When I thought about getting started with mountain biking for the first time, I felt quite intimidated. From society’s definition of being a lady to our bodies’ biology, it was challenging to muster up the courage & saddle up for the first time.
So in June 2020 (after the COVID19 pandemic hit), I realised that I needed to build my physical fitness, take creative breaks away from my usual routine, and get back in touch with nature. I decided to take the leap and start mountain biking with strong encouragement from my friends.
My Bike Journey
It started with an old Mongoose bike
The Mongoose was a second-hand purchase by my dad from a local Nairobi auction. He had a goal to get his daughters active during their college years. With this bike, learning how to balance on it was like learning how to walk after many years.
Still, Mongoose was the perfect starter bike for a beginner to get the reins of riding in the mountain & forest. It was also the first bike I had an accident with, and taught me the value of wearing a helmet on every ride.
Then I went to a better Limitless
The Limitless bike was a big upgrade from the Mongoose. It arrived as part of Creative Consillium‘s project payment from Bobby Reriani, the owner of Limitless Bikes. It was lighter and easier to ride, had better parts for aspiring cross country riders, and helped me trust my growing skills as I went on trips with far more experienced riders.
Limitless was named the Bike of Terror. Every rider who rode it (including me) had an accident and lived to tell the tale after their first ride, so it gained a reputation pretty quickly.
When I started riding in mid-2020, pushing the pedals was super fun, and tiring at the same time. On this ride in Kikuyu, Kenya, I had one of the group walkie-talkies so that I could contact the other riders in case I got lost 😅
And topped it off with my favorite — a green Fathom
The Giant Fathom is almost my most loved possession. This trail bike was previously owned by my friend Mike when I had the Limitless, and came under my care when he decided to get a Norco to match his growing skills.
I love it because it helps me grow my biking skills without feeling any fear. It is lighter than the Limitless bike, and feels much safer when riding fast on rocky ground with its wide, grippy tires.
As a current beginner-intermediate rider, I feel that it is perfect for me to compete with in simple competitions and build my skill level.
Learning with the Support of a Community
Every time we’re on our bikes, I try to get closer to catching up with friends on cycling trips, even if they keep getting faster sometimes. The trail exploration trips and races can also be sketchy with new challenging trails, but that’s where their support helps.
I use Strava to share my adventures with friends, join local & global community challenges, and keep track of my fitness progress along the way. It’s also fun to meet new faces and make new friends at Tubike & other local biking meets.
So, are you a lady thinking about how to ride a bike? Drop your fear, wear a helmet, borrow a bike, and create your story.