Alaska Ladies Ride helps forge female friendships
I am woman hear me roar,” the much-quoted lyric to Helen Reddy’s hit single runs through my head when I think about the women sledders that surround me and inspire me each day. The song goes on to say, “I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.”
Female riders are a growing demographic in the powersports arena, specifically snowmachining. I have been fortunate the last two years to represent Divas Snow Gear as an ambassador for the sport, and a representative for their clothing brand. This has put me in touch with sled sisters across the United States and Canada and it has blown my mind. Strong, independent women from all walks of life dedicated to the promotion of the sport, access to trails and building up other female riders. You may feel that of course it is common sense to build up the other riders around you, but this is not always the case in the male-dominated world of sledding. If you are on any typical sled forum for very long you will see a constant barrage of negative banter related to the rider’s make of sled, riding gear, choice of accessories and on and on (it must be a guy thing). Such a breath of fresh air then, to join a female-only sled forum like Throttle Chix or Sled Sisters and find just the opposite. Here, there are words of encouragement, advice without judgment and photo after photo of women doing what they love, sledding.
It is in that same sled sister spirit that I tell you about my experience at last year’s Alaska Ladies Ride with many of Alaska’s strong and invincible women. My adventure begins at the planning stage with Monica, Michelle and yours truly. We had heard about this ride for many years and decided this was our year to make it happen. I volunteered my toy hauler and we decided on the team name Divalicious. I know, it’s just fun to say isn’t it. With the name Divalicious you have to look the part and boy did we ever. With Michelle as the master costume designer we decided on different colored wigs, fur leg warmers, and feather boas.
The evening before the event we stayed up late into the night catching up on each other’s lives and families. Just spending some good time with your girlfriends is food for the soul. It is hard to carve out girl time in the midst of our busy lives but the belly laughs and bonding make it well worth it.
In the morning we got to work getting ready, which included false eyelashes, wigs and glitter. If you didn’t already know, glitter sticks where it lands and in my case, when I accidentally pulled open my lid too quickly it landed everywhere in the trailer. When I see it now in a few of the crevices, it makes me smile. Anyway, we are all glittered and glammed up, and now it’s time to ride down to the event. With wigs flapping and boas flying we must have been a sight to see. The main attraction was Michelle, who figured out how to get her wig attached to the top of her helmet in two doggy tails. With her goggles on she looked like the cutest Halo character you have ever seen.
The women that put on this ride every year are awesome. Jennifer Adams and her volunteer crew get everyone signed in and wrangled together for a group photo and then we are off, following the trail boss. Amanda Johnson is the trail boss and she leads the group into the hills of Petersville. The country is beautiful and with multiple breaks along the way, we have a chance to get to know some of the other riders. With team names like Busty Bunnys and Boondockin’ Babes I can tell that we are going to be fast friends. We speed along the trail doing what we love best. At one of the breaks, Monica and I peel off and find some deep powder to play in. Bobbing through the snow we find our way back to the group. The dynamics are pretty typical of a large riding crew with the ladies that love speed at the front and the take-your-time-and-smell-the-roses group at the back and everyone else in the middle. The last stop is Kenny Creek Lodge, which is one of my favorite places in Trapper Creek. There, we grab a bench across from another group of riders and order our burger and fries. Conversation is light and a great time is had. In addition to being a great time, Alaska Ladies Ride raised more than $15,000 donated to the Providence Cancer Center.
Not too shabby.
Michelle has already come up with some new ideas for this year’s outfit that includes twinkle lights and tutus. We are planning a helmet-decorating party and after seeing the goods at last year’s silent auction I need to get a second job to pay for all the sightseeing tours and sledding gear that I will be bidding on. So grab your girlfriends, costumes or not. Fill out the registration packet and meet me at this year’s Alaska Ladies Ride where we will come together as strong, invincible women. Yes, we are women hear us roar!
Alaska Ladies Ride 2017 will be held 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 28, beginning at the Kroto Creek parking lot and ending at Kenny Creek Lodge. The silent auction will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at Bella Vista Restaurant in Peters Creek.