Hopetech Humbled by Turnout to First Women’s Ride

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Last night saw the first of Hopetech’s ‘Hopetechwomen’ Tuesday night rides, which took place at Gisburn Forest Trails. Organised by Brand Manager Rachael Walker, the ride was aimed at women of all abilities with an interest in mountain biking. Free to attend, with the opportunity to ride some lush bikes all pimped up with Hope gear, this first ride drew in excess of 30 riders, with more already showing interest in the next ride.

Hopetech Women's Ride

There were really only two common factors among the riders: they were all women; and they all wanted to ride bikes. Beyond that, there was a real mix of backgrounds. Some were experienced enduro racers, while some had a canal bashing hybrid at home and were venturing onto the trails for the first time. To be able to ride a bike such as a Juliana or a Santa Cruz for your first mountain bike ride must be a real treat! Others were local Gisburn regulars, while some had travelled from as far afield as Liverpool and Warrington. Some rode regularly with their partners, but this was their first ride without them.

Eeny meeny miney mo…

No matter what their background, there was a route and a group to suit. No one was left behind, there were chances to try out sections not previously ridden, and encouragement to do so. Fire roads between singletrack sections provided chance to chat and compare notes. Which shoes did you prefer? Had you found some waterproof shorts that worked? Which manufacturers produce the nicest kit? To this question, there seemed to be a lot of agreement that Hope components were definitely something to be lusted after. There was some outrage when it was discovered that one woman’s partner had bought her some Hope brakes, only for them to be mysteriously fitted to his bike.

Hopetech Women's Ride
Mid ride smiles

The ride finished up with the traditional eating of cake, and as the groups came back together it gave everyone a chance to compare notes. Test bikes were somewhat reluctantly handed back, and while not everyone was in the market for a whole new bike, a few people commented that there were features that they’d now be looking to upgrade. Perhaps the industry needs to pay more attention to this market opportunity – test rides aimed at demonstrating the upgrades that can improve your existing bike? With women more likely to be in part time employment than men, and lower incomes to match (and let’s not even get into the gender pay gap), for many women upgrades are likely to be more realistic than n+1 bike shopping.

Post ride smiles

Perhaps Hope has already clocked this market opportunity, as this ride was part of an ongoing push by the Barnoldswick manufacturer to reach out into the women’s market. They have also recently set up specific @Hoptechwomen Twitter and Instagram accounts, and these are worth a follow if you’re interested in keeping up to date with future events. Of last night’s event, Rachel said:

We were quite humbled by the number of women that turned up for the first Hopetech Women’s ride last night, we never anticipated the rides would be so popular. What was particularly great to see was the complete mix in ability across the ladies – everyone could learn from or help another rider. If we at Hope can help women find more confidence and enjoyment in riding bikes, then it’s a job well done!’.

Perfect evening ride conditions

If you want to ride a top spec bike, meet some other women riders, or break out of your usual ride routine, further dates for Hopetechwomen Tuesdays are as follows:

Hope ride dates

Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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