Style on and off the trails…we’re on our way to Christchurch for the first stop of the Diamonds in the Rough national tour!
Christchurch turned on the sunshine last weekend, with 17 ladies lighting up the trails of Victoria Park and Flying Nun with their enthusiasm, fun, and determination. We (Ash and Rosara) dreamed up the idea of a national tour of women’s mountain bike days over last winter, inspired by our experiences of how cool it is for girls to ride with other girls. The sight of the lady train rallying around the jumps and berms track pretty much encapsulated what we set out to achieve with Diamonds in the Rough: to spread the love of riding by providing a fun and positive environment for women to learn some new things and have a good time on their bikes.
We were joined for the day by local shred master Harriet Harper, fresh from a hospital shift. Highlights of the morning skills sessions included the skid competition (prizes for longest and styliest skids) through the sheep shit infested paddock, nailing the rock garden at the top of the Gums Track, and the “a-ha” moments when it suddenly clicked. After lunch we hit the shuttles (thanks to Gravity Canterbury for the loan of your sweet bike trailers and to Zane and Matt for driving), which was a first time experience for many of the women. Although there were initially some plaintive “but I like riding uphill” comments, the ladies developed a taste for gravity assisted riding with a couple of long DH runs through Vic Park.
After expending the last of our energy on the Flying Nun, we convened at the pub at the bottom of the hill for beers and chips. Ting was awarded a safety orange Juliana riding top for her shows of impressive guts and commitment, while Gilly scored herself a sweet Dakine riding bag for being the most improved rider. And we all went home happy, tired, and a touch sunburnt.
Next stop for the Diamonds is Auckland on Saturday 8 March. And in a very exciting announcement, we’ll be hitting the brand new Four Forty bike park! See www.diamondsintherough.co.nz for more information and registration.