What started as a women’s only group ride by Jessica Klodnicki has turned into an initiative with some serious wheels. As the General Manager and Executive Vice President of Bell, Klodnicki’s rides eventually got so big that the idea inspired the concept of the Bell Joy Ride. Created to “inspire and enable” female mountain bikers, the program has been so popular that Bell decided to expand from the 5 initial riding locations, to a total of 6, each with a Joy Ride Ambassador. In addition to the official Joy Ride Ambassador rides, Bell has also created an interactive map that will list all of the women’s group rides across the country, which can be found here. If you know of, or host your own ride, Bell wants you to send it in via the ‘add your ride’ tab.
After receiving more than 200 applications, Bell has narrowed down the search to 6 riders who will represent the program in six areas seeing a lot of growth in the mountain bike world…
Bell Helmets today announced an important extension to its new Joy Ride women’s program – the launch of six Joy Ride grassroots program cities, each with a dedicated female mountain bike ambassador. These ambassadors will help inspire and enable female mountain bikers with regular, structured, fun and social rides that appeal to all levels of riders where they can enjoy both challenge and camaraderie in a non-race oriented environment.
“I’m thrilled to have these six ladies representing our brand and helping us bring more women in to mountain biking. They are all involved in their local communities, incredibly passionate about mountain biking and empowering women to enjoy the sport,” said Jessica Klodnicki, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Bell. “I’ve cultivated a local women’s mountain bike group that has blossomed to more than 300 women and have seen firsthand the power of women coming together to create riding communities. I can’t wait to see the enthusiasm for mountain biking that our Joy Ride ambassadors will create next year.”
Bell received almost 200 applications for five coveted riding locations in the U.S. After long deliberations, Bell selected six towns that have a growing mountain bike scene and a need for a women’s program. The Joy Ride Ambassadors for 2016 are:
- Karina Magrath, Coeur d’Alene, ID – Recipient of a PMBI Level 1 coaching certification who has recently starting hosting local women’s rides
- Veronique Pardee, Tucson, AZ – Coaches a youth cycling program called El Grupo and started the women’s InSession riding program
- Samantha Jones , Kansas City, MO – Park Ranger and newly-elected President of the Lawrence Mountain Bike Club
- Amber Krueger, Madison, WI – Member of Revolution Cycles Cycling Club and founder of a women’s mountain bike forum and bi-weekly ride in conjunction with IMBA and its local chapter, CORP
- Missy Petty, Knoxville, TN – Women’s ride leader for the Easy Rider MTB Ride with TN Valley Bikes and no-drop women’s MTB rides with Harper’s Bike Shop; active member of AMBC – Appalachian Mountain Bike Club
- Kendell Ryan, Richmond, VA – Member of River City Women’s Racing (RCWR) that has strong connections in the community for bike advocacy and former member of local Team LUNA Chix
Bell will bring the six ambassadors to Santa Cruz, Calif. in March to Joy Ride “Camp” where they will meet the team and get indoctrinated into the program. The ambassadors will get the opportunity to experience a Girls Rock ride to be hosted at Ibis Cycles headquarters so that they can experience firsthand the group that inspired the program. When the ambassadors go back to their local markets, they will be charged with starting monthly women’s mountain bike riding programs that capture the spirit of Joy Ride. Bell will provide field support including a guidebook, digital tool kits, promotional gear and budget to quickly cultivate these riding programs in their local areas.
Because Bell received so many applications from women who are already building or running women’s programs in their local area, the company was inspired to try to build the most comprehensive map that will connect existing women’s riding groups in America. Bell welcomes all women’s groups that want to be listed on the map and encourages their participation to be included.
Inspired by and designed by women, in addition to the grassroots program, the all-new 2016 Joy Ride collection consists of eight women’s helmet styles in key color options for All-Mountain / Trail mountain biking, Active lifestyle riders, plus Performance and Sport Road female cyclists. For more information about Joy Ride, please visit bellhelmets.com.