A mother and daughter team tackled the womens-only adventure ride with Ride ADV, showing that even novice offroad riders are able to take on the Australian bush with a great support group...

20-year-old uni student Annika Mountstephens had never ridden off-road. But being a keen mountain biker and having just secured her L-plates, the Sydney local was keen to enjoy the NSW countryside the best way possible – on the Ride ADV adventure ride.

Yamaha appeared to be the brand of choice for the WOAR this year. Plenty of WR250s going around!

When her mum, Katrin van der Spiegel, recommended joining Ride ADV’s Women Only Adventure Ride, Annika made it her goal to attend the next event. But a 500km two-day ride from Singleton to Tamworth might prove daunting for a complete novice, Annika needed to know if adventure riding was for her.

Eager to tackle a few dirt kilometres, Annika borrowed an XT250 from Ride ADV leader Greg Yager and headed north from his Dural HQ to the Hawkesbury and along the Wheelbarrow Ridge Trail, keen for off-road experience. Despite some of the coldest – and wettest – October weather on record, the first outing was a success, with Annika showing confidence and speed on her first ride in slippery conditions.

Tackling river crossings and dusty conditions, it looked to be a challenging experience. That’s our ex WR250R Tenere!

Two weeks later Annika and Kat joined 13 other women on Ride ADV’s fifth Womens-only adventure ride. Glorious sunshine greeted the women for a weekend festival of adventure. Starting in Singleton, the ride negotiated some treacherous moss-covered causeways before winding over Crawney Gap and into Nundle for lunch. Riding a mixture of bikes including the Yamaha WR250R the women headed to Tamworth’s Golden Guitar.

“It was really cruisey and super fun… I didn’t know what to expect but now I have a taste for this and maybe venturing even further off road. I got heaps of riding tips from a great bunch of people and I’ll definitely be signing up for some dirt bike training,” explains Annika, who wasn’t even the youngest on the ride. That award was given to 17-year-old student Abi Chadwick. Abi’s family is heavily involved in organising the Sunny Corner Trail Bike Rally and she started riding a Yamaha PW50 aged four.  “There were so many fun people on the ride and the Ride ADV crew made me feel welcome, I highly recommend other girls joining even if, like me, you have little to no experience” said Annika.


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