Wild Rye Monthly Muse: July

It’s been a while since our last Monthly Muse. We can go ahead and blame that on the state of the world. Wild Rye has had a wild couple months, but more than that, the people behind Wild Rye have been riding the rollercoaster and committing ourselves to furthering our own education right alongside each of you. Thank you for supporting us, challenging us and inspiring us every step of the way.

What we’re doing: Supporting each other through kudos on Strava 

In the early years, Strava seemed to fuel the competitive nature in all of us. Now-a-days it can be so much more.  It's be come a way to track exercise, interact with our pals on the other side of the country and build a community of like-minded adventure seekers. 

To expand the Wild Rye community we’ve launched our Strava Club Girls Gone Wild Rye - Women's MTB Club. Here, our goal is to foster a place of encouragement and inspiration. A place to share resources and ride information. A place to meet new riding buddies and promote group rides. Bonus, we'll even host some challenges to help keep you motivated on and off your bike.

Please join the club and help us continue to support you and welcome new women into the outdoors, HERE.

What we're stoked about: Our extended sizes! 

As a company we’re here for all women, the strong women, the fearless women, the new-to-MTB women and women built in all different shapes and sizes. Our extended sizing allows us to be even more inclusive and that’s what we’re here for. From sizes 0-18 in key styles and 0-14 in others we’ve got something for (almost) everyone. 

Note's in the voice of Jascha, Wild Rye's Customer Happiness and Digital Coordinator: As an ode to my thick thighs which I grew up hating, I am so thankful that Wild Rye’s extended sizing has allowed me to feel confident and strong on my rides. On and off the singletrack I’m complimented on my shorts, I feel great and through that confidence my riding improves by being just a bit more fearless. 

Check out the range here.

Who we're cheering for: Charli Mandel while Everesting a fixie with a hormonal headwind.

We’d like to introduce you all to our new "Pro" Team rider Charli Mandel, a kick-ass rider out of Denver Colorado who lets nothing hold her back. To complete an “Everesting”, a rider must climb the height of the world’s highest peak (29,029 ft). It is, quite obviously, a feat in and of itself. Yet some ask for more. Charli Mandel did. She did it on a fixed gear, brakeless. In the middle of hormone replacement therapy. Or, as she puts it below, “Puberty 2: Feminine Boogaloo”. When we first watched this video, by Tory Powers and FULFRAME, we were immediately inspired to get out and challenge ourselves. We hope it does the same for you! Learn more about Charli's adventure in Everesting here

What we’re listening to: US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 

Alexandria has broken the internet (in a good way) by giving a speech rejecting a colleague's apology after he called her a "f*cking b*tch". "This issue is not about one incident. It is cultural," she told lawmakers, calling it a culture "of accepting a violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that." 

"I am someone's daughter too... and I am here because I have to show my parents that I am their daughter and that they did not raise me to accept abuse from men." - AOC

If you haven't yet watched, we highly recommend giving it 10 minutes of your day here. We promise you'll shut your screen a little pissed, but incredibly fired up to take the world by storm. 

What's on our to-listen-to list: Michelle Obama's new podcast

Michelle Obama's new podcast is on our list to listen to (it came out yesterday). The first episode focuses on the importance of youth political engagement. The Obamas discuss the importance of community crediting their neighbors growing up helped raise them. How well do you know your neighbors? Give'r a listen here.

What we're watching: Pedal Through by Analise Cleopatra & Aly Nicklas (Presented by REI)

Featuring Analise Cleopatra, Brooklyn Bell and DeJuanae Toliver-Porter, and co-directed by our ambassador Aly Nicklas, Pedal through follows a week long mountain-biking adventure with an all Black female athlete team.

As they traverse the Oregon backcountry on an adventure full of exploration, curiosity, waterfalls, old growth forest, sparkling star-scapes, and deep healing. With raw authenticity, Analise shares all the intimate foibles, fear, fun, and beauty of discovering her place in the outdoors.

We've been taking it all in - learning, educating ourselves and working quietly behind the scenes to better represent ALL women in the outdoors, on bikes, skis, snowboards etc. This film was one of the many important steps toward doing better, so if you haven't seen it yet, its worth the watch (bonus points if you spot our shorts).

What we’re seeing out there: COVID and trails 

There's no question, trails are more crowded than ever. With the COVID pandemic still very much in full swing and our mountain communities flooded with visitors, we just want to send friendly reminders to help us ALL take actionable steps to keep ourselves and our communities safe. 

This awesome article by the international mountain bike association outlines some key guidelines perfectly: 

Before you go: 

  • Stay close to home- If you have trails close to home, particularly that you can ride to, it’s great to stay local. Stay up-to-date on trail closures and facility changes
  • Do your research-If you’re itching to ride further from home, do your research to determine whether it is appropriate. Check with state and local governments about trail openings and closures as well as guidance for travel. It’s important to respect the small gateway communities that border our favorite recreation hubs and the limited medical facilities in these places.
  • Have a plan B- take cues from the trailhead to assess whether it’s too crowded to honor social distancing. If it is, try another trail or try another day. Riding roads, gravel or paths can be alternatives to crowded singletrack trails.
  • Follow the ABC’s- We all know the ABC bike check: air, brakes, cranks and chain. Make sure your bike is ready to ride before you leave the house to minimize time at the trailhead. If you’re driving, get dressed for riding at home. Helmet optional in the car!

On the trails: 

  • Ride cautiously- Take it easy and ride within your skill level. This will minimize the strain on healthcare facilities and avoid exposure risks for yourself and for medical staff.

  • Pass with care- The safest way to pass with social distance is to stay alert, slow down, and communicate with each other about how to proceed. One user should step six feet off-trail perpendicular to the trail to let the other user pass. Riders can leave their bike on the side of the trail. Walk back to the trail the same way to minimize any environmental impact. When you are identifying a spot to step off-trail, be cautious of sensitive or dangerous vegetation, insects, animals and loose or steep terrain.

  • Break with space- When taking breaks, be conscious to avoid group bunching, intersections, or spots on the trail where other users can’t pass you safely.

  • Cover your face- Wearing a face covering while exercising isn’t fun, but face coverings are added protection if a trail is crowded and maintaining social distance is a challenge, or if you unexpectedly need to be in close proximity to others. You may need to aid an injured rider, assist with a mechanical issue, or encounter another user in a spot that’s too tight to pass with proper social distance. Neck gaiters or “buffs” are one familar face covering option. Check locally—some governments now require users to wear face coverings on paths and trails.

  • Listen, and be heard- Ride with a bike bell to alert other trail users of your presence from a distance. Pick one up from your local bike shop. And if you sometimes ride with headphones, consider leaving them at home in favor of listening for approaching trail users.  

Thanks for tuning in! Share your thoughts, feedback, kudos, frustrations in the comments below. We want to hear it all! 

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