Little Bellas goes to the city
Little Bellas is introducing six (!) new chapters for 2022! More than any other year, these chapters help redefine "mountain biking" in order to get more girls on bikes, read on!
Think you need mountains to mountain bike? If you’re in Saint Paul, Minnesota, you don’t even need to leave the city to put wheels to dirt (or grass). Saint Paul native (and lightning bolt Little Bellas lead), Martha Flynn, has made it her mission to bring the program inside city limits in order to create opportunities for getting more girls on bikes. Battle Creek Regional Park, located east of downtown St. Paul, will be the setting for the new program, and park managers are thrilled to welcome local Little Bellas when the program kicks off on May 16, 2022.
“I have been eyeing the Battle Creek location for a long time,” Martha said. “It’s a uniquely situated Ramsey County park that’s in an urban setting. Our other local Little Bellas chapters are suburban-based, and transportation can be such a barrier for families. Many St. Paul girls have been missing out on the Little Bellas experience because of this.”
Battle Creek Regional Park
Not any more though. Battle Creek Regional Park’s mix of open green space, paved bike paths and mountain bike trails reveals huge potential, and Martha is hoping to encourage girls from the neighborhood to participate. She pointed out that the trails are on the more challenging side for the Twin Cities area, so the St. Paul Little Bellas will start with lots of games on the grass and fun adventure rides on the paved trails, and then work their way up to the single track. This inaugural program is being offered to girls 10-13 with a goal to expand programming to younger girls (down to 7) as Ramsey County makes good on its plan to increase the mileage and variety of mountain bike trails to accommodate beginners.
Businesses step up to support the St. Paul Little Bellas
So far support for this new program has been humbling. Area businesses with both local and global identities have committed to the program with equipment and financial support. Free Bikes 4 Kids (FB4K) has supplied the program with equipment for the girls who need it. Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) has donated seed money to help launch the program, and Wolf Tooth Components has donated storage space for storing equipment.
Getting more girls on bikes is just that, full stop. We believe that mountain biking should be accessible by all girls, whether through providing financial assistance or gear, or launching a program in a major city like St. Paul.
Register for Little Bellas St. Paul
Registration for Little Bellas St. Paul chapter opens on Feb. 1, 2022. Learn more about the program and how to register here.