Women on Bikes Series: Wendy Engelberg

Wendy's Specialized Epic 29r
Project Engelbling
Photography by Cosmo Works
Wendy is the brains behind Girlz Gone Riding (GGR). Girlz Gone Riding is a female-based group of riders located in the Los Angeles and Ventura County areas.

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

When did you first start riding a bike?: 2005
Were you the driving force in getting yourself into bike riding, or did you have a friend introduce you?
In 2005 I was going through a very long, dragged out divorce and needed something to take my mind off things. I had always wanted to try mountain biking, so I went out and purchased a hard tail and participated in the CORBA Fat Tire Fest.
What motivated you to ride as much as you have over the years?:
Addicted to it…It made me feel like I could conquer anything and it took me away for hours
Have you competed in events? If so, what were your reasons for competing?:Yes..try new genres of cycling and something new…have raced in XC, DH, DS and endurance events
What would be your favorite competitive biking event?: Sea Otter

Tell us about the Sea Otter event: 

Sea Otter has got to be the most fun cycling event ever! Something for every type of rider and every genre of cycling. The best riders in the world come to compete and also enjoy the festival. Lots of women's activities and great sales on products.
What kind of riding is your favorite? (paved, gravel, mountain, etc.) XC: Cross Country
Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride? (If not a mountain biker, how about first commuter ride, paved trail ride, gravel, etc.) 
O yes, will never forget. I had never mountain biked before. I didn’t like it at first, it was very, very challenging and I didn’t have the endurance.

How did you build up your endurance?
I just biked and biked and biked and biked.....
If you had nervousness at all, what do you do or think to overcome it?
Pure determination to conquer it
Do you use clipless pedals? If yes, what are some tips/suggestions for beginners that you would share? If no, are you thinking of trying it out at all?
I rode clipless until 7 months ago when I crashed in Mammoth. Due to reconstructive Knee surgery, I must wear platforms for 6 months.
If you have never tried clipless, practice starting and stopping on fire roads with the clips as loose as possible. Once you are used to it, you will feel one with the bike AND have an additional 20% power in your pedal stroke.
Wendy's Specialized Epic 29r
Project Engelbling
Photography by Cosmo Works

Have you had a bike biff? If so, how did you recover on a physical/mental/emotional level?

A crash?? Many many many many many…..this is the sport I love…there are consequences just like anything else…I think if you don’t crash once in a while, you are not pushing yourself.
What do you love about riding your bike? 
I love every aspect cycling has to offer. Social, mental, fitness and the feeling of empowerment