5 Questions with the Roanoke Valley Riveters

5 Questions with the Roanoke Valley Riveters

There’s no sugarcoating it—mountain biking is a tough sport. What shouldn’t be difficult, however, is having a safe space to learn, practice, and grow your skills. That’s where the Roanoke Valley Riveters come in. This group of welcoming mountain bikers is working to make the sport more accessible to those who identify as women and the LGBTQ+ community. We caught up with them this month to talk about who they are and their mountain-biking mission!

Several women with mountain bikes and wearing helmets smiling at the camera around sunset

Give us your elevator pitch! Who are the Roanoke Valley Riveters?

We are a women-identifying group of mountain bikers who support and grow with one another both on and off the bike. There was a gap in the mountain biking community with limited activities directed toward women only. We wanted to create a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable space for women to have fun together, explore the trails in our region, and learn from each other.

Why do you think groups such as yours are important to a community?

It can be intimidating for women to show up to a group mountain bike ride that men primarily populate. Having a dedicated space for women allows us to grow, explore, and try new things in a safe and supportive community. It is also crucial to have an open and proud LGBTQ+ friendly space in the mountain bike community. The outdoor community is not universally LGBTQ+ accepting, and it can be scary to join in.  Our goal is to hold open space for individuals who don’t see themselves represented in the mountain bike community regularly.

What are your gatherings like? How often do you meet?

We have a weekly ride on Wednesday nights at Carvins Cove and occasional weekend rides as well. We have organized clinics and fundraisers and are working on a women’s camping/biking trip for this fall. Our rides are supportive and fun with no riders left behind, and all levels of abilities are welcome to join! We all love to ride together and have fun spending time with each other.

Do you all have a favorite spot or trail that you like to ride? 

We spend a lot of time at Carvins Cove due to its proximity to Roanoke and Salem and its wide variety of trails.  A lot of us really love to get out on the National Forest trails up in Arcadia, too!

If there was a song that encompassed the idea of the RV Riveters, what would it be?

Crowded Table by the Highwomen. Women supporting women, creating a community together where everyone wants to be?  That’s us exactly.

Picture of a blue shirt with Rosie the Riveter on it and "Roanoke Valley Riveters" around the picture.

Community members joining together to make the outdoors inviting and accessible to all? We’re here for it. This community has worked incredibly hard to bring more and better outdoor recreational amenities to the region. The next step is making sure everyone who wants to use them can. Be sure to follow the Roanoke Valley Riveters on Facebook or Instagram for more info about who they are, what they do, and upcoming meetups (pro-tip: those meetups have been known to include ice cream)!

And of course, visit roanokeoutside.com to plan your next outdoor adventure!