Five weeks already, though it’s hardly making waves there’s always time, from early beginnings everything must grow! So far the feedback received about Women’s Wednesdays has been good, although it may seem like it’s a separate thing entirely, the aim is not to make women feel as if they aren’t included in the mainstream, but in fact it’s a way of integrating women’s MTB into the media. There are still changes to come, and hope that it will grow, but if it helps to encourage more women into the sport, and allows women to read about others and what they are doing, then that is a positive in my book. If you want to get involved in Women’s Wednesday, you have some news to share, or an awesome video, send it my way: Lauren@wideopenmountainbike.com
This week we talk to pinner, Emma Atkinson about what she hopes to achieve in MTB, her plans for the future and how she feels about the sport. Check out her blog for more.
1. Who are you?
I’m Emma Atkinson, 21 years old, Downhill racer from Inverness, Scotland.
2. What do you ride bike (s) Discipline (s)?
I love all kinds of bikes, road, XC, even some skate-park as part of training but I focus on downhill racing competitively. I ride a 2009 Orange 224 Evolution on the downhill, a Giant Avail on the road and a Cove Stiffee everywhere else.
3. What is your ultimate goal with your riding?
My ultimate goal is to race with a professional downhill team, racing full world cup seasons and competing at the world championships.
4. What have you got planned for next season?
Next season I plan to race a few of the British Downhill rounds then head out to Europe for some World cups and European IXS races.
5. Is there anything you don’t like about mountain biking?
I’m not keen on that short journey from the car to the house and into the hot shower after a wet, muddy, cold winter ride…it seems to take forever. I really don’t like being cold!
6. Is there anything you’d like to see change or improve for women in MTB?
Well since I began cycling there has been a massive increase in the number of girls riding, so I hope that continues and likewise with the number of companies producing women specific MTB products. It would be good to see more MTB clubs for girls, who maybe meet up at various UK trails once/ twice a month.
7. Favourite riding spot?
My favourite trail changes nearly every time I hit something new, but my favourite kind of riding is on steep, rocky walker’s paths but I probably shouldn’t admit I ride on them.
8. How was spending a summer in France, and do you think it helped with your riding?
France was amazing and without a doubt has made massive improvements to both my riding and my confidence. Can’t wait to get back out there!
9. Best riding memory?
Riding at Morzine with Emma, Hannah and Siobhan (some girls I met out in France), we got so rowdy and laughed so much!
10. Would you say women are given equal support and opportunities that male riders get, or do you think it’s actually easier for women to get sponsorships in MTB?
I do think they get equal opportunities. I wouldn’t say it’s easier for them to get sponsorship, obviously there are less of us so there is less competition, but the girls who are racing internationally are at such a high standard it’s going to take a lot to get up there with them.
Emma Riding in France – Video by Emma Whitaker
Alpine Bikes Mini DH 2013 – Round 3
1. Rona Strivens
2. Rosy Monaghan
3. Anna Kay
4. Chloe Buys
Videos of the week
Jess Greaves, Manon Carpenter, Joey Gough and Katy Curd hitting up some jumps!
The wonderful, Juliet Elliott takes us through a summer in her shoes!