Pretty Damned Fast and 718 Cyclery presented the 1st Annual Women's Off-Road Jam on July 24, 2016 at Cunningham Park in Queens, NYC. The goal of this FREE event was to welcome new riders into the world of off-road cycling through free coached clinic and skills drills taught by female coaches, as well as provide a place for intermediate and advanced riders to have a blast on the trails, mentor new riders, and show off their skills. Over 50 rider braved 90+ degree temperatures to enjoy the day in the woods with friends.
As always, the day began early at 718 Cyclery, with the ceremonial "Loading of the Bikes" at 7am. Actually, planning for the event started back in April.
Morning Load-out at 718 Cyclery
We were looking to have numerous sessions that women new to mountainbiking could try, as well as sessions where intermediate riders could learn a thing or two. The idea was to have multiple groups rotate through multiple sessions during the day. We were lucky to have the following events.
"Mountain Bike Basics, and Intermediate Ride" (Kathi Krause, Dirt, Rock and Root Training)
Kathi Krause, owner and head coach of Dirt Rock n Root Training, started her cycling career on the velodrome and worked her way through criteriums, road, cyclocross, and cross country before finding her way to the Pro Downhill circuit. She spent 10 years on the Pro DH circuit. During that time she won three Masters World Downhill Championships, five Masters National Downhill Championships, and many other laurels, including winning the prestigious Kamikaze Downhill race in 2004 and most recently taking 2nd Overall in the Hawaii Winter Downhill Series (http://www.dirtrocknroot.com/)
Kathi held 2 Basic and one Intermediate ride, teaching body position and well as braking and shifting.
"How to Crash", Kristen Phillips (Bicycle Habitat, Women;'s Cycling NYC)
Kristen Phillips taught a course on how to crash (or more specifically, how to land after you have crashed). Kristen is a fixture in NYC Cycling, and has taught this course for s number of years. Using circus mats, Kristen had her trainees go through various crash positions, and taught the safest way to hit the deck.
"Obstacle Course", Michaela Albanese (Team Lazer Cat)
Michaela drove up from Philadelphia at 6:15am to work with us on this event! Michaela took 2 intermediate groups to various obstacles at Cunningham Park, working on approach and exit strategies.
"Green Lap Tour", Anna Marie Diaz-Balart (Pretty Damned Fast)
As if helping to organize this event wasn't enough, Anna Marie took multiple groups on a "Green Lap Tour", explaining basic trail riding techniques.
We were incredibly fortunate to have bikes from the above vendors, as well as shop bikes from
available for participants to test out and ride for each session. Aaron and Greg from
, as well as Chris from
and Joe from Reid were on hand to get everyone set up with sizing and suspension.
The culmination of the day was to take all that they have learned and get racing on the trails. The races were fun and cooperative (when one racer fell, others offered to stop and wait for her). These races left smiles all around
Although it was hot, this was an amazing day that hopefully kindled the off-road fire within!
Many people worked very hard and gave their time to make this free event work. Please review the group below,
Anna Marie (
Merdith, Aaron and Greg (
Kathi Krause (
Kristen Phillips (
Michaela Albanese (
Sofia Whitcombe (
Demo Bike Providers: