Welcome to Wideopen Women’s Wednesday #3!
This week we talk to Rhyann Marie Allen, Demo mad photographer from Chester. It’s important that everyone gets to tell their story, we often hear from the pros and well known riders, but everyone has a story. It’s my belief that as a collective we can help integrate women’s MTB into the mainstream media. This is how Women’s Wednesday came about, I wanted to give all women a chance to tell their story, and show others what riding is to them, as a way of encouragement and for others to share their experiences. Mountain biking is an amazing sport enjoyed by so many, there are no ‘norm’s within the sport with people from all walks to life coming together to enjoy life on two wheels.
Coming soon we will have reviews on body armour so ladies can make an informed choice on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to protecting yourself when out riding, it’s not for everyone, but at least knowing what’s available and what other women wear is a good place to start if you’re looking for something!
If you want to get involved with Women’s Wednesdays email Lauren@wideopenmountainbike.com
Who are you?
My name is Rhyann Marie Allen, I’m 23 and I live in Chester in the North of England. I was introduced to riding about four years ago when I got my first bike, a Specialized Big Hit III, such a fun bike. Unfortunately I had to sell it and I was without a bike for about three years, until very recently when I got my beloved Demo!!
What do you ride – Bike and discipline (s)
I have a Specialized Demo 8, and I absolutely love it, can’t express how happy I am now I finally own one. I am all about Downhill at the minute now I have a bike. It’s a very male dominated sport so it’s nice to see a few girls getting stuck in there. I love everything, the riding, the race atmosphere (even if I haven’t raced myself), the people, everything!
What’s the story with your photography?
While I was bike-less I needed to do something to get myself back into the sport so I thought about taking pictures, I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I do. If I couldn’t ride, then what better way to enjoy the scene than taking pictures of friends doing what they love.
What is riding to you?
Riding isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of socialising and spending time with friends. It’s such an amazing way to meet new people, and I’ve met a lot of amazing people in the last two years and I love it. It’s something I wanted to get back into ever since I sold my Big Hit and especially now I can’t do karate (I damaged my hip, bye bye black belt, so close) it’s pushed me more to want to get back to it.
How do you think women are represented in the MTB media?
I don’t think they are represented enough. Rach is all over it all the minute and it’s ace. More people are slowly realising just because we are girls it doesn’t mean we have to go to girly sports like ballet, we can do things the lads do too, and Rach has proved that many times over. Hopefully with the publicity she has gained it will encourage more girls to jump on their bikes and give it a go.
What changes would you like to see in the sport when it comes to female riders?
Definitely more riding kit, there just isn’t much out there for girls. I LOVE the idea of girls only events like uplifts and races. It’s time to put us girls in the lime light rather than just a small group you slot in the middle of a race somewhere.
Best riding memory?
I haven’t been riding long so don’t have many riding memories but that is definitely about to change but my best memory had to be riding an Uplift at Moelfre on a windy, rainy day with Beth Siddall-Allen and watching her hit the tiny little jump right at the top then whilst mid-air get blown clean off the track and end up in a heap at the side. I need more memories of stupid but brilliant events like that.
I have finally got my dream bike, my beloved Specialized Carbon Demo and I couldn’t be happier with it. Once I get my electric blue Hope Pro2 Evo hubs on it, it’ll be perfect.
What is your favourite piece of kit, why?
My bike, obviously. It’s something I’ve wanted like crazy and tried so hard to get and it means a lot to me. Other bits of kit could be replaced but I’ll always stick to my Demo. It’s my favourite bit by far.
Who’s your favourite rider?
Stevie Smith. That guy is a hero. Got me a lot of Dirt points this year!
Video of the Week
2013 Borderline Events #6 Moelfre – Ladies Results