Women's only race - BetiBash

Photo Credit: Katherine Stump Fuller

Colorado's first, women-only mountain bike race kicked off last weekend under a warm sun at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood. The event was conceived and planned by Colorado's own Yeti Beti women's mountain bike racing team and assisted on Sunday by most of the team's sponsors, loud music and cold beer.

When planning began in October for the come-one, come-all event, the team expected only 50 people total, having noticed fields of only about ten beginner women at other mountain bike races across the state. After the trail dust settled, 163 women had raced the Beti Bike Bash, 77 of which were beginners.

"As a team this may be our greatest success, far more rewarding than any team result," said Amy Thomas, a Cat 1 member of the Yeti Beti racing team and a main organizer of the Beti Bike Bash.

The Yeti Beti team wanted to make sure beginners and pros alike felt welcome and cared for. Even details such as selecting an appropriate race announcer were important. Bruce Dickman flew in from Georgia to announce after Thomas met him a race in June. Dickman called the name of each rider as she crossed the line, giving special encouragement to those who limped across on flat tires and inciting cheers from the crowd for all racers, no matter what their time was.

"We really wanted to have someone with a lot of energy that also understood that wasn't just a normal mountain bike race," said Thomas. "He was able to help empower them to get over the finish line."

The race course was a four-mile loop with about 300 feet of elevation gain per lap. The trail was mostly non-techincal singletrack with a few short, punchy climbs. Cat 3 beginners raced two laps for a total of eight miles. Pros and Cat 1 participants raced five laps for a total of 20 miles. The final event of the day was a kids' race for anyone on a bicycle wanting to ride.

Thomas said the team hopes to expand the juniors' race next year on the heels of the new Colorado high school mountain bike league. And she assured the Beti Bike Bash will live on.

"Colorado is a great environment and market to do something like this and without a doubt, we'll be back for 2011," she said.

A portion of the proceeds benefited SMBA - Singletrack Mountain Bike Adventure - the longest running independent junior mountain bike program.

To view the results, visit www.BetiBikeBash.com.

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Come one come all ....

Come one come all .... unless you are a man.

Imagine if we had a men only race what would happen. Oh wait, we already know. In one case Kim protested by riding the course ahead of the men (for a while) and illegally through the rolling enclosure. In the other case, promoters and sponsors were threatened .. and that race allowed women in gender neutral divisions.

Don't men already dominate

Don't men already dominate enough races? If people want to use their own time to organize a race to encourage other women to race, why is that harmful to you?

Take a look at the Raisin Hope crit - 8 categories for men, 8 for juniors and 1 for women. Until women have equal opportunities (how about 35+3 and 45+4 for women), let's not begrudge those who want to do the work a chance to foster women's racing.

You have got to be kidding

You have got to be kidding on the category issue, right? I hope so? Please? Have you looked at the size of most women’s fields? Small. Most of the women’s masters races have 10 people or less and you think adding 35 3 or 45 4's is a good idea? Are there really women out there who do not participate because they are concerned the field is huge at 10 and want a smaller field? I find that hard to believe.

Equal opportunity? In the spring you would have mens pro/1/2 race, or cat 3, or 4, or 35 plus with lots of guys. Then a women’s race with a 1/2/3 field and 12 girls. For example 43 total riders out of over 400 at Subaru were senior women, SW Open at Sandstone a grand total of 9 women, WOT women’s 1/2 a huge turn out with 5 girls (way to support that race ladies), and Sunshine HC 6 total women 1/2. All you cat. 1 and 2 women how come you do not support local Colorado racing? Prospect gave you a women’s race in 2009 and not too many girls showed up. Guess what, no women’s race in 2010. Is that un fair? I do not think so.

Some day we will have 25 fields/day, with no field having more than 10 racers, everyone will get a medal, everyone will get top 10 BAR/BAT points, each race will be 15 minutes long, and then we can have nap time and snacks afterwards.


BTW I have nothing against womens racing, I wish it was strong and think it is good the ACA has tried thign liek womens cat. 3 fields. I think is the coolest thing about this event is that women are promoting it. Good for them for putting their $ where their mouth is. Also to clubs like DFT-Treads or Title 9 in Boulder, who are run by women and promote women’s racing. Or to the women who promote and run the Venus De Myles womens only ride in Longmont this month. Props to the lady in Pueblo who promoted a race that no one supported. Too often women complain, but they want others to fix it. I tip my hats to those who are doing something about it, like the ladies MTB team in this story.


Those races are known as Le Tour, La Vuelta de Espana, and Giro d'Italia, and plenty of other men's races out there. Don't be bitter because women are trying to get encourage more women to race.

Each of those has a women's

Each of those has a women's version and our very own Mara recently won!!!

The people that were bitter were the ones that rode through the closure and threatened race sponsors.

Why is it okay to have women's only this and that but once there is a men's only event there is an uproar. Cry foul about that double standard and the only rebuttal is name calling.

People on this board need to stop blaming support, cash, and men for the low turn-out in women's events and look in the mirror.

Male Racing

This sport has always been geared towards men and maybe that has been the biggest hurdle to get women introduced to the sport. I have no problem with a womens only race if it can generate a turnout as this did and create an environment that makes women want to race bikes. You look at the way some of my fellow male bike racers act around women and it is no surprise that they are turned off. Machismo anyone?