Anna Sprout said she looked for organized group mountain bike rides when she moved to Moab three years ago. She couldn’t find any, so she began hosting group rides on her own.
Now she’s scheduling those rides, including “Moab Ladies Ride” events, via Moab Mountain Bike Association (MMBA) as its executive director.
If you’re looking for someone to mountain bike with, or you simply want to help promote the sport, you might want to consider joining the mountain bike trail advocacy group.
MMBA was founded in September 2013 “to give a unified voice to the Moab mountain biking community,” said Sylvi Fae, MMBA board member and co-owner of Moab Mountain Bike Instruction (a separate company from MMBA).
MMBA is a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, a worldwide advocacy group. Membership in MMBA means that membership dues are split between the MMBA and the IMBA; donations can also be given directly to MMBA.
“Moab, even though it’s a mountain bike destination with multiple bike shops, guide companies and local riders, didn’t have a mountain bike club or organization,” Chile Pepper Bike Shop owner Tracy Bentley said.
Mountain bikers like Fae and Bentley saw a need to organize after a 2013 Forest Service travel plan cut mountain bike access to trails in the La Sal Mountains.
The nonprofit organization sponsors group bike rides, barbecues, and other events to help maintain and advocate for area mountain bike trails. The group also solicits volunteers to help with trail work.
Moab Mountain Bike Association is undergoing a revival after being somewhat inactive the last couple of years, said Anna Sprout, who became its executive director this year.
Sprout formed the Ladies Ride to encourage women to meet one another, and learn skills in a supportive environment.
Each month there are two trail rides; a bike park night where riders learn various skills; and a bike maintenance clinic held at Chile Pepper Bike Shop, 702 S. Main St., taught by Paige Stuart.
“We’re going to take over the mechanics area after hours,” Stuart said. “We’ll cover a couple of different topics at each. It’s super practical stuff for if you’re going to be out riding bikes in the desert.”
Stuart donates her time and Chile Pepper Bike Shop donates the space. While there’s no cost to attend the class, donations are accepted to keep the program sustainable, she said.
The idea for an all-female class is to make mechanics less intimidating. When it requires getting your hands dirty, it’s easy to “default to the guy,” Stuart said.
“It’s wonderful to see what MMBA has been up to lately and what they offer the community,” said Evan Clapper, county councilman and Red Devils Mountain Biking coach.
“The free trail maintenance clinics they put on and local group rides are great. Plus, their focus on engaging women specifically is so awesome. I’m jealous of the all-lady shred shin-digs going on,” he said.
Trail rides take place at different locations each week, with start times depending on time of sunset. Check out www.facebook.com/womenridemoab for a schedule.
Other events can be found on the Facebook page, such as the women’s Trailside Maintenance Clinic. The first one happened August 27, with two more scheduled for Sept. 24 and Oct. 8.