hundreds of people in attendance with 38 guys participating in the trick comp. Watching the riders warm up I immediately realized that there were a lot of really skilled riders out there, and not a single girl riding. I debated over and over in my head whether or not I would sign up to participate. I really wanted to ride, but needless to say, I was quite intimidated by the situation. It’s not easy knowing that you’ll be the only female amongst a very talented group. I quickly found Katrina, who was tricking off to the side of the course. I asked her if she was going to compete, and found that she had the very same worries as me—I could tell that she too really wanted to give it a shot, but was also intimidated that there weren’t any other females riding. After talking it over with each other, we decided to sign the waiver to ride the course, but not to sign up for the actual competition.
Once everything started up, the judges started calling riders out in groups of three. I found a good spot on the side, and started shooting some photos. I began to regret not signing up, but also felt a lot less anxious knowing I didn’t have to go out there. Only a few rounds in, I heard the stomach dropping sound of my name being called. My friends started pushing me to get out there and compete, but I was not having it. I decided to just not ride, since I didn’t even sign myself up. As judge John Prolly took the mic and offered further encouragement, I gave in. I was so incredibly nervous I was literally shaking the entire time. Needless to say, I didn’t do much to write home about. I hadn’t ridden the course, and was way too nervous to even think. Nonetheless, I am so glad I did it. I realized that all of my fears were ridiculous as I received encouragement and positive feedback from many of the very riders that I found intimidating in the first place. It
I feel like it would be easier for women to feel comfortable in the scene if the guys would stop acting like it’s some huge deal to have a girl hitting some tricks. I was super nervous when I first started going out to Toronto for trick nights at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Seeing those riders in videos and photos, I didn’t really know what to expect. The fixed freestyle guys in Toronto are the best group of dudes I’ve ever met. They’ve never treated me any differently and have always been super supportive. Riding with them is always great and I always get praise and motivation from the guys when I hit tricks or even just attempt them. Toronto has a great scene and it’s growing like crazy!
With TrickTrack.org, I’m not really sure what to say. I don’t know the people personally, and it’s very hard to determine tone and such in a typed comment. So I think at some times I let my gender get the best of me and get hurt. I just feel it’s really degrading when a woman posts a photo of their bike or some sweet action shot and the guys can’t refrain from mentioning the hottness of the girl, but I don’t think this can ever really be avoided.
I’d love to be able to have a trick session with just a bunch of girls, but really don’t see that happening anytime soon. I think the women should just forget their gender and go out there and do what they love. I won’t lie though, it does feel pretty cool being a girl rider when there’s so few.