NEMBA (or New England Mountain Biking Association) hosts a series of workshops every summer just for women. I heard about it through a friend, so headed to the second one last month.
First of all, it was amazing to be surrounded by women mountain bikers of all ages and abilities. I ride mostly with boys usually, so it was such a treat to see very talented women showing other women how to ride.
There were about 30 of us, so we were split up into multiple groups. We started talking about some basics, like stance going up and going down, then progressed to cornering skills. A lot of the things mentioned, like looking to where the turn comes out and always looking up the trail instead of what is just in front of your wheel, have been so helpful to me! They did a really good job of telling us what do do, demonstrating what to do, then having us actually do it. We practiced cornering on a small pump track that had a tree at the end of one of the corners- it was a good place to practice looking ahead and figuring out how to exit a turn. After the lesson, we went on a short downhill switchback section to practice for about half an hour, then the session was over! Another woman and I headed out again after- we figured we had driven over there and might as well get some good riding in before heading back in our cars. There were some easy trails (like the ones we did our lessons on) but also some much more technical ones with lots of rocks and roots.
Russell Mill is pretty small in terms of square feet, but they did a great job putting lots of trails in, meaning that there are lots of turns so they could maximize the distance. It was funny to see the map on my GPS tracker after and see all the squiggly lines. I’d definitely go back and ride there, even if just to play more on that fun pump track, but there isn’t a whole day’s worth of riding there unless you repeat everything multiple times. NEMBA reviewed Russell Mill here.