Little Bellas

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Little Bellas heads “up nort” to Rhinelander, Wisc.

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!

Soil sampling in Rhinelander, Wisc.
Sampling the soil in Rhinelander, Wisc. photo courtesy of RASTA

A long, long time ago (9,000 years) no one was thinking about getting more girls on bikes in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. However back then, the retreating Laurentide Ice Sheet set the stage for Little Bellas by leaving behind gently rolling hills, soft, lush grass to play around on, and rich sediment for sculpting flowy mountain bike trails. It’s here where Val Foley thought that what the area really needed is more opportunities for girls to start mountain biking.

“I wanted to help make sure that young female mountain bikers are given every opportunity for personal development and for equal treatment and the respect that they deserve in the sport,” Val said.

Rhinelander, Wisconsin lead, Val Foley
Val Foley is determined to get more girls on bikes in Rhinelander

Meet Val Foley

Val grew up in Rhinelander and has done as much as she can to mentor young children as young as five through teaching and coaching various fitness activities and sports. She is a certified Professional Mountain Biking Instructor Level 1 coach and is a member of several silent sports* organizations, including the Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association (RASTA), Central Wisconsin Off-Road Cycling Coalition (CWOCC), and the Lakeland Area Mountain Bike Organization (LAMBO).

So you betcha that Little Bellas is pretty darn pleased that Val wanted to start a chapter in Rhinelander!

When, where, and how to register

The Little Bellas Rhinelander chapter will launch on August 7, 2022 at the Washburn Lake Silent Sports Trails Area, which Val selected for its variety of trails, wide open spaces, and its convenient location just a few miles away from the center of Rhinelander.

*Did you know that Little Bellas’ partner, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, is unable to hold events at this trail center because there’s not enough parking to accommodate the 1000 participants that show up to race? That’s a happy problem!

After a session on the trails, Rhinelander mountain bikers like to head to CT’s Deli for one of their classic deli sandwiches (Val’s husband recommends the Reuben), or if you want to go full-on Wisconsin, order a quart of the Tailgater soup (brats, beer, cheese, onion). Visit their Facebook page (but stay away if you’re hungry!)

Registration for Little Bellas Rhinelander chapter opens on April 1, 2022 (no joke!) Learn more about the program and how to register here.

*Silent sports refers to non-motorized sports like hiking, biking, snow shoeing, and skiing.

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