The Bozeman Pedal Project Providing Female Cyclists a Summer of Fun
Get On Your Bikes And Ride!
Patrick Greeley | Sunday Jul. 1st, 2018
Female readers who have sought a group of women bicyclists to accompany them on rides must look no further, for the Bozeman Pedal Project fits the criteria of an extravagant summer filled with adventure, trails, and camaraderie. Since the summer of 2015, the Bozeman Pedal Project has served as an outlet for female cyclists to step outside their comfort zones and participate with fellow cycling enthusiasts in pursuit of the overall goal of exercise and fun.
The origins of the Bozeman Pedal Project lie in the friendship of two separate groups of female cyclists who formed a kinship over their adoration of bike riding. While one group primarily focused on riding alongside the road, the other group found solace in mountain biking among the abundance of mountain trails Bozeman has to offer. As the groups found enjoyment riding with one another, they decided to merge together, and the Bozeman Pedal Project was born. Following their decision to collaborate with each other, the Bozeman Pedal Project took to Facebook, creating a page to entice eager female riders. Since their founding in 2015, the Facebook page has grown substantially from a modest 45 members to boasting over 750 members.
While the Bozeman Pedal Project flourishes due to the wide range of female riders, Mollie Call, Sarah Guggenheim-Alexander, Karen Mitchell, Mellissa Cronin and Molly Bowman are credited as the founders of the Bozeman Pedal Project, all of whom are strong advocates for cycling on any terrain. Call, a teacher who is delighted to help spark confidence and excitement in women riders, specializes in road riding, whereas Guggenheim-Alexander, Mitchell, Cronin and Bowman find their strong suit is in mountain biking. With the help of the Bozeman Pedal Project, the founders have built on their prior strong set of cycling knowledge, such as Guggenheim-Alexander co-founding the Bozeman Youth Cycling Program for excited children riders, and Cronin achieving her level 1 Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Certificate, proving that the founders have immense wisdom to pass on to female riders.
The Bozeman Pedal Project founders have worked tirelessly to assure riders a safe and joyful experience riding while also organizing bike riding events all summer long. Bike rides are divided into two categories: road rides, hosted by Call, and mountain bike rides, led by a rotation of Guggenheim-Alexander, Mitchell, Cronin, or Bowman. Road rides are held every Monday this summer going into September, meeting at the Bozeman Public Library at 6:00 p.m. According to the Bozeman Pedal Project’s website, the road rides will consist of an hour to an hour and a half rides focusing on group dynamics, efficient riding techniques, and education on communicating with traffic and other riders within the group using hand signals. As for Wednesday night, the Bozeman Pedal Project hosts ladies mountain bike rides, starting at the same time. Growing in popularity over the last three summers, the mountain bike rides will vary in the difficulty in trails, focusing on introducing local women to new trails and developing friendships between other female riders. The website asks for cyclists to come prepared with essential bike riding gear, such as a helmet, sunglasses, and comfortable clothing, while also insisting riders bring some water and a snack to keep energy levels high. Furthermore, both the road rides and mountain bike rides pertain to the no-drop mantra, meaning no one gets left behind, proving the Bozeman Pedal Project has determined to build a biking atmosphere comfortable for all levels of riders, or as the website claims about the rides “a great opportunity to meet new people, admire the Bozeman scenery, all while burning some calories!”
Although rides come to an end near the end of September, the Bozeman Pedal Project has set action to host events outside of riding. In 2015, the Bozeman Pedal Project inaugurated its monthly mountain bike skills clinic for free, and open to all genders, with the help of local community volunteers. The monthly mountain bike skills clinic have been one of the more adored group offerings, with coaches offering their expertise to members curious about improving skills, specific mountain bike maneuvers, bike fitting, road strategies, trail etiquette, cyclocross, and more. That same year, in the spring of 2015, the Bozeman Pedal Project hosted its first spring kick-off, potluck, and skills clinic at Lewis and Clark Caverns, becoming an annual part of the schedule. The Bozeman Pedal Project has since added an annual October potluck as way for members of the project to say goodbye to biking season by sharing experiences and photographs, introducing spouses, and drinking some delicious spirits from Wild Rye. Lastly, Owenhouse Bikes and Bozeman Pedal Project have partnered together in hosting proper bicycle maintenance classes, proving to be a booming success. The maintenance classes have helped educate participants in all facets of proper bike maintenance, ranging from changing bike tubes, to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. Even though the season for riding trails will come to an end, the Bozeman Pedal Project has not fallen short in offering a wide range of activities for members who wish to further their own knowledge.
Overall, the Bozeman Pedal Project has put forth a tremendous effort in organizing bike riding events for all levels of female’s cyclists. The Bozeman Pedal Project summarizes its goal of the project elegantly, stating “Everyone is welcome and is embraced as a sister of the bike. The ride groups are a safe venue for riders to test the edges of their comfort zones and improve their skills while laughing and enjoying our beautiful area.”
Bike rides will be hosted weekly by the Bozeman Pedal Project at 6:00 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday throughout this summer for women of all levels of cycling, providing a safe environment for female bike riders to indulge and explore Bozeman’s sublime wilderness amongst each other’s company. More information can be found at the Bozeman Pedal Project website, or by simply joining the Facebook group, and for any remaining questions, curious readers can contact Mollie Call at email@example.com.