I pulled into MCSP at about 6:30am hoping that the park attendant would get in early. It was dead quiet and still dark out, very peaceful. The night before, I posted for everyone to get there as early as possible due to the long lines and one attendant working. And sure enough…just a few minutes later the line was out into the road waiting for the gates to open.
Sage, our sweet park attendant was right on time and opened the gate at 7am for us. One of the new ride volunteers Jose G, came by my house during the week and picked up all the GGR booth things in his truck to bring to the event and he was right on time too.
Many ladies got there early and the girls got the GGR Booth up right away to get riders checked in and Mark Langton got the CORBA booth up right away next to GGR of course! Doris Dunn took over managing the vendors for the morning and mapped everything out. I was so grateful she took this over and she did a great job! Joyce made signs, awesome GGR name tags and did a million other fantastic things for me. Well done ladies!
The morning is always crazy…and the day is filled with sooooo many things we have a time schedule to keep, so it’s critical things move quickly and smoothly in the morning……Sometimes they do………sometimes they don’t.
While we were getting set up, the demo trucks, Trek & Giant, the food truck and Pedal Power truck were to be arriving any minute to set up for demo bikes, give out samples prior to the rides of the Joy Ride System by Pedal Power: www.petal-power.com and of course have some coffee in the wee hours of the morning!
Riders were arriving early and the parking lot was getting full. The lines at the GGR booth seem to be going well and so far running smoothly thanks to Registration Team Leader Desi who handles this for me every year and does an outstanding job! Then she goes and leads a ride too!
Gathering everyone up in the morning before the rides and clinics is always challenging..it’s a social event so ladies are socializing and enjoying the morning!
I always start the morning with a quick motivational speech. This year was about empowerment since the entire day was about empowering each other to become better riders, better friends and just better in general.
I talked about getting involved in GGR and CORBA suggesting everything from organizing and leading rides, to trail work to setting up a Wenches with Wrenches workshop at their favorite bike shop.
The Rambachers, Amy and Thomas, GGR ride leader volunteers, were recognized for their incredible Enduro Series wins…The Rambachers also donated 6 foot tables to GGR which we desperately needed!
Darcie Loth was presented the night before with the Courage and Commitment Award.
And the community aware this year to recognize their excellence in our community went to Michael’s Bicycles in Newbury Park. www.michaelsbicycles.com
This year we were blessed with having 2 coaches for the beginner skills clinics! Christine Hirst who has been with GGR since the beginning donating her time every year for this event, and now Leigh Donovan who made the really long drive to donate her time for the day helping our incredible group of GGR riders to become safer, more confident riders! Leigh recently partnered up with LIV to start www.ichoosebikes.com.
Our final speaker was Mark Langton from CORBA. www.corbamtb.com. GGR and CORBA partner for pretty much everything. Mark talked about CORBA and the trail etiquette for safe and courteous riding for all that use the trails.
Photo Time! We all then moved over to a big empty space in the park for our massive group photo. I was looking around and couldn’t tell really how many were there, but I knew it was much bigger than last year. I would just have to wait to count the waivers later in the day to find out….
RIDE TIME! So now all the riders went to their ride signs to wait for their ride leaders. The beginners were taking the skills clinics 1st while the advanced beginners went out for their guided rides. Then the advanced beginners would come back and get THEIR skills clinic and the beginners would go for THEIR guided ride.
I watched all the ladies take off for their guided rides like a proud, very worried mother. Virtually everyone was in the purple, the GGR club color. Some had their GGR jerseys on, some had purple tees, purple jerseys, boa’s, purple beads, painted purple toes and finger nails, decorated handle bars, the bling goes on and on! It was fabulous! Ladies really had fun with the bling this year!
Let me mention the men on these rides….there are very few men in GGR. Because…well, it’s a club for women! However, these handful of men are friends of mine that I ride with, trust, are respectful, kind and very willing to help out. Their strength, speed and compassion is much appreciated to help on our rides. They out did themselves this year too! Purple tu tu’s, wigs, ear rings, purple nail polish….they were COMPLETELY in the GGR spirit for the day and I love them for that!. I thank you all so very much!
While everyone was out on the rides and skills clinics, Louisa and I started going over the raffle and silent auction items. This also gave me a chance to just take a breather and take in everything that was happening and what I needed to do in the afternoon.
Charles from Clif : www.clifbar.com, came up to me while I was heading over to get some coffee. Clif provided the entire fuel station this year. This included hydration, recovery, shots, gels and mini Clif bars. They also provided Clif product for the goody bags. This was Clif’s 1st year supporting the GGR Rocktober event and they were thrilled with their fuel station as well as the attendance! Always great when your sponsors are happy!!! Thank you Shilo and her girls from The Squeaky Wheel Bike Shop in Palmdale for setting up the Clif fuel station for GGR!
The riders started coming back around noonish for the afternoon festivities. Apparently there were a ton of hikers and of course a Boy Scout group that was on the trails at the same time, so there was some congestion on some parts of the trails. We will be re routing the routes next year to prevent a lot of this.
The afternoon was to chill, visit all the wonderful booths, have lunch, socialize and win some great stuff!
We had some speakers in the afternoon too!
Amy “Enduro” Rambacher talked about coaching a high school team
Nancy “Den Mother” Harris and Jill Hamilton of Petal Power spoke about racing.
Lisa Baker from the Unlikely Cyclist came up and told her story and talked about women’s cycling clothes and the importance of proper fit.www.theunlikelycyclist.com
Then before we started the afternoon raffles, Leigh Donovan awarded Karleen Volz the most improved rider of the day. Liv donated a Liv Cycling kit, hat and gloves for miss Karleen to take home knowing she was the most improved rider! www.liv-cycling.com
We ended the day with the huge raffles, silent auctions and Mark Langton from CORBA awarded an REI tent for the CORBA membership drive winner. Every year at Rocktober, we also hold a CORBA/IMBA membership drive and everyone’s name that renewed or purchased a new CORBA membership goes into the raffle.
We broke everything down, swept the park so not a trace was left behind, I watched everyone pull out and just a few of us were left talking about the day. I was exhausted. I start planning this event in February and it’s always very stressful the month before. For the most part, it went better than expected. The turn out was huge……..women mountain bikers are growing in numbers that our club just can’t even support at the events any longer. Bike companies……bike shops, this is a movement that is happening. Take notice, step up and get involved in your women’s cycling community! WE ARE FABULOUS!
I want to thank every volunteer, rider and sponsor who were a part of this event. All the volunteers work hard to make this a better event every year and I thank you for it. Our booths and sponsors sere just awesome this year! Huge Kudo’s to Shredly who has been with GGR since day one! www.shredly.com. Also, Zoic did something very special. They picked a girl out of the crowd and gave her a ZOIC MAKE OVER! HOW COOL! Thank you Zoic for making the day extra special! www.zoic.com
For a list of our amazing sponsors, please go to the GGR website and check them out who support women’s cycling! www.girlzgoneriding.com/event-sponsors-2014.html
Until next Rocktober, I bid you happy trails, keep the rubber side down and just be fabulous daw-lings
GGR Girl WE