GGR's LA chapter had our March 2020 club ride scheduled and planned. Myself and our ride volunteers even did a pre ride to ensure we were confident that our routes would result in the best end experience for our club members. Then March hit and the pandemic took over the world.
I cancelled all club events for all 7 chapters. On a larger scale, events like Sea Otter and all other races were cancelled. All of us were quarantined and instructed to stay close to home.
For me personally, the year meant loosing my friends Jeff, Lisa and Roy who all were taken much too early. It also meant me learning to work from home full time from my kitchen table.
I've missed my club dearly, especially our monthly club rides where I get to catch up with everyone and see the Greenie riders progress. I thought for sure we were going to be able to still hold our annual women's weekend in Big Bear, but of course that had to be cancelled as well. We were also not able to host any trail work days, partner with REI on building trails, or host our annual CORBA/GGR membership drive. I have however been able to host a mini Greenie ride almost every month to keep newbie riders moving forward.
The best 3 things for me personally in 2020: I was promoted to a national role, I got to spend more time with my boyfriend Hugh (who coached me through 2 rock gardens in Big Bear I previously walked) and I continued my partnerships with Ibis-bicycles and Kuat-racks.
I'm now on the new Ibis Mojo 4. I can tell you this is by far my favorite bike I've ever ridden to date. Climbs well, descends great and maneuvers like a champ. The confidence I've received from both the Mojo 3 and 4 has been a game changer.
We will continue to follow county guidelines for each chapter. No club events will be held until each respective county states it's safe to hold organized, group events.
Riders are riding in pairs and mini groups of 6 or less while social distancing. We are also encouraging Zoom events (virtual events) in each chapter to stay engaged with members.
When restrictions are lifted, we will hold club rides for each chapter as long as each county's restrictions have been lifted. I also hope to hold more workshops to certify ride volunteers in 2021.
GGR is also soliciting new apparel vendors to partner with for 2021. The new GGR store will only be up quarterly for 2 weeks at a time to encourage more club purchases and branding. I'd like to see every GGR member in a GGR jersey!
San Diego Chapter: Kamala Slight Director: "Amidst the chaos and shutdowns of 2020, the San Diego Chapter welcomed many new members, a great many who are completely new to mountain biking. In the absence of group rides and events, we have been able to come together online to share experiences, trail and cycling info, and post individual planned rides for those who needed a trail buddy while observing safe distancing. In 2021, we will continue to share online, occasionally meet up for small individual safely distanced rides, until it is safe to hold our organized group rides. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will also be looking to certify additional volunteers."
Kern County Chapter: Tracy Jones Director: "Due to Covid guidelines, the Kern Chapter group rides have been suspended. That being said, a few of us get together a couple days a week for (social distance) rides. We also engage in trail building with the Tehachapi Mountain Trails Association. When restrictions have subsided, I would like to hold another ride volunteer certification clinic as I have a few ladies that would like to join the leadership team. Additionally, I intend on hosting a bike maintenance clinic. This will include a how-to: change a tire, adjust the suspension for weight, and possibly some derailleur tips. This will be held at Cycle and Go here in Tehachapi or Grizzly Cycles, Bakersfield. ..The regular monthly rides will resume and plan on organizing a campout/ride/shuttlefest at Mt. Pinos in July."
Orange County Chapter: Amy Rambacher Director: "In 2020, the OC Chapter was able to host two club rides before life as we know it was changed. The Girlz of the OC stayed connected through our Facebook page and small pick-up rides with a few friends at a time, taking care to follow physical distancing guidelines. In 2021, the OC chapter Girlz will stay in touch with each other by continuing with our small pick-up rides. We also plan to do a few Zoom events and talk about mountain biking topics while we can’t all ride together. Hoping 2021 brings back club rides and an end to this pandemic! Hope to ride with you all soon!"
Big Bear Chapter: Ali Hyde Director: “GGR Big Bear had an entire year of rides and social events planned for 2020! Just as the snow was melting and we were ready to start riding, the Covid restrictions were put in place.
Everyone has continued to ride, either solo or in small, socially distanced groups. We are excited to have gained a new trail system in the Maple Hills area and are looking forward in 2021 to its further expansion. This new system is great for linking small loops together for a longer ride and will be great for beginner rides, hopefully sometime in the near future!”
Inland Empire Chapter: Anne Yeoh Director: "Due to Covid, The GGR IE chapter as other chapters, have not been able to hold club events. However, we did continue our community involvement with • private mini rides • building and distribution of bikes to needy kids in our community • introducing fitness training with Coach Jeana Miller and we hosted eleven (11) virtual meetups! Just a few topics we covered: Meet Leigh Donovan, Wilderness 1st aid, what to carry in your pack.
We intend to support our members at local upcoming bike races and events whenever possible and will continue to encourage pick up rides
Our IE volunteers have been the back bone of our chapter. We love them and we appreciate them!"
Mojave Desert: "The Mojave chapter is STOKED 2021 is here and intends on rebuilding our infrastructure. We are looking for new leadership/volunteer members. If you can commit to once a month, please inquire within!"
"Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.”
― Oprah Winfrey
All my very best to everyone,
Wendy Engelberg, Director & Co-Founder GGR: Girlz Gone Riding