Editor’s note: This article was written by Adrie Zollman and Gabrielle Matthews, captains on the Prior Lake Mountain Bike Team.
From the generosity of Michael Knoll, the owner of the local bike shop Michael’s Cycles, the girls of the Prior Lake High School mountain bike team were able to design and paint a mural in the shop. It all started with an idea by Knoll and with a contest held by Adrie Zollman targeted at the girls of the team to design a mural for the shop. The winning submission would then be painted. After Knoll selected the winning piece of artwork, the girls gathered on April 20 to bring their vision to life using paint.
The mural painting is an example of how we are attempting to get more girls on bikes. Girls-only rides are held every Saturday and are led by Zollman and sponsored by Michael’s Cycles. The purpose of these rides is to encourage girls and women of all abilities and ages to get out and pedal. “More girls on bikes” is also an attempt to have more girls and women on mountain, road and fat bikes. It is a common phrase used to encourage more ladies to ride because typically the men outnumber the women greatly, especially on the local Prior Lake Mountain Bike Team, where the female-to-male ratio is about 1:4.
The Prior Lake Mountain Bike Team is amazing for several reasons. First, it provides exercise to those who wouldn’t normally ride their bikes. Secondly, it provides a safe and welcoming environment for all team members. A multi-year member, Gabrielle Matthews, describes her experience by saying, “The environment is extremely friendly, and everyone supports everyone no matter what team you are from.”
Thirdly, it is a super fun, new and exciting experience for many. “It is so awesome and cool to hang out with a bunch of friends and ride your bike,” said member Meghan Krawza.