forces you to see things differently. As Tina West puts it, “Magical things happen when non-binary and female identifying individuals come together to overcome challenges and support each other in a ‘male-dominated sport’. We take the time to look and appreciate the trail, stop to practice features, and share our personal experiences that have helped us grow as mountain bikers. We simultaneously ride risk-averse while pushing our limits.”
We’re really proud of our awesome Girls Rock Guides and credit the growing popularity of our rides to them. However, with growth comes greater need, and so we ask: If you’ve been riding with Girls Rock for a while, why not volunteer as a Ride Guide? Girls Rock is growing quite rapidly, and we would really appreciate your help.
“I feel like we say how stoked we are with our volunteers so often that it starts to sound flat, but it’s always said with truth and admiration. As Girls Rock turns the corner into becoming a more community-based organization, more is asked of our volunteers. But the best part is, everyone is so excited to do it, and they bring such a diverse array of skills and knowledge. They’re bad-asses all around,” says our very own Board President, Juliann Klein.
See you out on the trails!