• Group picture of fabulous GGR girlz

  • GGR Big Bear trip - July 2012

  • 1st ever GGR event at Malibu Creek - Wendy and Ruth

  • GGR Big Bear trip - July 2012

  • GGR Big Bear trip - July 2012

  • GGR Big Bear trip - July 2012

  • 1st GGR event at Malibu Creek - Ruth can ride this...

  • Big Bear - July 2012

  • Big Bear - July 2012

  • 1st GGR event at Malibu Creek - Presenting Concerned Off-Road Association (CORBA) award to Wendy.

To tell this story, which is a long one……I need to go back a bit…too a somewhat dark place, the day of the crash that changed everything.

August 31st, 2013…I was on my 1st day of vacation in Mammoth with my then boyfriend. I hadn’t been to Mammoth in a long time and was really excited to get some downhilling in. I had borrowed a DH bike from my good buddy Mike at Cycle World, so I was extra excited to ride a super fun bike.

The plan was that we would ride together the 1st part of the day, then I would go back and check on the dogs. He was extremely fast, so he could get a ton of runs in while I stepped away, plus a break for me would be a good thing.

1st run of the day….was going to be an easy run to get acclimated to the pumice, the new bike and just riding really fast descending again. So I decided on Off The Top.

Right from the start I was having a blast. Felt good and we were switching on and off leading and following. The last time we switched, I was trying to go as fast as I could to catch up. I just rode over some speed bumps and started to enter a more narrow area with some shade and trees. All I remember is turning my handle bars slightly to the left. I was going just over 31mph when I hit the tree. It was like a truck hit me, then catapulted me down the trail. I remember being in mid air thinking O god..I’m doomed when I land. My body including my head bounced and bounced until I just lay there. My right leg was twisted under me and I remember feeling knifing pain running all over my knee, shin and ankle.

I radio’d for the BF (not using his name) since he was ahead of me. A couple came up on me 1st who just happened to be PT’s, so they knew to be extremely careful. I don’t remember much from this time to when SAR (Search & Rescue) got there. I do remember trying to walk and my right leg collapsed.
When SAR got there, they brought this boat like thing down with them that had a mountain bike tire in the middle of it. There was NO WAY I was getting in that thing. Well….in the end….I had no choice. They braced up my entire leg, picked me up and put me in this boat thing wether I wanted too or not.

Three of them including the BF, PUSHED me UP to the very top. These were 3 very strong people. An SUV was waiting for me at the top that drove me to the SAR house. I waited until the BF got back with the bikes and all of my stuff. Then he drove me to the ER. I felt so awful that I had just completely ruined our vacation and was now absolutely helpless. Life just took an awful turn and everything was about to change.

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The ER couldn’t tell me much at the time without an MRI, except that my ACL was most likely torn since my right leg kept buckling to the left. They suggested I see an ortho immediately.
I was pretty much at my lowest point and just devastated that this had actually happened AND on the very 1st run of our vacation that we both had been looking forward too.

When we got back, the insurance drama began. I have an HMO. I was assigned an ortho to see that I didn’t like at all. He lectured me on how someone “my age” should know better and not downhill because it was suicide. Yes…..he actually said that!

It took another almost 3 weeks of constantly following up with the doctors office to try and get a 2nd opinion. It was awful. I was in excruciating pain 24/7 and still had to manage working and getting around on crutches.

My MRI was finally approved and so was a 2nd opinion for a surgeon. The ACL was over 80% torn and everything else seems to be torn as well. My leg was so swollen I couldn’t even wear a shoe. The surgeon wouldn’t do surgery until the swelling went down and I had some range of motion.

Let me bring you forward now to surgery day, November 15th. BF had just disappeared, literally, just left, so now I counted on my inner circle of friends for help which I desperately needed and wouldn’t have gotten through this without them. Come to find out that the MRI missed a few things. The major thing was that part of my femur broke off. That is why I was in so much pain. After surgery, I stayed with one of my closest and dearest friends Darcie and her daughter Megan. They literally took care of me for the weekend and brought me home.

From the time I got home, another great friend Marybeth created a spreadsheet between my friends for everyone to have shifts and come over and take care of me. And that they did. I had everything I needed at all times thanks to my good friends.

During this time, I don’t remember much since I was medicated, but I’m told Jesse came over to borrow my bike since his was in for repair. Now the plot REALLY thickens……

Over the next few months, I had PT every week and strengthening exercises I had to do every day. My right leg was taking forever for the swelling to come down. I had been on crutches for over 4 months. Life wasn’t pretty and it was very difficult to do even the smallest of tasks.

In January of 2014, things started to move along in rehab and I was limping around without crutches. I was working really hard and icing constantly to try and get the swelling down from surgery. I still hadn’t been able to get 1 pedal stroke on the trainer because my right leg just didn’t have enough range of motion yet. But……I was close….I also found out that my DH helmet was actually cracked…I really hit hard….Kali Protectives has been a personal helmet sponsor of mine and a GGR supporter. Thank god for their helmets. I didn’t even have a headache after the crash.

February, I was able to get full revolutions on my trainer and was working extra hard to try and walk again. It was both a scary and exciting time.

Moving on to March..the follow up with the surgeon went so well that he moved me up from starting to ride in May to go ahead and RIDE but be careful and just flat road. Soooooooo, I sent Jesse a text immediately saying i needed my bike back that I was cleared to ride! See I wanted to ride my mountain bike on the road instead of my road bike because it was just so much more stable, especially with the huge 29r tires.

Well, Jesse didn’t get back to me right away which was very unusual. I sent him an email. Still nothing. Now I am thinking, O god, he broke the bike and doesn’t want to tell me, it’s in the shop in a million pieces. He stalled until the next night. By this point I was freaked, angry and stressed. WHAT was going on with my bike?

Well, to make a very very long story a wee bit shorter…Jesse wanted to do something nice for me since I had gone through hell and back the last 7 months. So him and Cosmo started Project Engelbling. This entire time, they had been working on blinging out my bike in purple (GGR Club color and my favorite color). They got 42 other people involved as contributors of the project. They told me every lie you can imagine. They even had a picture of my frame photoshopped with a crack in it, and had Michael’s bike shop AND the entire warranty department of Specialized in on it just in case I called to see what was up with my frame. They had every angle covered. VERY sneaky…….well done my friends…..

Lots of behind the scene drama was going on….it must have been very stressful for everyone to keep this up especially since I was so upset about my bike and just wanted it back not knowing what was actually going on and the lengths everyone had gone to keep this huge secret from me.

Brings us to March 29th 2014, the GGR Quarterly ride at Sycamore…the presentation…
Jesse had gathered everyone to present the bike back to me. At this point, a few things slipped so I already knew that they were blinging out my bike, but that was all I knew.

The moment had arrived…..Laura W held my eyes closed while kim and Jesse uncovered the bike. I heard big gasps from the crowd. NOW I’m REALLY buggin…So they finally gave me the OK to turn around. I was absolutely blown away. The detail was just amazing. They had taken so many of the pieces of my bike and anodized them purple, changed the cabling to purple, the platforms that I now have to ride in for 6 months so I don’t twist my knee twisting out of my clips were brand new and VERY purple. They even painted my Danusia bells with a hint of purple. Danusia would have got a HUGE kick out of that.The group also presented me with an amazing plaque and left over funds for the GGR operating account!
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The very best part was the new carbon rims with the GGR logo PAINTED on both sides. Talk about being blown away……now my bike is a business card out on the trail for other women to come join us! The bike is truly a masterpiece now that I am so very proud to ride.

Here is the video of the unveiling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmWfft-QEG4

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The very next day was my 1st ride back on the dirt since August 31st! Almost 8 months….10 of my friends joined me and I had an outstanding time.
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There are so many people to thank in this project, I am so very grateful to you all that you think so much of me to do this. I was truly moved.

My Sincerest thanks to all of my fellow riders and friends:
Jesse
Cosmo and COSMO WORKS for the exceptional photography on Project Engelbling
Kim C
Drew
Laura W
Darcie
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Michael’s Bike shop Newbury Park
Andy at Specialized warranty department
Marybeth
Karen B
Louisa
Steve C
Amy C
Desi
Joy
Kevin
Jan
Nancy H
Robert
Leah
Karen J
Leah
Steve K
Mike L
Graham
Lisa M
Tam
CP
The Rambachers
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Joanna & Charles
Huck
Linda
Don
Miyuki
Michael Thomas
Jenny J
Doug
Tim
Elysa
Ojai Ruth
Lara
Susan
Lisa Z

GGR Girl WE

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I was fortunate enough to get invited to the inaugural Active Living Plugged In training in collaboration with the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition and Pedal Love.
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“This innovative new training is about measurably growing your aptitude, polishing your skills, honing your voice, growing your network and learning to own your power as an active living advocate for California via.”

And THAT we did!

I have been so very busy with trying to get strong again since getting cleared to ride and with GGR upcoming events, I really didn’t have much time to review the material or prepare. We needed to come up with a 5 minute presentation using the TEDX program: http://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/tedx-program on why we were passionate about active living.

Now I have only had my Mac Pro for about a week or so and have never used a MAC before. So I needed to figure out KEYNOTE (like Power Point but for a MAC), very quickly to assist with my presentation.

I decided to talk about how active living and a healthy life style changed my life 9 years ago. I talked about how I needed an intense activity to take my mind off of a long, dragged out divorce and mountain biking was something that I always wanted to try.
In my presentation I then went to how i developed as an individual again up to present….GGR.

The 1st day we broke up into small groups and told each others stories. Each were compelling, but only one of us were able to be a presenter. I stepped up and asked the group if they would allow me to be that person…..I REALLY needed the practice. They were good with it…so on we went.

Now after seeing the instructors morning presentations, I realized that I only needed pictures and not all the text on my slides. Only key words. So that was the 1st thing we changed. We worked as a team to dissect what was important and the order of events. We were only allowed 5 minutes. The 1st time I presented the presentation to our group, I was at 7 minutes. Time to cut! We dissected it again. After listening to everyone’s outstanding feedback, we cut out an entire middle section. This also kept my thoughts more organized and I was able to stay on track.

I was also concerned overwhelming people. One of my closest friends always tells people if they haven’t met me…she is a very nice person…..in an overwhelming way….so I have to be careful not to be to loud and respect boundaries. I also like to get closer to an audience than most people and move around. So I wasn’t sure how the room would respond to that, however, it was very natural to do that for me, so I just went with it.

Well, after our team cleaned my presentation up and gave me the GOOD 2 GO…(my legs were shaking under my lap tap..I kept crossing them so no one would notice)…it was time to face the room and make my presentation.

The few slides I had were just pictures of myself with my friends riding. That’s what makes me happy and made me smile looking at the slides. I love speaking about my riding life and encouraging other women, so I felt it wasn’t necessarily smooth, however, my passion and enthusiasm came out. So I’m confident I got my story told in the manner they were looking for.

Now to get my blogging shorter!

Everyone did an outstanding job in their presentations Saturday morning. They had a little contest and I was lucky enough to win the best presentation for Saturday morning. (had to be the men joke scraping me off the ground…but it wasn’t a joke..it really happened!) It was a team effort and my team did an excellent job with directing me for a positive end result in getting my story out.

Saturday afternoon, we broke into the same groups but this time we discussed what we were going to do for bike month in May. Specifically what we will do different and how will we promote it…
Jen Klausner, Executive Director of the LACBC: http://la-bike.org, wanted to do a BFW Happy Hour night May 15th. Bike from Work to HAPPY HOUR! Our group worked on how we would promote and which media we would contact. My personal favorite was having a live Twitter feed up on a projection screen during the happy hour so everyone can follow the feed for the night and see all the pictures everyone is posting. Excellent idea Holly!

All of the presentations again were very good. We all made comments on them so each could improve their presentation skills

DAY 2:
Day 2 we started with talking about Power:
Personal Power
Positional Power
Political Power

Then we broke up into the groups again..THIS time different groups. I HAD to open my mouth..I was standing waiting to find out who the team captains were so I could make my decision as to what team I wanted to be in. Then Melissa called me as one of the captains….I died….geesh…will I ever learn?? Ok…deal with it Wendy and lets move on. I am used to be in a leadership position with GGR and having been self employed for so long, I just didn’t expect this..but I through myself into it making sure I heard from everyone and that they were confident and comfortable with their presentations.
We chose 2 people to speak since 2 items were to be addressed. Riley and Andrea. Riley was to present CO-EXISTANCE WITH MOBILITY.
We focused on 3 items: What: How and Media Coverage. We all came up with very specific organizations for the how as well as for the media coverage.
Andrea was to present how to recruit more women to these training events…how can we get this in front of as many women as possible?? Hmmmmmmm…Ok, I have to admit, the FIRST thing I said was for a rep from Pedal Love to be a guest speaker at the GGR Rocktober annual event. Getting in front of all these women at one time is HUGE!
Then she brought up many others such as Moms, the PTA, State Senators office, other local powerful women’s organizations.

All of the speakers from the teams did their presentations and all did an outstanding job. Very well thought out and great ideas. Lots of enthusiasm.

As this was also a competition, everyone in the room chose a winner. It was the 2 girls from my team! Riley and Andrea! WELL DONE LADIES!

So then they announced that they were going to do a best overall presentation prize for the weekend. So we all voted for who we thought gave the best presentation. Everyone did an outstanding job. For some reason, the room seemed to like my warped sense of humor incorporated into my presentation. So they awarded best presentation to me. They gave me a beautiful Carmichael saddle bag. It is lovely.

I went into this weekend thinking…what am I doing?? I’m WAY to busy to be spending my time on this for the entire weekend. Why did I commit to yet another thing?? I haven’t been able to spend hardly anytime preparing…I should not be going.

I now have such a renewed sense of energy thanks to the women in the room and the powerful presentations by the 2 men as well. I took away how to give a better, shorter, more precise presentation, I learned about contacting very different types of media for different types of events. I got to help others and see them shine. Overall, this was the best way I could have spent my weekend.

This training program, Active Living Plugged In..will be coming back to LA soon. It will sell out fast. Keep your eyes open and don’t miss it! http://www.pedallove.org/active-living-plugged-in-la/

A huge shout out and thank you to:
Jen Klausner
Melissa Balmer
Charlie Gandy
Allan Crawford
Kellie Morris
Maria Sipin

Until next time luvs……

GGR Girl Wendy E

Where to begin????? This is going to be one busy & exciting year for GGR!

All rides and events are posted on our very busy Facebook page here! https://www.facebook.com/groups/350083721682365/events/. We have rides, trail work, workshops and road trips posted here. More get added all the time, so THIS is the page to keep posted on all the latest events and sign up!

This year, we are moving the blog site to a full website to make it easier to maintain and offer more in one place. Stay tuned!

Some very special upcoming events GGR is VERY excited about!

The last race of our local XC series, http://www.racepedalfest.com/ is coming up on March 8th in Castaic. GGR has had the privilege of having our big, beautiful purple booth at each race to support the women racing and get the word out about GGR. 1551474_10151920985392358_1871139707_n (1)

March 29th at JRA Bikes & Brew GGR presents a Kali Protectives Product Night! Sign up is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/582914401784370/
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April 26th! Please visit GGR at our big purple booth at the Ruwanda 50! http://50mr.com/. This is a wonderful charity event with well over 1000 riders attending. 10, 25 and 50 mile ride options available! Sign up for this event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/446767425451315/

Our next big event is the Danusia Taber 1st Annual Memorial Day Ride/Fund Raiser May 31st! This is a CO-ED fund raising ride to celebrate the late Danusia Taber and raise funds for the Sarcoma Alliance which is the cancer fund Danusia chose for us to donate funds too including the Danusia Bell program. Hikers, equestrians and bikers are welcome! Sign up here: https://www.facebook.com/events/464308403674707/. danusia

The next event I am most excited about! GGR & Trail Angels are teaming up in August to bring women together for a weekend of fun in Big Bear! A celebration of Women on the Mountain! We hope to make this an annual event. Sign up is required. We will be limiting the amount of riders, so sign up on GGR here: https://www.facebook.com/events/394557954014453/, or if you are a Trail Angel member, please sign up here: https://www.facebook.com/events/586874144727340/. bb logo

Our main event for 2014 is of course the GGR Rocktober event! This year it is Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at MCSP (Malibu Creek State Park). Registration will go up at the end of August and is required. The event will include skills clinics, guided rides, guest speakers, raffles, silent auctions, plug sessions, swap meet, goodie bags for each participant and more!
Signed on so far for Rocktober:
Liv/Giant Liv_giant-logo_white_purple

WTB: wtb

Diamondback Bikes: diamond back

Loaded Precision Components: loaded

JRA Bikes & Brew: jra

Osprey Packs:Osprey

Kali Protectives: kali

Kramp Krushers: Kramp

Shebeest: shebeest

The Unlikely Cyclist: the unlikely

Shredly: shredly

If you want to get involved with the GGR Rocktober event or any of our club events, please contact me directly at wendy@girlzgoneriding.com

VERY exciting news: GGR has teamed up with Loaded Precision Components to offer GGR year round club discounts so we may bling out our bikes! GGR members please see the file on the GGR file page here for the details: https://www.facebook.com/groups/350083721682365/files/. Loaded

This is going to be an amazing year! I am so excited with all the rides and events going on to offer this wonderful place for women as an alternative to co-ed riding. If you are new to GGR, we are a supportive, fun, positive group of women to ride with. Come join us on a ride!

On a personal note, as many of you know, I was in a terrible crash in Mammoth August 31st of last year and due to surgery, torn ligaments and broken bones, I have been unable to ride or even walk for most of the time. After almost 7 months, I was finally cleared to start riding flat road. Another 2 months and I should be cleared to start on the trails again. It’s been a very long road. I thank all of you again for your support. I could not have come this far without it!

GGR Girl Wendy E!

Today was a thrilling day for us! After a successful fund raising campaign, GGR was able to purchase a custom booth so we can go to events and represent! Today, the first race of the Pedalfest series was our 1st time having the GGR booth up! It was a huge hit with all women at the race! They all had a place to relax, chat with other racers, leave their stuff, and meet other women riders.
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Today at the GGR booth, I had the pleasure of interviewing some of our local women athletes. I can tell you each and every one were all smiles and just thrilled to be at the races!
1st up was GGR Ride Leader, So Cal Endurance Ladies Team member Michelle Friend:
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Michelle raced today on her Specialized Stump Jumper in the Women’s Beginner Category. She thought the course was smooth, however challenging in spots. This is Michelle’s 4th race and took a podium spot at the Firestone race!
When I asked Michelle what needs to happen to get more women out at the races, she responded by telling me just having a booth that ALL can see and tell everyone about is a great start! Also to encourage each other while on the race course! Something as simple as screaming PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL! And of course a term we all have affectionately adopted for each other in GGR: YOU ANIMAL! GO GO GO!
When asking Michelle what she needs to overcome if anything, she told me that she was fearful of not finishing the race because she started out too fast and wasn’t able to pace herself.
And finally I asked Michelle what her 2014 cycling goals are! And to my delight, she said train with me and race more of the longer, more endurance races. Way to go GGR Girl Michelle! So proud of you!

Next Up was one of the stars of SO CAL Endurance Ladies Team! Catherine Hinton!
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Catherine raced today on her Specialized Epic Fate HT 29R in the women’s sport category. She felt today’s course was like a sprint on steep hills, but it still did have some good recovery spots. Catherine has been racing for only 4 years and has taken some very prestigious titles! State champ Cycle Cross, Leadville 100 qualifier and racer, and she placed 13th in the World Masters! Way to go Catherine!
When we talked about what it would take to get more women racing, she thought that race promoters like the Flanagans of Pedalfest were doing an awesome job by having the women start with the women instead of battling it out with the men right from the start.
So I asked Cat what her 2014 cycling goals were and it was a biggie! She wants to go to the Nationals Endurance race in Sun Valley! My guess is she will do VERY well!
A seasoned, successful athlete such as Catherine, you wouldn’t think she would need to overcome really anything, however to my surprise, she said she needs to overcome her OWN MIND! She states she brings herself down right at the start of the race. Sometimes she gets it in her head right from the beginning how she is going to do. I can tell you though, I have been in the line up with Cat at Sea Otter and you would NEVER know this! She is fierce and NOT to be reckoned with! Way to go GGR Girl Catherine! So proud of you!

Next Up is the elegant and yet hysterical Miss Karen Bauer who rides for SO CAL Endurance Ladies Team!
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Today Karen rode her Specialized Fate HT 29r in the Women’s Sport category. Karen felt today’s course had a lot of steep climbs with not much time to recover. She has been racing for about 4 years. Her best biking/podium moments were winning the Kenda Cup and taking the podium at Sea Otter!
Karen wanted to let all you women know that you can come out, participate and have fun! Karen looked at today’s race as her hill climbing day! All of you can get something different out of racing.
When asking Karen about what she needed to overcome, she said putting her ego aside being a successful, competitive athlete all her life to getting a wee bit older and just going with it. Karen just wants other girlz to believe that they can get out there and race too! She wants women to know that racing is like a party because you are out with our girlfriends all day long, you are meeting other women that you can train with, talk too, it’s just a fun environment!
For 2014, Karen wants to win Sea Otter! She also wants to improve on her skills and be a better descender.
When talking about things to overcome, Well…….Karen and I have something in common here…………VINO! We both are vino drinkers. This is NOT a good thing for training! This gets in the way of Karen’s recovery. Many women over 40 seem to start drinking more vino. I totally agree!

Next up is 1st time racer and always smiling Stacey Best!
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Stacey raced Women’s sport today for So Cal Endurance Ladies team on her Trek Super Fly 29R. Stacey felt today’s course was fun, yet painful! In Stacey’s 1st race she made the podium with a very respectful 3rd place! Way to go Stacey!
When I asked her about seeing more women out on the trails, Stacey told me she IS seeing more and more and GGR was a big help for women! She also mentioned visiting the bike shops often and letting them know women are out there too riding! She wants to see women’s sections in the bike shops like we all do!
I talked to Stacey about her cycling goals for this year and she really wants to be a better climber. When she 1st started riding, she was terrified of single track, her most memorable time on the bike is when she conquered that fear. Congrats and well done Stacey!

Next up is one of the members of the new high school team of Calabasas High! Welcome Sidra Aghababian!
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Sidra raced women’s juniors today at 15 years old and rides a Specialized Stumpy! Sidra felt today’s course was challenging on some of the steeper hills. She felt it was fun and flowey yet the sandy part was a wee bit difficult.
Sidra raced DS and XC at Mammoth at the Kamikaze games!
It was interesting speaking with these incredible young women about how they think we can get more women to join our sport. They all agreed including Sidra that if women just got out there and really saw how much fun it is, they would be hooked. She said this smiling and giddy the entire time! Sidra herself has only been riding for 2 years. Her whole family bikes! She wants to do well in the Southridge series and place in the top 10 in her school. This is an athlete to keep our eyes on!
Sidra loves her DH too! Her favorite times have been in Mammoth on all the techy trails! She also wants to work on some larger jumps and conquering climbs!

Next up is the O soooo amazing 1st time racer and pink Tu Tu girl…Liz Roark!
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Today’s was Liz’s 1st race! She rides for GGR and rode her Specialized Carv 29r. She started to tell me that the course wasn’t what she expected because it was a bit different from the pre ride. This time she had to ride the creek bed and was not used to riding ST. But because she had Shilo’s voice in her head not to put her foot down (dab..), she got through it!
Liz talked about getting more fit for 2014 and work on her skills such as turning and riding more single track. She told me her best moment on the bike is each time she overcomes her fears. Way to go GGR Girl Liz!

Next up is another amazing young athlete from Calabasas High, Tatianna Megerdichian!
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When I started to speak with Tatianna, I noticed her radiance when she spoke about biking and how confident she was in herself as a young woman! She is 15 yrs old, raced in juniors today on her Trek Fuel 5. She thought the course was very fun especially the downhill, yet the sandy parts were a bit tough. This is her 2nd race, the 1st being the Kamikaze games in Mammoth!
She felt that we as women need to show other women how fun the sport is and what great exercise it is. This year she wants to be a better endurance rider, she feels really confident mentally, but needs her body to catch up with her mind! Her best moment on her bike as been on the DH and this girl just wants to have fun!

And finally, I spoke with Seta Aghababian, another jr riding for Calabasas High!
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Seta is 16 years old. She had a lot of fun today on the course. She told me that the Calabasas team just started. Half of the team are girlz! She started biking in Mammoth and loved it! She wants to show other girlz how fun and what a great sport this is. Seta wants to work on her endurance this season and race Super D at Fontana!

After speaking with girlz from 15 years old to almost 60 years old….the common factor in the young ladies was confidence and a glow about them just wanting to get out and have fun! With the majority of the other women racers being over 40, it was all mental….can I do this, can I finish, will I bonk? I remember myself having that same glow as a young competitor….something us 40′s somethings can learn from these awesome new young ladies! Let’s get our GLOW back!

I thank all the GGR supporters and volunteers today! A HUGE shout out to Greg and Gina Flannagan the race promoters for Pedalfest. https://www.facebook.com/PedalFest?fref=ts. The Flannagans are huge supporters of women cyclists and have really made their events friendly for all. We thank you so very much for supporting women’s cycling! Please support Pedalfest, it’s an awesome community event with classes for children to adults of all levels! http://www.racepedalfest.com/.

I would like to close with some more fun pictures of today’s Pedalfest event! Please pay attention and give your support to these amazing young women and adult women athletes!

GGR Girl Wendy E!

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GGR had our 1st annual holiday ride and lunch December 8th. All levels of rides started at Cheeseboro. We had 30 riders and lots of pictures!
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Ride leader volunteers Ojai Ruth, Michelle, Desi and Tamara lead our riders all over the mountain for one fun morning!
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We also had the amazing SoCal Endurance ladies team out with us! All GGR members too! Everyone was siked for a photo shoot morning with the LA Times!
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The morning starting off with frost on the ground and everyone wearing arm and leg warmers! But by the time all the photo’s were done, the weather was near perfect with no wind! Lots of happy fez’s!
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After the ride, we had a fun lunch and cake at Wood Ranch BBQ just a few miles away and did a White Elephant Exchange. The purple cake was good!558890_10200959563693750_42839422_n

January
So whats new for January you ask??
There are many events already in da books! Please go to our FB page and sign up for the events of your choice! https://www.facebook.com/groups/350083721682365/events/

On January 4th, kicks off a new, fun, beginner friendly cross country race series called: http://www.racepedalfest.com/. This is a fun, non techy course good for all levels of riders including kids! Want to see if racing is in your future? Give it a try! THIS is the course to have your 1st racing adventure on! GGR will be interviewing all female racers on that day at the GGR/CORBA booth!

January 11th is another fun GGR ride at Reseda especially for beginners and intermediates! Sign up here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1400671183510664/

January 18th is the 2nd race for http://www.racepedalfest.com/ AND the 12 hours of Temecula! http://www.socalendurance.net/12–6-hours-of-temecula.html

January 25th is GGR/CORBA Trail work day! We ask all GGR members to participate in at least 2 trail work days per year! At THIS year’s Roctober event, we will be giving out a special award for the GGR girl who participates in the MOST trail work days! WHO’S IT GONNA BE?? You need 4 trail work days to qualify. Sign up here: http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/154081722/:

A very special announcement! We have the date already booked for the 2014 GGR Rocktober Gala! October 19th at MCSP! The 1st to sign on the same day as our last event was of course LIV/GIANT! Liv/Giant introduced their entire line of women’s 27.5″ bikes at our last event and they were a HUGE hit!
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On a personal note, I was able to very slowly get on the trainer for the 1st time since my surgery to reconstruct my knee. I am still a ways off getting on a real bike, but I get a tiny bit closer every day AND not giving up on Sea Otter just yet! Injuries are part of any sport. This has been my worst ever and has prevented me from walking on my own now for almost 4 months. The great part about being in GGR is we have the most amazing, supportive, compassionate, yet tough as nails girlz around! These girlz have supported me every step of the way and I thank them! I could not have done it without you! You know who you are!

Until next time..Happy New Year and may the sun shine on the dirt path in front of you and the wind blow every so slightly behind you…..GGR Girl Wendy E

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Our GGR year comes to another end for 2013. I can’t believe how fast it’s gone and all the changes and challenges 2013 brought on…a few highlights of 2013:

GGR has grown to over 450 members all starting from an idea at happy hour to get da girlz together! Ladies please join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/350083721682365/

Wenches with Wrenches workshops started with full houses of eager women to learn bike repair and maintenance. 1073815_10151577400027358_147062296_o

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This past GGR’s annual ROCKTOBER event and CORBA Membership drive was GGR’s 3rd annual main event with over 100 women in attendance again! The date is already secured for next year’s annual event! October 19th, 2014 at Malibu Creek State Park.

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Liv/Giant introduced their entire new line of 27.5” bikes at the GGR Rocktober event. Every single one was reserved to demo with a waiting list to boot. Can’t wait to see what demo’s they will bring to next year’s event!

We had our best showing of women on trail work days this year! Keep it up ladies! GGR asks all members to commit to 2 trail work days a year. 1014552_10151499811647358_748765893_o

We showed an enthusiastic group of ladies what shuttling was at Mt Pino’s and GMR this year and had a blast! This was many of the girlz 1st time ever shuttling!

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We have seen our spin off group of amazing GGR girlz join the largest women’s race team! 67 women strong! SOCAL ENDURANCE LADIES TEAM! https://www.facebook.com/groups/313370695434213/ 1400753_10151814108142358_1571287361_o

GGR introduced our DH jersey’s and they are a big hit! http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ggr_products/ 1265485_10151709522472358_313695737_o

Having lost one of our most influential women in our community this year to cancer, Danusia Taber, out of her passing, with her blessing came the Danusia Bell program. Getting bells on your bikes and or packs alerts all others on the trails to your presence. All profits go to the sarcoma alliance to help others with cancer with Danusia’s blessing. http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ggr_products/. Please look for the 1st annual Danusua Taber Memorial ride and fund raiser May 31st, 2014. 1048121_10151519052267358_1836065835_o

To close off the year, we invite you to join us in our last group ride December 8th. We will enjoy lunch and a gift exchange at Peddlers Fork restaurant after. This is an extra special group ride because the LA Times will be there for a GGR photo shoot for some publicity in an upcoming book written by Roy Wallack, author of Bike for Life. http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-columnist-wallack,0,4376362.columnist#axzz2mG8IDkGX. Sign up for this open ride is required. All ride info listed on the event page here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/676862972338954/.

We are still in our fund raising campaign to be able to purchase an easy up logo’d tent for GGR. Every dollar helps us get to our goal! Please donate what you can here: https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/ggr-easy-up-tent-and-tables?col=-28582

On a personal note, as many of you know, I had a bad riding accident in Mammoth over Labor Day and just recently had surgery to rebuild my knee which pretzeled under me when I landed. Unfortunately, I am not able to walk unassisted yet, so I have no clue when I will be riding again, hoping for sometime in the 1st quarter of 2014. It will be a long road ahead. I wanted to thank every one of you that have helped me during this time. I could not have done it without you. I have met each and every one of you through this magnificent sport of mountain biking and I am so very grateful for these relationships. I WILL be back on the dirt soon! I WILL be racing again and I WILL be participating in centuries again. I miss riding with all of you so very much and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and encouragement through this difficult time.

Until 2014 ladies, be safe, have fun and always try and surround yourself with positive people who also live a healthy lifestyle. Happy New Year!

GGR Girl Wendy E.

Another GGR annual event in da books held at Malibu Creek State Park for the 3rd time. Dubbed the GGR Rocktober 20th XC Gala. This year’s event was especially difficult and emotional for me personally for several reasons. I was on crutches (still am), so I couldn’t help out with any of the rides or even much of anything else but announce. And of course this year’s event was dedicated to Danusia Taber, who lost her battle to cancer this past May.

The morning opened up as usual with the girlz signing in and picking up their goodie bags and bike plates. Then many of them headed over to the Hammer and CORBA fuel station for some java and morning goodies.

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The morning address was focused on how far we have come in the last 3 years. The enormous amount of women mountain bikers in Los Angeles and sticking with it speaks for itself!  GGR has grown to almost 450 members, most of these ladies in the LA, OC, Ventura and San Diego area. Many of them made the drive to attend this event. Between GGR, Trail Angels and SOCAL Endurance ladies, we have over 1000 women riders! SOCAL is beaming with women who love their dirt!

Women now have a voice in our local cycling community. Women are supporting each other more than ever to continue to ride , socialize, network and most of all have fun!

We talked about how important it is to get to know your local bike shop and be a good consumer. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money, this means to get to know the staff, make sure everyone in the bike shop not only knows your name, but knows what trails you ride, the bike you ride and the group you typically ride with. This is the start of building a great relationship with your bike shop which hopefully starts a chain reaction down the road. We want the shop staff to address all their women clients by their 1st name and be able to exceed their expectations as a consumer. We have a voice and we are growing….so please pay attention to us. We spend money in the shops too. We want bike clothes too. We don’t want to purchase components we don’t need.

After I wrapped up the morning address, we brought up some speakers and presented awards.

1st off was Mark Langton, President of CORBA: http://corbamtb.com/. CORBA is on the back and sleeves of our GGR jersey’s and is a year round supporter to us. Mark talked about the different programs CORBA has to offer, CORBA’S involvement in the cycling community, trail etiquette and slowing down out there, being aware of all the other users on the trails.

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Next was Tessa Treadway. Team captain of SOCAL LADIES ENDURANCE TEAM.  This is the largest women’s race team in the country! All levels and genres of mountain biking are welcome!  Amy Rambacher also came forward from the team and explained about a new genre of racing called ENDURO racing which she competes in.  For more information about racing and joining the team, please check out the site here: http://www.socalendurance.net/

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Now it was time to bring Lance up. We had an award for Danusia, but we were never able to present it to her since she passed on this past May. So Lance, one of her best MBU buddies, accepted the award on her behalf. Lance talked about the memorial bench going up for Danusia in Sycamore, her favorite place to ride and just chatted about the incredible person she was. Danusia was instrumental in getting GGR off the ground, getting CORBA involved with us, and of course she was my close friend and mentor. I miss her dearly and she is truly missed in our women’s community.

We sold the Danusia Bells at the event all day. The bells can go on your packs or handle bars to ride with her in spirit. All profits from the bells go to the Sarcoma alliance which was hand picked by Danusia for the funds to go to prior to her passing. You can purchase a Danusia bell from GGR or CORBA here: http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ggr_products/ or here: http://corbamtb.com/store/store.shtml.

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At this point, we just had one more speaker to lead us off into our morning rides. GGR’s own skills coach Christine Hirst. Christine didn’t know it, but we had an award to present to her as well!

Christine has been the GGR skills coach for the last 2 events. She has volunteered her time for the day and has made such an impact with the girlz it has been amazing. We thank her so very much for her time, positive energy and great motivational speech to get our day going. The girlz were soooo excited to learn new skills they have never been taught. And to see them use them the same day was so very rewarding. This is what it is about. Improving, helping each other and sticking with it!

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We then all got together for a couple of group shots and then the rides were on their merry way!

The beginner’s started off with their skills clinic with GGR coach Christine Hirst while the advanced beginner’s, intermediate and advanced rides headed out. This year’s beginners and advanced beginners got one big huge treat! Little did they know…..the one and only, Leigh Donovan was one of their volunteer FLOATERS this year! YES! The most decorated woman rider in da world! Leigh was just her usual patient, generous and amazing self with our girlz especially through the long, dry creek bed. What a difference when another woman can show you exactly how it’s done and that..hey, it’s not that hard! YOU CAN DO IT!

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We had 5 levels of guided rides for the day. Each with their own route and speed. This year we had a lot of new GGR ride leaders, floaters and sweepers who all did an amazing job! Thank you!

Once everyone got back to the park after their rides, we started the afternoon activities. Lunch, more mingling, the ever popular swap meet, silent auction and the PLUG segment. The plug segment gives the girlz 30 seconds to come up in front of everyone and plug whatever they want.

We then went to present another award from a friend of mine who has been a GGR supporter since day one. Mike Lord, manager of Cycle World. He has helped with every GGR event, volunteered his and his staff’s time and resources. Mike is really a great guy and we were honored to have Sage from Cycle World accept the award for him. Please support Cycle World here: http://cycleworldbikes.com/

Our last inspirational speaker of the day was of course Leigh Donovan. http://www.leighdonovan.com/.

Leigh was just recently inducted in the BMX hall of fame. It was amazing to listen to her story about how little women there were when she was racing BMX and all the changes she has seen in today’s world of women’s cycling. This is Leigh’s 2nd time volunteering for CORBA and GGR and it really made our day that she was able to not only join us, speak, but really set a great example for our girlz. I thank you so very much Leigh for getting involved in our incredible community of women riders!

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We closed out the day with the raffles. Each GGR event is a CORBA membership drive. This year’s grand prize for the CORBA membership raffle drive was a NINER frame! Our own GGR Ride leader Joanne (J) Richards took home the grand prize!

Liv/Giant: http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/livgiant/ was there with the entire new line of 27.5 demo bikes for the girlz to try! This is the 2nd year Liv/Giant has supported the GGR event with a truck full of demo bikes! au_GGR-2013-553

 

A couple of the girlz, GGR girl Carly and GGR girl Letty, gave us their thoughts after demoing these new bikes:

“I tried the Giant 27.5″ in XS frame.  Boy, was that girly thing full of fun. I only have experience riding 26-inch tires.  I really felt the difference in the traction of the Giant and overall, the rocks and pavement almost disappeared! Or more like, I felt probably 50% less of its rockiness and bumpiness.  I got used to it really, really (surprisingly) fast.  The shifters were nice. The angle was more of a “lean forward” sorta angle, which was a slight adjustment (maybe this is an individual adjustment/modification).

The neat thing is, after demo-ing this bike, I would really consider my next bike to be a 27.5″ inch.  I felt a LOT more stable.  I consider myself an advanced beginner and this bike was just, great.  It made me feel less nervous compared to riding my own bike.  I often still get very nervous riding up and down rocky and technical trails.  I have not tried 29-ers, but I imagine after a longer-term the added weight would bother me.   I read that 27.5″ wheels add 5% weight and 29-ers are an extra 12%  weight (this is a BIG difference!) compared to 26″ wheels.   I am 5′ 4″ and about 112 lbs.   Compared to my 26″ XS Titus frame, the Titus is much more ‘nimble’ versus the 27.5″ felt a lot more safe and stable.  I’d keep the 27.5″!!!” GGR girl Carly

“I rode the Lust Advanced and I am in love.  The bike did all the work for me.  The Lust was made for climbing and speed.  The new tire size is perfect for my riding needs.   I usually ride a Pivot 5.75 and as much as I love it, it gets a little heavy on the long rides.  I’ve always been a little worried about not having enough gears if I rode a 1 x anything but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything on this bike. I am hoping Santa is going to be very good to me this Christmas.” GGR girl Letty

We are so very grateful to all of our volunteers and supporters! This is a team effort. There are many people behind the scenes that make the GGR events possible and we couldn’t do it without you! Please support the companies who support GGR!

CORBA

HAMMER Nutrition

Luna

Shredly

Cycle World

Kali Protectives

Newbury Park Bike Shop

JRA Bike & Brew

SOCAL Endurance

Shwings

Turner Bikes

Knolly Bikes

Mountain Bike Action

Liv Giant

Giant Bicyles

BH Skin

Loeka

Dirty Jane

DZ Nuts

Road ID

Red Bull

Dirty Girl Designs

Harlot

Cotz

Hero Kit

Cinema Secrets

The Perfect Peel

Polar

Scar Heal

Tifosi

Go Girl

The Unlikely Cyclist

Muscle Milk

Kramp Krushers

Matrix Concepts

Atlas Brace

Niner

Osmo Nutrition

Mountain Bike Skills.com

Sport Legs

Al Unger photography! To purchase pictures from this event, please go here: http://auphotographysales.net/#/gallery/girls-gone-riding-2013/au-ggr-2013-9/

Extra special thanks to all our ride leaders, sweepers and floaters. We had a few honorary GGR members this event (men), who did an outstanding job in volunteering their time to us out on the trails as well.

Extra Extra thanks and kudo’s to Christine Hirst and Leigh Donovan. And finally, my biggest shout outs, thank you’s and kudo’s to GGR Co Director Kimberly Cofield whom I couldn’t have survived without her this year, Miyuki Tanaka our amazing IT person who juggles everything while being a new mom, and Laura Watts who got our act together administratively this year.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I’m so very proud to call you all GGR girlz. I hope to see many of you at the Holiday Ride and lunch at Cheeseboro December 8th. Please sign up here: https://www.facebook.com/events/676862972338954/.

We are also raising funds for our own custom tent and tables for all future events. To contribute to the fund raising, please go here: https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/ggr-easy-up-tent-and-tables?col=-28582

On a personal note, I thank each and every one of you for your compassion and support. My ACL surgery is November 15th. I have a long road ahead and I can’t wait to get back on the trails with all of you!

GGR Girl Wendy E!

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The new GGR DH jerseys have arrived and O are they sharp and comfy! These jerseys are custom made to order. You can place your orders online here: http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ggr_products/

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Cinema Secrets will be sponsoring the GGR Rocktober Women’s XC Gala

I started wearing makeup in September of 2013 at the age of 38.  Yes, the age of 38.  When I was 14 I begged and begged my mother to let me wear makeup.  The house rules were the strict “no makeup until you are 16″ standard.  By the time I could wear makeup, I had no idea how to put it on and my peers had teased me enough that I no longer cared.  I’d buy mascara, lipstick or a compact every now and then just so that I owned something. 

I was a bridesmaid in a wedding a few years ago and had my makeup done by the Origins counter at the local Gottschalks.

Last month I was invited by Cinema Secrets to come down and see their product line and receive a mini makeover.  I was apprehensive.  I always have trouble finding foundation for my skin tone.  There is usually a vast array of colors of foundation, but rarely anything that fits the skin tone for women of color.  But, I decided to go.  And I am glad I did.

Danny and his makeup artists showed me around the Burbank Store which was decorated for Halloween.  If you are looking for halloween costumes, accessories, masks, etc, they have it all there. 

Danny asked me what makeup I currently used.  So I showed him my ziplock bag of assorted, mix matched stuff.  I don’t think they were impressed with my drugstore and department store selections.  So they went to work selecting items for  me.

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They applied a thin layer of their silicon Foundation Sealer.   The purpose is to create a smooth finish prior to applying the foundation.

Then, came the foundation (one color for the dark eye circles, one color for the rest of my face).  Cinema Secrets utilizes a Moisture Spray to help apply the foundation smoothly. 

After the silicon sealer, application of the foundations came the powder.   I learned that application of the powder is more deliberate than I have seen in the movies.  I highly suggest taking a class at Cinema Secrets to learn the proper application techniques.  Applying makeup takes skill and finesse. 

Once the powder was applied, the makeup artist was able to give me beautiful eyebrows.  My eyebrows are very thin as they reach towards my temples.  The artist was able to work magic on them with just a brush, water and eyeshadow.

The finishing touch was a few spritzes of Super Sealer.  This is a sweat inhibitor.

For those allergic to latex.  They used  non-latex foam pads for applying my makeup.

Cinema Secrets is one of the GGR sponsors for the Rocktober Event.  Look for discounts in your Goodie Bags and also, they will have items in the Raffle and Silent Auctions.

I made Danny a commitment to try his products.  Cinema Secrets is a family owned company.  His father Maurice is well regarded.  The steps to apply the makeup are quite simple.  The only thing I struggle with is application of the powder.  I don’t bother with shaping my brows.  I am more considered with applying the foundations to even out my skin tone.  So far I really like the products.  They don’t feel heavy or oily.  And I was taught how to apply the makeup so that it looks very natural.

www.cinemasecrets.com

Facebook:  Cinema Secrets
Twitter:  @cinemasecrets

GGR Kimberly Cofield

 

 

I have been personally using SportLegs now for over 7 years. This product is a MUST! It slows the lactic acid process down so your quads don’t burn! We are thrilled to have them provide SportLeg packs in every single goodie bag this year! Ladies………try this product! It works! I don’t ride with out them! http://www.sportlegs.com/about/welcome.asp

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