"In Search of Stoke"

Is the FIRST

‘Female Gravity Enduro’

event at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula

In Search of Stoke, a female gravity enduro style mountain bike event aimed to encourage more girls and women onto mountain bikes and into bike events.

The event was designed to support and empower females to take on this style of mountain biking, a space where we continually see male participation far outweigh female participation.

The intention was to share the adventure, fun, challenge and social aspects of gravity enduro. From experience and surveys that whilst girls and women might be interested in giving mountain bike racing and events a go, there are often perceived barriers that stop them from doing so. These barriers include lack of confidence, little knowledge of event trails, feelings of intimidation, absence of female categories and lack of understanding of the race requirements and rules.

This event aspired to breaking down some of these barriers by providing a social, inclusive and supportive environment that also builds a sense of connection and community.

Gravity enduro provides an atmosphere that is a great blend of fun and challenge, and people can choose to put everything into it and race hard, or to take it at their own pace and have time to catch their breath, have a chat and grab a snack between stages.

It is the perfect type of mountain biking to make all females feel comfortable, confident and supported. There was also the hope that this event would provide a stepping-stone for at least some of these females to consider entry into other gravity enduro and mountain bike events.

On the day, everything fell into place to create a great vibe, lots of smiles and a heap of fun on the trails. With 100 females registered, ranging from 7 years old through to 60 years old, this alone was something worth celebrating and added to the buzz everyone was feeling. This is a huge number of competitors and a very broad age range to front up for mountain biking in general, let alone gravity enduro. Knowing that many of these riders had never raced in an event before and had chosen to sign up and attend this one was incredibly humbling, and seeing the support on offer from volunteers, sponsors, husbands, partners and Dads was awesome.

A big thank you to all the Red Hill Rider Volunteers who worked for months to get this event organised and the trails ready for the competition day.

Kathryn Visser