A group of women on bikes can be seen riding around the streets and mountains of Fernie on Wednesday evenings. Women on Wheels started four years ago and has since grown into a weekly tradition for ladies in Fernie.
The mountain bike club encourages women to come out on Wednesday nights for a ladies’ group ride. The club features a different ride every week and aims to provide rides available for every skill level.
Heather Lavers is one of the founders of the club and says she saw a need for this type of club in Fernie.
“For me it was about wanting a supportive place for women to get together and hone their skills and socialize and ride together without any kind of intimidation at all. There were very few organized group rides in town at the time,” she said.
Now, Lavers says they have around 25 women who participate in the Wednesday night rides. The ladies usually meet outside of The Guides Hut at 6:30 p.m. but do also send out information as to where the rides will be during the week.
While the clubs tries to cater to all skill levels, Lavers suggests having some experience before joining in for a ride.
“We do ask that people have some sort of single track experience because we are guides, we are not instructors. It is better if people have already tried mountain biking before,” she said. “We do also aim to have a novice night once a month at the beginning of the season, where, even if you don’t have experience, you can come out and we split up into very small groups. We like to think of it as a buddy up night so your friend is taking you out riding and showing you a few pointers – a few very basic things just to get you on the trial.”
Lavers says the volunteer-run club tries to also have nights dedicated to bike maintenance and trail maintenance to share knowledge about different aspects of biking.
“We try to keep it fresh and new and exciting.”
The cost is a membership with the Fernie Mountain Bike Club, which is $25 per year.