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dating as a female to put myself out there. When attending competitions or even just trick jams where everyone is out there riding, I notice a lot of women standing off to the side with their bikes just watching—I have to wonder how many of them want to participate. When it comes to group rides, I really have no issue being the only female. I am completely confident in my ability as a rider and know that I have no problem keeping up with the guys. Yet when it comes to the bigger trick competitions and jams, I personally have found it incredibly difficult to push myself to ride with all of the guys, especially when no other girls are riding. It is pretty intimidating to ride with 20-30 guys at such a high level of ability. The only thing I can attribute my uneasiness about participating is the worry that I’m not good enough to be out there. But the thing is, if I maintain that mindset and never try, how will I ever get to their level? The fact of the matter is, I won’t. The only way to get better is to force yourself outside of your comfort zone. This is the only way this barrier can be broken. If all the females who want to ride continue to sit out on the sidelines because of their intimidation, the female side of the sport will never grow. There is no doubt in my mind that females have the capability to compete with the guys, we just have to go for it. We need more women out there riding, and I know that there are so many who want to, but are still too intimidated to try. This is exactly why the support of those riders who are out there is so critical. It might seem small, but it truly makes a lasting impact.

This past summer a trick competition was held at Venice Beach as part of LA Brakeless’ three-day Summer Fix LA event. I traveled with the intention of competing, but upon arrival I had second thoughts. There were


Cara Notestine

Memphis, TN

I started riding fixed gears almost two years ago and have only been doing tricks since March. Before I got really into it, I just did a few skid and track stand variations in between rides. I was always a fan of Devan’s blog and the thought of another girl my age, in college, and living in Tennessee riding fixed put the whole idea of the sport into perspective and motivated me to get out there and start riding.

Unfortunately, the fixed gear freestyle scene in Memphis is nonexistent. I didn’t have anyone to help me out as far as learning tricks goes, so it was challenging and frustrating at first. I forced myself to practice at least an hour a day in a parking lot down the street from my house. I’ve accomplished a lot of personal goals since I started learning and I’m pretty confident in my riding so far.

I don’t think there will ever be as many girls riding fixed gear freestyle as there are boys. We will always be a minority, but I’m okay with that. Gender doesn’t have to be an issue and women can be treated with the same amount of respect as the boys, and I think that’s the direction the sport is going in. It’s great that companies are reaching out to us girls and sponsoring female riders. I know some girls were given some harsh treatment at first, but the girls that are out there riding hard are changing people’s opinions.