by Gloria Liu
Who doesn’t love a good group ride? Sandbagging in the parking lot, suffering together quietly on the climbs, hooting at one another joyfully on the downhills like a bunch of speed-drunk owls in heat. Follow it all up by with an ice cold beer or two, and you’ve got yourself a perfect day.
If you agree, you have one more reason to get stoked that mountain bike season is just around the corner: Boulder Mountainbike Alliance is going big on their Social Rides program starting in April, expanding it from three weekly rides to a total of nine regular rides or clinics. Do the math: that’s triple the fun.
Here are the 2014 Social Rides on offer from BMA, most of which are free:
- Trails & Ales: Whoo, beer ride! I mean bike ride! To be clear, first you ride, then you beer. Every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.
- Dirt Riders for Kids: Kids 7-11 get introduced to mountain biking. Also a great time for Mom or Dad to go for their own ride! Two 4-week series are planned Monday evenings, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Register soon—this one will definitely fill up.
- Skillz Clinics: At only $20 for BMA members, this is a steal. I attended a Gurlz Ride skills clinic last year and learned a TON in just two hours. Taught by IMBA-certified instructors every third Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., and will also fill up quickly.
- Gurlz Ride: BMA’s most popular ride is back! Every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
- The Mix: Organized by a married couple who met through BMA’s Social Rides, The Mix is for anyone who’s looking to meet other riders, whether you’re just new to the area or looking for love. Every 1st Tuesday, 6:00 p.m.
- Knobby Monday: BMA’s new beginner’s ride. Each ride starts with a quick primer on skills. Every other Tuesday, 6:00 p.m.
- Brute Squad: BMA’s new endurance training group, led by coach Scott Gurst. Registration for the Brute Squad is closed for the 2014 season, but learn more for next year here.
- Knobby Weekends: Also new to the roster, BMA’s new Saturday morning group long ride.
Visit BMA’s website for all information on Social Rides.
Become a Ride Guide
Of course, to triple the size of their Social Rides program, BMA needs more people to help lead these rides. If you’re interested in attending any of the rides above, consider volunteering as a Ride Guide.
As a Ride Guide, you don’t have to be the fastest in the group—if you’re an experienced beginner, you can lead a ride. They’re asking Ride Guides to lead a minimum of four rides a season, and you’ll also go through a 2-hour training session (and I hear from a reliable source there will be beer at the training).
On a personal note, I was a ride leader for the Gurlz Rides last summer, and I highly recommend it. It’s a ton of fun and a great way to meet more riding partners. It’s also a nice way to support BMA, a non-profit organization that is 100% volunteer-run and has made so much of our trail riding possible in Boulder County. You’ll go home each time high on endorphins, good feelings and good company by doing something you’d be doing anyway: riding your bike.
Learn more about becoming a Ride Guide here. Or, email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or interest.