Women Involved Series: Zoae Spackman

Meet Zoae Spackman, a woman involved with helping to build comradery and confidence for women getting into the off-road scene.

She's a wife and a mom to 3 boys who all ride and is well known for wearing lots of color and having a positive attitude!

Zoae enjoys coaching Women and Kids for MarchNorthwest and leading Women's rides for WMBC JoyRiders with partner in fun Tanya Storm. The WMBC JoyRiders offers a positive, supportive place for women of ALL levels and disciplines of mountain biking. All rides are no-drop.
They feature rides of the cross-country, all-mountain and downhill variety. 

To learn more about the WMBC JoyRiders, visit their website, Facebook, and Instagram.

What was the moment that had you discover your #bikelife?
I have two biking but both are a different kind of biking.
One- Riding with Tanya after she had her daughter and I had my third son. Being able to talk women things, while riding up the ridge and down SST.

Two- after watching my sons and husband at civic dirtjumps I thought about how boring it was to stand around, I wanted to ride. So my husband bought me a 24inch DJ bike and during the summer we go several times a week and I am always riding too! It has improved my mountain biking so much!

What has been your motivation for riding throughout the years?
It's a way to get outside and be active, and spend time with other women who like to be active. Also it is just to fun to roll over tech features and get better and stronger!

Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride?
Moscow Mt Idaho, 2003, fully ridged bike, and no clue where I was going. Ended up pedaling back into town and had to get a ride back to the mountain. I was annoyed that I was left and not directly shown where to go. Having a really cheap department store bike was probably the worst feeling.

If you had nervousness at all, what did you do or think to overcome it?
After that #1 I wanted a squishy bike, so my BF built one up for me. #2 Never being left alone on the trail again....

Clips or flats? What do you prefer and why?
Flats, oneness with the bike.

Have you had any biffs that were challenging for you on a physical/mental/emotional level? What did you do to heal and overcome?
One year I went otb (over the bars) on Bob's trail twice, on two different sections on the same ride. Took me a year to ride those spots and I had to follow someone into it. It was hard, knowing I could do it but I just kept seeing myself falling. It is totally a mental thing to keep trying and pushing ahead.
Photo Credit: Kjell Redal
When you started out riding, what were some handling skills that challenged you? Do you have any suggestions for what helped you grasp them?
I learned to ride on stairs at Washington State University on Pullman. I really struggled with feeling confident with speed and trusting that my bike could roll over things. I would have really benefited from a fundamentals clinic, but there were no such things near at the time.

Are there still handling or technical riding aspects that you find tricky? How do you not let that drag you down when riding?
Tight corners are still a struggle. I have to just focus and remember to stay balanced and look ahead.

What do you love about riding your bike?
Moving, the heart pounding of a good pedal up and feeling when I make the tech root sections going up and down.

You and Tanya created WMBC JoyRiders, tell us about the ride club and why it's so important to you and the area-
We wanted to really share our excitement for women of all levels of riding.

Why has the women's ride club become so successful?
Because we are fun to ride with ;-) there are so many more women finding the sport fun and just having encouragement and a supportive place to go to be shown the trails and how it does not have to be scary, is HUGE. Also being able to talk "bike" and explain terminology really opens the door for women to know and decide what they like about their bikes.

I love that you have JOY in the name- why was it important for there to be a positive emotion associated with the club?
Mountain biking should be fun!

What would you like to have new women riders know about the club?
Come, Ride, have fun and don't be afraid if you're slow. You just might find your new biking buddy on one of our rides!

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
Transition patrol 2016 carbon, size small, 165mm cranks, Climbs great and descends like a dream. - its blue!

Cannondale trail 4 2015 hardtail, great fun bike, good for tech cross country, or biking with my kids. -bright green

GT bump 24in tires. modified kids mt bike to single speed, rear brake only dirt jumper.

Raleigh cruiser bike- has a basket and skinny tires.

What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling? Especially mountain biking?
All the bike choices. There is so much debate on hardtail or full suspension, Price of a fully suspended bike can be a huge draw back. I believe you can have a lot of fun learning and becoming a better rider starting on a hardtail. So don't feel you have to go all out and get the $6000 bike, start within your budget, you can always upgrade parts.

What do you feel could change industry-wise or locally to encourage more women to be involved?
Demo bikes are a good start, also asking questions about what type of riding they see them selves doing, you don't have to start with a full suspension, hardtails have a lot of merit.

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?
Seeing the improvement and joy other women have when I demonstrate a feature, or show how to ride that switchback, just so wonderful.

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
I like to sew, and modify clothing, lately its been adding pockets to bike shorts and pants.​