Hamsterley Divas

Dec 21, 2014 at 12:25
by chantal everill  
There's a Diva revolution happening in Hamsterley Forest

Hamsterley Divas is an all ladies mountain biking group based in Hamsterley Forest in County Durham.

We are a group of girls who just love to ride, of all abilities and no pressure; anyone is welcome to join us in our quest for fun.

Hamsterley Divas is the brainchild of Michelle Haigh & Chantal Everill who made it happen. After Chantal’s husband took ill suddenly she found she had no riding partner so joined Hamsterley Riders on Facebook, trying to find other women to ride with, unsuccessfully until she met Michelle but still it was difficult finding others. While riding at Hamsterley together, they came up with the idea of a women's mountain bike group. From this Hamsterley Divas was created. Chantal has ridden for (12) years and is extremely passionate about the sport and her passion is being passed onto other ladies who just want to ride and have fun without the pressure of keeping up with the blokes on the trails - that's not to say a few of our members wouldn't give the boys a run for their money. The support and camaraderie in the group is fantastic. I myself have been encouraged to ride obstacles and trails I never would have gone near without the helpful encouragement from Chantal and the other girls. The whole purpose of the group is to encourage women into a male dominated sport and give them the confidence to enjoy it and meet other likeminded women, whether they are experienced or not.

The Divas Facebook page went live 1 month ago and we already have over 108 members! Our members range in all ages and abilities. We had our first group ride on Sunday and it was a great success. We are currently in the process of getting our own jerseys, kindly designed by Dan Blackhall a member of Hamsterley Riders, our associate group on Face Book. He also designed our brilliant logo.

Our message is being spread within the world of mountain biking already with Rachel Atherton, Danny Hart and Steve Peat retweeting our poster for all of their fans to see.

Our fancy dress Christmas ride was today and 22 women braved the weather and the nerves to have fun and support each other, today has a great success and we are all looking forward to 2015 with our new planned challenges such as the Hamsterley TT in April and the Ardrock in August.

To say I am overwhelmed is a understatement, it just goes to show there are women out there who want to ride just as much as the men do.


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