Velo Bella-Kona Ride

Putting it into perspective

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Montana Bella's 2nd Annual Women's Tour

Mother Nature smiled on the Montana Bella's for our 2nd Annual Women's Tour. Rain threatened. The higher elevations had snow! We were asked constantly what about the weather? I said, "We're riding. Rain or shine. Women are tough."

Are they ever. In the end, some 190 women came with their bikes - road, mountain, comfort, tandem, 'cross - and rode either 15-, 22-, or 40-miles! I'm humbled and proud that so many women - all ages, sizes, and abilities - are brought together by a bicycle.

We learned our lessons from last year when we were overwhelmed with 164 riders. I expected maybe we'd have 50. I'm glad I was wrong. This year we had pre-event packet pick-up at a local bike shop, had road guards out at the worst intersections, and staggered our start times so more could be there for the kid's ride and the post-event door prize drawing.

We also invited a local group to come and sell bike helmets for a bargin. Montana VB also bought some helmets for kids and others. We're already giving them away.

I'm so proud of our growing number of Bella Fellas. They helped pump up tires, fix flats, hand out food and beverages, direct traffic, and shout encouragement to their wives, daughters, sisters, co-workers, and fellow (did I really write that?) human beings and cyclists. Of course it didn't hurt that I kept the "boys" happy with hamburgers and beers.

The best compliment had to be when one woman came up to the registration tables after riding and said, "We think you need to host this ride more than once a year." Uh.... unfortunately right now there's a small core of women who make this event happen. We can only hope that as word spreads like our infamous wildfires - The Montana Bellas are in da House! - we'll get more volunteers - Jackie Yamanaka.