One of the greatest appeals of mountain biking is that it is a unisex sport. Mountain biking does not discriminate on the basis of gender. Nor does it eliminate participants due to their ages or ethnicities; in its early years it was largely the domain of men and boys, but now women and girl mountain bikers are joining the fun in record numbers.
Girls mountain biking has begun to achieve prominence in the sport, thanks to the teams of girls mountain bikers fielded by many US high schools. High school mountain biking programs allow female students to master the techniques necessary to succeed in girls mountain biking competitions, and many of them are the equal of the male bikers in their schools.
The NorCal High School Mountain Bike League, founded in 2001, opened up the world of girls mountain biking to Elena Spittler, who was the leagues girls mountain biking champion in 2005. She joined the Berkeley High School Mountain Biking Team as its single female member, simply to prove that girls could succeed in the sport. She struggled to keep up with the boys during her first year on the team, but by the time she was a senior, Elena was...