Last winter, 25 women from northern and central Vermont came together to form Mountain Moxie, a new women’s mountain bike race team with a broad mission to:
- Learn about ourselves and our environment through the pursuit of sport;
- Find camaraderie around and direct support for riding, training and racing;
- Support women’s access to and participation in the sport of mountain biking; and,
- Hone technical skills, race well and contribute to the greater mountain bike community.
These women lived up to name and mission by exhibiting moxie on the trail and in the community.
- In the spring, 20 team members honed mechanical and technical skills in clinics at Coyote Hill, the Catamount Outdoor Center (through Little Bella’s) and Sugarbush’s Adventure Center.
- In the summer and fall, team members raced both near and far over 40 times from the XC Ultimate in Quebec to the BC Bike Race in Whistler, as well as at local favorites like the Millstone Grind and the Vermont 50.
Moxies completed 6, 12 and 24 hour races; multi-day stage and 100 mile races; as well as hill climb, cyclocross, and downhill races. They raced Wednesday nights at the Catamount Outdoor Center with their kids. They were visible at local charity events, from the Gravel Grinder to the Tour de Valley, Leaf Blower and CircumBurke. The blue jersey even graced a circumnavigation of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France.
Part of the experience for these women went well beyond peer support for racing and riding regularly. Community encouragement for women’s success in getting to the start line and through the finish line was also key.
Playing a lead role in this achievement were the team’s lead sponsors: Onion River Sports, ISIS for Women, The Confluence Community Fitness Center, Terry Bicycles, Darn Tough, and Osprey Packs. Other sponsors were Five Hills Bikes, Magic Wheel Community Bike Center, Complexions and Johannes Otter Massage.
Moxies also gave back to the community. The team made a financial donation to Little Bella’s to support the organization’s work in empowering girls to experience the sport of mountain biking. When not on their bikes, team members served on the Boards of trail clubs or recreation organizations, wielded tools on workdays, raised money for causes or volunteered at local events.
In November, the team gathered to wrap up the 2011 season and discuss new ideas for the coming year. Team membership will be finalized on January 15, 2012.