World Tour Report: Ray’s Women’s Weekend

Have you ever been to a bike event that was jam-packed with women riders—not the typical dude ranch or sausage fest? Amanda and I have. This past Friday, we headed to Ray’s Indoor MTB Park in Cleveland for the third edition of the Women’s Weekend, which was bigger and better than ever.

This year’s Weekend was organized by a top-notch team headed by Ray’s staffer and BMX pro Nina Buitrago and Mad March Racing coach Tamara Peloquin, and featured an impressive list of 16 gracious pros to lead clinics on everything from basic skills to ripping it up. Some of us learned the basics of bunnyhopping (without clipless pedals, mind you) from none other than DH racing legend Leigh Donovan. Current gravity podium-topper Kathy Pruitt was there showing how to catch air, some of Nina’s BMX colleagues were on hand to teach the finer points of barspins, and Tammy Donahugh, who was recently featured in the pages of Dirt Rag, came back this year as well to show how to get the most boost from the ramps. There was an equally impressive list of sponsors, who provided sweet prizes—including bike frames!—and some awesome demo opportunities.

What impressed both Amanda and I the most, however, was the number of chicks who showed up. Each year the event has grown by leaps and bounds, and this year’s total was well over 150! Quite a few women have come back each year. We noticed how many participants came ready to rock with their own jumping bike. There were also freeriders, Lycra-wearing fast types, and fairly raw beginners who came and expanded their skills. We marveled at a couple of really young girls—there was one who couldn’t be more than eight who was clearing the box jumps better than I was, on a 20”-wheeled Specialized Rockhopper. (Darcy Turenne speculated that the purple flowers help boost air.)

Purple Flowers to catch air

Sadly, Amanda and I only got to hang out on Friday, and missed some party time and a movie premiere, but we know we’ll be back next year.

Check out our Gallery from the event, and look on our Forums for more photos and tales from the Weekend.


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