Women's only mountain bike riding event at Awaba

BEING ACTIVE: Juliane Wisata in action during last year's Diamonds in the Dirt mountain bike ride at Awaba State Forest. Picture: OutImage.com.au
BEING ACTIVE: Juliane Wisata in action during last year's Diamonds in the Dirt mountain bike ride at Awaba State Forest. Picture: OutImage.com.au

Juliane Wisata had been dreaming about running a women’s-only mountain bike riding event in NSW “for years”.

But it was not until the arrival of her now 15-month-old son that she decided it was time to put the idea into action.

The result was the Diamonds in the Dirt women’s only ride held at Awaba State Forest last August.

“It’s been in the back of my head and last year I thought, ‘Now or never’,” Wisata said.

“I just come back from a baby break. It’s the perfect motivation for me to get back on the bike and to go out for some rides to train for the event whilst organising it at the same time.”

The first event was open to all levels and abilities of riders and received positive feedback. Wisata, who has been organising mountain bike riding events in NSW since 2008, hopes to grow the event to be the most popular for women in the state..

“It had a really good response. We got about 80 riders and it was the full range,” Wisata said.

“We had the riders that are used to riding … to some women who said, ‘I’ve never done anything like this before’.

“It was exciting to stand with them at the start line.”

Wisata was also excited to be able to offer “a cool track”.

“I didn’t want a ‘baby track’, ‘for girls’, I wanted a cool track that had some narrow and winding trails and not a lot of hills,” she said.

“I picked Awaba because I personally like it and it’s close to Newcastle and it’s close to Sydney as well. There’s a good mix of trails. 

“I want it to grow. I want to see more women daring to get up there and be part of an organised event. It’s always a good opportunity to meet new people. There are so many inspiring women.”

Diamonds in the Dirt women’s only event will be held on Sunday 9. Participants can be individual or in teams. The track is a six-kilometre loop and racing is either two hours or three hours.

“Last year I did the relay event with a friend of mine because I wasn’t game to ride for three hours straight,” Wisata said.

“We just tag-teamed and it was fun. Even between the two of us I was really keen to make sure my time was not much longer than hers.”

Wisata took up mountain bike riding when she moved to Australia from Austria in 2003 and enjoys “being out in the bush and exploring”.