Big Bear, Ca, April 7, 2011, 8:00am – Bear Valley Bikes, the local bike shop and bike team that originally started in 1993 as Big Bear Bikes has gone through many changes over the years. In 2000 current owner Derek Hermon took over the shop and the team, and this year has established Bear Valley Bike’s first ever stand alone Women’s Team. “To get more women involved in cycling is our goal,” said Hermon, “Our aim is to both support our current female riders as well as introduce new members to the sport and to racing.” The new Bear Valley Bike’s women’s team consists of 16 riders so far, including 10 year old Mnt. Bike National Champion Elle Williams, adventure racer Karen Lundgren, and runner Michelle Russell. The team is for women of all levels, and beginners are always welcome. Russell rides for the team, and is currently in second place in the Kenda Cup Series, in the women’s Cat 3 division ages 40-49. Russell has been riding bikes recreationally for years, however it was last year when her husband encouraged her to race that she first tried. “I came in dead last but had the best time ever,” said Russell. “I like that Bear Valley Bikes has encouraged all levels of women riders to participate in Mountain Bike Racing this season. Meeting other like minded women who don’t mind getting muddy once in awhile is fantastic!” Russell appreciates the encouragement she and the other women receive from Hermon and the other Bear Valley Bikes riders, and is looking forward to the next race that will take place in Big Bear on May 22nd. Hermon told KBHR that once the trails thaw out, women’s only training rides will start. Anyone interested in more information or joining the team is encouraged to call the shop at 866-8000 or go on the team website at bvbikes.com.