There's a unique ladies group in San Angelo that meets on a regular basis for bike rides, trail runs, swim workouts, adventure races, paddling sessions in kayaks, after-workout yoga sessions and just about any other type of fitness activity you can think of.
You might spot some of the them riding the roads or trails in the State Park on Tuesday evenings, mountain biking at Middle Concho Park on Wednesday evenings, swimming around the buoys at the Lake Nasworthy swim beach, kayaking on local streams or competing in local bike, run, and multisport races.
Their ranks include housewives, business owners, veterans, nurses, fitness coaches, university professors and college students, with many of the ladies also being members of the local Team Red White Blue (RWB) chapter.
On any given day, the group will include all ability levels ranging from absolute beginners who are just getting into one of the sports to experienced athletes who enjoy mentoring the beginners.
They call themselves the Dirt Divas.
The Divas are not an organized club - they're simply a group of ladies who enjoy being outside, exercising, having fun, and - most importantly - helping new people enjoy the various fitness activities.
Guys are not banned from the Diva group workouts - in fact, they are welcome as long as they're willing to air up bike tires, fix flats, and intelligently discuss which color of nail polish best matches with the workout outfit of the day.
"The Divas started out as a small group of ladies on the MAC Racing Team who started getting together for "girls day out' mountain bike rides a few years ago," said Dionnie Hoelsken, a member of that initial group.
"Christina McBride, the MAC team organizer and coach, coined the phrase 'Dirt Divas' because everyone ended up with a 'dirt tan' after a long dusty race or ride."
Today it's common to see 12-15 or more ladies show up for a Diva activity, with experienced riders such as Hoelsken, Donna Durbin, Dorothy Langdon and Debbie Yohman mentoring the new Divas in whatever the fitness activity of the day is.
Yohman says one of the fun weekly activities for the Diva group is the group ride that takes place on most Tuesday evenings at the State Park.
" We've been meeting at 6:30 pm on Tuesdays at the Playground parking lot in the State Park," said Yohman. "Most of us ride our mountain bikes on the park's paved roads but sometimes we do ride a few easy trails off the road with the normal ride distance being between 8 and 12 miles."
Cindy Simmons, who has been working on her 'dirt tan' with the Diva group for several years, urges other ladies to get involved and join in on the fun.
" Don't be afraid of the diva rides and other fitness activities if you are a beginner," said Simmons.
"Come out and join us for some fun girl time and get fit along the way."
Although the Divas are not an organized group with a web site or email distribution list, their upcoming bike rides and other fitness activities are typically posted on the Facebook pages for Team RWB San Angelo and SABA-San Angelo.
Anyone wanting more information about how to hook up with this fun group of ladies can also contact Debbie Yohman at (325) 223-1080.
Ride On, San Angelo and remember - the Dirt Divas are all about having fun and getting in some healthy exercise.
July 24: Mountain bike time trial, http://angelobike.org/events/mtb-time-trial-4/
July 26: Goodfellow Triathlon, roadlizards.org
Aug 2: Southland Shuffle, roadlizards.org
Aug 10: San Angelo Olympic and sprint distance triathlon, Spring Creek Park
professors and college students, with many of the ladies also being members of the local Team Red White Blue (RWB) chapter.