Rapid Ascent have a new initiative to get more women into mountain biking this year at the Otway Odyssey.
Excitement is ramping up for the Otway Odyssey and Great Otway Gravel Grind which return to the famed mountain-biking trails and smooth rolling dirt roads of the Otway Ranges in south western Victoria next month.
Even more women will be racing in the special 12th edition of the event as part of a new ‘Odyssey Angels' campaign – a range initiatives, skills programs, information and support to help improve accessibility of mountain bike racing to female riders.
In conjunction with local ambassadors and coaches, race organisers Rapid Ascent are breaking down the barriers for women wanting to take the first step into racing.
Odyssey Angels initiatives include a female-only race start (for the Rookie 30km), detailed course descriptions (written by women, for women), Ride Angels ready to assist on course, and a Facebook group - the Odyssey Angels which has 173 members and growing.
11 x Otway Odyssey 100km racer, 3 x 24hr world solo champ and Odyssey Angels ambassador Jessica Douglas says many women she has spoken to are excited about the program and the chance to race without the fears of starting with a big group.
“This simple gesture of offering support and a platform where women can dip their toes into the racing side of mountain bikes might just see them realise it is the most fun they have ever had.
“30kms on a course that is challenging but achievable, with a separate start time and other great support offerings makes it the perfect entry level event for any female sitting on the fence of ‘I am not fit enough, skilled enough’.”
“It is an achievable distance and the course is just the right amount of challenge to provide a journey on the day that will be spoken about for weeks later.”
Douglas hosted one of many women’s skills clinics taking place in the region in the lead-up to race day.
“12 top chicks spent all day with me learning and riding and pushing themselves to race on the 24th February in the 30km Odyssey Angels race. It was heaps of fun and a killer day.”
Sound good - don't miss out and enter today!
Date: Saturday 24th February and Sunday 25th February, 2018
Location: Forrest, Otway National Park, Victoria
· Odyssey 100km
· Shorty 50km
· Rookie 30km
· Pioneer 10km
· Grommets Ride
· GOGG Big Ring 97km
· GOGG Little Ring 49km