Dirt Sisters of Shred: Encouraging Young Women to Ride

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More women on bikes, especially young women is something we’d all like to see. Unfortunately, it’s not always simple, but thanks to Ruby’s Big Bike Challenge and Dirt Sisters of Shred, we should see more young women mountain biking in future.

Ruby Davison
Ruby Davison at Exeter Bike Park.

Ruby’s Bike Bike Challenge was started by Chris and Ruby Davison when Ruby was eight:

It all started just as Ruby broke for summer holidays and she announced she wanted to ride as much as she could over the summer and with as many people as she could to make some biking friends, and whilst she did it she wanted to raise money for charity, 100 miles later and nearly £1000 raised for charity we decided to do the same the following year but invite other kids to join in. With kids from Cornwall to Scotland riding for their own chosen charities from Dementia UK to Air ambulance. They raised over £12000 between them. Since then we have continued to encourage and promote youth riding and supported several talented riders and connect them with kit sponsors, some have even gone on to be team GB riders.

Chris Davison, Ruby’s Dad

Now fifteen, RBBC has grown and branched out to include Dirt Sisters of Shred, “Dirt Sisters of Shred came about after Ruby was subjected to some quite nasty bullying at school for quite simply being different, i.e. having an interest, girls that ride MTB are few and far between when you get to teenage years, so we started to look through social media feeds and started to build a network and connect other girls that rode,” explained Chris.

Dirt sisters of shred
Ruby and some of the Dirt Sisters of Shred.

The aim of DSOS is to connect young women, unite them and help foster their love for riding. With regular group rides, they want to encourage more young women into the sport, and to continue riding as they get older. Many women cycle as children but don’t often continue as teenagers, disconnecting from sports. Encouraging women to pursue their passions, and keep riding is the goal. The group now have members all over the globe and are hosting their first women’s race at Exeter bike park on Saturday 12 June.

The race will be hosted at the all-new Exeter bike park on a track designed by Kye Forte. A women’s only event, it was organised when British Cycling reached out to Ruby and Chris to see if they wanted to collaborate.

The event will be at the newly opened Exeter Bike Park on a track that is rollable for the novice but super fast and jumpy for the more experienced riders, the Dirt Sisters of Shred will be there taking part but above all supporting anyone that needs help and we will also hopefully have a couple fun races happening at the venue that will help develop core skills such as cornering and pumping that the competitors can then use in the main race or back out on the trails. The emphasis of this first race is fun and taking part and encouraging more women and girls to connect and ride together.

Chris Davison
dirt sisters of shred ride day

The group have a variety of things planned for 2021 where possible, “We will connect with smaller groups of girls and do some filming and shoots to help the girls promote themselves and the group. Ruby has also been invited to do the British Cycling flying start coaching course so she will be qualified to set up and coach groups of girls as well as several other helpful skills that we can put to use with the group and out on the trails,” said Chris.

Dirt Sisters of Shred group rides have proved popular in the past, with 40 young women aged 3-17 getting together at the last event.

Dirt Sisters of Shred
Dirt Sisters of Shred group ride at 417.

The race, open to all women, will have different age categories. The Dirt Sisters of Shred will also be hosting their next group ride at 417 bike park on 29 May. For more information on the race, visit the event page. More information on Dirt Sisters of Shred can be found on Ruby’s website.


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