This weekend was the first ‘Girls At
’ event, and for 2015 it was ‘Girls At Moelfre.
’ After coming up with the idea way back at the Red Bull Foxhunt last September, I wanted to create an event that let women go out of their comfort zone and have fun doing it. Months of contacting sponsors, organising things like uplift trailers and promoting the event, I am finally finding myself writing about how the event went.
Arriving at Moelfre on the Friday, it took a good few hours to set up. With the help of my Dad, Simon James, as well as Nic and David from Fridersinc we got the marquee up and a finish area complete. Simon James was a big help with this as he came with everything he used at the Gas Downhill Series races, which he ran a few years back. Track poles, tape, podiums, PA system, uplifts signs, and even number boards we could use for the dual slalom race on the Sunday. All of which played a massive part in making the event a success.
Come Saturday morning more of the girls started to arrive if they hadn’t already on the Friday. T-Shirts were handed out to everyone and it was time for the uplift to begin alongside a track walk for some of the girls. Many jumped straight on their bikes, but other took a look at the tracks first. On the uplift to go up for the track walk and seeing all of the girls so eager to ride was amazing. It made all of the work over the past few months worthwhile. I knew how I wanted the event to go, I was just never sure it would turn out like that in reality. But it did.It was an incredible weekend. Perfectly pitched. You somehow managed to 'organise' 70 odd people to look after themselves, have massive fun, join in, feel part of something and leave with a sense of achievement. I loved that it was about the riding, not just about being girls. Do it again! Would be really happy to support you with it.
As the day progressed with more runs and coaching sessions off Mark from MTB Instruction, it was great to see girls coming down conquering more sections of the track. There was a mix of girls on the hill from experienced downhill racers to complete beginners, some of which were riding hardtails. I have no excuses come the BDS in July with a full DH rig! Everyone was helping each other out and lots of new friendships were formed. The result? A great vibe all weekend and happy faces. The girls could also have help off Plush Suspension Tuning, visit the Fridersinc tent or Martin, a sports masseur.Thank you so much Lucy for arranging this event; I had so much fun, the weather was perfect and made new biking friends! Can't wait for the next event.
As much as I didn’t want it to happen, we did have to call for an ambulance after a crash near the finish field. Although the rider can’t remember what she did, thankfully we found she didn’t break any bones but is badly bruised. Hope you’re back on the bike soon and your new Bluegrass helmet definitely did its job!Thanks for such an epic weekend! Best weekend for a while! Great to meet so many more girls/women riders!
Come the afternoon it was time for me to get some runs in and meet more of the girls riding. On my last run I joined in the last MTB Instruction coaching session with my friends Suzy and Anna and another great rider. (I am rubbish at remembering names!) We went the old track and sessioned different sections girls in our group wanted to look at. I always enjoy riding with a group of girls because confidence tends to be contagious! Once one girl in the group tries a new feature, often the other girls are to follow.
I was meant to be at the bottom for 5pm for rider’s briefing about the Dual Slalom race on Sunday morning, but time flies when you’re having fun I suppose! In the briefing we drew raffle tickets to find our first lot of pairs ready for round 1 of racing. This became more complicated than I thought it would be, but we got there in the end!
Whilst all of the girls were together, we held an auction with various mountain bike products donated by Simon James. It was another way we could boost the amount of money raised for Macmillan Cancer Support. The only problem was I had no idea where to start, but Yasmeen clearly did! With her sales skills we managed to raise over £200 from the auction alone, so a big thank you to Yasmeen for that.
After the auction everyone headed back to their tents/vans for food and to relax for what would be to many their first ever race. Having ended up only doing three runs on the uplift, I had excess energy to burn off so I headed up to the Dual Slalom track with Jake and Suzy to finish taping the track and to see what it was like to ride. Made up of a few berms and small jumps followed by grassy corners it was great fun to ride. Especially the off-camber right-hander at the end, which would make or break some race runs the following day.
So it’s Sunday morning and the girls make their way up to the dual slalom track for some practice. Thanks to Amy, number boards were handed out and some pairs re-organised due to some girls having to leave early, I ended up racing to even up the numbers. We used a knock out system, where the winner of each pair would go back up to race in the next round.
Julie Fox was a big help with this as she was organising the riders once they crossed the finish line. Julie was suppose to be riding, but a crash a few weeks prior to the event she came along to help out instead. After more girls set off from the start line at the sound of David’s air horn we soon had our top three, but we just needed to determine the order of the girls on our podium so the stopwatches came out. They did one final run against the clock, and on our podium was:1st – Claire Jones
2nd – Fizz Harris
3rd – May Atkinson
Winning not only prizes from Bluegrass, Zimstern and Maloja, but also trophies made by Bits of Bike donated by Fridersinc. And that was the Girls At Moelfre weekend all wrapped up with high spirits, new friendships and fond memories of nearly 70 girls having fun on bikes.There were so many people behind this event. Without them I doubt it would have happened at all
Farmer Jack and his tractor drivers for the uplift and use of his land
Fridersinc (Nic and David) for prizes, banners and their help all weekend
Simon James for providing us with a finish area and everything else which made the event possible as well as his help and advice over the weekend
Amy for helping keep everything organised over the weekend
Jake, Ian and Liam for helping build and mark out the Dual Slalom track
Katie Costin Illustration and James Webber for the flyer and t shirt designs
Bluegrass, Zimstern and Maloja for the prizes
Plush Suspension for helping the girls with their suspension set up
Martin, a Sports Masseur who was great all weekend
Clare and Duncan Richardson for coming to take photos
Ben Preston Foundation for the use of their marquee
Julie Fox for watching the girls come down to the stream crossing and helping with the Dual Slalom race.
Yasmeen for her help with the Auction
My family for all of their help running up to the event and during it
As for how much has been raised for Macmillan Cancer Support, the total is actually still rising so keep checking back to the Girls At Moelfre
page to see how much we raised!
For more information about the event, or any upcoming events feel free to contact me via:Email