Bike program gets girls on trails

Posted: April 4, 2017 at 1 a.m.

A spring and summer program in Bella Vista aims to get more girls riding mountain bikes.

Little Bellas mountain bike program for girls 7-13 starts April 11 at Blowing Springs. Girls meet for two hours at 5:45 p.m., each Tuesday evening for eight weeks to ride, learn trail riding skills and play games that use those skills. A team of adult female riders will teach the girls, said Kelsey Miller, lead mentor with the program.

Little Bellas is a national program that started in Vermont.

Registration is open at littlebellas.com. Click on Bentonville chapter. Cost is $199 for the eight sessions. Girls get a bike jersey and a gift bag, along with instruction from 10 experienced and enthusiastic women riders who volunteer their time. All instruction is on the Blowing Springs trail.

Little Bellas has bicycles and helmets for girls to use, Miller said. Or a girl can ride her own bike. The program is for girls of all skill levels.

After the eight weeks "we want them to leave Little Bellas knowing that they can try new things. They might remember, hey, mountain biking might have been a little intimidating, but I did it. We want them to persevere and have fun," Miller said.

Girls riding with other girls helps them feel more at ease, Miller added.

"There's a big absence of girls in mountain biking" Miller said. She saw that while growing up riding her bike. Some years she had only one female friend to ride with. Seeing few girls on mountain bikes inspired her to start the local Little Bellas group.

For more information contact Miller at 479-685-8084 or kelsey@littlebellas.com.

Sports on 04/04/2017