• Posted Jun 8, 2023

Though a few weeks later than planned, due to rain (Ride dirt, not mud!) the Central Iowa Trail Association (CITA) hosted an all-women's mountain bike ride to encourage women to ride, meet other women who ride and explore some of the many off-road trails around central Iowa. The event was a way to celebrate the International Women's Mountain Bike Day
celebrated annually on the first Saturday in May (weather permitting!) and hosted by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA).

Des Moines area riders Jolie Erbacher and Emily Orth organized and led the ride which was held on May 28, on a warm sunny day with perfect trails in Denman's Woods, central to Des Moines. About thirty women and girls (and their dads!) attended the hour-long ride, then stayed for refreshments, prize drawing and, most importantly, social time.

"I just wanted to create safe space and a good resource for women to reach out to each other." - Jolie Erbacher

Bike Talk with Dave joined the fun and talked to both Jolie and Emily, as well as several of the participants and a dad, and wove together a podcast to encourage others to explore the trails and invite others to do the same. With a mission to help get more women on bikes, 1996 Olympic Mountain Bike bronze medalist and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inducteeSusan DeMattei called in to the podcast and shared why it's important to explore trails by bike and also gave some advice to guys who ride and want to invite women out for a successful day on the trails.

"Not to be hyperbolic, but it kind of saved my life... It made my life!" -Susan DeMattei

CITA (Central Iowa Trail Association), located in Des Moines, Iowa, is a 501(c)(3) formed in 1998. CITA is also a local chapter of IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association). CITA is a 100% volunteer-led organization, working with local land managers like Polk County Conservation, the City of Des Moines, Iowa DNR, and Water Works Park to maintain singletrack trails for mountain biking in the Des Moines area. Join CITA on their Monday Night No Drop Rides throughout the summer starting at 6 PM at various trail heads in central Iowa and watch for the Central Iowa Trails on Facebook for the bi-weekly women's mountain bike ride starting in June.

Bike Talk with Dave is a weekly podcast featuring amazing people who celebrate life on two (or sometimes more!) wheels. It can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, I-Heart Radio, Pandora or wherever you get your podcasts. Every episode can be found online at

Watch for the full episode with Susan DeMattei on June 21.

Thanks to Chain and Spoke Coffee for hosting the Bike Talk with Dave Studio. Chain and Spoke Coffee (515 28th Street, Des Moines) is a bike and coffee shop on the near west side of Des Moines.

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