What are your membership fees and what how does it work?
The yearly membership fees are $40/calendar year. If you miss the membership drive, you can still join, but it would only cover from the month you joined until the open membership drive the following year.
Tips For New Riders
Your riding clothing should be a synthetic, wicking material (at least the layer next to the skin), as cotton will hold moisture when it is wet, making you cold in cool weather, and unable to evaporate in warm weather.
Some general advice:
Whatever you think you will need temperature and weather wise, add a few clothing pieces to your bag for several degrees colder and several degrees warmer. Toss in gloves, ear covering, extra socks, rain jacket just in case. Carolina weather often changes before you get to the parking lot.
When you’re riding in cool weather, you will warm up quickly. Don’t be overdressed. You should be a little bit chilly while waiting for the ride to start (can keep a jacket on until the last minute, then throw it in the car!)
Cycling shorts with a padded chamois can be useful for long rides, however, seasoned cyclists (road and mountain) will tell you it takes a lot of experimenting to find what works well for you. I have heard it said that a comfortable ride is 1/3 type of saddle, 1/3 type of shorts, and 1/3 saddle tolerance! When you are just starting out, a pair of shorts or tights with minimal seams at the inner thighs and crotch should be sufficient. For mountain biking, riders often find they are on and off the saddle a lot (as compared to road cycling), and that padded shorts are not so important.
Food and liquids:
Even if you just ate a meal, and the ride is “only an hour”, always bring a little food! A granola bar or package of crackers is easy to keep at hand, and you’ll be glad to have it. Please do not come to a group ride without having had anything to eat for several hours! It’s a sure way to “bonk”!
Same goes for liquids. Don’t come without water! A bottle in a bottle cage on your bike (make sure it won’t shake or rattle out of the cage during the ride), or if you have a bike jersey, in the back pocket. For mountain biking, riders often use a hydration back worn as a back pack. This is a little cleaner, as bottles mounted on the bike tend to get dusty. If you are just getting started, resist the urge to go out and buy a lot of gear and equipment. One of the best things about group riding is the opportunity to see and hear about useful gear from the people who are using it right next to you. Can save you $!
Bike: At a minimum, your bike should have:
1. Excellent brakes, any type so long as they work well
2. Front fork shock
3. Tires properly inflated (to the lower psi of the tire rating range for trail riding – look on the tire sidewall)
4. If you have gears, they should be in working order
5. Seat at the correct height (we can help you with that!)
6. A bike that is fairly well sized to you …. If you borrow a bike, try to get one from someone about your size.
Helmet: Go here to make sure your helmet fits correctly: http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/doom.EasyStepsWeb.zzy/doom.index.doom.htm
Sunglasses or goggles (not too dark – it’s shady in the woods). Dust from the trail or little tree twigs brushing your face … you want eye protection.
Cycling gloves - not essential, but can reduce some chafing on your palms.
To enjoy yourself, you should be able to ride your bike on pavement (like in a neighborhood) for at several miles, or 45 minutes or more. As with any activity, if you are fit, you’ll have a more enjoyable time. On the other hand, there is nothing more motivating and invigorating than a bike ride in the woods with positive people, so even if you feel less than your best, come on out!
Things you DON’T need to get started:
An expensive bike. The minimums above will be just fine for many rides. You probably won’t know what you want in a new bike for a while.
Clip-in (AKA “clip less”) pedals. These are most useful once you are riding more aggressively, as they will help with climbing and keeping your feet in place on really bumpy terrain. In the beginning, you’ll do great with regular shoes and pedals. A bit of knobby shoe tread can help the pedals grip a little.
Do you only have mtn bike rides? I’m somewhat of a road rider.
Although the Dirt Divas are mainly mountain bikers, we do have some roadies as well. Our rides focus mainly on mountain biking, but do have an occasional road ride (2-3 per season) that leaves from some of our sponsors stores.
I am a beginner and slow, can I still ride with the Divas?
Absolutely!! We will always break our rides up into groups. We’ll have a beginner, intermediate and advanced group for each ride. We will have ride leaders and sweepers with the beginner and intermediate group so that no one gets lost or left behind.
Do I have to be a paying member in order to ride with the group?
Not at all!! We encourage ladies to come and ride with us at any time. If you like what you see/hear/feel, then we would love for you to become a part of this great group of women.
I’ve seen/heard about the spring and fall trip. What exactly is that and how can I attend?
The Dirt Divas take two weekend trips a year. One in the Spring and one in the Fall. We will go to the mountains of NC for a ‘women’s weekend’ of riding. This is the ONLY function we do that a membership is required.
Is the Dirt Divas only for women?
From a membership perspective, yes, but we welcome sons, husbands, boyfriends, etc…to join us for our rides.
I’m a beginner and don’t know where to start….can the Dirt Divas help me?
We’d love to help out. Check out the calendar as we have scheduled rides throughout the summer and also some skills clinics. Again, we break up into groups so everyone can get the attention they need and questions answered.
What do I need in order to ride with the Dirt Divas?
A bike, helmet, water(bottle or camelbak)….lots of determination and a smile.
My skill level is very minimal at this point. How can I improve or get more exposure/help?
Please check our calendar for scheduled rides and skills clinics. There are always ample Divas on hand to help with any skill levels.
Do you have scheduled rides or do you just show up at the trails and hope there is someone to ride with?
We have scheduled rides throughout the week and also day trips on given weekends.
What is the average length of your rides?
That depends on how far you want to ride. Depending on the trail we’re riding, the distance could be anywhere from 3-12 miles. However, if you get out there and find that you can’t go any further, one of our leaders/sweepers will take you safely back to the parking lot.
I don’t want to ride by myself. How can I reach out to other Divas to see if anyone can ride with me?
Check out our Facebook Page and see who might be riding when.
How can I get more information about the Dirt Divas?
There are a couple of ways.
1) Send an email with your questions under the "Contact Us" section.
2) Join us for our monthly meeting that is held every third Tuesday of the month. Times and locations are on our home page.
Do the Dirt Divas participate in any type of volunteer/community service activities?
We do. Our group prides itself on being able to help out when needed. During the summer, we assist with Trips for Kids by leading and teaching kids to ride bike on the trail system within the Charlotte area. We also have do fund raising for Project Angel. At the end of each season, the money we have raised goes towards new bikes for the underprivileged. We work/volunteer with the Tarheel Trailblazers to improve/build the local trail system here in Charlotte.
US National Whitewater Center (aka Catawba Riverfront Park)
Where are the trails are located?
Please see the ‘Trails’ tab on our homepage.
What type of bike should I buy and from where?
We would be more than happy to talk about bikes, but this is going to be mainly our personal opinions on what we ride. We mainly rely on our local bike shops to give the best and most up to date information on bikes. A number of them are sponsors of the Dirt Divas and we would be more than happy to point you in their direction.
Click HERE to check out a site that can help you to determine what kind of bike should best fit your needs, interests and fitness.