It’s Time to Get #MoreGirlsOnBikes

Pedal Girl, Pedal! is our outreach initiative focused on recruiting and retaining female student-athletes, coaches, and volunteers. Why does the ACA need special measures to recruit more girls and women if programming is inclusive and equal? Although we have been successful in providing equal opportunities to everyone once they’re participating in our programs, we can only be truly equal when we address that some females may at times need different things to feel welcome and invited into ACA activities.

Initiative Goals

  • Inspire young women to build confidence, strength of character, and feel empowered through mountain biking.
  • Provide a fun and welcoming community of girls for all participants, regardless of experience and ability.
  • Increase visibility of role models for female student-athletes through getting more women involved in leadership roles within the ACA.

Pedal Girl, Pedal! Is…

  • A mantra to keep striving, and to keep moving forward.
  • Any girl who shows up to a practice willing to challenge herself.
  • Any woman who volunteers with the ACA as a coach, ride leader, or in any other role who believes that mountain biking is a sport for girls.
  • Any female who supports getting more girls on bikes and is committed to helping us out along the way!

What Can You Do To Help?

Volunteer! In order for events and a variety of activities to come to life, committed volunteers are needed. Your support, feedback, and ideas are an integral part of the initiative. Spread the word to all of the girls and women you know. Tell them about the ACA and outreach events, and encourage them to join in.



Programming

Our teams and coaches are already doing great things to recruit girls and give them the best possible experience with the ACA. Yet we are all striving for more, and the ACA is committed to giving our teams and coaches more opportunities and resources to #getmoregirlsonbikes. Here’s a summary of our programming initiatives:

MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRL PODS

We are encouraging our teams to form middle school girl pods. These practice pods keep girls together and are formed to increase female participation and retention as girls move into high school. These pods should strike a balance between fun, skill development, competition, and viewing mistakes as opportunities to learn. It de-emphasizes winning, does not call girls out on their mistakes, and champions the “non-competitive” aspects of the program. Ideally, these pods should be coached by women.

REGIONAL EVENTS

We are piloting some regional events to connect girls and female coaches from across teams, and give interested but unsure girls an opportunity to experience mountain biking. These events are aimed at strengthening community, while serving double-duty as a recruiting tool. Most of all, they should be fun!

If you are interested in hosting your own, please reach out to Programs Director Chloe Woodruff. The ACA will provide you with some swag, incentives, and admin support.

Upcoming Pedal Girl, Pedal! Events:

RACE WEEKEND EXPERIENCE

We are rolling out a few changes to our race weekend, with girls in mind. For starters, we are adopting a girls-only pre-ride hour, where girls will have the race course to themselves. Girls won’t be limited to this training hour only, and any coach will also be allowed on course during this time (with their plate, of course!)

PRACTICE GUIDE

So you have a Pedal Girl, Pedal! girls pod organized, now what do you do? We will share best practices in coaching girls, with some practice ideas and more. Stay-tuned as this guide will be up in our Coaches Toolbox by July 1.