Women Involved: Wendy Engelberg

So what inspired you to create Girlz Gone Riding?:
there was a need in our community to have a club that offered an alternative to co ed riding. Myself and a few friends decided to "get the girls" together for a day of riding and meet and greets. Almost 100 women showed up.....the rest is her story!

What has been one of the most positive experiences from Girlz Gone Riding?:
seeing so many women sticking with mountain biking and supporting each other. So many new friendships have formed and even a race team was spawned off of GGR.

Besides going for group rides, what else does Girlz Gone Riding do?
We hold workshops called Wenches with Wrenches for the girls that one of our local bike shops host, we have day trips, weekend trips, skills clinics and CORBA membership drives. We get together socially as well.

What would be one of the biggest successes involving Girlz Gone Riding?
The annual GGR Rocktober event that started it all.

What do you want people to know about Girlz Gone Riding?
We are an alternative to co-ed riding. This all female group of mountain bikers is a supportive, fun and social group. No one is ever dropped on a ride, we offer all levels of guided rides, we have relationships with bike shops and club sponsors that offer year round discounts. We are a tight knit community and support each other in every way.

How important was it to have your rides be "no-drop?"
Not leaving anyone behind encourages riders to go at their own pace and they are secure in feeling safe because they will be accounted for at all times and never dropped.

How important was it for you to develop relationships with the local bike shops and sponsors?
This is an on going project. My goal is to have any women mountain biker walk into a shop and all the staff know their name. Shops and sponsors need to be aware that this is no longer a boys club...LOTS of ladies riding and spending money. Women specific products are important to us. We also need to teach shops how to "sell" to women.

What are your future goals for Girlz Gone Riding?
To increase attendance and sponsors for our annual fund raiser. This year we have many new supporters that will be having women's specific clothing at the event.

Women's Specific Clothing-super awesome! Do you find that there are people who do not understand why women like women's specific clothing?
I find that many shops and manufactures don't even care about carrying women's specific anything in their shop. Their women's sections consists of 1 rack way in the back of the store usually. Unless they themselves are a female rider or have a partner that is a female rider, they seem to be typically unwilling to listen or carry much of anything. The market is definitely a lot smaller for women riders, we don't have the numbers men do, however........if more items were carried in the stores, the numbers of sales by women would increase. Currently, at least for clothes, we have to purchase most items on line.

Sometimes I hear someone wondering why women need "women only" events/rides. What are your thoughts on that? 
Funny, I've never heard that. Just like the boyz like to ride with da boyz, we like to ride with just our girlfriends too
Unless you are on a training ride, girlz typically like to be more social and relaxed, so all female rides just suit our nature more.

You can find more information on Girlz Gone Riding with these links:
WebsiteGirlz Gone Riding