My name is Lindsey Richter and I’m from Bend, Oregon. I am the Founder and Director of Inspiration for Ladies AllRide Mountain Bike Skills Camps. These are fun-filled events that bring women together to share the joys of mountain biking while learning in a safe and encouraging environment. I strive to build a strong community and grow the population of female mountain bikers across the globe. I started Ladies AllRide to inspire women to face fears, believe in themselves and change negative thoughts to positive.
"At Ladies AllRide We relate mountain biking to life by helping women see how fear can debilitate us on the bikes and in life. We have a unique formula where we throw in life skills along with bike skills. If there's a rock in our path we don't stare at that rock and imagine crashing into it; we choose a line, look ahead and think only thoughts that serve us, thoughts about what we need to do to get through, thoughts that keep us moving forward."
I was an athlete in high school who defined myself through my successes and accomplishments. When I got to college, I quit sports to focus on school and my social life which was a BIG mistake. I felt completely lost without sports in my life. After college I went right into the working world but struggled to get my fitness back. Around 1997 I decided the gym wasn’t inspiring, so I bought a hard tail mountain bike and began racing cross-country around Oregon.
"I found more than just my fitness again, I found myself."
Suddenly I was surrounded by like-minded people and I began realizing what it meant to have a passion for something. In early 2001 my world was rocked again when I got laid off from what I thought was my dream public relations job. I spent some time figuring out my next steps and I applied and got on the TV show Survivor: Africa. After being on a global TV show, the next few years of my life were a whirlwind. In order to feel sane and get out of the city I entered any mountain bike races I could find in the area. In 2002 I met a pro downhill mountain bike racer and my whole world changed once again. I found myself traveling the country with him racing bikes and discovering a community within the bike industry I didn’t know existed. I found belonging, connection and a whole new lifestyle.
In 2013 I came up with Ladies AllRide as a way to attract more women into the sport. During my travels I was only meeting women to ride with at race events and struggled to find women who just wanted to ride with me outside of competitions. I wanted to learn to be a better rider, but had a hard time finding anyone to teach me things in a way I could understand. I felt what was missing from the bike industry was an emotional component that addressed how intimidating and emotional mountain biking can be.
"I wanted to invite more women into the sport by being a relatable role model and educating them about how a sport like this can help them face fears and believe in themselves."
At Ladies AllRide, we are passionate mountain bikers and professionally trained skills instructors who teach all levels of riders from beginner to advanced. We run instructional mountain bike skill camps across the country annually where we coach up to 70 participants at each camp. A Ladies AllRide weekend is not only full of awesome instruction on the bike, we also provide a space to meet and laugh with other womxn who have similar passions. We nurture our community by including Friday and Saturday afternoon happy hour, goody bags full of awesome sponsor products and coupons, raffle prizes, discounts to our partner bike shops, and free demo products. We also offer an hour of "education stations" with topics like bike maintenance, suspension set-up, nutrition on and off the bike, managing fear and a body positioning slideshow with commentary.
I love that I get to inspire women through mountain bikes and teach them how to ride better. It's an intimidating, dangerous sport and I found a platform where I can help women learn to believe in themselves and trust in their abilities by understanding the sport on a deeper level. We help them see they can get their bikes to do things they may never have thought they could do which in turn builds confidence. Our main goal is to inspire women to face fears, believe in themselves and see what they’re capable of using bikes as our tool for growth, change and connection with oneself and others.
"I acknowledge that we are all vulnerable, we all fall, we all make mistakes, none of us are perfect and we have no egos at Ladies AllRide. It's about progression, NOT perfection."